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Oil Pulling - What is it

January 15, 2009 Reviewed by admin 80 Comments

For anyone who has heard of "oil pulling," you are way ahead of me in terms of nontraditional tricks of the trade. I looked into this harmless healing process using cold-pressed oils thanks to a tip from Julie. Assuming that it was some form of New Age absurdity, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that oil pulling is not new at all, but borrowed from ancient Ayurvedic teachings.

What is remarkable about this remedy is its rare simplicity. All you need is a little spare time and dedication to your treatment. The only ingredient required is cold-pressed oil, which does not necessarily need to be organic. If cold-pressed oil is unavailable, any refined sunflower or sesame oil purchased at the supermarket will do. Though oils extracted from other sources, such as peanuts and olives, may be substituted, they have not been proven to be as effective.

Here is a step-by-step guide to the oil pulling process:

1. First thing in the morning, or at any time of day on an empty stomach, take one tablespoon of your oil of choice and hold it in your mouth without swallowing.
2. Move it around your mouth by swishing the solution within your cheeks and sucking it through your teeth. Try to keep your chin up so that the oil touches all portions of the oral cavity.
3. It is recommended to continue "pulling" for fifteen to twenty minutes, though it may seem tedious. Keep yourself busy with routine tasks (ie. showering, applying your makeup, feeding your pet/plants, making breakfast) so that you aren't tempted to spit too soon. I am oil pulling for my fourth time as I write this post.
4. DO NOT SWALLOW the mixture after pulling since it will have become toxic, as evidenced by its milky color and runny consistency. Perform a test spit in the sink to check the status of the solution. If the color remains a golden yellow, you're not finished pulling.
5. Spit the mixture into the toilet or sink, treating it as toxic waste. Rinse your oral cavity thoroughly with water and use clean fingers to remove any residual oil. There's no need to brush your teeth before eating and continuing with your day.

By now, you might be asking "Why would I go through all that?" The reasons are too numerous to describe in detail here. Testimonials have touted boosts to personal well-being, from a clearer mind and less headaches to increased energy and faster metabolism. In a survey conducted in India in 1996, 89% of respondents reported that oil pulling cured at least one chronic disease, including respiratory problems, skin conditions, joint pains, allergies, constipation, and diabetes. One of the first outward signs of this remedy is on the teeth. Not only has it been proven to whiten teeth and remove stains, but it can also eliminate bleeding gums and fasten loose teeth.

And all of this is possible by replacing your mouthwash with oil??  As you know, oil and water don't mix. But by allowing the oil to commingle with your saliva, this process activates key enzymes which draw toxins out of the blood through the mucous membrane of your mouth. According to Dr. Karach, who discovered the regimen and authored a seminal paper on oil pulling, what is contained in your spittle post-pulling is so noxious that one drop magnified 600 times under a microscope would show living microbes in their first stage of development. By stimulating the eliminatory system, oil pulling rids the body of toxic waste without disturbing its healthy balance of microflora.

Dr. Karach claims that oil therapy can simultaneously heal individual cells and cell conglomerates, such as lymph nodes, in addition to more complex tissues like internal organs. Ultimately, he theorizes that regular application can reverse the body's trend toward illness, warding off tumors and heart attacks and increasing the average human lifespan to approximately 150 years. Wait- it gets even better. Dr. Karach's studies have demonstrated that oil pulling can even successfully replace treatments for terminal diseases such as Aids, cancer, and chronic infections.  Patients with acute illnesses such as arthritis will experience respite within a few days of an oil pulling treatment, while chronic diseases, such as leukemia will take up to a year.

I used pure sesame oil, since that is what I could scrounge up from the back of the refrigerator. Because of sesame oil's pungent flavor (which I could detect deep in my throat without ingesting a drop), this particular type might be a bit off-putting if you are not a fan of Asian food before breakfast. As much as I tried to block the idea that a blend of noxious waste was brewing in my mouth, I started to get queasy towards the end of the regimen and noticed a decrease in appetite afterward (perhaps a welcome side-effect for shedding those post-holiday pounds).

After my first three experiences with oil pulling, I have noticed that my gums feel healthier than usual and that a new stain in the recess of one of my front teeth appears to have been lifted. Despite my reservations about Dr. Karach's miraculous promises, all I know for sure is that oil pulling is not some marketing ploy by a cooking oil manufacturer and that it has not been implicated in any health risks.  A firm believer of holistic healing, non-Western therapies, and natural remedies, I am going to keep up my oil pulling treatment for the next month and will report back if I see any change in a chronic malady I am battling.

The biggest challenge of oil pulling is ignoring the taste by focusing on the prize. If you visualize the process as leeching toxins from your body as the oil changes color and consistency inside your mouth, it seems well worth your time.  Considering the cure-all reputation that oil pulling has acquired, it is worth a try for any sort of ailment. Even if it doesn't address specific bodily symptoms, it will undoubtedly deliver some sort of benefits to your overall health.

UPDATE 7/28/09:

We recently came across additional research pointing toward the medicinal benefits of sesame seed oil. An experiment at the Maharishi International College in Fairfield, Iowa showed that sesame seed oil is an effective treatment for gingivitis. 85% of participants in this study experienced a reduction of the bacteria that causes this disease. Though this finding is worth mentioning here, the benefits of sesame oil are referenced across the internet on sites such as Youthing Strategies with scant citations. Long term usage of sesame oil for medicinal purposes has not been fully studied.

  • September 28, 2015

    by NANCY

    I bought VERD D'OR pomace oil for oil pulling and I will like to know whether it will help, please. Thank you.

  • July 30, 2014

    by Joy

    I just started oil pulling July 1. When I went to the dentist in mid-July, I was complemented on how well I was doing keeping my mouth and teeth clean,When I asked him what he thought about oil pulling he said he really didn't know much about it, but it "couldn't hurt".
    My morning routine is to go to my door for the morning paper when I get up, put a spoon of coconut oil in my mouth, set a timer for 20 minutes, and then sit down and read the paper while doing my oil pull. Time flies! I suppose I could get on the computer instead, but I'm old (74) and I like turning the pages!

  • June 1, 2014

    by Marcella

    Jayanthi, the tired sensation is part of detoxing. It should pass in a few days. Don't stop oil pulling; keep going and you'll come out a better you on the other side. You may also experiencing other detox symptoms such as headaches, joint pain, sneezing, coughing, etc. (the list goes on and on).

  • March 29, 2014

    by Carrie

    Can oil pulling cause initial hair shedding? I've just completed a week of coconut oil pulling and found an increase in shedding. Would appreciate any info.

  • March 10, 2014

    by Gee

    I have been oil pulling for 13 months. After 90 days of oil pulling with organic coconut oil four times my hygienist observed a decrease in my periodontal disease. All the pockets had DECREASED and LESS plaque. This will be a lifetime process for me. I was frightened when the dentist informed me that I had periodontal disease. There were NO bleeding gums or sore gums. My teeth have always been sensitive. However, I have ALWAYS grinded my teeth when sleeping.

  • February 25, 2014

    by Betts

    I started oil pulling 2 weeks ago at the recommendation of my niece. I have had no problem with using any kind of oil but when I first started, the oil was just disgusting after I pulled. Since then I have noticed how smooth my teeth feel, they're whiter, and I see no buildup of tartar. The other benefit I have noticed, is a change in my hair. I was developing a thin spot on top of my head and every time I shampooed I would feel hair coming out. Since I started pulling, my hair has filled in in the thin spot and I might lose one or two hairs when I shampoo. I also had a crown that was very painful to temperature changes and when I brushed. The discomfort is GONE! I highly recommend this technique. Try it, you might be very surprised.

  • December 12, 2013

    by Jayanthi

    I have been oil pulling or the past 15 days.
    Does it cause mineral deficiency.i feel tired

  • October 6, 2013

    by Deb in AZ

    I decided to try oil pulling after I saw it on Dr. Oz a week ago. I have been alternating between organic unrefined coconut oil and organic cold-pressed sesame oil. I think getting the organic unrefined oil is worth the trip to the health food store. The feeling of having oil swishing in your mouth is weird at first but you get use to it. I brush my teeth 2 or 3 times every day but by adding oil pulling, my teeth are noticeably whiter and feel smooth like after a cleaning at the dentist. I haven't been using it long enough to verify any other health benefits but if it just keeps my teeth cleaner and whiter, it's worth it.

  • August 3, 2013

    by Kimberly

    I went and bought some organic coconut oil as I would like to begin oil pulling. My question is the coconut oil I bought is this ok to use or do I need to use unrefined? Thank you all for your input.

  • June 16, 2013

    by Laks

    I have been oil pulling for the last two years. Its wonderful and I'm surprised more people don't do it.

  • June 6, 2013

    by Jake

    1. Don't use oil you "scrounge up from the back of the refrigerator." This is insane. Buy fresh oil. Sesame is good. Coconut is good. I find that castor oil works too. Buy organic oil. Get it via mailorder if necessary. 2. The idea that it draws toxins out of the blood is dubious. The idea that it's going to cure leukemia and asthma is also dubious (to me at least). Far more likely is that it's infusing your blood with the oil and that this process helps you detox.

  • March 31, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    Amy! Thanks for sharing your experience w oil pulling. I'm so happy it's working well for you. Yes, it does change your taste buds. But, really, are you going to miss hamburger? #laughs. Helping me sleep better and giving me an overall calmer and better attitude is what I enjoy the most from oil pulling. ~jk

  • March 31, 2013

    by Amy in Florida

    I have been oil pulling with unrefined coconut oil for a few weeks. My teeth have gotten whiter and also my taste buds have really changed! I can taste food more than I have ever had. For instance, I made cheeseburgers today. I hated the taste of the hamburger! I couldn't eat it. What does this mean? Maybe my body doesn't like hamburger I don't know. But anyway, when I eat fruit or any type of raw food it tastes great. I guess no more hamburger for me! Im so impressed with unrefined coconut oil! I use it as a moisturizer, I use it to put on my skin before I go to the beach,I eat some before bed to help me sleep.

  • March 5, 2013

    by Holly

    Hi all - I have a 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 :)

  • March 1, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    c.! Each individual benefits differently and not as one expects going in. For instance, they may begin pulling to improve allergies and find they're sleeping better. As for hair, I can speak for my own which I can say is definitely thicker and healthier when I'm pulling regularly. But this one (hair growth and health) is trickier- you need to stick with oil pulling for some time before you see your hair benefit from it. Changes aren't going to be apparent overnight. So be patient. On the other hand, other changes, positive ones, will be readily apparent, is my hope for you, if you give OP a chance. Good Luck! ~jk

  • March 1, 2013

    by c.elangovan

    can oil pulling help in hair growth

  • February 28, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    All I can add, Elaine, is my own experience (which is repeating what I said to Sarita above) about my having had sore issues in my mouth that were successfully eradicated by pulling with coconut oil. They've never resurfaced. As I also said, sunflower did nothing to help and seemed to make things worse, in this instance- so I would advise using coconut oil if this is your primary need. Keep us informed of progress? It's always nice to hear back. Good luck to you. ~jk

  • February 28, 2013

    by Elaine

    Sarita, I'd love to hear your experience with oil pulling, and whether you feel it helped with your herpes. I too am affected with hsv 1 and am wondering if oil pulling is of any benefit against viruses which lay dormant in the nerve ganglions. I'd love to think I'm chipping away at my viral load as I oil pull. Any thoughts on this from anyone?

  • February 25, 2013

    by Lynn

    Very intrigued, going to try this tomorrow with coconut oil.

  • November 26, 2012

    by Marta

    Hi Ms Kirby
    I've just checked with customer service and they are in contact with you by email. They will help you all they can.

  • November 26, 2012

    by Ms.Kirby

    i am trying to get some one to help w a return and can't get a call back

  • November 24, 2012

    by irishgirl

    Pulling is so good for you & well worth the time it takes. It's a great way to avoid colds & flu. Your teeth & mouth will feel fresh & clean all day. Be sure to do it on an empty stomach & don't swallow!

  • November 24, 2012

    by Joan

    Thanks Julie Kay! I'm going to pick some up today and start tomorrow morning.

  • November 23, 2012

    by Julie Kay

    Joan- Yes, you're correct. Coconut oil comes in a solid form. It's what I now use to pull. I just scoop out somewhere between a teaspoon and tablespoon out and let it melt in my mouth and begin swooshing. Don't use so much that you feel the oppressive urge to swallow every second, but enough that you get a good workout going under and around your tongue. Good Luck. I hope you enjoy the effects as much as I do! ~jk

  • November 23, 2012

    by Joan

    I'm seriously intrigued by this and want to give it a try.

    My question is about the coconut oil. All the extra virgin, cold-pressed coconut "oils" I've seen are actually a solid not a liquid. So I'm not sure how that would work. Is there a liquid coconut oil out there that I'm missing?

    Thanks to everyone who's shared their experiences with OP. This is really fascinating stuff!

  • November 21, 2012

    by Eibhlin

    Just started oil pulling (with organic virgin coconut oil - yum!) and I'm hooked. Too early to notice any changes yet, but looking forward to reaping the benefits. I reckon the facial muscle action used must stimulate the blood and lymphatic circulation. The resulting lymphatic drainage reduces puffiness and lines Increased blood supply to mouth gives the tongue and gums a healthy pink colour (which I suppose might be why the teeth look whiter) - and also stimulates new cell growth to regenerate receding gums.

    Sounds too good to be true, but after 4000 years of doing this the Ayurvedic followers would have dropped it long ago if it didn't work. So I'm going with it.

  • February 5, 2012

    by Julie Kay

    George- No! Oil pulling is best done first thing upon waking. No drinking or rinsing of the mouth beforehand. The rules of thumb are (if you can't pull first thing): One hour after drinking water; Two hours after drinking juice or any beverage other than water; Four hours after a meal. I would rank brushing teeth with a meal- meaning that you would need to wait four hours after brushing your teeth to effectively oil pull. The whole point is to pull bacteria from the tissues and massage the pressure points that connect to your bodies organs and systems. If the organs and systems are under stress working with media you've ingested, they can't respond to the massage "messages" being sent from the steady pulses from the oil massaging under the tongue. Hope my description here has helped. Peace ~jk

  • February 5, 2012

    by George Tee

    Do you think that brushing before pulling is a good move?

  • November 15, 2011

    by Sarita

    Thanks, Julie. I have been inspired by your column and I am going to try oil pulling again using coconut oil. I would love to get the results that you've experienced.


  • November 13, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Sarita- Forgive me for butting in when you specifically wrote to Marta... but your method is sound. As to your sores, I'd give coconut oil a try as it is an antiseptic oil as well. I had some trouble with sores when using sunflower oil, but not once using coconut oil. ~jk

  • November 13, 2011

    by Sarita

    Hi All,

    I've tried oil-pulling a few times and after reading your testimonials I think I will try it again. However, after a few days my mouth usually breaks out in terrible cold sores (herpes virus). I've used both sunflower and safflower oils.

    I know the idea is to pull the toxins out and that the sores could be explained as the disease leaving but once you have herpes supposedly you have it for good. How can I be sure I'm not just aggravating the condition or having an allergic reaction?

    I did notice that it whitened my teeth but since oil is a fatty acid I always wondered if it was also eroding the enamel on my teeth. Does anybody know? I wondering if it was removing more than just the stains.

    A note to Marta - I don't like to delay drinking tea in the morning any longer than I have to so I pour the oil out the night before and put it by my bedside in a jar. I then pour it into my mouth as soon as I wake up and while I'm still waking up swish it around in my mouth. I prop myself up just enough. I only do it for 10 minutes or so. I don't think it needs more than that.


  • November 13, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Sumner- Sorry I didn't see your question sooner. Do you see the "similar items" below on the same page your sesame oil is on Amazon? There is an oil named Flora Certified Organic Sesame Oil and if you click it it pulls up a separate screen (it does for me) which specifies this oil as unrefined, cold pressed. Unless it states it is, I have a feeling it's refined and for use in hot kettles. Hope this helps. ~jk

  • November 13, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Rian- It could be the oil, yes. But I couldn't say with complete certainty, since I've never used evoo. It does seem to me, though, from use that evoo compared to (say) sunflower oil is much thicker in original consistency. So it makes sense it probably would take longer to get it down to a milky color. Not saying you need to pull longer, just talking generalities here. Hope you can grab some sesame, sunflower or coconut oil soon. I think you'll see a difference. And I hope it works for you. ~jk

  • November 12, 2011

    by Rian

    This morning was my 2nd day of OP. Yesterday I could only do 5 mins and when I spit it out it was bright yellow, which made me keep gagging, looked just like bile. Today I made it to 20 mins while reading your article and comments. But when I spit it out after 20 mins it was still slightly yellow. I have not been able to get to a store to get seaseme or coconut oil yet so I am using my EVOO. Is it still slightly yellow because of the olive oil?

  • August 31, 2011

    by Sumner Jeffrey

    Hi. Thank you for the great article. I was able to find this bottle of sesame seed oil at the grocery store and I've started to use it. However, it doesn't specify whether it it cold pressed or refined. Should I assume it's refined and is that ok? Here's a picture of the bottle.

  • August 21, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    D- perhaps use a little less oil, and do something while you slush it around inside your mouth. I surf the web while I pull. ~jk

  • August 20, 2011

    by D.

    How do you get past the texture? I can't manage for more than 5 minutes.

  • August 18, 2011

    by william

    now on my 5th day oil pulling. I use xtra virgin coconut oil. ent doc told me that i have swollen tonsilities. its either i remove by surgery or no choice to take a course of antibiotic everytime it gets swollen. so much difficulty talking/ singing.(church choir) the very 1st day pulling my throat pain/irritions subsides. now on the road to recovery. Praise God. Amen.

  • February 1, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Oh and yes, my hair is thickening- all over! Peace ~jk

  • February 1, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    I began pulling again last October 8th (2010). While I used cold-pressed unrefined sunflower oil first time around, this time I use coconut oil. I was diligent and pulled daily for at least 8 weeks. Now I pull 2-3 times a week. The pros include: Excellent oral hygiene, lower blood pressure, light mood on days I pull and yes, I sleep better. I can only testify for myself, but I do recommend the practice as it's so easy to do and affordable! ~jk

  • February 1, 2011

    by M.Madasamy

    is oil pulling is cure for teet gap problem

  • January 21, 2011

    by sandyl

    startd op 1wk ago,changes noted in this short period:teeth are whiter,eyalashes are longer,skin is more luminous,sleeping like ive used a tranquiliser!im doing 10-15min at a time,using unrefined sesame oil

  • December 27, 2010

    by Dennis

    Thanks for this great article, Copley!

    A friend told me about oil pulling earlier this year and I tried it a few times. I remember it being positive and after reading this article and the comments, I'm definitely going to revisit it. I also take cold showers and have turned some friends and family onto cold showers. We all swear by them.

  • December 22, 2010

    by ylluminate

    Nice read. Also, nice to peruse the comments. I have heard about this quite some time ago and believe I'm going to give it a try.

    Just wanted to share since I'm kind of parallelly exploring these, I did, just today, start cold showers and I have to say that after one shot I am convinced of an overall change in my mental state and energy for much of the day. I have to say that the following tidbits of information are interesting and what piqued my interest as well as reignited my interest in oil pulling due to some remarks floating around here:

    One comment in particular that was interesting:
    "Cold showers (or baths, swimming in lakes) has been a complimentary or adjunct therapy for me over the past several years. Scientist think it stimulates the blue spot or locus cerulus in the brain which is the main source of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine (noradrenaline), but it also stimulates endorphins and has other effects on the hypothalamus/pituitary like stimulating thyroid hormone, helping with hot flashes (I have them with depression) and helps normalize circadian rhythms. I believe it works wonders and am living proof."

  • August 28, 2010

    by Julie Kay

    Cindy, good for you! and I'm glad it's helped. You should use unrefined, cold pressed- those are your key words. In coconut, I buy it at a natural food store in a jar. Sounds like I may be still pulling... I'm not. That got lost in all my life crises. But I know I have to begin again, and your common only cements my knowledge. Do not stop. It's very hard to begin again once you've stopped. And I can tell you, now with all certainty, that all the things I attributed to pulling were true and are gone now. I am something of a mess at the moment and need to begin my road back w pulling. Thanks for this push! ~jk

  • August 16, 2010

    by Cindy

    I am 44 years old, and a smoker. I have been oil pulling for about a month now. The first week, I noticed my teeth and tongue looked much better. My hair loss came to almost a complete halt in that same week. The second and third week my sinus became so bad I went to the doctor, and I was certain I had a sinus infection. To my amazement I didn't but it sure felt like one. After the third week I finally woke up one morning and didn't have to cough at all, when previously I couldn't cough enough. That morning after my oil pull, I could feel my sinus filling up and I coughed for about 30 minutes. I attribute this to a healing crisis. I am now feeling much better and more energized. I plan to oil pull for the rest of my life. I use virgin coconut oil. I have tried sesame and sunflower oils, but they seem to make my hair like straw and very unmanagable. Since I have read on more than one forum that seseme is the best, I will give it another try in a couple of months but for now the coconut oil seems to be the one for me. What confuses me is what I should be using, refined or unrefined? Dr. Karach suggests refined so thats what I bought.

  • February 17, 2010

    by terri

    I OP with coconut oil for the first time today and WOW my teeth are really white. I can't wait for next weeks results.

  • February 16, 2010

    by terri

    I've been op for 6 days, religiously three times a day 20 mins each session and my gums are almost pink. My teeth is getting whiter every day, the rattling I had on my lungs from smoking has cleared and my mood has lifted. I use sesame seed oil. OP is now a part of my daily routine. I feel great.

  • February 13, 2010

    by terri

    I've been op for 3 days now and the only thing that I am suffering from is flatulence. Apart from that I have noticed that my complexion is brighter my gums are turning pink and my teeth are much whiter and tongue totally clean. I was a sceptic at first but I am going to continue op as the results have been miraculous. I'll continue posting the changes I have been going through over the next twelve months.

  • February 10, 2010

    by copley

    Tina- It takes a minimum of 10-15 minutes for the consistency of the oil to change, indicating that toxins have been fully expelled. Literature on the age-old practice of oil pulling recommends sesame and sunflower seed oils over other types. But some people have reported success with olive oil, so it's worth a shot!

  • February 8, 2010

    by Tina Dunham

    What is the reason for continous oil pulling for 20 minutes? Whey would'nt 5-10 minutes work? Please explain why duration is better? Why are some oils better than other? tia

  • November 17, 2009

    by copley

    I am not a consistent oil puller, but I do reach for my bottle of sesame seed oil when I can spare 20 minutes in my morning routine. Even though I'm not convinced of all the claims, I know that it can't hurt. If I can stave off diseases with a spoonful of oil, why not pull?

  • October 1, 2009

    by JulieK

    Earlier this year I had a health crisis that lastest a few months. No details forthcoming, but it put a dent in my pulling regimen. I found that once I stuttered to a stop, it was extremely difficult to begin pulling again. But the evidence of the effects oil pulling had had on my mind, body and spirit were too compelling to ignore.

    My blood pressure raised by 10-15 points. The depression I had first decided was a companion to the health issue, I now contribute directly to not pulling. And red wine had begun to taste crappy again- something I simply won't tolerate =).

    I'd always used sunflower oil, but it had become unpalatable to me. Then I remembered my advice to Justine about coconut oil and began using that. What a difference! I'm pulling again, and each day after a session I feel lighter (emotionally) and happy about it. ~jk

  • September 28, 2009

    by Marta

    I have to say I've given up. I didn't notice anything special and it required me to be horizontal before my first cup of coffee (hard to sustain even in the interests of science).

  • September 27, 2009

    by Stephanie

    Marta and Copley, are you still pulling? What are your thoughts about pulling now?

  • September 27, 2009

    by Angie

    I just found out about oil pulling while looking for an all natural cure to help with my sinuses and my immune system in reference to allergies & colds. I tried it this morning, interesting to say the least. I need to pull longer though, my spittle was still a bit yellow. I did notice immediately that the film that usually is clost to impossible to remove from my tongue was gone! Completely! I was dumbfounded at this, usually even scraping the tongue doesn't result in this. I also noticed my taste buds were more alive, coffee and food tasted different right off the bat. The other thing I noticed is the mental alertness that I felt within minutes of doing the pulling. Usually it takes me until mid afternoon on a good day to achieve this state of mental clarity & speed. I'm actually excited. The odd thing I noticed was I developed a bit of gas, no smell however (thank goodness), so it makes me aware that something else is happening inside too. I'm looking forward to seeing if these results happen more often and intensifiy. I do think part of it is actually from the pulling though, because since my cold a few days ago and impending sinus infection-I haven't hade clear thought due to congestion. I'll write more as I notice the changes and if they sustain & develop.

  • March 19, 2009

    by Holly

    Hi Christy,

    That's a very good question. Our hair follicles control hair growth and hair color and from what I have been told, by my doctor, is that hair color is produced by a pigment called, "melanin" (dark melanin known as eumelanin and light melanin known as phaeomelanin) blending together to make all the many different hair colors in the world.

    Did you know that all hair begins as colorless? An interesting fact, I thought.

    A person's hair color is determined by the amount of type of melanin in the cortex part of each hair.

    As we age, the amount of melanin, starts to diminish resulting in gray hair. Oil pulling doesn't wave any magic wands, but it is suggested that the removal of toxins increase the production of melanin where the hair shaft returns to its previous, more youthful color.

    It's not a placebo; my mirror, my camera, my friends, family and co-workers would not have have all seen and verified the changes I noted in my original comment.


  • March 16, 2009

    by Christy

    I'm glad the oil pulling seems to be working for you, although I think the gray around your temples disappearing is a placebo effect: where did the hair go? did it fall out or do you think oil pulling actually made your gray hair change color?

    I'm willing to give oil pulling a shot, but I remain skeptical that it's a cure-all. I'd be interested to find out what other physicians have to say about it.

  • March 2, 2009

    by Holly

    I'm new here. But not to oil pulling. I've been doing it faithfully for the past 4 months, every day, twice a day. I cannot begin to tell you of the many benefits i can relate to my own experience.

    Instead of Sunflower or Sesame oil, I use extra-virgin organic, cold-pressed coconut oil for the health benefits, its antibacterial properties, but mostly, for the mildly pleasant taste.

    I was desperate. Fearing my tooth had absessed at a time when we had no dental insurance and nearly blinded with pain, swelling, and a sensitivity to anything cold, sweet, including the winter air outside.

    Do I gargle with warm salt water, hydrogen peroxide, manage my pain threshold with massive doses of ibuprofen until I can tolerate it no more? So i started typing in random searches to find home remedies. Anything that would help ease my discomfort and buy me a little time until I could afford to visit a dentist.

    That's how I discovered oil pulling and since I already coconut oil on my counter, I begin that night, and felt some relief almost immediately. Dramatic results within a couple of days, whiter teeth, fresher breath, healthier gums, and no more pain to this day.

    As a result of my consistency, I have seen more energy, less appetite, and a steady weight loss as if my metabolism has been revved up and reset to a time when i was much younger.

    I'm currently 43 years old.

    My periods, that had become so heavy with clots over the past couple of years have become light and last for just a couple of days.

    A liver spot that I had developed on my hand has all but disappeared. My hair is thicker, full of health and shine, and the gray hairs that were beginning to grow around the front of my ear has all but disappeared. Is that even possible? I think so. Especially when people keep asking me what did I do, saying my hair is gorgeous, so healthy, and that my new shade is quite becoming on me not realizing I haven't dyed or tinted my hair at all. It's simply darker, because there's less gray.

    And oil-pulling with coconut oil has reduced fine lines and the person in the mirror is looking lively, healthy, thinner, and younger by the day.

    I can't say enough. I think everyone should try and feel the experience for themselves!


  • February 23, 2009

    by marta

    I am pulling every morning with sunflower oil. I am afraid I do cheat and wait until after my first cup of coffee. Nevertheless, I do feel (no more than a feeling) that we might be on to something.

  • February 22, 2009

    by JulieK

    On my recent trip to British Columbia, I took enough sunflower oil for me and my best friend to *pull* each morning. As I've not been able to encourage her (with verbiage) to begin the process. I thought a 3-day kick in the butt might be in order. Each day I handed her a tiny cup with her ounce of oil, she made a face, looked as if she'd turn her back, but dutifully downed the lot. I can report she's receptive now to "continuing," but still has a list of buts. All I can do is haul that mountain as close as possible and hope she continues her climb.

    Copley, how's our follow-up report on your progress? I eagerly await! ~jk

  • February 14, 2009

    by JulieK

    I just had my annual (mini) physical. My blood pressure is at an all-time low and my chlorestorol is way down; well within acceptable standards. Whereas it was borderline to high last year (and years previous). And, yes, I attribute these improvements to oil pulling. I can also feel a lightening to my mood overall; subtle, but definite. My hair keeps getting healthier looking and feeling; thicker.

    I honestly believe what I read is true and I will, if I keep up the practice (and this is the trick, INDEED!), live longer! I'm so eager to hear what Copley has to say- Marta, too. ~jk

  • February 13, 2009

    by stamarex

    Wow! How funny that I came across this on your site. I recently started oil-pulling with sesame oil and I do occasionally miss a morning but I've noticed a definite whitening of my teeth. As for health benefits I will keep you posted as I think it takes awhile for that to happen. My boyfriend has heartburn problems and I'm trying to convince him to start this up so I'll let you all know how that goes too!

  • January 25, 2009

    by marta

    Thoroughly chastened by Julie, I stumbled bleary-eyed into the bathroom - BEFORE coffee - and took a swig of olive oil (this time). I hope this ritual actually works.

  • January 24, 2009

    by Julie Kay

    tsk-tsk... Now Marta... To do something properly.
    To oil pull correctly, you must wait 4 hours after eating food, 2 hours after drinking anything with flavor (soda, juice, coffee/tea) and 1 hour after drinking water. The point is to get at your tissues when they're full and alive with active bacteria. That's why first thing in morning, BEFORE you ingest ANYthing else, is the preferred method; the optimal time.

    That cup of coffee will negate your efforts, I'm afraid. Plus which canola is refined (for cooking in heated conditions) and isn't what you want either.

    I'm excited you want to give this a try. I'm an old dog, trust me. It wasn't easy to get with the program and each day I grown, sometimes out loud, that I have to this "first thing." But I've not missed a day, because somehow, now, if I did I wouldn't feel complete.

    If you try a good unrefined sunflower oil, it really has basically no taste. I can say this with confidence. I have really sensitive taste buds and can sense the merest "anything." It's whether you decide to brush your teeth or just rinse well with hot water after pulling before your coffee. I'm guessing you don't want that morning coffee taste affected too much.

    What do you think, Copley?
    Great good luck to you! ~jk

  • January 24, 2009

    by marta

    I started this a couple of days ago following Copley's instructions. However, I have to start the day with a cup of coffee and then do the oil pulling. Do you oil pulling officianados think I can get away with that? BTW I am using canola oil which is almost tasteless.

  • January 22, 2009

    by copley

    Deb- That sounds genius. I definitely have a hard time kicking off the day with the pungent taste of Asia. Does the essential oil completely mask the flavor? And does it change the consistency of the solution, which might affect the duration of a full oil pull?

  • January 21, 2009

    by Deb

    I pour the oil firstly into a small container, then add a drop or two of an essential oil, 100% pure botanical, undiluted (curently using peppermint, but any flavour that turns your crank will work) then pour into my mouth to begin pulling - I did not think initially I could just put oil in my mouth without adding something to the oil to disguise the flavour so this "trick" helped me get started - have been going for a few weeks now- I love how clean my mouth feels after especially with a bit of peppermint in the mixture. Once the peppermint is done, I wil try the essential lemon oil that I also bought.

  • January 21, 2009

    by Amy

    Thanks for the information. I've just recently started researching "cleansing" and think I will start with this before I make the quantum leap to colon cleansing. I will email back with the results. Thanks for such a great website on a broad spectrum of topics that are of interest to me.

  • January 19, 2009

    by Julie Kay

    Kati, I also brush directly following pulling. It's not the taste; I'm way used to that by now. But, I agree with you on the bacteria and toxins. I want them gone and down the drain... =)

    I also read in my research that using commercial toothpaste isn't the thing with this process. Something to do with foam. So, additionally, I use organic toothpaste. I'm even trying to get up the nerve to try tooth soap. Not quite there yet.

  • January 19, 2009

    by Julie Kay

    I *just did this again using IE*... logged in, no problem (although I can't add a picture to my avatar, which I've tried a few times). I click Community; I click Message Boards. I go to add a Reply to my original post: A Right Brain Thing and I get the pop-up menu:

    Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site: (showing your entire online address) Operation aborted.
    The only option is an OK box, which, of course, pops me off the site completely.

    I belong to other forum sites and have never seen this before. Moreover I am clueless about technical issues such as this. I apologize if this is causing grief. ~jk

  • January 19, 2009

    by marta

    Julie, I'll pass this information to our site admin and see if we can find the problem.
    The site does open on IE. We have just successfully tested this on three different computers. And one of my staff uses IE all the time. Although it does load slowly. Again, it would be helpful if you could try with IE again and tell us exactly what is happening. Thanks

  • January 19, 2009

    by Kati May


    I just started oil pulling because of gum problems. I did a lot of research before beginning this process. Many people recommend rinsing the mouth with either baking soda and water or salt and water. Then brushing. I've tried with a rinse and without. I really think it is important to rinse and brush after oil pulling. It helps to remove the toxins so the don't reabsorb into the body. And, the taste is so gross, it helps to get rid of it. Thanks for your work on this site too. It's wonderful!

  • January 18, 2009

    by Julie Kay

    I originally tried to begin this dialogue in Community. I couldn't post (on my original post there). I went to Contact Us a couple days ago and stated this, but heard nothing back. I tried a couple more times to post in Community to no avail. I tried to post again the minute I read your Comment just now, same result.

    I get: Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site: (your entire address) Operation aborted. Then it pops.

    Wanting to pursue this topic, I came to comments.

  • January 18, 2009

    by admin

    Julie, we've just tested posting in community and it is working fine. What exactly were you experiencing and when?

  • January 18, 2009

    by Julie Kay

    I buy my oil in an organic grocery store. It's on the same shelf as all other oils and is intended to be used as a "drizzle" over salads and such. Currently, I'm using Rapunzel Sunflower Oil (cold pressed, unrefined) $6 - 17oz. I saw a banner running atop TIA that included a sesame oil, so clicked it today. Vitacost is selling cold-pressed, unrefined oils if you want to buy it online. Please don't get toasted sesame, according to my research sources, that's one not to use. While I can't speak directly to the colon cleansing issue, I do believe I've reaped benefits in that arena, as well. =)

  • January 18, 2009

    by Michelle Tang


    Where can we purchase the cold-pressed oil? I think I only have the regular seasame seed oil (for dressing) in the fridge, and I don't think that's the same cold-pressed type that's talked about here.
    Also, with all the claims about oil pulling and the attending health benefits, increase in metabolism, and eliminating the body of toxic waste, it reminded me much about the claims of colon cleansing. I was wondering if this remedy would eliminate toxic waste from the body just as well as colon cleansing, or is the cleansing more thorough? If so, I thought it'd be a good topic for TIA to review because there are so many different colon cleansing methods and products being promoted in the media that consumers are confused about, or don't know the reliable and proper way to colon cleanse. One popular method I heard about is the lemonade "diet"/colon cleanse, but it requires one to go without consuming solid food for a minium of ten days; and I'm a bit skeptical about that idea. Others sell pills that are supposed to cleanse the colon over time. So if oil pulling is just as good and offers the same benefits, I think it'd be an easier alternative! Thank you!

  • January 17, 2009

    by Julie Kay

    I tried to pursue this in Community, but I can't seem to post there (errors!), so Comments will suffice, eh.

    I heard about oil pulling from a friend who's into all things organic, holistic and herbal. One day he said, "I'm thinking of trying oil pulling." And I'm like "huh?" But since I know he's totally sincere, I don't bother making a quip, but go straight to Google. Where, to my surprise, pages of information pop up. I began that very day!

    I've been pulling for roughly 4 months now, and it's changed my life. Of course there's the oral hygiene aspect, which aint small potatoes. But let's talk about the immune system! I'll give you a specific example: First off, lemme tell you my immune system, for wont of a better word, sucks. About 3 weeks into pulling, I had my granddaughter over for a 4-day weekend stay. It turned out she'd been exposed to strep throat just prior to arriving and started showing signs of illness immediately. My daughter's family doesn't live close, so there wasn't an option of shortening the visit. I have three grandkids, and every time I've had one who's sick for a visit, I've ended up sick myself. And I'm talking your garden variety cold, not (culture confirmed) strep throat! At any rate, I did my normal cuddling within reason that weekend and the miracle, for me, was I didn't get sick. Not one symptom!

    I think my hair (all over) is thickening and y'know where we get that receeding hairline thing going on? well, mine (both sides) is growing in with new baby hair. My stylist is amazed.

    My blood pressure is at an all-time low, but lest I attribute too much to oil pulling with undocumented facts... I'll just say, I myself credit pulling (timeframe alone is dead on), but have no proof except my belief. I feel better than before I began, and have no intention of quitting.

    Cold-pressed unrefined sunflower or sesame oils are recommended because of the high Vitamin A and D content of both. But if teeth whitening is your only goal, they say Coconut oil is the way to go- again cold-pressed and unrefined.

    It's difficult to put this first in your routine in the morning. But if you do, I think you'll be pleased. I can't wait to hear your thoughts in a few weeks, Copley. I'm seriously excited you've begun!!

  • January 15, 2009

    by Julie Kay

    Bloody well done, Copley! I was worried (as I tend to do) I was gonna be judged as a beat off on this one. ~jk

  • January 15, 2009

    by prettyarmor

    Thank you for perpetuating this. I have heard of it in passing but never focused on it enough to realize the possible benefits. I will begin mine this very evening.

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