An ancient Ayurvedic Indian system of healing, originating from the Vedic culture of India, is teaching us a completely “new” way to go about oral hygiene – not to mention a supposedly natural way of whitening teeth. Oil pulling has become a major health craze here in the U.S. as of late, but many people have never heard of this remedy. So what is it exactly?
Oil pulling is a practice in which you take a spoonful of coconut oil or sesame oil and swish it around in your mouth, going back and forth from the front to the back of your teeth for 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes is up, spit the oil into a trashcan, not the sink because it can clog the drain if it solidifies. Oil pulling helps remove unwanted bacteria in your mouth, so once you’re finished with the process, make sure to thoroughly rinse your mouth out.
Results tend to vary from person to person. You may see results as soon as the next day or several weeks from starting this practice. If you’re still not sold on the idea of oil pulling, actress Gwyneth Paltrow is a huge supporter of the new health fad. Paltrow just recently told E! News, “I just started ‘oil pulling,’ which is when you swish coconut oil around for 20 minutes, and it’s supposed to be great for oral health and making your teeth white…It’s supposed to clear up your skin as well.”
While this ancient system of healing may in fact provide you with whiter teeth and a clean detoxified mouth, it is no substitute for modern health practices. Oil pulling has the tendency to make you feel like you’re teeth are clean, however brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day is still a must.
If you’re looking to try something new this summer, give oil pulling a try. While it may not be for everyone, it’s worth giving it a shot, especially if Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan, right?
Photo by Sabine Clermont