Every month or so another health craze hits the internet and spreads like wildfire. Some of them are beneficial, and some of them are just downright harmful. The latest trend to make its way through our news feeds is the alternative medical practice of oil pulling. But what exactly is it, what does it do for you, and should you try it?
What is it?
Oil pulling is an ancient cure-all remedy that involves swishing a spoonful of oil in the mouth to get various medical benefits. Oil pulling stems from the traditional practice native to India called Ayurvedic medicine, which is known for its alternative approach to health and wellness. Oil pulling, as described by ancient Ayurvedic literature, is a way to improve oral health, eliminate harmful bacteria, boost the immune system, and detoxify the body. Testimonials from those that have tried the technique claim benefits such as the cure for a cold, better skin condition, and help with sore throats, headaches, and issues with internal organs.
How to do it
Credit: http://images.elephantjournal.com/Upon waking in the morning, and before brushing, eating, or drinking anything, take a spoonful of oil and swish it in your mouth for 20 minutes. The timing is important, and swishing should be done for no less than 15 minutes during each session. It is best to use a cold pressed oil like olive oil, sesame oil, or the newly popular coconut oil. Once swishing is complete, spit the solution into a bag or trash can. Do not spit any of it down the sink unless you want to end up with clogged pipes. Finally, rinse the mouth out well with warm water and brush your teeth as you normally would.
Does it Work?
Whether or not oil pulling works is difficult to answer, but it's hard to find any downsides to giving it a try. Few official studies have been done on the subject, but it is certainly not without its research. In her book, Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and healing the body through oral cleansing, Dr. Bruce Fife explains how the technique can produce positive results. Dr. Fife has taken the time to study the effects of using oils as medicine for many years now and has published several books on the subject. Additionally, there are plenty of testimonials online of those that have tried the technique and seen wonderful benefits such as whiter and stronger teeth, improved gums, and better breath. Other testimonials include greater benefits beyond the mouth: better skin, cures for liver issues, and help with arthritis. Although it's medical merits may not be completely proven, there seems to be no harm in the method. As with most medical practices, the effects of oil pulling may simply be a personal one. It is possible that results can range from the astounding, to no results at all. In the end, with the ever increasing popularity of oil and its many uses, it would seem that this could be yet another helpful use for the product, and might be worth giving it a try.