May 27, 2015

~ * Natural Beauty * ~ : Oil Pulling

I came across this beauty tip some time last year. I saw articles by Lauren Conrad and Gwyneth Paltrow about oil pulling.  I did some research and decided to try it. After all, it involved using coconut oil and it was a natural product.

So what is oil pulling really?

Oil pulling, also known as "kavala" or "gundusha," is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes. This action supposedly draws out toxins in your body, primarily to improve oral health but also to improve your overall health (Source: Google)

In my research I saw that several types of organic oils are recommended. These include sesame, sunflower and coconut oils. I personally use expeller pressed organic coconut oil. Coconut oil is said to lauric acid, which is well-known for its anti-microbial agents.  The one below cost me about US$5.99 at TJ Maxx. I love the kitchen section of TJ Maxx. They have a lot of organic items for less.

Besides the removal of toxins, oil pulling claims to whiten your teeth as well. I can attest to this. This is especially great for those persons that are concerned about the harmful effects of whitening products on the market. It's also a cheaper alternative. 

How much do you use? I usually take a small mouth full. Also if you can't do 20 minutes, start with 5. I usually start as soon as I wake up and go about cleaning up after my dogs and bathing. I put on my timer and just keep swishing until it goes off and my 20 minutes are up.

Disposal of the oil after you are done is also important. Don't spit it out in your sink. It's usually advised to spit it out into your trash. I usually spit out the oil in a small plastic bag, tie it and then put it in the trash. 

In spitting it out you may get a gag reflex and feel like throwing up. I'd advise just spitting it out quickly into the bag and getting rid of it. Try also not to smell it. You'll get a hang of it though. 

I had a weird inflammation and sensitivity on my gum and was a bit worried. I didn't want to incur the cost of going to the dentist so I tried oil pulling for about 2 weeks and within a few days my gums felt great!

Please note that oil pulling should not replace brushing your teeth or going to your dentist. This is a great addition to your normal oral care routine.