Why Try Oil Pulling

I started oil pulling almost 5 months ago. And I love it. I’m not sure it’s the cure-all some claim but it does have definite benefits. And a few unexpected ones.

My inspiration for making oil pulling part of my daily routine was one of our health coachs, Roslyn Wellness founder, and blogger Courtney Abrams. Courtney wrote about oil pulling in November. And I guess something clicked in my brain because I was ready to try it.

This is my favorite coconut oil. It tastes like toasted coconut so I like it best.


So what’s my routine? I wake up, walk into the kitchen, take a tablespoon of cold pressed, extra virgin coconut oil and begin to swish it around. It’s in a solid state but melts immediately. I love coconut, the taste, the smell, the feel. And so swishing this oil around for 20 minutes is no hardship, senses-wise. If you’re not a fan of coconuts (to me coconut oil tastes like dessert, like a macaroon), use whatever organic, extra virgin, cold pressed oil you want. Traditionally people used sesame oil.  Most people using this Ayurvedic method of detox pull oil for 5-20 minutes. I like to do it for the full 20 minutes.

Back to my routine, I start the water for coffee, go to my bedroom, make my bed, clean up a little, wash my face, get dressed, make coffee in the French press, answer work emails… All the while swishing the oil around. And before I know it, 20 minutes is up. I love this quiet time. And I love that I now start my day off so productively. I love making the bed first thing in the morning. And I love the patience I’ve learned (waiting for coffee!) in these 20 minutes. These are the unexpected benefits. If I didn’t have 20 minutes to kill, I’d probably deal with all this early morning stuff later in the day. And studies have shown, people who make their beds first thing are happier.

People tout a whole of list of health benefits with oil pulling. Most of them have not been proved in any study, and I’ve no evidence to back up the claims made by some about the miracle benefits of oil pulling. I can only share what I’ve experienced. My teeth are whiter; my gums are healthier. I suffer from allergies, and this process seems to help with the congestion.

From Oil Pulling expert (he’s written a whole book about the ayurvedic method) and naturopathic physician Dr. Bruce Fife:

“As simple as it is, oil pulling has a very powerful detoxifying effect. Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their toxins. Candida and Streptococcus are common residents in our mouths. It is these types of germs and their toxic waste products that cause gum disease and tooth decay and contribute to many other health problems including arthritis and heart disease. Our immune system is constantly fighting these troublemakers. If our immune system becomes overloaded or burdened by excessive stress, poor diet, environmental toxins and such, these organisms can spread throughout the body causing secondary infections and chronic inflammation, leading to any number of health problems. Oil pulling is one of the most remarkable methods of detoxification and healing I have ever experienced in my career as a naturopathic physician. It helped me overcome a chronic skin problem that other forms of detoxification, including numerous juice fasts lasting up to 30 days, were unable to cure.”  

Some say their skin clears up and looks brighter, younger, healthier. And I have one friend who swears daily oil pulling, first thing, cures her hangovers and gets rid of that ugly red wine stain on her teeth. Another friend feels that it’s cleared up her sinus congestion, getting her off antibiotics, and helped mitigate her asthma. And a possible bonus of having coconut oil around- I’ve another acquaintance who quit getting botox because she found that using coconut oil as her makeup remover and moisturizer did wonders for her skin. She said there’s been no end to the comments from other people about her glowing skin, lovely complexion.

So why not give it a go? You’ve got nothing to lose, and maybe something wonderful to gain. Life is all about trying new things and feeling better. If you only get the benefit of 20 minutes of peace and quiet in the early morning, then that’s worth it.

Let me know how oil pulling works for you. I’d love to hear what it’s doing (and not doing) for you!

Note: if you’re using coconut oil, make sure to spit it out in the trash. You don’t want to swallow the swished oil – remember, it’s possibly full of toxins- and you don’t want to clog your pipes with it, so into the trash it goes!



Filed Under: Things We Love


About the Author: Tania Van Pelt is the creator of Happiness Series. She is a writer and content creator, working in film, tv, and online. She wrote the popular lifestyle book "Ageless Diet," published in late 2015. And she is currently working on her next book. She also developed a sitcom pilot set in the restaurant business called "Employees Only TV" and is developing another web series comedy about Denver.


  1. […] Van Pelt | Apr 19, 2013 | Comments 0 I usually wake up feeling fine. Post-oil pulling, I really look forward to that first cup of coffee. After breakfast I walk upstairs to my office. I […]

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