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Oil Pulling – Does It Work?

Have you ever heard of oil pulling? Neither had I until a client brought it up during a session last week. Oil pulling is an ancient aryuvetic treatment that “pulls” out bacteria in the mouth and surrounding areas by swishing with oil 2-3 times a day. What this does is encourage the increase in enzymes in the mouth that in turn draw harmful bacteria away from the sinuses, mouth and other areas. It is said that oil pulling can decrease congestion in the sinuses and the lungs, encourage lymphatic drainage, whiten the teeth, and decrease the bacteria in the mouth. I thought that I might give this a try to see if it really makes a difference. From what I have read, some articles suggest using a higher quality oil but other say it doesn’t make a difference. I have decided to start off with sunflower oil and see how it goes. It is recommended to swish before meals so I am swishing 2 times a day, once in the morning before breakfast and once before dinner.


Day 1

I have developed a slight sore throat but can also feel my sinuses starting to drain very slightly. I have read that it is common to get sick when you first start oil pulling because it is a form of detox. I have also noticed that the tip of my tongue is a little tender, like I have burnt it on a sip of coffee. The one other noticeable difference right now is that my
teeth seem a little more sensitive to temperature than normal.

Day 3

I am not seeing too much of a change just yet. I might be able to say that despite a couple of restless nights I do have more energy and am able to get through the days. My teeth still seem sensitive especially with colder temperatures, and as for some draining of the sinuses on the first day, there has been nothing since. The only real difference I see and not for the better is that a couple of small canker sores have popped up on my tongue, but that is the only significant difference right now.

Day 5

I am happy to report that I am beginning to se changes. Although my sinuses haven’t cleared I am finding that I can take deeper breaths. Something has cleared in my lungs which is great! My teeth are no longer sensitive and my mouth feels so much cleaner. The one major difference is my skin. As most of you know I am a massage therapist, and am washing my arms several times a day. I suffer from extremely dry skin usually from elbows to wrists to the point that it starts to scab. Since starting the oil pulling the dry skin has completely disappeared leaving my arms feeling like I just exfoliated them! I will be continuing on for another couple of days to see if there are any more changes.

Day 7 and conclusion

I think what changed the most for me was the dry skin. I was quite surprised that it had all cleared up within 3 days of oil pulling. Apart from that the sinuses cleared a little and my mouth felt cleaner. I have to say that there are probably so many factors that can/will change your results, and I am sure it is different for everyone.

Would a different oil produce different/better results?
What if I had done it for 2 weeks instead of one?
Swished more often? (I did twice a day)

I can see this being very beneficial for those with serious sinus issues. Since I am not one of those people, I didn’t see significant results.

All in all I did see some change but I’d have to say try it our for yourselves to see if it works for you. I encourage anyone that has tried it and had result to post them here so that others may read about them.


Image courtesy of m_bartosch/freedigitalphotos.net