What’s All This About Oil Pulling?

by lydia on January 25, 2012

“It is beneficial for strength of jaws, depth of voice, flabbiness of face, improving gustatory sensation and good taste for food. One used to this practice never gets dryness of throat, nor do his lips ever get cracked; his teeth will never be carious and will be deep rooted; he will not have any toothache nor will his teeth set on edge by sour intake; his teeth can chew even the hardest eatables”—Charaka samhita Ch V -78 to 80.


Oil pulling a topic of interest and confusion for many. It’s not anything new really. Oil pulling has been around for a long time, it’s a traditional Indian folk remedy, and found in Ayurvedic medicine as well. Also known as oil swishing, oil pulling is a practice that is used to reduce bacteria in the mouth, sort of like a holistic mouthwash. Additionally, it can help to reduce the effect of cavities on the teeth. Oil pulling is a great method for pulling toxins out of the blood as well.  The chewing action done during oil pulling can trigger enzymes that draw toxins from the blood. It is important to note that the oil has become very toxic by doing this and by no means should you ever swallow it. There are many reports and findings that indicate the practice of oil pulling can cure many ailments and diseases. Common diseases like allergies, common cold and cough, dental caries, gum diseases, infections in the mouth, ear, nose, throat, eyes, and pains like headache, migraine, tooth pain, neck pain, back pain etc, allergic sneezing, lip cracking, fevers, irritability etc, can be often cured simply by oil pulling.

My Oil Pulling Trials

I have tried oil pulling, but have never yet instilled it as a daily practice. Initially I just tried it out in the mornings for a week. I enjoyed how wonderful my teeth felt afterwards. From time to time when I think of it I do it, just because I know it’s a wonderful holistic practice. It’s important to not have any interruptions during your oil pulling sessions. I find I have to try to do it when my kids aren’t around. Otherwise, they may want me to talk to them and I won’t be able to. Or, they may need some kind of parental ‘intervention’ (such as breaking up a fight, or what have you), that could cause you to need to spit out your oil mid therapy. You get my drift.

My best experience with oil pulling is when I feel a sinus infection coming on. I used to suffer with sinus pressure and pain in my upper right gum line regularly. Now it comes on once in awhile and I deal with it immediatlely and it quickly dissipates. Oil pulling usually kicks that sinus pain and gum pain out the first try. I definitely  have found benefit by using this practice. Now, I am ready to take it further and make it a daily practice. (Anyone care to join me?)

The How To

In the morning before breakfast, on an empty stomach, take 1 tablespoon of cold- pressed sunflower, sesame, olive or coconut oil in the mouth, but do not swallow.  Swish the oil around the mouth, chew it, and mix it with your saliva for 10 – 20 minutes.  Then, spit it into the toilet bowl.

Chewing activates the enzymes which draw toxins out of the blood.  And, in 10 – 15 minutes, the blood from the entire body has had the opportunity to circulate through and around the mouth.  After 10 – 20 minutes, the oil should be thinner and white.  If it is still yellow, you have not held it in your mouth long enough.  (Note that 10 minutes the first week is usually sufficient.  Then, increase to 15 – 20 minutes as you get clearer.)

Immediately brush your gums, teeth, and tongue with warm salt/soda water (1 cup water to ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon soda) or with food-grade hydrogen peroxide diluted in water.  Then, gargle and spit with the remaining salt/soda water.  It is also helpful to tip the cup under the nose and gently sniff up the water to clean the nasal passages.  Then, gently blow the nose.

The sink should be cleaned afterward because the saliva contains harmful bacteria and toxic bodily waste.

Repeat this procedure two to three times a day before meals on an empty stomach.  Continue this procedure until you are healthy (a few weeks or more).

Note:  Sesame oil also works well and only needs to be held in the mouth three minutes.

(source – Dr. Karach’s Oil Pulling Therapy; Pulling_Oil_Karach_Article)


The Challenge

Often good intentions start off well, but may go by the wayside for various reasons. I never stuck with oil therapy daily, as it was time consuming in a way. Namely, I just didn’t plan it well and didn’t fully appreciate the value of it. Now I am more inspired to stick with it. Soooo, I thought why not make it a group effort, something with accountability and inspiration from otheres, and turn it into a challenge. I’d like to instill a month of oil pulling – does anyone want to join me? If I can get 10 or more interested, I’ll turn it into a prize winning affair! Post in the comments your interest – and we’ll see if we can’t go ahead and get this party started right!


At the dawn of twenty first century it causes doubt, disbelief and astonishment, if one advises you to practice a therapy, which cures most diseases. In the past twelve years the curative results of”Oil Pulling” (OP) of thousands of people provides proof beyond doubt. It is described as the ‘Best Drug less Therapy’ a cure for most diseases.


For more on this topic, check out this awesome little booklet; Oil_Pulling_A_Universal_Remedy.

And this great site; Oil Pulling – Wonderful Therapy

(photo credit)




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Anonymous March 6, 2013 at 2:57 pm

i started oil pulling 3 days ago after noticing tartar on my wisdom tooth. After the first day a pimple developed on the tooth’s gum and it hurt. My throat,ear (on the side of the tooth) and back of tongue hurt too. Today is my 3 rd day and my throat and tongue are better, toothache is gone and the pimple on tooth is subsiding. I feel much fitter and only my eyelids hurt and are swollen from an ongoing undiagnosed eye problem.I OP with roasted sesame oil from the general store.
I will continue OPing, because i must say i feel an improved condition overall. I think the first symptoms were a healing crisis.

Chinwe. May 24, 2013 at 7:59 am

I am on fertility treatment and my doctor advised that I do Oil Pulling. I did it for a week (twice a day consistently). Currently I am tired and do it only every now and then because am Catholic and do go for morning mass every morning and then on to work. I do hope to continue soon as I’ve discovered that it is beneficial.
Join me guys, lets clean our insides and be healthy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ken March 22, 2014 at 11:05 am

Is is totally necessary to brush the teeth and gargle? I know it helps the gums and that. Can I still benefit just pulling with the oil ?

lydia March 22, 2014 at 11:25 am

Yes – you need to rinse out any toxins in your mouth. Plus, you are gonna want to brush or rinse afterwards…..trust me!

ken March 22, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Thanks ,what about just the salt water is that ok? or need the soda water?

lydia March 22, 2014 at 12:21 pm

I use about 4 ounces of salt water with about 2 tsp.of sea salt in it – I rinse, then I brush, then I rinse one more time. I never use toothpaste.

ken March 22, 2014 at 12:28 pm

maybe my sleep will improve:)

ken March 26, 2014 at 4:12 pm

I been oil pulling since last Saturday at least 2 times a day. My girlfriend came down with sore throat and cold for a few days. I seen her on day 2 fri thru Sunday, Tuesday woke up with a sore throat it was really dry and sore at 2 am. Wed today the pain is a lot less and no cold! I was getting a little plugged last night and I thought for sure i was going to get it I always do! I blew my nose some and a little stuffed up but not very much so I think the oil pulling is working!. I been working out for over 20 years 50 yrs old and I eat decent and love my chicken soup 2 or 3 times a week and rarely get sick also taking a time released C helps along with other vitamins.

Debra E March 31, 2014 at 10:10 am

I found 2 brands of sesame oil at my local grocery store. They both said “cold pressed” but the ingredient was “toasted sesame oil”. Is this the kind of sesame oil I want to oil pull with? The two terms seem contradictory. I am considering oil pulling while on the GAPS intro because I thought it might aid my body in what it’s going through. Am I on the right track?

lydia March 31, 2014 at 10:21 am

You do NOT want toasted sesame oil. Oil pulling on intro is a great idea -just keep in mind it may produce additional detox/’die-off’ reactions….

Lisa April 12, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Hi Lydia, what do you mean by “it may produce additional detox/’die off’ reactions…”?

lydia April 15, 2014 at 7:51 am


A detox reaction is very similar to a die-off reaction because it is a type of healing reaction where initially you may feel worse before you feel better. A detox reaction is result of stored toxins being released from their storage sites. During oil pulling toxins are pulled from their storage sites in the body, which are your muscles, fat, brain, and other tissues. Once the toxins are pulled from their storage sites they are released into the bloodstream. This leads to a detox reaction, while the toxins circulate your bloodstream before they are eliminated from the body. Symptoms of detox reaction include headache, nausea, vomiting, skin rash, etc. It is very individual. Think of it as a spring cleaning!

Kim May 6, 2015 at 3:08 pm

I wanted to see if you would suggest hemp oil to do oil pulling with.

Leo Sigh July 31, 2015 at 4:01 am

I know this is an old post, but just an addition.

You do not want to spit the used oil down the sink. If you do, within just a week or two, it will block your pipes.

Spit it into a garbage bag and throw it away.

Other than that though, it’s amazing. I’ve been doing it daily for years. Have incredibly white teeth and never ever get sick :) Highly recommend it.

Lynette February 16, 2016 at 12:04 pm

I’ve been OP for about 2 weeks. I have noticed that my lips are severely chapped and I have several canker sores in my mouth. I was hoping that the OP would have eliminated not exasperated these things. Any suggestions? I am not always rinsing out afterward and wonder if maybe I am leaving the toxins in my mouth. I do notice much whiter teeth. I’m using organic coconut oil.

lydia February 17, 2016 at 5:05 am

Hi Lynette,

Yes, I would rinse after with a salt water rinse – you could be just detoxing too much, hard to say.

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