I love using coconut oil as part of my beauty routine. I use it for so many things! Moisturizer, eye-makeup remover, hair conditioner, you name it. But there’s another way to use it: oil pulling, a dental-hygiene trend with roots in alternative medicine.
“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 health problems.” – Bruce Fife, ND (Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying & Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing).
In case you haven’t tried it, here’s oil pulling in a nutshell: You take a spoonful of coconut oil and swish it around in your mouth for about 20 minutes. The idea is that the oil attracts the fat-hungry bacteria in your mouth, leaving you with cleaner teeth, but because you don’t swallow those germs, you also end up with improved digestion, clearer skin, and improved sleep, to name just a few of its touted benefits.
The key is to use a food-quality, cold-pressed organic coconut oil because it has a pleasant, fruity taste, as opposed to vegetable or olive oil, which are heavier. I recommend a raw, extra-virgin coconut oil like Skinny Coconut Oil. The purer the coconut oil is, the more toxins it can pull from your mouth during the pulling process. By collecting and expelling toxins from the mouth, oil pulling not only assists with oral care but overall health as well. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which kills harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi. Breast milk is the only other natural source that contains such a high concentration of lauric acid, which could explain the drastic decrease of infections in babies.
Since coconut oil is solid at room temperature, you may need to put the jar under hot water for a minute or so to make it liquid. Then pour some coconut oil into a tablespoon, spoon it into your mouth and swish it around without swallowing, as if you’re rinsing with mouthwash. Aim to keep it in your mouth for 20 minutes, but if the texture feels a little foreign at first, start with 5 minutes and work your way up. You might want to do it right before you get into the shower so you won’t have to worry about trying to talk to anyone with a full mouth. Once you’re done swishing, just spit the oil into your trash can (not down the drain—it could clog the pipes), give your teeth a quick brush to loosen additional bacteria, rinse, and you’re finished.
For a small investment per jar, it’s worth giving it a “pull”—and if it’s not your thing, you can always use the rest of the coconut oil to condition your hair or drizzle over salad greens.
Now, what are you waiting for? This is life-changing stuff. Get your hands on some now. Make sure you use organic, unrefined, virgin coconut oil for the most benefits. I personally use and recommend Skinny Peppermint Oil Pulling.
Question of the Day:
Have you used coconut oil in any other ways?
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