Oil pulling is an ancient method of healing that derives from oil gargling, a practice used in Ayurvedic medicine. Modern oil pulling was introduced in the early 1990s by Dr. F. Karach, M.D. He claimed that the practice could heal a variety of ailments including arthritis, digestive problems and even heart disease. He used coconut oil to treat numerous patients in his medical practice. Although many of his claims have yet to be proven by science, there exists substantial anecdotal evidence that points to the effectiveness of oil pulling with coconut oil.

The modern method is performed by swishing the oil in the mouth and "pulling" it through the teeth, as opposed to gargling. Although any type of high-quality vegetable oil can be used with success, virgin coconut oil is recommended. If you can't locate coconut oil, which is typically purchased at natural health stores or ordered online, you can try using sunflower, sesame or olive oil. Coconut oil, however, has a more pleasant taste and numerous health benefits of its own aside from its effectiveness in oil pulling.

During the process, the oil supposedly acts like a cleanser and detoxifier, pulling bacteria and toxins from your body. When you discard the used oil, you should notice that its foamy and white in color, which some people take as proof that the method is working properly. Individuals have reported success in treating almost every type of illness using oil pulling, from minor ailments such as receding gums and tooth decay to major medical concerns such as tumors. To perform oil pulling at home, follow these steps for the best results:

  1. Get your coconut oil ready in the morning before you've had breakfast. Oil pulling should always be performed on an empty stomach.
  2. Place approximately 1 tbsp coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around with your mouth closed for 15 to 20 minutes. Your mouth will begin to tire after a while, but hang in there. Give the oil a chance to work.
  3. Swish the oil like you were rinsing with mouthwash. Pull and push it through the teeth with your tongue for the entire duration. Try to make sure the oil comes into contact with every area of your mouth possible, allowing it to thoroughly mix with your saliva.
  4. Spit the oil out after 15 to 20 minutes have passed and the coconut oil is thin and white in color. If the oil is still yellow in color, you haven't been pulling long enough.
  5. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with clean water to remove all the oil and bacteria. You may need to rinse several times. Rub your gums with clean fingers after rinsing to stimulate circulation.
  6. Repeat the oil pulling with coconut oil up to three times per day before eating and on an empty stomach. Results should be expected in a few weeks if you perform the process regularly.
It's always recommended that you consult a qualified physician before treating yourself with any home remedies, particularly for serious illnesses. However, there are no harmful side effects to oil pulling with coconut oil and the method can be used in conjunction with conventional treatments.