Oil Pulling - What is it? Why should you do it? How do you do it?

December 04, 2013

Hi all,

So over the past month or so I have been trying out Oil Pulling.

What is Oil Pulling?
In a nut shell - It is swishing a natural oil around your mouth to kill bacteria. Oil Pulling is reported to have many health benefits.

Why do it?
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurverdic practice that has been used for thousands of years.
It is said to kill bacteria in your mouth which can:
  • Whiten teeth 
  • Stop/prevent bad breath
  • Make your gums healthier
  • Increase your metabolism and wake you up first thing in the morning
  • Prevent bacteria going into your blood stream, therefore it can improve your overall health
You should also know that:
  • It is inexpensive
  • It has been proven to stop the growth of (strep) bacteria
  • As far as I can see it is a risk free practice - these oils are edible and have nothing harmful in them and therefore I cannot see a reason to give it a go to see if it works for you.

Detailed Technique:
  • Always practice on an empty stomach, ideally first thing in the morning.
  • Take approx 1 tablespoon of a natural, cold pressed, unrefined oil (my research and personal experience suggest that Sesame and Coconut oil are best)
  • Swish around your mouth being VERY careful not to swallow (once you keep the oil in your mouth it 'pulls' bacteria which would then be harmful to swallow)
  • Continue to swish for about 10-15 minutes
  • Spit into a bin or the toilet (NOT the sink, it will clog your pipes)
  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly after (some suggest warm salty water)
  • Finally, brush your teeth
Personal Experience:

First I used coconut oil. This was by far the nicest taste... but as it is solid at room temperature this time of year it was really quite stomach turning to keep a solid chunk of it in my mouth and wait for it to melt. 

Of course, I could have melted the oil first in a double boiler or similar but that seemed like far too much work at 6-something in the morning when I was already pushed for time!

I switched to sesame oil - this was much more palatable as it is a liquid at room temperature and doesn't have a very strong flavour, scent or taste.

I did find that it really tired my mouth out. I have been doing it for just over a month now and I can (finally) do 10 minutes quite easily and push myself to 15 now. 

It is really hard to find the time. I have a little girl and I need to get her ready for pre-school in the morning. On an average morning I don't really have time for make up, hair styling, etc so this was very difficult to fit in! If you do try out oil pulling you will have to find your own way of working it into your schedule. 

Normally Hubby wakes up first, hops in the shower while I get my daughter up and do both of our breakfasts. Instead of going straight into Maddie I would do my oil pulling while looking through my phone - emails, tweets, Facebook, etc. Then get breakfast ready, spit out in the bin, wash my mouth out then go get Maddie up and start the day. 

To be honest - I really struggled to fit it all in. You are supposed to ideally do this every day but I probably only manage to do it 3-4 times a week.

I also really struggled with the texture and idea of oil in my mouth. But, I practised the old mind over matter and I soldiered on in the interest of honest reporting on here! 

On the plus side, my teeth are looking a bit whiter, my gums do seem healthier and I haven't succumbed to the dreaded lurgy that has struck down the rest of the family (and the world?) this week! This may or may not be due to oil pulling, who knows?

I have to say when I do my oil pulling my teeth just feel so clean after - much better than brushing or mouth wash by far! They feel clean but not stripped... it's hard to explain! 
(Of course I still brush as normal after breakfast.)

It is hard to do, it is a bit disgusting but I am going to stick by it, I do like the benefits.

In Conclusion:

This practice seems to have many health benefits - there are many people who swear by it and I have seen improvements myself. However, I struggle to find both the time and the inclination to do oil pulling on a daily basis. I will continue to 'pull' whenever I have time and can remember to do it!

Oil pulling is not for everyone but it may be worth giving it a try? What do you think? Have you heard about or tried oil pulling before? Would you give it a go? Or is it a step too far for you?

Rach xx


  1. Love this post! I'm a big fan of oil pulling and it does yield positive results for you, like you though, I never find the time. I've made it a weekend thing now :-) ox

    1. Thank you! :-) lovely to hear positive feedback... I know it's not the usual 'beauty blogger' post that I see in most of the blogs I read but I wanted to talk about it... I do it a few times a week and love the results xx

    2. Actually, I think it's quite popular in the #greenbblogger world :-) ox

  2. Kudos to you for sticking with this. It sounds horrible. Lol. :)

    1. lol it's not the most enjoyable experience! Thanks so much for reading and commenting, lovely to hear from you :-)

  3. Hats off to you for managing to try it. I would imagine it would really tiring on the facial muscles x

    1. It is! you kind of build up a tolerance to it over a while but I am still a rookie! lol! Thanks for reading and commenting :-) x


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