Tonawanda News

November 17, 2013

NATURAL HEALTH: Oil pulling a improves oral health, inflammation

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The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Oil pulling — or oil swishing — is a healing remedy popular in the traditional Ayurvedic medical practice on the Indian subcontinent. It has also become a very favorable and effective treatment for oral health. 

Other health conditions that may see improvements with regular oil pulling include inflammation, allergy relief, headaches, heavy metal accumulation, eczema and ulcerative conditions of the stomach.

Most individuals who incorporate this practice will swear that it reduces oral plaque, eliminates bad breath and minimizes gingivitis. It appears to stop the growth of strep bacteria, especially when coconut oil is used. 

 It is a known fact that poor oral hygiene correlates with an increased risk for cardiac complications. Those individuals that suffer from bleeding gums or dry mouth/throat conditions will likely benefit from oil pulling.

For those of us concerned with looking young for as long as we can, oil pulling has some beauty benefits that could make it a worthwhile addition to our daily routine. Coconut oil can be used as a skin moisturizer and make-up remover, as well as for supplementation and cooking. Oil pulling may also help to whiten teeth, improve acne and help promote a glowing complexion. The reason behind these claims has to do with the natural antibiotic and anti-viral properties of the coconut oil.

The most common oils used in the practice of oil pulling are coconut oil, sesame oil and sunflower oil. Some suggest that coconut is the most beneficial, as it fights the growth of strep bacteria, but many Ayurvedic practitioners recommend sesame oil.

The oil must be cold-pressed — raw — to be effective. This practice is most effective on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning. Take 1 tablespoon of your oil of choice and swish in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes. When you spit out the oil you will notice that it now has a cloudy appearance. 

A tablespoon or two of coconut oil is a very beneficial supplement and protective to brain and memory, but swallowing the oil after swishing is not recommend, as it would now be contaminated.

Rinsing with sea salt and water, followed by brushing as usual, will help to seal the deal.

Although the best practice would be to meditate or pray during your oil pulling, I will commonly oil pull while in the shower when I am getting ready in the morning. 

Many individuals suffer from oral conditions that predispose them to losing teeth and uncomfortable dental procedures. I highly recommend oil pulling as a proactive and preventative therapy that could save you lots of time and money down the road.

Catherine Stack is a doctor of naturopathy and a certified nurse midwife. Her practice is located at Journey II Health in Niagara Falls. Contact her at 298-8603 or at her website at www.journeyiihealth.com.

Catherine Stack is a doctor of naturopathy and a certified nurse midwife. Her practice is located at Journey II Health in Niagara Falls. Contact her at 298-8603 or at her website at www.journeyiihealth.com.