Oil cleanse, oil pulling, oil chewing - what is it all about?

For some people, oil pulling is as natural as brushing their teeth or taking a shower in the morning. What at first glance seems like a new wellness trend is actually part of a millennia-old health teaching. Oil pulling is an alternative medical, Ayurvedic method in which you rinse your mouth with plant oils. This is said to remove toxins from the mouth and cure or alleviate many diseases. Oil pulling not only contributes greatly to your oral hygiene, but is even said to detoxify the entire organism. Even though there is no large-scale proof of a positive effect so far, supposedly half of Hollywood swears by the detox trend of oil pulling treatments.



How does oil pulling work?


Even if this beauty and health tip sounds strange at first, it is currently conquering the West. The simple method of oil pulling became known in Western Europe through Dr. F. Karach, speaker at the conference of the Association of Oncologists and Bacteriologists at the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. According to him, the effect of the healing process comes from the intensive movement of sunflower oil in the oral cavity. By moving the oil back and forth, harmful bacteria in your oral cavity are killed. The gums are massaged, which improves blood circulation and makes them fit tighter around the teeth. Plaque is reduced and toxins and bacteria are removed from your mouth. Bad breath, caries and periodontosis are prevented. And side effects? There are hardly any, but you should inform yourself in advance.



How do I effectively draw oil?


Since many toxins, bacteria and pathogens accumulate in your mouth overnight, you should ideally swish the oil in the morning, immediately after getting up on an empty stomach and before brushing your teeth. To do this, simply put a tablespoon of the oil of your choice in your mouth and move it back and forth, sucking and pulling it through your teeth until the oil turns a whiter colour. You can also take short breaks to give the oil a chance to work into the mucous membranes. Take your time, as the oil needs at least 15 minutes to collect all the toxins and bacteria in the mouth. For this reason, you should never swallow or gargle with the oil! When you are finished, spit it into a kitchen towel or facial tissue (and dispose of it in the household waste) and not into the sink, as it hardens in the drainage pipe and can clog the pipe. Rinse your mouth with warm water and brush your teeth. For the best possible and health-promoting effect, the application should be carried out over several weeks, or better, become a fixed part of your morning routine! But keep in mind that you should still brush your teeth several times a day.



What does it help against?


According to experience reports, oil cures help against a variety of complaints. We have listed a few for you here:


  • Caries und parodontose
  • Dry mouth and bad breath
  • Gum inflammation
  • Dental plaque
  • Chapped and cracked lips
  • Headaches
  • Bronchitis and flu-like infections
  • Stomach ulcers and inflammation of the mucous membranes



Which oils are suitable?


Basically, any oil can be used for oil pulling, e.g. common household cooking oil such as sunflower oil or olive oil. Many alternative practitioners recommend coconut oil, but hemp oil is particularly suitable thanks to its numerous positive properties. Here are a few options for you:



1. Sesame oil – the classic-ayurvedic option


Sesame is one of the oldest oilseeds in the world. Originally from East Africa, it quickly spread to India, China and Latin America. It is one of the fattiest oil plants in the world and the remedy of choice in traditional Indian Ayurveda. It has the property of penetrating deepest of all oils into the tissues in the oral cavity and thus most effectively promotes the breakdown of harmful substances. Especially in case of gingivitis and periodontosis, this oil can help you a lot. Rich in minerals, trace elements, lecithin and choline, it also contains a lot of calcium and has a strong antioxidant effect. It has a positive effect on heart activity as well as on blood clotting and cholesterol levels.



2. Flaxseed oil - the omega-3 powerhouse


Only virgin or cold-pressed flaxseed oil should be used for cooking as well as for oil pulling. Due to its high omega-3 fatty acid content, it is good overall for cardiovascular problems and for brain function. Linseed oil is also said to help against diabetes, as it can influence blood sugar levels. In the mouth and throat area, the oil has a particularly healing effect: in folk medicine, the oil was used for asthma, cough, bronchitis and hoarseness, among other things. If the tart taste of flaxseed oil is too strong for you, you can mix it 1:1 with an oil of your choice, e.g. coconut oil!



3. Coconut oil – the winner in taste


Virgin coconut oil is excellent for oil pulling. On the one hand because of its pleasant taste, on the other hand because it has strong antibacterial properties and is therefore particularly good for your oral flora. You can recognise gently processed coconut oil by its colour: it is always white! Heated coconut oil can be identified by a slight yellow colour, which occurs when the naturally contained sugar of the fruit flesh caramelises due to heating. Natural coconut oil is rich in minerals, trace elements, vitamins (e.g. all B vitamins and vitamin E) and amino acids. Certified organic, it is particularly high-quality and a clear winner in terms of taste - not unimportant if you have to keep it in your mouth for 15 minutes!



4. Hempseed oil – one of the most valuable vegetable oils


More and more people appreciate the benefits of this healthy, anti-inflammatory plant oil. It does not have an intoxicating effect, as is commonly thought, because with just 4mg THC per kilogram, the oil would have to be drunk by the litre for an effect. The oil pressed from hemp seeds has a variety of positive properties that benefit health and can be used especially for skin problems. High-quality, cold-pressed hemp oil has a light to dark green colour, whereby the taste is characterised by a slightly nutty note. The darker the oil, the stronger its flavour.



5. Mouth drawing oils - the mixture makes the difference


Instead of simple vegetable oils, a special mouth pull oil can also be used for oil pulling. Since hundreds of years ago, our oral cavity was far less polluted, there was no refined sugar and our food was generally less processed, today there can be numerous arguments in favour of using a special mouth pull oil. The combination of different oils with essential essences can promote a holistic effect. Especially in the area of oral hygiene, mixtures can make sense: Thyme is effective against gingivitis and throat diseases. Myrrh prevents periodontosis and bleeding gums, and juniper freshens breath. Niaouli strengthens the gums and reduces germs, and clove helps against toothache and gum swelling.



Create your own individual oil treatment


Do you have a specific complaint? No problem, you can customise your treatment: Simply add another (essential) oil to your oil! Here are a few examples:


  • Aniseed and fennel, for example, help with respiratory problems and soothe your mucous membranes,,
  • Lavender helps against nervousness and relaxes,
  • Peppermint invigorates and works wonders for headaches and
  • Tea tree oil disinfects and helps against inflammation.


Find out what best supports the healing of your complaints and create your own oil blend in advance, which you will use over the duration of the treatment. For an amount of 100ml, about 3-5 drops of another oil can be added. For a quantity of 500ml, however, 12-15 drops are sufficient for an effective application. However, when using aromatic oils, remember: less is more!



Your oil - your routine


In the beginning, it can take a lot of effort to put a spoonful of oil in your mouth for several minutes in the early morning. After all, we normally only consume small amounts of oil - and usually in salads or on fried food. The prospect that the ritual should be performed daily in the morning on an empty stomach doesn't help either. But we can comfort you, it's the same for almost everyone who is new to oil pulling. In any case, choose an oil that you particularly like and start with a smaller amount. Even a teaspoon can have an excellent effect and help detoxify. As soon as you start with a smaller amount, you can also start with a shorter period of time. Increase the amount and time as you feel comfortable, because: Oil pulling should be fun and pleasant!



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