Why Try Oil Pulling for Your Health?
December 30, 2014
You have probably heard about oil pulling from a friend or come across a post about it on Facebook. They have been doing it in India in what they call Ayurvedic medicine for 3,000 years. It’s an oral therapy that involves swishing one tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. Twenty minutes is long! But people who have tried it swore to its health benefits. You can use coconut, sesame, or sunflower oil.
This is not some kitchen remedy some housewife invented out of boredom. Research has actually proven its benefits. It’s not some false science. According to research, oil pulling helps treat or prevent gum disease, plaque, tooth decay, and bad breath.
How does it work?
Bacteria that inhabit the mouth are single-celled microorganisms. Well, all bacteria are single-celled. Their membranes are composed of lipids. So what’s the big deal? Naturally, the fat molecules on the membrane of bacteria tend to stick to the oil molecules you use. So when you swish oil in your mouth, you take the bacteria out of your teeth, gums, and tongue. You spit them out with the oil. It sounds too simple, but this simple principle has a lot of health benefits.
Many people who have tried it swore it made their teeth whiter. If you’re wondering whether this is true, there’s only one way to find out. Why be scared? Swishing coconut or sesame oil in your mouth is okay. These things don’t cause any illness. In fact, they have lots of nutrients that are good for you.
What is research saying about oil pulling?
There are a few scientific studies conducted in 2008 and 2009. These studies aimed to find out the effects of swishing coconut oil. The findings: coconut oil stops plaque from forming.
Is there enough scientific evidence?
That’s the problem. There are not too many research studies done to update or back up formerly conducted studies. With so many people exaggerating the effects of coconut or sesame oil, it makes sense to do comprehensive research on the true benefits of these oils. Most doctors would encourage people to just stick to conventional means of preventing plaque and tooth decay. That’s brushing at least twice a day and flossing.
Also, there seems little or no evidence that support oil pulling will reduce chances of diabetes or heart disease. However, we know there’s a connection between gum disease, which can be prevented by oil pulling, and heart disease.
CNN recently did an article on this to see if it worked or not.
Should you try it?
If you’re curious, know that there are a lot of people who have tried it and they have seen benefits from doing it. In addition, coconut or sesame oil are not only safe but also filled with beneficial nutrients and minerals. There are no reported adverse effects from oil pulling. This practice would not have lasted for thousands of years if it caused mouth sores.
You don’t have to do it for 20 minutes. You can start at 5 minutes. See if it’s something you can do. Don’t swallow the oil. Spit it out.
Do not use oil pulling as an alternative to brushing and flossing. You still need to do these things.