For anyone who runs in alternative circles, oil pulling is likely not a new term. It's gained tremendous popularity in the past few years, and seems to be really picking up steam in the past few months. Without going into all the details (I'll place some links at the bottom of this post), let's just say oil pulling is basically just swishing a high quality oil around in your mouth. For twenty minutes a day. It pulls out toxins, bacteria, all kinds of nasties. It's touted to help with many health issues, and there's some evidence that it can help reverse tooth decay.
I first heard of oil pulling about a year ago, and gave it a try. I grabbed a teaspoon, scooped out some extra virgin, organic, unrefined, cold-pressed coconut oil, and popped it in my mouth. And I immediately started to gag. That clump of cold oil sitting between my teeth and my tongue wasn't melting yet, and it was gross. So I spit it out. I claimed failure on the crunchy front, and I had found the line - you know, the one you just can't cross to keep up with the Granola Jones. Sad day for this hippie.
Fast forward nearly a year. Oil pulling starts to show up on my Facebook news feed again and again. Surely I must have done something wrong - if everyone else is doing it, why did I nearly toss my cookies? So I tried again. This time, I managed to keep it in my mouth until it started to melt (after a twenty second battle to get it there in the first place - you know that feeling when your body justwon'tdo what your mind tells it to?), but after it melted, I couldn't bring myself to swish. And then I started wretching. Nearly knocked myself out on the cabinet edge trying to get to the trash can. I gave myself a bit of a bruise too, but don't you worry - I put some essential oils on it.
I mentioned my failure to a crunchy, oil pulling successful, friend of mine. She said, "Why don't you try melting the oil first?" Um... wow. Dense woman of the day award - straight to me. Especially since, in my attempt to be successful, I had already sat down and ordered a giant bottle of sesame oil, which is a traditionally recommended oil.
So the next morning, I melted my teaspoon of coconut oil. And I added a drop of protective essential oil blend. And I swished for twenty minutes that day. And the next. And the next. And now I'm nearly a week out, and I'm pulling every day.
I feel really good. My teeth don't get that post-pasta grime anymore. My mouth doesn't feel sticky and dry when I wake up. It's hard to say if it's helping my skin yet, but I do know my lips are really soft after I oil pull.
Here's a few links about oil pulling, because, honestly, why rewrite it when I can just link it?