My Attempt at This Crazy Thing Called Oil Pulling: Does It Really Make a Difference?

Today I’m over at Simple Organic, sharing my two-week oil pulling journal, and more thoughts on the why’s and how’s and “does it work” of this truly unique (and only slightly crazy and gross) health practice.

A friend of mine is doing a lot of research on how to strengthen teeth, and both reverse and prevent cavities, naturally. Since I’m so busy these days, I’m happy to let her do the research and then I can follow her lead.

One of the things that she is trying is oil pulling, and when she mentioned it I was reminded that I had read good things about this bizarre health therapy before. It prompted me to start reading about it again, and to even give it a try for a couple of weeks to see what the hype is all about.

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice, dating back thousands of year. It consists of using some form of a vegetable oil (coconut, olive, sunflower, sesame, etc.) and swishing it around in your mouth for a period of 15-20 minutes.

Read the entire post here.

Have you tried oil pulling? Your thoughts and results? Have you even heard of oil pulling or is this a totally foreign concept to you?

Image by manduhsaurus
Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links.

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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  1. Yes, I have practiced oil pulling with unrefined coconut oil. Pulling has always seemed to helped a tooth that I have problems with if I hit the sweets too much. I would really like to know if oil pulling also extracts mercury out of mercury filling. I think I would make if a habit if I new for certain that oil pulling wasn’t extracting mercury out of my filings.

  2. I have been doing oil pulling with EVCO for about 3-4 months now. It was so difficult at first to keep it in my mouth without heaving and gagging. It definitely took some dedication and commitment on my end to keep trying. Now, I can happily report that it doesn’t bother me one bit to pop it in my mouth and “swish” it around for 15-20 minutes. I just went to the dentist for the first time last week since I began the treatment. Wow!! My dentist couldn’t say enough good things about my teeth and gums. I have NEVER received a two thumbs up review at an appointment in my entire adult life. I’ve always had “genetically awful” teeth…or so I thought. Apparently, I just needed to find oil pulling to get my gums and teeth in better shape….naturally. I recommend it to everyone I know. It has been “life changing” for me in the world of dental. Very happy with it!

  3. Hi All – My husband and I have been coconut pulling for about 6 months now, and several things have happened: 1) our teeth are whiter, 2) our allergies are MUCH milder on the days we actually do the pulls, 3) The dentist is in love with our gums, 4) my ears don’t itch (allergies) like they used to, and 5) my husband, who cannot smell anything that doesn’t knock him over, can smell nice, light scents now. All in all it has been wonderful for us.

  4. I am completely intrigued by this and plan to start oil pulling in the morning. I love the taste of coconut oil so hopefully it won’t bother me as much as it has others! Thanks for sharing your experience and also the links

  5. Hello, I read on Simply Organic that it also helps w/ stomach issues and the intestines. I am having SEVERE gastritis and issues w/ my intestines. I have had gastritis in the past and a stomach infect but this is bad! I am def gonna try it. At this point I am willing to try anything to feel better. I am a nursing mom and worry about taking over the counter meds although right now I am in so much pain I’m probably gonna start the meds here soon :( Do you know of any other “natural” things that can help w/ gastritis? I could very well have an ulcer I will have an upper GI “scope” soon. I have tried slippery elm, marshmellow, and aloe vera gel. I’m limited because of me nursing :( thank you in advance!

  6. Terri-Lynne says:

    Hello: I have been a dental hygienist for 19 years and I am always interested in alternative ways that people are looking after their teeth and gums. I read the post and I was glad to see that brushing/flossing was recommended after using the oil pulling technique. From what I understand about plaque formation and maturation is that plaque is VERY adherent. Rinsing with anything will not remove plaque, although some rinses may kill many of the bacteria in the plaque. I have heard of other products being used…oil of oregano, tea tree oil, orange peel oil…and I’m not sure of their efficacy. I like the idea of the oil and baking soda. Baking soda naturally lowers the ph in the mouth…and an acidic environment is what the bad bacteria in our mouths LOVE! I am going to do some more research on this subject because I am thrilled to hear of another alternative method. But I cannot stress to everyone that brushing and flossing is a crucial part of daily oral hygiene. The plaque MUST be removed by mechanical means…and there is go getting around that. Just my professional opinion…

  7. Just a few thoughts about Ayurveda from “Ayurveda traces its origins to the Vedas, Atharvaveda in particular, and is connected to Hindu religion. … Ayurveda is considered by some to have divine origin. … According to a later writer, the system of medicine was received by Dhanvantari from Brahma, and Dhanvantari was deified as the god of medicine.”

    Since as a Christian I know that there is no God except the Creator, all other gods are from the enemy side. Something to think about…

    • Do not get me wrong, to rinse the mouth first thing in a morning is always a good idea. To use a good oil for it might be a very good practice too (I think I have heard of it before), I am just questioning the background of it and the 15 to 20 minutes. I feel like I should clarify this, I did not want to offend anyone, sorry.

      • No worries, I’m not offended. It is always a good idea to consider the spiritual background of where things come from in evaluating whether a practice is acceptable as a Christian or not. I’m looking at this more on the basis of the actual practice (as you said, rinsing the mouth), and haven’t looked much into any other importance or meaning behind the practice, but certainly worth considering and I’m glad you brought it up. Thanks! :)

    • Sorry, I meant to say Dear Anna…

  8. I tried it a little, but not consistently enough to really give feedback. However, I do use a homemade toothpaste, which is basically coconut oil and baking soda, and I had a small cavity that recalcified between dental visits (I couldn’t have it filled when it was first found because I was pregnant at the time). It was between these dental visits that I started following a Nourishing Traditions-type diet and began making my own toothpaste. I have to say with this kind of toothpaste, the tartar build up on my inner lower incisors that usually comes back some time after a dental cleaning hasn’t yet come back!

    • Priscilla says:

      what is your homemade toothpaste recipe (ratio) of coconut oil and baking soda? my daughter has a cavity on a baby tooth, the dentist wants it filled before it gets worse, as she will probably have it awhile before it falls out…I’d love to start her on something natural and see if it re-calcified by the time we go back. How long between when your cavity was found and then checked/discovered it had re-calcified?

      • I have made this toothpaste and also use it as a deodorant! It works fantastically for both. 4 parts baking soda and 3 parts coconut oil is all! Amazing!

    • Dear Danielle,
      It’s unfortunate you call Hinduism the “enemy side”. If you research your Christian roots back to their origin (with objective books, not just the church’s) you will find your religion actually sprang from Yoga and Hinduism. In fact, many in the world believe Jesus was a great yogi, and ancient scrolls detail his trainings with Yogis in India during the time he was gone from the bible (from age 12 go 30). His teachings are in line with Yoga Sutras and yogic teachings. There are no ‘enemies’ when it comes to a path to God. Such thinking is what causes war, death, and hatred. Blessings to you and all who walk all paths to God.

  9. I’ve never heard of oil pulling! I’d love to learn more about it and also hear from anyone who’s had success with it. Thank you!

  10. I’d definitely be interested to find out if it works. We haven’t been to a dentist in 6 years … *hide* Never been prone to cavities but now I’m scared. I’d also be interested to know if it works for thrush (I hate giving my youngest Nystatin but I was also concerned by some things I’d read about Genetian Violet).

  11. Stephanie says:

    I have gone to a homeopathic doctor and recommend me to swish for 20 minutes and consume 3 1/2 tablespoons a day for energy and hormones. I am doing it because of heavy metals. I was suppose to have a root canal done and ended up cancelling it because it got better. I use hot cocoa to drink my oil or you could spread it on toast. Dont really taste either way. Good Luck!

    • Hi Stephanie, what kind of oil do you use and how much do you swish with? How long have you been doing it? Just curious how long it took to notice improvement with your tooth? Thanks!

      • I’ve been using virgin coconut oil, about 1 Tbsp or so. I’ve only done it consistently for the 2 weeks, although I’ve done it on and off at other times over the past few months. For me personally, I haven’t noticed a lot of improvement (I did notice a small difference within a week or so), but I’m hoping more for long term improvement.

    • Stephanie, is the swishing and consuming both for enery and horomones? I have problems with both but was wondering if I could just get away with drinking it without the swishing;). Have you seen any changes in your energy levels?

  12. I have tried oil pulling, but have a difficult time with it because of my gag reflex. Time to try again.

    I really enjoy your blog!!

  13. I have just now started oil pulling too. After reading all the benefits I decided it was worth a try. I just swish while I shower. And now after a VERY negative dental check up my husband is going to give it a try too. I have been using sunflower oil but I think I would like to change to coconut but like you I didn’t like having to chew the oil first!
    I do think I notice whiter teeth after a couple weeks. And after the first time I could fell the detox in my mouth!

  14. Never heard of this technique/therapy….please fix link!

  15. Ditto to above comment… Seems to be a server error on the Simple Krganic end. Interested to read when it does work.

  16. It appears to be the Simply Organic website that isn’t working. Perhaps once that website working, then the link will work.

  17. Kim Bakker says:

    The link isn’t working. Could you please repost this article. I have tried oil pulling a couple of times and it seems strange. However, I am willing to try anything again if I knew that there truly was a benefit. I presently have a tooth that the dentist says I need a root canal for. Sorry, not interested. The pain has subsided, so I would really like an alternative.

  18. Same here

  19. This link isn’t working. Says it’s a bad gateway. I’d love to read it, but thought you’d want to know.

  20. Yes, I’ve tried. I’ve never managed more than about 90 seconds without vomiting though.

    It’s a shame because I’ve heard really good things about it.


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