coconut shells

By Olivia Janisch

Coconut oil is my everything, and I’ve just discovered something new to make it even more of a staple in my home: Oil pulling.

Oil pulling is a very simple Ayurvedic technique used to freshen breath, whiten teeth and kill bad bacteria that live in the mouth and gums. Traditionally, it was done with sesame oil, but coconut oil has become the oil of choice for many. The results of oil pulling are mighty and range from alleviating oral sensitivity to healing skin problems to acting as a powerful nasal and chest decongestant.

How to do it

The best time is in the morning, before you’ve brushed your teeth. Take a tablespoon of coconut oil and let it sit in your mouth until it becomes liquid. Then, gently move it around in your mouth, pulling it through the teeth and letting it get to places that bacteria likes to hang out. The ideal time is for twenty minutes, but you can start with five and build your way up as it becomes more comfortable. During this time you can shower, make your lunch, or simply practice some deep breathing. Once you’re done, be sure to spit the oil into the trash or a plastic bag as it can solidify in your pipes and clog them.

Do not swallow the oil. Essentially, it’s pulling bacteria and toxins from your mouth so it’s full of things you don’t want to recycle back into your system. Wash your mouth out with water after, and brush your teeth as normal.


Our mouths are an excellent indicator of our overall health. Oil pulling is a great tool to draw toxins and parasites from your mouth and lymph system, and even breaks up mucus and congestion from your chest and sinuses. This is an extremely efficient way to cleanse your system and detox as it exchanges healthy probiotic strains for unwanted bacteria in your mouth that can spread to other parts of the body. It’s also been shown to brighten and clear skin, and ease skin issues such as eczema. Give it a try, you could see remarkable results within only two weeks.

Have you oil pulled? How was your experience?

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