Oil pulling... say what?

Last updated 14:52 10/03/2014

OILY ISSUE: Swill a spoonful of oil for 10-20 minutes, easy as that right?

Related Links

Six ways to detox every day Gwyneth's crazy detox diet Supermodel shows off detox results

Relevant offers

Well & Good

What's the healthiest rice option? Cultivating gratitude: A mid-life suburban cynic trials keeping a gratitude diary Lucy Hone: Play to your strengths Dr Tom: Man up and get a DRE (Digital Rectum Examination) Playing up: We give curling a go Lynda Hallinan: Be a reducetarian and embrace meatless Mondays Leah McFall: Kindest regards Plus-size fashion models help improve women's mental health, says new research Four Kiwi centenarians reflect on their long, long lives 10 questions you should ask your doctor on your next visit

New detox trends seem to pop up every month or so (green smoothie anyone?), but the latest phenomenon seems to be even stranger than the rest...

Dubbed oil pulling, this new fad involves swishing oil around your mouth.

Now, while gargling with oil definitely doesn't sound appealing, it's been an Ayurvedic practice since ancient times and is said to do everything from whiten teeth to cure eczema. 

On the fence about trying it? Read the facts below to see if it's the right treatment for you...

What is it?

The process is simple. Swish a spoonful of oil (coconut, sunflower, or sesame are most popular) in your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes. Then spit it out in the trash - not down the toilet or in the sink because that will only up your plumbing bill.

How it works

"People swear by it - that it can fill cavities, relieve toothaches, whiten teeth, freshen breath, absorb harmful bacteria, and cure the common cold," said Dr. Jessica Emery, DMD of Sugar Fix Dental Loft Chicago.

"From a dentist's perspective, tooth decay is caused by bacteria and studies suggest that coconut oil treated with enzymes seems to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria."

Some would also claim that it fixes acne and brightens complexions.

So in layman's terms, the oil actually pulls germs and bacteria from your gums (and we found one study to back up this up claim).

Overall the process is about removing the toxins from the mouth before they can travel to other parts of the body.

Should you try it?

There is substantial evidence that oil pulling could improve your oral health, and it's a great DIY solution if you run out of mouthwash (be it a bit slimy).

But as far as the claims that it's a cure-all, we're going to take our cue from Dr. Weil, who wrote, "Bottom line: Oil pulling won't hurt you, but I wouldn't depend on it to help you improve your overall health or treat significant medical problems."

- PopSugar

Ad Feedback


Recipe search

Special offers
Opinion poll

Do you believe eating superfoods makes you healthier?

Yes, I feel so much better when I eat them.

No, it's all a con.

I don't know, I can't afford them.

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content