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Over the past few years, oil has been a big trend for face, hair and body. But did you ever think that swishing it in your mouth would also have benefits? Introducing health’s newest trend: oil pulling.
Oil pulling or “oil swishing” is an ancient traditional Indian remedy where oil is swished or held in the mouth for minutes at a time. Popular in Ayurvedic practices, swishing oil in your mouth helps improve oral health with a other benefits including relieving headaches, migraines, helping asthma, acne and teeth whitening. It’s also said to help prevent insomnia,
With these potential health benefits, it’s no wonder that Gwyneth Paltrow is said to have jumped on the oil pulling bandwagon as well as Divergent Star Shailene Woodley. “I just started ‘oil pulling,’ which is when you swish coconut oil around [in your mouth] for 20 minutes, and it’s supposed to be great for oral health and making your teeth white,” Paltrow said on her site, Goop.com. Spiritual Guru Deepak Chopra and Dr. Oz are also said to be fans.
So how does it work exactly? Practitioners claim that oil pulling pulls out toxins from the mouth. It involves filling the mouth with oil and swishing it around for about 3-5 minutes. Once done, spit out oil in a trash can (to avoid clogging drains). By doing this, its said to “pull” harmful bacteria and organisms straight from your body.
According to some dental experts, oil pulls on the bacteria like a magnet therefore detoxifying your mouth. The reason some say it helps your overall health is because harmful toxins and bacteria that are in the mouth eventually make their way into the bloodstream. If you get rid of these harmful toxins from the source, your overall health will benefit.
“It’s probably the most harmless natural remedy. There’s no downside,” Dr. Marc Lowenberg, a New York City-based cosmetic dentist, told Usweekly.com. “The toxins in your body are fat-soluble so they join with the oil and are removed when you spit it out,” he says. “Since the mouth is loaded with plaque, it makes sense that there would be a reduction.”
While many oils, such as sesame, olive and sunflower can be used, it’s suggested that coconut oil is the best due to its antibacterial properties, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.