Getting My “Swish” On & Oil Pulling

Is oil pulling the new black? Well it is for me, at least this week.

One of my fabulous facebookers Mia brought to my attention last week this concept of OIL PULLING. She saw an article written about it with coconut oil, she knows I’m obsessed with coconut products so 1 + 1 = googling the bejeezus out of the topic to learn more, then jumping on board with both feet.

I must admit I was a little hesitant at first, it sounded disgusting, but let’s be honest, when has something being disgusting stopped me from trying it. You all know I do love a good self-experiment. What’s more, my skin is $hithouse at the moment (among other things) and my face looks like a pimply teenager- this is not what being in your 30’s is meant to be about. Overshare? Too late.

So, what is this “oil pulling” business? Well it stems from ancient Ayurvedic medicine and is used as a detoxification method. The theory is that the oil “pulls” many of the billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their toxins that reside in our mouths (Candida and Streptococcus are commonly found in our mouths) out. These organisms, and their toxic waste products, can spread throughout the body causing secondary infections and chronic inflammation, leading to any number of health issues.

So what do you actually do? You take about a tablespoon of oil and swish it around in your mouth for 15-20mins, then spit it, and the nasty toxins, out. You can do this up to 3x a day BUT it is best done on an empty stomach.

Benefits include

Brightening & whitening teeth
Healthier gums
Removal of mucus
Boosting the immune system
Preventing bad breath
Increasing energy
Having a clearer mind
Decreasing headaches
Clearing the sinuses
Alleviating allergies
Better sleep
More clearer skin
Regulating menstrual cycles
Decreasing inflammation
Improving the lymphatic system
Improving PMS symptoms

How am I doing it?

* I am using coconut oil (of course I am). The same stuff I use to cook with, you can use almond, olive or sesame too. Not sure what else.

* 20 mins….. Really? The first time I did this I lasted 5. I got bored. I decided I needed to be occupied while I “swish” my oil. Now I swish while I take the dog for a walk. I may need to rethink that though as it is awkward when people say “good morning” and I just give a weird, oil-filled-mouth-smile, try not to dribble, wave and don’t speak….. Perhaps I could swish whilst I am preparing my breakfast & ironing my clothes/making the bed etc? Actually, that isn’t going to work for me either, I don’t iron. You can try that though.

Trav & Astro just being cool, try that pose while swishing oil….


* Being realistic, the ONLY time I really have an empty stomach is first thing in the morning so I am doing it then. I wake up, get dressed to take Astro for a walk, get my mouthful of oil & off we go on our walk. I “swish” for 20mins, then spit that stuff out. You do NOT want to spit it down your sink, it will start to clog the drain. Toilet, bin, wherever, just not your sink.

* I am only 2 days in, I can’t really comment on any major changes. My skin is still crap. My teeth might be a bit whiter? I need to take a photo actually now so I can compare. I will revisit this in about a month & see where we’re at.

Have you tried “oil pulling”? What did you think?


16 thoughts on “Getting My “Swish” On & Oil Pulling

  1. Kristy says:

    I also do the oil pulling with coconut oil. I can attest to it clogging up the drain, I learned that the hard way πŸ™ I now spit into the toilet. My teeth are SO much whiter when I do my oil pulling daily (or almost daily). I do it first thing in the morning (whilst I am in the shower and doing my hair./make-up) and also notice a big difference to my sinuses and skin. Keep it up πŸ™‚

  2. Kirsty, legend! Thanks for the feedback! I will keep swishing!

  3. Shan lockyer says:

    Shan – you totally crack me up… Especially your when to “swish”

  4. Shan, you swish when you can swish. Astro must find me so embarrassing.

  5. Carmel Roberts says:

    I am oil pulling with coconut oil as I read your post. Was introduced to me a couple of months ago by my chi-ball yoga/naturopath teacher. My husband and I do it first thing in the morning and like you I had thought of oil pulling as I walked the dogs of a morning, but decided against it in case I met someone along the way and had to say “good morning” excuse me while I split out my toxic oil!! I have found that my skin seems to be clearer and smoother (I am 59 years old) and my tongue is very pink and clean. Cheers, Carmel Sent from my iPad

  6. Carmel thank you!!, It is wonderful to hear from a “seasoned swisher”, I will keep it up! Thanks so much for your feedback!

  7. paleoinpdx says:

    I tried it once a few years ago when a woman at my yoga studio told me about it. It was long before my paleo days and even before I stopped eating gluten. I was vegetarian too and was having sinus problems/infections regularly. She recommended oil pulling and I was desperate, so gave it a go. I don’t think I lasted the whole 20 minutes either and I used olive oil, so the taste was super strong and kinda burned. I keep seeing oil pulling come up, so maybe I need to try it again. I’ll use coconut oil next time I try though!

  8. Ooh thanks for the feedback. The coconut oil definitely doesn’t burn or anything, just weird swishing oil around in your mouth really. Let me know if you get back on board & how it goes!

  9. paleoinpdx says:

    Sure thing — hopefully I remember to do it! Will you remind me how much you use? Is it 1 Tbsp?

  10. Yep a tablespoon πŸ™‚

  11. veghotpot says:

    I’ve been using oil directly on my skin (google oil cleansing method) with a mix of castor oil and extra virgin olive oil, both organic. I’ve got quite bad skin and its been drawing it all out and it’s made my skin much softer and the pimples are less red and aggressive! I’ll have to try oil pulling with coconut oil as I like the idea of whiter teeth!! My bathroom with look like a kitchen soon haha x

  12. Thanks hun, I have been doing my oil cleansing with coconut oil for a while now and loving it it too!

  13. Lauren says:

    Hi have you ever accidently swallowed the oil?

  14. Ah yep. Not ideal as it is all toxic & gross but won’t kill you πŸ˜‰

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