Oil pulling (also known as Oil Swishing) is a practice that involves swishing oil in the mouth. It is safe, simple, inexpensive, and gentle. It is done in the home. Contemporary studies show that it reduces oral inflammatory conditions such as gingivitis. It is also useful in addressing TMJ. The preferred type of oil is organic, unrefined, untoasted sesame oil.

How to Do Oil Pulling

You vigorously swish 1 Tbsp. (ie: a soup spoon) of organic, unrefined, untoasted sesame oil around the mouth, pulling the oil through the spaces between you teeth. Do this for 15–20 minutes in the morning before eating or drinking anything. When you are done, spit the oil out. During the time that the oil is in the mouth, it emulsifies with the saliva and goes from being thick and oily to watery and thin. This is when you spit the oil out. Ideally, oil pulling is done daily; the beneficial effects are cumulative.

A Note of Caution

Even though the oil emulsifies while it is being pulled, you are still spitting out oil. For the long-term well-being of your plumbing, you might spit the oil out in your yard where the microbes in the soil can break it down with ease and without clogging pipes. If you don’t have a yard, spit the oil into a container that you will be throwing out, anyway (such as a plastic bottle). When the container is full, put the lid on, and throw it out.

If you want to read more, you can check out Bruce Fife’s book “Oil Pulling.”