Wellness

New Year’s Resolution: Oil Pulling

Yesterday I extolled the virtues of Skinny Coconut Oil, which I use in the shower on my body, in the kitchen while cooking and several times a week when pulling. For those unfamiliar with the latter, it’s an ancient Ayurvedic Indian practice of swishing oil around the mouth for about 20 minutes to detoxify the body. Essentially, the oil pulls toxins out through saliva and also works to improve oral health. 

It’s something that’s recommended to do daily, but because I have trouble always finding the time I stick to a few times a week. It may not be the most exciting part of my daily regimen, but it’s truly worthwhile. I feel detoxified, energetic and cleansed afterward. Sesame oil was traditionally used, but sunflower and coconut oils are now very common. Coconut oil in particular is antimicrobial and thus destroys lots of bacteria that could lead to sickness, plaque, tooth decay and bad breath. I use peppermint-infused coconut oil, which actually tastes fantastic, too.

If you’re new to the practice, it’s best to start a few minutes at a time. Put a spoonful of oil in your mouth and let it melt a bit, then push and pull it around your mouth and through your teeth. It doesn’t have to be too vigorous, or your jaw might start to ache. When the consistency becomes thin, it’s time to spit it out. The biggest thing to remember is not to swallow the oil—and scrape your tongue after spitting—since post-pulling it contains lots of toxins and bacteria that you want to eliminate. 

Besides the boost to your oral health, pulling can be a boon to your complexion and body as a whole. Especially in the wintertime, it improves immune functions and makes colds and flu things of the past. And for further proof of coconut oil’s heroism, tomorrow I’ll share a delicious recipe from a wonderful book dedicated to the mighty fruit! XXJKE