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The Oil Pulling Paradox

February 25, 2013 Reviewed by admin 64 Comments

A month into my oil pulling experiment, I remain an open-minded skeptic. Having stuck to my new regimen every morning before breakfast, except on forgetful weekends or when traveling, I am now a seasoned oil puller. Although I haven’t experienced any life-altering revelations, I do have some observations to report.

My Oil Pulling Experience

For one, the drawn-out process of oil pulling is met with the sort of reception typically reserved for swallowing a goldfish, or performing an enema.  My poor roommate would cringe every morning she caught me removing my bottle of sesame oil from the fridge and downing a spoonful. My boyfriend didn’t even want me to hear me utter the word "oil". Nonetheless, I couldn’t help bringing up its extraordinary self-healing properties every chance I got, even with complete strangers at a bar.

Oil Pulling and IBS

Oil pulling has been documented as a cure for AIDS, arthritis, cancers, diabetes, heart disorders, high blood pressure, kidney diseases, leukemia, meningitis, paralysis, ulcers, and varicose veins, among many others. Within the incredible claims tied to oil pulling, I was most excited about its alleged healing powers over intestinal disorders and stomach problems. You see, I suffer from an incurable ailment known as irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS for short. Today IBS afflicts one in four women, though there is little reprieve in this sorority.

Since being diagnosed with IBS, I have tried every treatment under the sun (expensive medication, insoluble fiber, tummy-taming tea, detox cleanses, herbal supplements, lifestyle changes, you name it), and I have never felt a radical improvement in my symptoms (bloating, cramping, abdominal pain, constipation). With all the hype surrounding oil pulling, I held out hope that my body might respond to this remedy better than the others.

Oil Pulling Results

It is hard to say definitively that oil pulling is the cause, but I have felt remarkably better in the digestive department over the past month. I haven’t endured a single debilitating episode of colon spasms, which often strikes every few weeks. Though hardly as punctual as a Japanese commuter train, my system has been much more regular than usual. It makes me wonder if maybe oil pulling leeched toxins from my intestinal tract and restored a semblance of stability.

As a child, I was always enthralled with science experiments. So maybe it’s the budding scientist in me, but I secretly enjoy the feeling of converting one compound into something completely different all within the miniature lab of my mouth. I find that if I let the oil sit still without swishing, it seems to curdle almost instantly. Around fifteen minutes into the process, the solution in my mouth is no longer recognizable as oil and has become more akin to frothy eggnog. How could such a transformation take place if the oil isn’t reacting with something in my spit?

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Clearly, the oil is emulsified by the swishing action and changes color as it mixes with saliva. It is well-known that the mucous membranes of the mouth can absorb pills, from prescribed medications to illegal drugs (ie. acid). But does this mechanism of action work in the reverse? And if so, why would the oil then “pull” only toxic substances from the bloodstream and leave the benign flora and fauna behind?

What I have deduced is that in order for the miraculous effects of oil pulling to occur, oil-soluble toxins would have to come into contact with oil inside the mouth, thus triggering an immune system response. As the tissues within the mouth become lubricated with oil, they release mucous and bacteria that would otherwise continue to circulate throughout the body. The more the oil coats the oral cavity (under the tongue, along the gums, etc) the more it extracts the bad stuff that accelerates the degeneration of organs and the progression of aging.

In Ayurvedic medicine, the tongue is a miniature map of the body, plotting out reflex points to various organs, such as the heart, liver, colon, and spine. The practice of oil pulling detoxifies the tongue, which in turn, produces a purifying action on the rest of the organs within the body. Moreover, it is believed to cleanse the taste buds, thereby promoting a state of healthy bodily balance.

Notwithstanding the colorful beliefs of Eastern medicine, one proven aspect of the oil pulling process is that your condition typically worsens before it gets better. It is common to pick up a cold or flu during the treatment, which is a sign of the body’s effort to mobilize a stronger healing response. Over the past two weeks, as I have intensified my oil pulling perseverance (often increasing the frequency of the regimen to twice a day), I have been battling a persistent head cold. This prolonged stretch is the first time I’ve been sick all winter. Coincidence?

Curious about the contents of my ejected spittle, I did the unthinkable and examined my post oil-pulling prize in a small glass bowl. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a microscope handy, but with the naked eye, I did notice tiny squiggles floating back and forth when I tipped the bowl — bacteria embryos writhing, or streaks of oil amassing? I also observed minute air bubbles popping all over the solution — the breathing of living microbes, or a mundane chemical reaction? The answer lies in the mouth of the oil puller.

Read a step-by-step guide to the oil pulling process

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  • March 26, 2016

    by Raym

    I have been using Bicarb as well as Coconut Oil. Also sometimes a drop or 2 of Oregano or Tea Tree. Is that better/same/or worse ??

  • March 20, 2016

    by Ray

    I use this Oil Pulling procedure . . .
    On arising, Daily clean teeth with Sodium Bicarb & Oral B with full Interdental Brushing.
    In particular Interdental Brushing must reach all places where Anaerobic Plaque may lurk.
    Spit out & rinse fully with very Hot Water.
    Repeat Sodium Bicarb brushing, do not spit out, then add ½ tsp Organic Coconut Oil.
    Oil Pull for 20min then expel down toilet.
    Rinse fully with the Hottest Water you can bear to remove all Oil & Toxins.

    Is this OK to use Bicarb as well - as I do ??
    Tks.

  • May 26, 2015

    by Maria

    I have tried this before and was beginning to feel sick. I want to try this again. I had no idea there were so many benefits!

  • May 26, 2015

    by MG

    i'D LOVE TO TRY THIS. i HAVE RECENTLY REVAMPED MY DIET, STARTED YOGA AND pILATES AND LOST 40 LBS.

  • October 3, 2014

    by lucy

    Hi I've just started, a week now? no real difference as such but will persevere. I use coconut oil. I was thinking for the lip line thing would using the coconut oil around the mouth as a moisturiser when op help to avoid the lines? like soften the skin?

  • September 8, 2013

    by raquel

    Hello, I've been oil pulling for a week and I am having the WORST stomach pains and immediately have to find the nearest restroom. The pains are so bad, I almost feel like passing out or fainting.

    Is this normal? Also, how long will I continue to feel this? I don't wanna have the runs 247 while trying to heal my body :/ Any advice or suggestions would help. Thanks!

  • September 5, 2013

    by Jenifer

    I just recently started oil pulling with coconut oil. (today was only my 3rd day) After 20 minutes, I spit out the oil and noticed my entire tongue was a purplish black color. I scraped some of it off, but the rest is still there! Is this normal?? I really want to keep doing this, so I'm hoping I'm not doing something wrong! Please respond asap!!! Thank you !

  • September 1, 2013

    by DEBBIE

    Dear Nitza...From everything I have read, a brown to black discoloration of the tongue, indicates the disturbance of ingested food and its decomposition, and it's the beginning of a detox process. If you have a tendency of eating a lot of processed, or chemically treated foods, or if you're on any meds, your digestive system is out of balance. In Eastern Medicine, the tongue is one of the major diagnostic tools in the human body. It is a window into our internal environment. The tongue is separated into areas which correlate to organ structures.
    Don't be discouraged, and what you're noticing, is NOT your imagination. I started oil-pulling due to a tooth abscess. My gum, lip and face were swollen, and the pain was excruciating, yet within 2 days, there was significant improvement, and by day 5, the swelling and pain were gone, and since, there's been no recurrence. Originally, because the tooth broke to the gum line, the plan was to extract the tooth. Now, that was determined months ago, so when I return to the dentist, I'm hoping the tooth can be capped instead!
    The recommended oils to use are Sunflower Oil or Sesame Oil. Use cold pressed Sunflower or Sesame oil as first choice, if it is not available use refined Sunflower or Sesame Oil. It's been observed that any oil other than Sunflower or Sesame may not be as effective. Added to this protocol, are Safflower, Olive and Coconut Oils. It is noted that each, can affect the body differently, so if you wish to alternate, use one consistently for 1-2 weeks before switching.
    It is advised to do oil pulling slowly, chin up preferably in sitting position, to see that the oil is pulled through the teeth and touches all portions of the mucous membrane in the oral cavity. You thoroughly swish the oil in the mouth, for at least 2o minutes in the morning, an hour after drinking fluids, but always BEFORE eating breakfast. During this process, the oil mixes with the saliva and should become more thinner, watery and whitish, so if the oil is still thick and yellow, spit it out and start again, because it wasn't done correctly. Afterwards, scrape the tongue, rinse the mouth and brush with a natural toothpaste. Just as an FYI, there are many essential oils that are good for oral health and hygiene, so take time to research that. I, personally, like to use Himalayan Sea Salt for rinsing, because that has benefits too. I hope this helps...good luck!

  • August 20, 2013

    by aarun

    hi i am i recent HIV infected person..will oil pulling help me

  • August 16, 2013

    by Nitza

    I have had dental issues since the age of 12 (40 + years). Recently, I had an abscessed tooth pulled because the tooth was abscessed, loose and causing bone loss in my jaw. I wish I would have discovered Oil Pulling sooner. I discovered Oil Pulling while searching for ways to speed the recovery of my mouth, jaw, cheek and socket where my tooth once was. I have pretty extensive swelling, which I had before the extraction and it is actually better today then yesterday when I went to the dentist. Tonight was my first time of trying an Oil Pull and because I just had the dental work done I didn't swish to hard as not to disturb the clot trying to form in the socket. The only oil I had was extra virgin olive oil. When I spit it out it looked like, and was like thick motor oil. My teeth do feel very clean and they are whiter and brighter to my surprise. However, I am concerned because my tongue turned brown... is this normal??? I was able to brush some of the brown off but not all of it, had to stop so I didn't end up with a sore tongue as well. Tried Googling my tongue turned brown after an oil pull for my teeth, but Google didn't have any answers. Hoping someone on this forum does. I Would greatly appreciate any help, information or suggestions. Thanks!

  • August 12, 2013

    by natask

    Hi Holly,
    Thanks for the reply! I have really bad teeth so I am doing OP for that, among other things. I started it more for improving my skin and having more energy etc. I read so many unbelievable things online that OP has done for others that I got really excited and hoped it would help me as well.
    I should mention that I am 42 and I am in very good health, except for a skin condition on my face and a history of liver disease, which is cured for now. I will keep doing it and maybe up it to twice a day. I am using organic coconut oil from Sprouts. My husband and mom are really liking it at least for their teeth and gums.
    Thanks again and I'm glad it has worked so well for you and others.

  • August 10, 2013

    by Holly

    Hi Natask - were you hoping it would help with any specific? Perhaps you're in great shape and don't really need to do oil pulling? I can only speak for myself and can promise you that I've never worked for an oil company - but I do know that it has radically helped my asthma and sleep apnoea. I don't think my husband would let me give it up! It may also depend on what oil you use - I haven't noticed the gum/teeth improvement other people report but am unsure as to whether that's age related or the fact that I can only tolerate sunflower seed oil. Best wishes, Holly

  • August 9, 2013

    by natask

    I was sooo excited when I learned about this last month. I immediately jumped right in and started "oil pulling" using coconut oil.
    I've been doing it for 3 weeks now anxiously awaiting any kind of improvements in my overall health and teeth.
    I am sad to say that I have noticed nothing. The only thing I can say for sure is I have been even more tired since starting, I was hoping for the opposite.
    I may be too cynical but I am wondering now if the "oil" companies (along with the gelatin companies saying that that's a cure all too) are the very ones who pushed all this "miracle cure" info on the net....?
    My husband and mother have been doing it as well and although my husband thinks his mouth feels cleaner he has not noticed any improvements with anything else. My mother thinks she has noticed some small improvements in dental health also and she says she craves coffee and sugar less but this could just as easily be psychosomatic.
    Just thought I'd share our thoughts.

  • July 8, 2013

    by Holly

    To anyone who suffers stubborn panda eyes I recommend giving oil pulling a try.

    I thought it was just wishful thinking on my part but I was standing in fairly strong sunlight on the weekend when my husband looked at me and said what happened to your panda eyes - they've really faded. Now my darling husband RARELY says anything about my appearance - good or bad - so it must be noticeable. And oil pulling is the only thing I can attribute it to.

    It seems panda eyes can be caused by a number of factors - and I don't think mine are caused by anything that responds to topical treatments. Nor do I think mine are sleep related as I rarely get a good night's sleep given my daughter's sleep issues and nothing's changed on that front unfortunately! The only time my panda eyes ever disappeared was when I went on an extremely strict and expensive pre-conception regime in my early 40s. And I've never known if one element of the regime eradicated my dark circles or whether it was a cumulative effect.

    My panda eyes really only started to bother me in the last year or so as I started developing hollows under my eyes - the shadowing seemed to intensify them and I grew very tired of people asking me whether I was unwell. But they look so much better since I started oil pulling and I've belatedly realised that no one has commented on how tired I look recently which is funny because I'm tired most of the time!

    I won't say it's an overnight cure - but I started oil pulling some time in February 2013 to see if it would help with a bad dose of asthma and sinusitus. I haven't needed to use my Ventolin since so that was reason enough to keep me oil pulling but following hubby's comments on the weekend I think I'll be oil pulling for life!

    Thank you to all the contributors to this column who inspired me to give this simple yet effective routine a try!

    Cheers, Holly

  • June 11, 2013

    by Laks

    I have been oil pulling with organic sesame seed oil for the last 2 years. My sinuses have improved, I feel great and often get asked what Im doing to make my teeth so white. My dentist says I have great teeth and gums and the check up is over in a flash.

    Oil pulling is without a doubt one of the greatest self help remedies I have ever come across. I came across it by chance and have never looked back.

    Another great website to check out is earthclinic.com

    Also I take organic coconut oil every morning. It's amazing. Sinuses issues, constipation and the like will be a thing of the past if you include this in your diet.

  • June 1, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    Holly! That's such good news! I do hope this news does reach many many people. Thanks for sharing; you and everyone who does. ~jk

  • June 1, 2013

    by Holly

    If anyone reading this thread suffers from sleep apnoea then I wholeheartedly advise you to try oil pulling.! I was diagnosed with moderate sleep apnoea in late 2012 and dreaded the idea of sleeping with a mask or similar. Then in the New Year I caught one of those awful summer viruses and spent almost three months fighting a recurring sinus infection and viral asthma. I was prescribed antibiotics and oral cortisone - twice - and was about to embark on round three very reluctantly when I chanced upon this column. I thought what have I got to lose except the cost of a bottle of oil and haven't looked back. I started to pick up immediately and within a week was well on the road to recovery albeit slightly run down from having had such a prolonged bout of asthma. It's June now and we're well into the coughs and colds season here in Australia but touch wood I've been well ever since. Oh, and the apnoea has ceased as well - which I'm VERY happy about!

    Happy oil pulling everyone!

    Holly

  • May 25, 2013

    by Dottie

    I'm a bit late to the game, but figured I'd weigh in anyway. I was skeptical from the get-go, so I tried to do a bit of research on the matter. Almost all I found were gung-ho believers that claimed oil pulling had cured a long list of absurd ailments, which made me even more wary. However, I came across an article (which I now can't find-- typical) that made a good bit of sense.

    As I recall, it naturally said that the whole "pull toxins out through your bloodstream" bit is pure nonsense. BUT! It pointed out that the 15-20 minutes of swishing works the oil down into the crannies between and under teeth, cleaning more effectively than a 30-second swish with regular mouth wash. In addition, some oils such as coconut have mild antiseptic properties. People don't realize how drastically overall health is affected by oral health, but it really is significant.

    I'm keen to try it myself, now that I know there is a little scientific evidence and not just silliness about "toxins."

  • April 30, 2013

    by Tammie

    I have been oil pulling for one week and already I can notice the difference sinus infection is gone having had it for years, gum infection almost gone and energy is certainly on the up and up. I will continue to oil pull and am so grateful I found this great healing method.

  • April 27, 2013

    by Sara

    I noticed the lip line thing too but I've had so many other wonderful results that I'm just going to practice in front of the mirror to find another method of pulling that does not pucker the lips. My teeth and gums look great and I'm much less depressed.

  • April 23, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    Preeths! Thank you for sharing your story. I'm so happy OP is helping you.
    Erik- thank you, as well. I Love ALL your stories. I've said it before, but I'm getting old and I love repeating myself: If I have to choose "one thing," one health routine, to improve my quality of life (right behind drinking 2 quarts of water a day) it is Oil Pulling!
    Peace. ~jk

  • April 23, 2013

    by Preeths

    I am a scleroderma patient(late thirties) and have been under several medication for the past 15 yrs. I was put under steroids in the initial stages, as a result both my eyes have been operated for cataract.
    Due to the effect of steroids in my body, i decided to survive without medications. But due to the severity of the disease, i feel breathlessness and suddenly wake-up at nights and cough. At times i felt that my breathe was going to stop .
    I have been oil pulling for a week and have found tremendous improvement. Especially the cough episode (30 min) in the early mornings stopped. I thank the almighty for guiding me towards OP. All glory, power and honour belongs to him...

  • April 6, 2013

    by Erik

    I have been oil pulling for a week and it is the best thing I ever did. I feel more confident, my teeth are whiter, my breath is odorless, I sleep better, my nose is clear and I can breath well, my mind is clearer, I am a much happier person after trying this. I can even focus and understand things better when I read which really helps the learning process, in other words, I learn better....I think it has A LOT to do with getting rid of my constant stuffy nose and being able to breath better. More oxygen to the brain. Plus the great sleep at night. I highly recommend it.

  • March 17, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    Nell! Yes! You're dead on, girlfriend. You've brought the one sure fire negative of oil pulling to light. And there's just no way around it. The other thing I do that encourages lip lines is my passion for red wine. You see, I take a sniff, then a sip which I hold in my mouth for upwards of 30 seconds before I add more wine in a full swallow, during which time my lips are held in somewhat the same manner as when oil pulling. Both exercises encourage lip lines and are exasperating! I don't smoke, but I have fantastic lip lines!

    So there you have it- The Drawback.

    BAM! I just try to pay extra attention to my lip lines with product, and I can say they aren't as bad as I feared they'd be at 62. I'm willing to put up w them for the benefits of pulling. Bummer, huh! ~jk

  • March 16, 2013

    by suzi

    yes! I too am 52 and LOVE oil pulling ,mostly because of how it makes my mouth and teeth.Have done it fairly regularly for about 2 months ,skin looks great but definitely noyiced the lip line thing and have been not doing it as much because of that-i tried relaxing muscle, tightening my mouth so lines arent there-i really want to continue ,but that may be too higha cost!Help anyone?

  • March 16, 2013

    by Nell

    Great discussion! I've tried oil pulling on and off over the last 5 years. I love it and love the way my whole mouth feels afterwards. Would gladly do it at least once every day.

    However, I have a problem with it that I've never seen addressed before in the many online discussions I've read about oil pulling. And that's lip lines.

    Everytime I oil pull, I get the worst lip line wrinkles above my mouth for the duration of the pull. That cannot be good, can it? Twenty minutes of pulling is twenty minutes of accentuating those darn lip lines. As much as I enjoy the benefits of oil pulling, I just can't risk the lip lines. I've already got a couple showing and I'm just 52 (non-smoker).

    Does anyone else have this problem or have I just been doing it wrong all this time?

  • March 15, 2013

    by Holly

    Thanks for the tip Julie Kay - I've tried waiting a little before starting OP in the morning (I wear Invisalign braces and routinely wake up with a dry mouth) and also using a little less oil - and it seems to be working fine now. My sinuses feel so much clearer - and I'm crossing my fingers that it may help with my 'panda eyes'!

    Many thanks for all your advice and support - Holly

  • March 12, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    Maria! Yes. When beginning oil pulling many people experienced a period of intense detoxification that often resembles flu-like symptoms. Keep up with pulling and don't get discouraged. You should pass through this stage and feel better. Yay for you! ~jk

  • March 12, 2013

    by Maria

    I've been op for about 2 weeks. My nose is stuffed and i have an increase in nasal discharge? Is it a sign of sinuses being detoxed? Had problems for years.

  • March 10, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    Holly- How much oil are you using? The only thing I can think is you might be using too much? if not, then you're not doing anything wrong. Keep it up. And you're correct- you do want those first results; for the oil to turn more watery in consistency. It has to do with your saliva mixing in after time. Perhaps now, at the start, your saliva glands aren't responding. I wouldn't be discourged. Hang in there.

    Lavender! Amazing news that makes me so happy to hear. Thank you so much for posting.

    ~jk

  • March 9, 2013

    by Lavender

    I"ve been oil pulling for one year now religiously every morning using a coconut oil. I can report amazing changes:
    *My skin looks like porcelain, no acne no breakage whatsoever.
    *Bleeding gums which have bothered me for years have been cured.
    *No sinus, no allergies
    *Haven't been sick despite people around me had influenza.
    No cough which has bothered me for years.
    High energy level
    I am 56 and feel and look 38. Really this is one amazing and preventive treatment that cost you nothing and you have nothing to lose and gain good health without drugs.

  • March 3, 2013

    by Holly

    Hi all - I have another question re oil pulling as I'm worried I'm doing something wrong. I switched to sunflower oil on the weekend and find that easy to use so am sticking with it and ditching the coconut oil! The first time I swished for the requisite 20 minutes and a few seconds before I was finished I could feel that the oil's texture changed in my mouth - it went from oily to watery and I figured I was doing good. Yesterday I did 20 minutes again but at the end of that time the oil still felt quite thick. Today was the same - even after giving it an extra five minutes. Am I doing something wrong? It seems a waste to spend twenty minutes doing something and not getting the benefits. Any advice would be greatly appreciated - Holly :)

  • February 27, 2013

    by Holly

    Thanks for the advice Julie Kay - I'll try warming the coconut oil tomorrow morning and will switch to sunflower oil if I have the same gagging dramas! I didn't dare move from the sink the whole time for fear of losing the lot on the floor - and I had to keep a tea towel pressed to my mouth as the urge to spit was pretty strong! But I really want to persevere with this as I'd love to strengthen my immune system in relation to respiratory illnesses and whiter teeth sounds like a nice bonus too! Thanks again for your speedy advice - Holly

  • February 27, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    Holly! I'm sorry your first experience pulling went so badly. Maybe try cold-pressed unrefined sunflower oil, and, no, the trans fat content won't be a consideration as it isn't ingested. If you stick with coconut oil, yes, you can melt it before pulling if that makes it more palatable. It really needs to be pulled in one continuous session, however, not broken into two short sessions. And coconut oil takes a lot to go bad- I've read it "doesn't go bad" at all on the shelf. That it can defy melting and rehardening conditions over time and still stay perfectly useable. Try to use less in your mouth? Perhaps it was too much. Great good luck to you, Holly. ~jk

  • February 27, 2013

    by Holly

    I just had my first OP session and am not sure how well I went :( - I used Virgin Cold Pressed Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil (Butter) which is solid in the jar but I'm not too keen on coconut (except in a Thai Green curry!) so gagged and gagged when I put in my mouth. I was semi okay once it melted but could only manage to keep it in my mouth for about seven and a half minutes before the whole lot went in the bin - but I bravely went back for a second dose and managed another eight minutes.

    So, a few questions - because I really want to give this a shot. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Should I try another oil or persevere with the coconut? There's no way I could do sesame seed oil as I can't bear the stuff. I had considered trying sunflower seed oil but am worried about the trans fats associated with seed oils. But I guess that as you're not ingesting it you wouldn't need to worry about the trans fats?

    2.If I stick with the coconut would it be alright if I gently warmed the oil so it was in a liquid state before using? I'm thinking of standing a spoonful in a glass in a bowl of hot water. I really struggled not to lose the lot when I put the solid oil in my mouth.

    3. Does it matter that I pulled two lots of oil for a total of 15 minutes or do you really need to try and keep the original oil in your mouth for the whole time?

    4. Can coconut oil spoil if it has been stored unopened in the cupboard? I bought my jar at Christmas and we've had an incredible heatwave here in Australia. But it was probably just wishful thinking on my part that I need a new jar - I just don't enjoy the intense flavour of the oil.

    Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

    Cheers, Holly

  • February 26, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    PRIYA! Welcome to oil pulling. I'm proud of your determination- two months is a great head start. To be honest, I don't know if pulling will alleviate your skin condition, I just don't know. Some things need a doctor's attention. I hope you keep up with oil pulling and wish you great good luck. ~jk

  • February 26, 2013

    by PRIYA

    I'm Priya, i've been doing op since two months, haven't seen much changes yet , i have black spots and patches on my body, will op cure it?

  • February 9, 2013

    by Janet ODell

    You are welcome, Julie Kay. I do find Sunflower oil the best to use in terms of taste and texture. I did use olive oil a few times after running out of Sunflower oil and ugh. It was awful.
    Yes, my immune system is so much stronger as well. Tremendous benefits for such a simple procedure.

  • February 8, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    Janet: One thing I believe in w certainty is that oil pulling ups my immunity to air blown viruses who knows how many percent, but it's a huge amount! I never fear catching an illness from my grandkids like I used to. Thanks for posting. ~jk

  • February 7, 2013

    by Janet ODell

    I have been oil-pulling for about 7 months and I have been amazed. This is the first "cedar-fever" season that I had not one iota of a symptom. Each year for the past 10 yrs that I have lived in this area, I would begin to have bad allergies around November and by the first week of January it would devolve into a full blown sinus infection, pneumonia, and strep throat. This season, nothing. I religiously oil-pull each morning. Not only have I had a complete reprieve from cedar allergies but my teeth are whiter than they've ever been. I highly recommend this oil-pulling method to everyone.

  • February 7, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    A year is huge, Kim! and if you have to stop, like if you travel- I had to many times last year for this reason- doesn't your mouth feel like a county dump with any ocean beach full of dead clams thrown in? Eww! I'm proud of your accomplishment! ~jk

  • February 7, 2013

    by Kim

    I've been oil-pulling for over a year now. I use sunflower oil, and alternate with coconut oil because both have tastes that don't make me gag. I don't know about any noticeable health benefits other than my teeth feel much cleaner and my teeth are whiter! It also absolutely does help gum health, and prevent or reduce gum disease (gingivitis) which is very painful, and potentially very dangerous to your health (e.g. heart disease).

  • February 6, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    Susie- there is a syndrome that sometimes arises when beginning oil pulling (can't recall the name). It happens because of the sudden decrease of toxins in your body, and the symptoms are much like the flu. Work through it if you can- these symptoms should be gone in a week. Welcome to a great club! ~jk

  • February 6, 2013

    by Susie

    I have only pulled twice, both in the am for 20 mins yesterday and thismorning.
    My teeth look noticeably whiter, my mouth is cleaner and fresher. I have less mucous in the am. I have felt MORE pains in my knee and back and I'm assuming (hoping) that this is a sign of healing. I will definately keep it up as just having whiter teeth and cleaner mouth is worth it alone!

  • January 28, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    I'm excited for you, SMS! and will be here eagerly awaiting your results comment(s). Good good luck. ~jk

  • January 28, 2013

    by SMS

    OK, OK -- you've convinced me. I'm about to go out and get some sunflower or coconut oil -- which ever is less expensive because I've been unemployed since 2010 -- which means I don't have health insurance but I do have high blood pressure and diabetes and all that comes from that, including neuropathy (feet mostly) so although I've missed starting this practice this morning because I've already eaten I look forward to starting the process first thing tomorrow morning. Oh and I also have insomnia so I can hardly wait to share with you any changes -- including the whitening of the teeth. Thanks...and please stay tuned

  • January 17, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    P Herz, Cass, and Jaime! I'm happy to hear your stories. I continue to oil pull. Not continuously, but I try to pull 3-4 days a week. I have lapses of a month or more. Such a one occurred over the holidays and I just resumed about 10 days ago. I can attest that oil pulling is a difficult habit to keep abreast and a challenging one to commit to. But the results and health benefits (for me) can not be denied. I have so many, but at the very least my oral health is optimum, and I truly believe it creates a sterile environment within my mouth from which I am less easily attacked from outside attack from airbourne virus. The other "known" for me is I sleep better when I'm pulling, a huge thing since I'm a lifelong insomniac.

    At any rate, thanks for posting. All stories are like mini "Ra Ras." Kind of like a little pep rally. ~jk

    ps prioris thanks for the tip @ IBS.

  • January 16, 2013

    by prioris

    As for IBS ...

    There is an Aloe Vera product called AMP. It is a highly concentrated amount of the active component of Aloe Vera. It is essentially a natural antibiotic. It works for many digestive and bowel disorders including IBS. I had diverticulitis.

    http://www.aloereviews.com/Reviews.aspx

  • October 25, 2012

    by Jaime

    I've been oil pulling for 2 weeks...I don't have serius health issues but I can say that I have a whiter smile, teeth are no longer sensitive to cold drinks...can't wait to see my dentist.
    Yesterday I ate halloween candies and this morning after oil pulling, I coughed up thick white phlegm. I do not have a cold so I wonder if this is coincidence?

  • October 20, 2012

    by Cass

    I am a skeptic in general, but love exploring new methods, challenging them to meet the expectations. In this case oil pulling, it had interested me in the past but I had not gotten around to trying it until I had a painful swollen infection in the gum area around a tooth (noticeable bump) which was accompanied by an overall general feeling that the acidity in my mouth was generally off. Perfect time to test out oil pulling (sesame oil x 15 mins each morning)

    I had no expectations and was on the verge of going to the dentist, but literally each day after pulling there were small improvements (lessening of pain, swelling). Within 3 days of oil pulling the bump was much smaller, small amount of tenderness. By week's end the bump was gone, no tenderness. The infection appeared to have gone along with feeling that my mouth, tongue taste buds were now better than ever. I followed up the visit to the dentist. And he could not find anything wrong with my teeth.

    I am impressed.

  • October 20, 2012

    by P Herz

    I've was nearly about to get a wisdom tooth yanked and antibiotics for chronic viral chest/sinus problem. I've tried everything and can attest this brought instant pain relief though I couldn't imagine nor predict how other than it trapping or attacking superficial pathogens. However it in fact somehow absorbs much deeper into all the problematic regions of oral and surrounding (sinus) tissues and brings pain/pathogen-evicting relief. I can only stand it for 5-10 minutes though then the fluid becomes noxious and causes me to cough. I figure that's a good sign -- like Ghost Busters when they have the ghost trapped in their ectoplasm beam traps! Blessings! - Peter

  • August 27, 2012

    by Julie Kay

    Mari- Are you serious; Really? Okay. So am I; Very. 1) The custom of oil pulling has rules: Pull one-hour after drinking water; two hours after drinking a more substantial beverage (coffee, juice, etc); and four hours after a meal. The rule precludes the use of your suggested substitutions.
    2) More importantly is the viscosity of oil. In everyday terms (and for fluids only), viscosity is "thickness" or "internal friction.” Thus, water is "thin,” having a lower viscosity, while oil is "thick,” having a higher viscosity. This is what oil pulling is all about: Swishing the mass thickness of oil throughout the oral cavity in its virgin form until it becomes less viscous (thin). This frictional movement is likened to reflexology to the feet or hands since the tongue has the same zonal connection correspondents to areas of the body and that by manipulating these (via pulling) one can improve health.
    3) Sesame seed and sunflower seed oil (cold-pressed, unrefined is recommended). I myself use coconut oil.

    Peace ~jk

  • August 21, 2012

    by Mari

    Why does it have to be oil? Why can't another liquid work, such as pure, filtered water? Or apple cider vinegar or a combo? Why oil?

  • September 24, 2010

    by Kevin T

    any updates Copley?

  • February 5, 2010

    by Katherine M

    I had been struggling with a sinus/chest virus for 3 weeks. I would get better for a day and then start all over again. I read a sinus cure being oil pulling. It was last night. I immediately did OP and within 15 minutes of pulling my headache was gone! I did it again this morning. Here is hoping for a cure.

  • January 21, 2010

    by Sridhar

    I am 45, Male from India. Wanted to share my experience on Oil Pulling. Started OP in October 2009. Continued pulling on daily basis.

    Have following to report:

    1. Insomnia is cured
    2. High Blood Pressure has come down and is
    now steadily normal.
    3. Memory power seemed to improve
    4. Joint and Muscle Pains which used to trouble
    me lot during winter, seem to have stopped.
    5. I feel fresh and energetic after I rise in
    the morning and stay that way through out
    the day.
    6. Appetite has improved and digestion process
    back to normal.

    No side effects,whatsoever, in my case !

    I wish all the best for those who intend to reap the benefits of OP !

  • August 20, 2009

    by JulieK

    Hedy, how's it going? ~jk

  • August 20, 2009

    by Angela

    Started oil pulling today and am curious to see what happens. Read the above posts about IBS and want to share my experiences. I suffered with IBS for almost 20 years and noticed after I had children that it had disappeared. I mentioned this to my doctor (or read it online) and they indicated that this is a common occurrence. Not a reason to have kids, obviously, but certainly an unexpected benefit to look forward to! Hope!

  • June 11, 2009

    by Josie

    I'm interested in this, but I read mixed reviews. I'll be looking back to hear updates from those that have left comments to see if they are experiencing the same (or better) results.

    If you're interested in mucus/phlem management, you might also look into apple cider vinegar. I was trying that for a month or so, and it was working well. Husband thought I was nuts, but whatev'

    Cheers!

  • June 9, 2009

    by Hedy

    Okay, I just starting oil pulling..into it a week now. I've been suffering from IBS and seem to be getting more sinus infections this year than ever. Sooo....I have notice the sinuses are telling me something (I know their there), but I do think it's a cleansing I'm going through. As uncomfortable as this feels, it actually feels as though once it's healed (and it feels more healing then erupting because of blockage..a hard thing to explain, but one thing I've noticed is I can smell certain things I couldn't for quite awhile.) and once it's healed I'm anxious to see if these subside to much less often, if not at all. How awesome that would be! :)
    Soooo, okay, first thing in the morning putting oil in your mouth does sound gross, but it is a neat transformation as minutes go on. I will try to write and fill you as I go along and report my findings with oil pulling. Who would have thought that doing this procedure would do anything at all? But, I'm already seeing things happen and I do feel a bit more energized.
    Hedy

  • May 30, 2009

    by sj

    Just wanted to say that IBS could be caused by a gluten sensitivity. If you stop eating items containing gluten for a few weeks, and become ill when you start eating them again, then you should cut them out completely. It took care of my IBS.

  • March 18, 2009

    by JulieK

    How's it going, Copley? still at it I hope.

  • February 25, 2009

    by JulieK

    Your comment about tastebuds reminded me! I am on a medication for migraines (yes, it *really really* works for the migraines or I'd quit it in a heart beat, because) that completely erased my taste for red wine. Now, this is insane. Anyone knowing me knows I have a PASSION for red wine.

    It was an unexpected benefit, then, when suddenly I began to realize when I took a "taste" to please my BF that I could actually TASTE the wine again. Not only taste it, but enjoy it. This has made a difference I can barely put into words.

    Copley, I understand completely about your IBS. I have a similar situation, and as you continue, I think you'll see abiding results. And that thing about talking to strangers- well, it led to my comment in your toothpaste review and all sorts of other encounters. I had a certain *aura* before oil pulling entered my life. Now... let's say we who bear the gauntlet, HAHAHAHHA! I hope you're having fun. I think it's a good club to be in. Now we have to get Marta to pull BEfore that cup of coffee. ~jk

  • February 25, 2009

    by bb

    I've been "pulling" for the last month too and have noticed that my breakouts have significantly decreased. I've kept the same routine and have not changed products. Maybe a coincidence, but I like the results so far. I'm in my late 40's with sensitive skin and rosacea.

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