Oil Pulling: What the heck is it, and why should I try it?

Oil_Pulling

What is Oil Pulling?

Well, it’s as “old as the hills” as they say. Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic medicine remedy dating back over 3000 years and is used to promote oral health and detoxification. Simply put, oil pulling is swishing a high quality oil in your mouth as you would mouthwash. Sounds weird, I know, but trust me, it’s worth doing! Oh, and it’s really not as gross as it sounds! This daily measure has experienced quite the resurgence in recent years and for good reason.

Why do it?

Our mouth is home to millions of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other toxins (yuk!) and is essentially the gateway to the rest of our body. The oil pulls and collects these toxins before they spread throughout the body.

Benefits of Oil Pulling

Ayurvedic medicine boasts over 30 health benefits to oil pulling but here’s my TOP 6! Starting with a fun one, of course :)

Whiter Teeth

Keep your smile bright without the use of harsh chemicals and teeth whiteners. The oil possesses natural antibiotic and antiviral properties that clean and brighten teeth. Everyone is different, but you should see a great difference in about two weeks!

Better Oral Hygiene & Fresh Breath

Oil pulling helps fight gingivitis, plaque and microorganisms that cause bad breath While coconut, sesame and sunflower oil all have the same bacteria fighting benefits, coconut oil has the added benefit of lauric acid, which is known for its anti-microbial agents and therefore is more effective. There have also been promising studies done on the effect of oil pulling in preventing tooth decay. Oral health is essential for overall health as well because certain diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease are linked with gum disease.

Clear Skin

Removing all these toxins from the body before they have a chance to do harm allows the skin to shine through. Oil pulling not only leads to clearer skin but help those with acne, rashes and other skin issues.

Less Headaches

Headaches can be nature’s way of saying, “give me a break”. Oil pulling can eliminate the bacteria that can contribute to the toxic stress that causes headaches. I have to mention here that I got a friend of mine hooked on this habit about a year ago. She has suffered from frequent headaches for years and now only gets the very occasional one – yay!!

Clears Sinuses

Oil pulling pulls congestion and mucus from your throat and loosens up your sinuses – aaah! So whether you’re dealing with allergies, a cold or a sinus infection, oil pulling will bring you some much needed relief!

Boosts the Immune System

Ayurvedic practitioners believe that this therapy detoxifies the whole body system by removing harmful bacteria and toxins so that the immune system is free to heal the body. It is important to rid the body of toxins and other invaders because the body responds to these with inflammation, allergic reactions and other symptoms, consequently over burdening the immune system. Ready to give it a try?

How to Oil Pull

It might be easier to think of oil pulling more as oil swishing. Types of Oil to use. Traditionally coconut, sesame, or sunflower oil are used. It is important to use high quality oil, ideally organic, unrefined and cold-pressed. I personally like to use coconut oil because I like the taste, plus it has some added benefits (which I’ll get to soon!). coconut_oil Swisheroo! Put 1 tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swish! Swish the oil gently around your mouth and through your teeth (although avoid letting the oil go back to your throat). The recommended time for swishing is 20 minutes. If you’re using coconut oil, the oil will soften very quickly once in the warmth of your mouth, so no need to melt it in advance. If your jaw gets a wee bit tired, take a break and just hold the oil in your mouth till you’re ready to start again. DSC_0094 My tip. The first time I did this, I didn’t last long! I suggest you start slow with just 5 minutes a day and with just a teaspoon of oil until you get used to the feeling. I was quickly able to build up my time and the amount of oil with practice. Another thing I did when I was building up time was to take a second spoonful and start again, so I could add minutes that way. At first I stayed close to the trash can in case I had to spit it out, but now I can swish while doing chores. You can make the bed, unload the dishwasher or take a shower and before you know it, your time is up. If you can only fit in 5 or 10 minutes, you will still reap some benefit. Disposal. Spit the oil into a trash can. DO NOT swallow the oil, as it’s full of the toxins you’re trying to remove. DO NOT spit it into the sink or you’ll end up with a blocked drain (been there, done that!). Finishing Touches. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water and then brush your teeth and floss as normal. Squeaky Clean! Your mouth will feel fresh and fabulous! When? Traditionally oil pulling should be done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. If this works for you – great! If not, please just try to fit it in whenever you can. It is much better to oil pull at a different of day time than not to oil pull at all. Frequency? 3 – 4 days a week is a good goal but if you’re working on a health issue or trying to get your teeth bright quickly, then doing it every day will get you there faster. If you can only fit it in on weekends when you have a little extra time, you are still benefiting the health of your mouth and your body, so it’s totally worth it! Are you already oil pulling? What benefits have you noticed? If you’ve never given it a try, let us know how you do and how you feel afterwards. Please share in the comments. email_signoff1

Coconuts: On Island Time

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Coconuts

This true superfood has made a big comeback in recent years. Once avoided for its high saturated fat content, it is now being embraced. New research has shown that the medium chain fatty acids (MCTs) found in the saturated fat of coconut oil, is in fact good for you! Good quality fat sources, such as coconuts, avocados and olives are essential to our health. Our cells, blood, liver, immune system and brain need fat to function.
Coconut milk and coconut oil are rich in lauric acid, a powerful antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. The anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antibacterial qualities of coconuts are a strong ally in fighting many disease-causing germs and may play a role in fighting cancer as well.
Cultured coconut milk (similar to dairy yoghurt) contains probiotic organisms, found in laboratory studies to enhance the body’s immune response against breast cancer. A 2014 study revealed that women being treated for breast cancer had fewer symptoms and reported a better quality of life when using a virgin coconut oil supplement daily. Better quality of life is always a good thing!

Added Benefits

Coconut oil has been shown to have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s. It can also increase your energy and aid in weight loss. You know I love any natural beauty solution, and coconut oil is a star when it comes to caring for your skin and hair. Not to mention it smells soooo good! Coconut milk is a great “alternative milk” to add to your routine. I like to vary the milks I use, and coconut milk is in the rotation with almond milk and cashew milk. If you’ve never cooked with coconut oil, you’re missing out. Coconut oil is very resistant to high heat, so is a great and safe option when cooking this way. It also adds a lovely flavor to your food!

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

This scrumptious soup will give you the chance to use coconut oil AND milk! Coconut Curry Lentil Soup by Angela from Vegangela www.vegangela.com http://vegangela.com/2014/01/09/coconut-curry-lentil-soup/ IMG_7237

Quinoa Pudding with Coconut Milk & Maple Syrup

This is a sweet treat that’s healthy and packed with protein and fiber. Quinoa Pudding with Coconut Milk & Maple Syrup by Samantha from Five Heart Home www.fivehearthome.com http://www.fivehearthome.com/2014/01/11/quinoa-pudding-with-coconut-milk-maple-syrup/ Do you have a favorite way to use coconut oil? Share below. email_signoff1