When it comes to beauty products, treatments and procedures, I will try almost anything once. A huge craze at the moment is ‘oil pulling’ which is the process of swishing a teaspoon of coconut oil around your mouth for 20 minutes at a time.
Oil pulling, also known as “kavala” or “gundusha” is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that supposedly draws out toxins in your body to improve both oral and overall health. The recent trend seems to be more focused around the teeth whitening benefits but the additional benefits shouldn’t be overlooked.
Alleged benefits include:
- Whiter teeth
- Cavity prevention
- Better breath
- Stronger teeth and gums
- Reduced jaw pain
- Improved sleep and sinus issues
- Headache relief
- Hangover relief
- Improved skin issues (acne, psoriasis and eczema)
Coconut oil is said to make a great substitute for mouthwash due to the antioxidant Vitamin E that it contains, and the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties due to the lauric acid and monolaurin. There is little conclusive evidence to prove beyond doubt that oil-pulling really does have all the proposed benefits, however it absolutely wont do you any harm (unless you have an allergy to it – always test on a small patch of skin first!) so it’s certainly worth a try! Besides, there are many reports of people claiming to see amazing benefits from it.
There are clashing views on how this should be done, with some claiming that it should be carried out each day for two weeks, some once a week and some once a fortnight. Some claim a tablespoon, some claim a teaspoon. Some claim you should swish for 10 minutes, some for 20. I currently oil pull less than I should to see the results, but I’m going to make a conscious effort to pull every 2 days or so, or at least each week if that fails. I use a teaspoon at a time; this is because it expands massively in your mouth as it gathers the toxins and saliva. I personally think any more than a teaspoon would just be too much!
I have recently read that you should swish with salt water immediately after, and then continue with brushing and flossing. Again, this differs from other reports that I’ve read which claim that this could damage the enamel on the teeth. I’m going to try it this time and see how I feel with it.
- Place one teaspoon of coconut oil in my mouth (it begins hard but melts after a few seconds from the heat of your mouth)
- Set a timer for 20 minutes
- Swish until the end of the timer
- Dispel into the bin (it can solidify and block your drains if dispelled down the sink)
- Swish for 30 seconds with warm, lightly salted water
- Brush and Floss
I personally find that my teeth seem more white and shiny immediately after pulling, so I’m quite looking forward to how my teeth will look after I’ve pulled more often. I lead a healthy lifestyle with other detoxifying methods like drinking green tea and lemon water daily so I’m unsure on the positive effects of drawing out toxins and detoxifying but I would love to hear from you if you’ve tried and noticed anything!
Coconut oil is such a wonderful product because it has so many uses! I often cover my hair in it and leave it to soak in for a few hours for a natural hair treatment. I also cook with it and use it as lip balm or on dry skin. If you’ve not jumped on the hype yet, I would seriously recommend it! I personally love the taste of coconut but of course some might not- but honestly you can’t taste it when you cook with it!
My suggestion is that you don’t spend your money on these sachets of oil that are currently on the market. The only difference they have is the added flavour (mint, lemon, vanilla etc) but they retail at £19.99 for 14 sachets. I use Vita Coco which costs £5 – £7 and can be found online or in your local Tesco – this would contain months and months of oil pulling at a fraction of the price than the sachets! Let me know in the comments if you have tried it and how you found it – and also if you have any extra tips for me!