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Earlier I posted a blog about my morning detox routine and mentioned Oil Pulling. This seems to be making a swing up in popularity but a lot of people still don’t really know what it means to oil pull.

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is an  Ayurvedic method of improving dental and physical health by swishing certain oils (traditionally sesame or sunflower) in the mouth and through the teeth for 20-30 minutes a day.

My Routine

Every morning I wake up, and if I am lucky enough to have a previously sleeping toddler when I wake up, I run into the bathroom and put some oil in my mouth. They recommend the morning because oil pulling activates enzymes in your mouth and digestive tract that increases digestion, and the nasties in your mouth are the highest levels first thing in the morning. The internet says so. Look at this chart I found! *I am not taking it super seriously because it has no citation BUT it does make sense*.

oil pulling bacteria

  1. 1tbsp oil (cold pressed organic sesame or sunflower oil are the best, followed by coconut oil as a close second) in the mouth. I also add essential oils depending on my goal for that day. Lemon for general detox/cleaning/mood uplifting. On Guard if I am feeling sick/under the weather/have angry gums or tooth pain. Melaleuca if I have an infection or yeast problem.
  2.  Swish the oil in the mouth, all around, through the teeth, around the cheeks, in the back part of the mouth, for 15-20 minutes. If you can’t pull for a full 15-20 minutes do it as long as you can and work your way up. The first few times it will be kind of gross and could tire out your mouth. *Note* When you swish oil in your mouth you cannot speak. Toddlers do not like it when you don’t talk to them, this is why I do my oil pulling in the morning, before she wakes up, or while my husband is still home so that someone else can take care of her when I am pulling/ dry brushing/ showering.
  3. Spit it out! A lot of websites recommend spitting it in the toilet as it will contain a lot of bacteria and toxins from your system and it is easier to spit it in the toilet than it is to spit it in the sink then wipe it down and disinfect it every day.
  4. Rinse your mouth thoroughly. Warm water swish and spit 3-4 times then brush your teeth!

Oil pulling is most commonly used to improve dental health, decrease bad bacteria in the mouth, prevent cavities, whiten teeth, and reduce plaque. It is also claimed to improve health by pulling toxins out of the body through the mucous membranes of the mouth. The reduction of these toxins are claimed to help resolve health issues such as diabetes, immune problems, digestive problems, arthritis, joint pain, and more. There have been no studies to confirm the other health benefits, but the dental hygiene benefits have been noted in several studies.

My experience

I have been oil pulling consistently (4-5 days a week) for the last three months or so. It isn’t every morning, some times E wakes up before I have a chance to pull and shower and all that, or sometimes I just want some extra sleep. These times I will either pull during nap time or at night once everyone is sleeping. It may be less effective but you do what you gotta do. I have been using sunflower or coconut oil, depending on what I have at the time. When I pull I notice my teeth are whiter, have less plaque, and feel better than they do when I do not pull. I love oil pulling because it gets the extra food stuff out of my teeth that flossing and brushing does not. Also my mouth feels much cleaner all day than it did.

I stopped pulling for a few weeks after having the baby and noticed that meat and veggie matter gets stuck in my teeth really easily and flossing just does not get them out. My gums started hurting and getting red after about a week of no pulling. I also have not been as good about brushing my teeth twice a day. When you have a new born sometimes these things get lost in the shuffle for a while until you establish your new routine. If you have ever been a new mom you know what I mean. After oil pulling for 3 mornings in a row my gums felt great, I could brush without pain, and they were nice and pink like they should have been.

I cannot speak to the health claims, unfortunately. I have cut out gluten from my diet since January and have had great drastic health benefits from that. Reduced joint pain, more energy, better immune system, decreased allergies, and improved digestion. Because of these changes from my diet I cannot say if the oil pulling has helped improve it any more. But hey, my teeth look great, feel great, and it doesn’t take much time in the morning because I pull while doing the other things in my morning routine.


People with damaged teeth that may damaged fillings or cracked teeth should consult a dentist before oil pulling. Many people have reported already damaged teeth splitting while oil pulling.

Here are some good websites about oil pulling:

For more natural health information check out “What is in my natural medicine cabinet”.

Have you tried oil pulling? What have your results been?

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This blog shared on Wildcrafting Wednesday, The Morris Tribe’s Blog Carnival.

About Amanda

Amanda is a mother of two amazing toddlers. She is an herbalist, natural living guru, and real food, gluten free eating pro. She loves to help educate others on how to take control of their own health through natural living, real food, herbs, essential oils, and most of all - a positive mind set. Her other business Natural Herbal Living Magazine is all about helping people learn about how to use one herb a month on a deep and profound level.
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19 Responses to Oil Pulling Goodness

  1. Thanks for this post, I have heard of oil pulling in passing, but not a good summary like you gave here. This makes me want to look into it more and give it a try!

    Why is sunflower or sesame oil the best?

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks! I am glad it was helpful. From what I have read sesame is best, but it has a flavor to it that some people dont enjoy. Sunflower is a close second.

      • Do you know WHY it is these oils that are recommended though?

        • Amanda says:

          I am honestly not sure why those oils are recommended. According to, “Dr Karach had suggested refined sunflower Oil. Sesame Oil was prescribed in Ayurveda texts for Oil Pulling Therapy. Both oils worked well in curing health problems. Some found sesame oil better. Other oils have been used by some practitioners on their own, and they did not report desirable results to enable me to recommend. Some other oils may be suitable for particular problems, but I do not recommend for daily practice.”

          My guess is that sesame, sunflower and coconut are all nutrient dense oils and although the lypophyllic ability of the oils pulls toxins from your body through the permiable membranes in your mouth, so do the nutrients from the oils, therefore aiding in healing and re-mineralizing teeth. But as I said, that is just a guess.

          I can not find anywhere that says WHY we use these oils. It also might just be because that is what they used in Ayurveda (ancient Indian) medicine, which is where most of the literature derives from.

  2. Laurie says:

    Thanks for linking up to Wildcrafting Wednesday. Yours is one of the featured posts of the week.

    I oil pull several times a week and feel that it has improved my mouth health and help remove stains from my teeth.

  3. […] I’m skeptical about the benefits of this practice, so I asked my friend Amanda over at Natural Living Mamma about her experiences with oil pulling. She’s full of good things to say about it and swore […]

  4. Joe says:

    I discovered and started oil pulling two weeks ago.

    I’ve been using expeller pressed organic sesame oil (unrefined for medium heat) (I’m not sure what the differences are in other oils, but this is what’s on the bottle’s label).

    I oil pull for 20 minutes with one tablespoon of sesame oil, 1-2 times each day.

    I’m impressed with the results so far; whiter teeth,mild athletes food and morning breath are gone, and that awesome body odor built up while working out in the garden is gone too.

    I’ve read in different oil pulling forums, individuals reporting success with coconut oil, so I’ll switch to discover what differences exist when the bottle of sesame oil I’m using is empty.

  5. Julie Hansen says:

    This post was so helpful and informative. Thank you!

  6. Paige says:

    I have been oil pulling for over three years. I cannot begin to tell you the health benefits I have obtained. You probably would not believe them if I told you. I use Sesame Oil and have had amazing results. After oil pulling about three months I purged a growth about the size of a golf ball during my cycle. I know that sounds gross but it happened. So many positive changes, I highly recommend oil pulling.


    • Amanda says:

      That is great to hear! I was a bit remiss to list the health benefits because they are hard to tell what is rumor and what is fact but I love how good I feel after I do it. I know it is doing something good for my health, and my teeth are great after oil pulling!

  7. jamie says:

    I just read about oil pulling for the first time yesterday while looking for natural ways to help issues with the mouth like Gingivitis and Periodontal disease. I developed pain around my tooth a couple days back and am gonna see the dentist to make sure its not an infection. Has anyone ever done this oil pulling to cure stuff like that. Would oil pulling work to ease pain from a tooth if its infected. Im still gonna go to the dentist but cant get in till thursday an would like some relief from my tooth before than. Should i wait until after i see the dentist and possibly the use of antibiotics before i start this? Also is this safe while nursing?

    • Amanda says:

      Oil pulling is safe for nursing and has helped so many people with these exact issues. Just spit it out don’t swallow and you will be fine! Good luck with your tooth. I would recommend doing it 2x a day with coconut oil because of its healing properties. Good luck! Let me know how it goes!

  8. Pam says:

    I love coconut oil for pulling. Tried sesame … really didn’t see/feel a difference, except that I like the taste of coconut much better. Just one comment, I spit in the garbage. Read somewhere, if you continue to spit either oil down the sink, you may actually cause a clogged sink. Makes sense to me, afterall, it is oil.

  9. Michael says:

    I get the best results from oil pulling if I do it twice (2 x 20 minute sessions, back-to-back) first thing in the morning. Then I wash my mouth with salt water and clean my teeth (no toothpaste).

  10. […] care centre frequently. In fact many dentists suggest for their patients. It does not involve any follow-up sessions and hence you can directly call on their respective dental care centers in […]

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