Oil Pulling for a Brighter Smile and
by Bruce Fife
“That sounds ridiculous,” exclaimed Rick in disbelief. “It will never
work. How could it? It doesn’t make any sense.” Rick suffered from chronic
sinusitis. At night when lying down, his nose would stop up, making it
difficult for him to breathe and to sleep. The congestion also caused him
to experience frequent headaches.
The therapy I was telling him about was oil pulling. Although oil
pulling has its origins in Ayurvedic medicine, which dates back thousands
of years, this modern version is relatively new, at least in the United
States. Oil pulling is very simple. Basically all you do is rinse your
mouth out with vegetable oil, much like you would with a mouthwash. As
simple as it sounds, if done correctly it has a very powerful cleansing
and healing affect not only on the mouth and sinuses, but the entire body.
A few days later, Rick called me on the phone. “Wow! This oil pulling
stuff really works,” he exclaimed. “My sinuses began to drain immediately.
I expelled a lot of dark yellow, gross looking mucous. I’m breathing
easier and sleeping better and my headaches are gone!”
I wasn’t surprised with Rick’s success. I hear many similar responses from
others with various health problems. “I was skeptical at first,” says
Cynthia. “I couldn’t see how swishing oil in my mouth could help with my
arthritis. After eight days I noticed the pain in my hands diminished
considerably. There was also marked improvement in my neck and I could
move my head from side to side without any pain. I was amazed at how
quickly I got results. I haven’t felt this good in along time!”
Some people think I’m crazy when I tell them that oil pulling can help
those with asthma, allergies, chronic fatigue, diabetes, migraine
headaches, PMS, and chronic skin problems. Oil pulling works by
detoxifying or cleansing the body. In this way, disease promoting toxins
are removed, thus allowing the body to heal itself. As a consequence,
health problems of all types improve.
“I’ve suffered for several years with joint and lower back pain,” says
Anna. “Every morning it was difficult getting out of bed because the pain.
After two months of oil pulling the pain is all but gone. I’m amazed.
Although I began oil pulling to relieve the joint pain, a few other things
happened that I didn’t expect. I’m surprised to see that the eczema on my
arm and hand disappearing and my skin becoming smoother and softer.
Nothing I had tried before had helped. I sleep better at night too, so I
have more energy during the day. I no longer need my mid-day naps. I have
so much energy I almost feel like a teenager again. My periods have become
more regular with less cramping and less mood swings. Also, my teeth,
gums, and tongue are cleaner than they’ve ever been.”
The first thing that most people notice when they start oil pulling is an
improvement in their oral health. Teeth become whiter, breath becomes
fresher, and the tongue and gums take on a healthy pink color. Even
problems such as bleeding gums, tooth decay, and gum disease are greatly
diminished or completely healed.
“I had a really bad infection in my mouth,” says Brittany. “It was so
painful that I could not sleep. Pain medication helped temporarily. I was
sure that I needed another root canal. After hearing about oil pulling I
decided to give it a try before going to the dentist. I began oil pulling
three times a day. By the very next day the pain was gone! No soreness,
nothing. I was shocked. I continue to oil pull and my teeth are whiter and
healthier looking then they have ever been. My gums have stopped bleeding,
they used to bleed after every brushing. They are no longer receding and
my teeth feel tighter. On my last visit to the dentist he was amazed at
how much better my teeth and gums looked. He told me to continue to do
whatever I was doing.”
Oil pulling traces it roots to oil gargling practiced in Ayurvedic
medicine. Oil pulling as we know it today, was introduced in 1992 by Dr.
F. Karach, MD. Dr. Karach claimed that oil pulling could cure a variety of
illnesses ranging from heart disease and digestive troubles to hormonal
disorders. He said it cured him of a chronic blood disorder of 15 years
duration and within three days it cured his arthritis, which at times was
so painful he was bed ridden. He used the method in his medical practice
with great success.
Dr. Karach’s method of oil pulling consists of swishing, not gargling,
vegetable oil in the mouth. The oil is “worked” in the mouth by pushing,
pulling, and drawing it through the teeth for a period of 15 to 20
minutes. It is done one to three times a day on an empty stomach. The best
time is in the morning before eating breakfast, but can be done before any
meal. The used oil is discarded and the mouth rinsed out with water. The
oil is never swallowed because it is loaded with bacteria, toxins, pus,
Sunflower and sesame seed oils are the most commonly used for oil pulling,
but any vegetable oil will work. People have had success with olive,
coconut, almond, and other oils. I prefer to use coconut oil because of
its many health benefits. If you use a mild flavored coconut oil it is
very pleasant in the mouth. Some oils, such as extra virgin olive oil, are
so strong flavored that many people find them difficult to use.
The oil acts like a cleanser. When you put it in your mouth and work it
around your teeth and gums it “pulls” out bacteria and other debris. It
acts much like the oil you put in your car engine. The oil picks up dirt
and grime. When you drain the oil, it pulls out the dirt and grime with
it, leaving the engine relatively clean. Consequently, the engine runs
smoother and lasts longer. Likewise, when we expel harmful substances from
our bodies our health is improved and we run smoother and last longer.
As simple as it is, oil pulling has a very powerful detoxifying effect.
Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other
parasites and their toxins. Candida and Streptococcus are common residents
in our mouths. It is these types of germs and their toxic waste products
that cause gum disease and tooth decay and contribute to many other health
problems including arthritis and heart disease. Our immune system is
constantly fighting these troublemakers. If our immune system becomes
overloaded or burdened by excessive stress, poor diet, environmental
toxins and such, these organisms can spread throughout the body causing
secondary infections and chronic inflammation, leading to any number of
Oil pulling is one of the most remarkable methods of detoxification and
healing I have ever experienced in my career as a naturopathic physician.
It helped me overcome a chronic skin problem that other forms of
detoxification, including numerous juice fasts lasting up to 30 days, were
unable to cure.
Oil pulling can work its magic almost instantly. Some people report relief
from certain conditions after doing it only once. Minor problems often
clear up within a few days. More serious, chronic problems may require a
few weeks or several months or more depending on lifestyle issues.
Toxins are pulled from the body the very first time you try it. One of the
first cleansing symptoms you will experience is an increased flow of
mucous from your throat and sinuses. Mucous drainage is one of the body’s
methods of removing toxins. While you are pulling, mucous may build in the
back of your throat. You may even have to expel the oil and clear the
mucous from your throat before reaching a full 20 minutes. That’s okay,
take another spoonful of oil and continue until you’ve pulled for a total
of 15-20 minutes. You may also experience a little nausea and perhaps even
need to vomit as your body expels toxic waste. Other symptoms may also
arise temporarily. These symptoms will subside as your body becomes
cleaner and you become more comfortable with oil pulling. Unlike other
methods of detoxification that last for only a short time, oil pulling
should become a regular part of your daily schedule, like brushing your
Oil pulling is incredibly effective in brightening teeth, healing gums,
preventing bad breath, quenching inflammation, and healing oral
infections. It is also effective in treating many systemic conditions
throughout the body.
As good as it is, the simple oil pulling method described in this article
isn’t always enough. Some people and some conditions require a little
extra care. For this reason, I took oil pulling and developed it into a
more complete, more effective method that I call Oil Pulling Therapy. This
program incorporates medicated
coconut oil (which you can make yourself), diet, select nutrients, oral pH
balancing procedures, and, for those who have amalgam (mercury) fillings
or metal crowns, a detox procedure designed specifically for removing
heavy metals, all of which combine to greatly enhance the effects and
healing properties of oil pulling. The details of this program are covered
in my new book Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body
Through Oral Cleansing.