I wake up 20 minutes early every day just to swish coconut oil around in my mouth. During those extra, should-be-still-sleeping-in-my-comfortable-bed 20 minutes, I am actually helping both my health and my business.
Oil pulling, the process of swishing oil in your mouth, is an Ayurvedic tradition, originated in India, that has been around for centuries. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which kills bacteria, fungi and viruses. This swishing cleans out my mouth and prevents infection.
This is not some gimmick; it is science-based. Studies have shown that oil pulling helps fight plaque and gingivitis. Since I started oil pulling, my teeth have never felt smoother and my breath feels fresh all day.
Oil pulling can also help fight acne by getting rid of the unwanted bacteria in your mouth, which never re-enters your body. Other benefits of oil pulling are more restful sleep, fewer headaches—especially migraines, and relief of allergy symptoms and eczema. I can personally attest to the alleviation of eczema symptoms. I have not had one eczema flare-up in the four months that I have been oil pulling.
I have made oil pulling part of my morning routine, not only because of the health benefits, but for the emotional benefits as well. The first 20 minutes of each of my days are spent in silence. I wake up, swish, answer e-mails, and post on my business Facebook and Twitter pages. If I have a few extra minutes, I reflect on the day before, and meditate on the day ahead of me. I can’t talk, so I am forced to get things done or reflect. It has a calming effect and has helped my business. It is a wonder drug to me, and it only costs $24.99 for two 54 ounce tubs at Costco!
You should be eating coconut oil, too. When coconut oil is digested, it forms a monoglyceride called monolaurin. Monolaurin with lauric acid is even better at fighting infection and for many it can help prevent disease. Coconut oil is one of the medium-chain-triglycerides, which are fatty acids at medium length that can reduce hunger. Some athletes eat a spoonful of coconut oil before they exercise to ensure that they don’t get hungry during their workouts. You can also use it in cooking as a substitute for olive oil. Besides adding flavor, it can improve your health.
If you are swishing coconut oil, eating coconut oil, or cooking with coconut oil, you are helping yourself. Growing up, I always associated coconut with unhealthy sugary bars with coconut slathered over them, or in candy covered with chocolate, but the health benefits can’t be overlooked. My friends, family members, and patients who have started oil pulling with me know how good their mouths feel. Start taking care of your oral health and start oil pulling now. Your pearly, white smile will be all the thanks I need!
Need-to-Know Facts about Oil-Pulling
1. Do not swallow the oil. Spit it out because the bacteria you pulled out of your mouth will be in the coconut oil.
2. Never spit coconut oil down the drain or in the toilet. It solidifies very quickly and will clog up your drain. Spit it in the garbage.
3. Buy organic, unrefined coconut oil to pull out bacteria, viruses, and fungi from your body without adding toxins.
4. Yes, oil pulling may sound unappealing at the beginning, and you may gag the first time or two that you try it, so start out small. Try three minutes, and work your way up to 20 minutes.
5. You can also oil pull with sesame oil. However, coconut oil has more anti-microbial properties and is the better choice.