Oil Pulling, Coconut Oil, & Healing

Oil Pulling, Coconut Oil, & Healingfeatured

Taking care of our oral health is just as important as daily eating fruits and vegetables.  What is know as oil pulling is an ancient Ayurveda natural remedy for improving health. It involves the us of pure oils to pull out harmful bacteria, fungus or other harmful organisms from your mouth, teeth or throat. And now a growing body of research finds that bacteria and inflammation in your mouth are also linked to other problems, including hearth disease and depression.

My Oil Pulling Journey 

When I first heard about oil pulling I’ll be honest, I didn’t believe it. I had heard all the wonders it could do for you, but it sounded too easy. I first became exposed to the health benefits of coconut oil when I was working in Uganda. A volunteer introduced me and today, almost 3 years later, I never would of thought that a day without coconut oil in my life would be unimaginable. Oil pulling in the morning for me is just as good as a good shower after an intense run. You always feel refreshed and energized afterwards.

I recently went to the dentist to get a cap on my tooth. I’ve never had much luck at the dentist. It was always another cavity or a cracked tooth (even though I ate extremely healthy food). At this point I had been oil pulling consistently for over a year. To my surprise, my dentist was amazed at the state of my teeth. He and his assistant were trying to match my tooth with the right shade of white to blend in with the rest of my teeth and they were having a hard time finding the whitest shade. Then the dentist stopped. I was thinking something was wrong and then he stopped and asked me,

“How do you keep your teeth so white? What are you using? Your teeth are so white I can’t find a white enough shade for you.”

“Coconut oil”, I said! “Every morning!”

The dentist office couldn’t stop talking about it. I don’t share this to brag I share this, because my teeth and I have always had a battle. I’ve used everything from white bleach strips to sensitive tooth based and nothing ever worked. My teeth were always stained, always felt sore, I always had more cavities, and constantly felt unhealthy and depressed because of it. I knew this was effecting my overall health on an external and internal level.

The Ancient Science Is Coming Back

The Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine states,“Oil pulling is a powerful detoxifying Ayurveda technique that has recently become very popular remedy for many different health ailments. Using this method, surgery or medication could be prevented for a number of chronic illnesses. The oil therapy is preventative as well as curative. The exciting aspect of this healing method is its simplicity.”

What exactly does it do?

  • Cures tooth decay
  • Kills bad breathoil_pulling_might_be_the_next_big_thing_7758_1
  • Heals bleeding gums
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Whitens teeth
  • Soothes throat dryness
  • Prevents cavities
  • Heals cracked lips
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Improves acne
  • Strengthens gums and jaw

I personally have noticed benefits in all of these areas. From the whiteness of my teeth, to my acne ( that has also been area I have been struggling with my entire life. I’ve used every product and it’s not until I discovered coconut oil, and oil pulling, that my mouth, my face and my overall health drastically improved), to easing my depression. I flow through my day now. Coconut oil has healed my life.


A woman living in northern Namibia uses the oil pulling ancient technique for overall health. Look at those pearl whites.

Photo on 2-2-14 at 2.39 PM

At 25 I no longer use chemical products for my oral health. Coconut oil is my go-to oral strengthening technique.

This is how I like to do coconut oil pulling: 

When you are first starting off work with 5-10 minutes and eventually once you get use to it 20 minutes will become a charm (20 minutes is the amount of time that you’ll find the most benefit).

1) Make sure to oil pull first thing in the morning right after you get out of bed, even before you brush your teeth or drink anything.

2) Gently swish 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in your mouth and between your teeth for 10-20 minutes.  Making sure you don’t swallow any of the oil!  (I like to do this while I work on a short yoga morning energizing routine).

3) Spit out the oil in the trash (not the sink so it doesn’t clog up the plumbing) and immediately rinse your mouth out with warm water.

4) Finally, brush your teeth as normal. (I use a homemade baking soda tooth paste based or a neem based tooth paste).

You can find coconut oil at most grocery stores now. Try to purchase unrefined, virgin and organic. I find my coconut oil at TJ MAXX. 29 FL oz for $12.99. You can buy a smaller jar for around $6. Most grocery stores I go to I now see coconut oil stocked on the shelve, usually next to the olive oil. Sometimes it is in the “health food” section of the store.

Remember, oil pulling takes time and patience. Give yourself at least 6 months. If you decided to stick with it will become a morning remedy that will bring you a peace and clarity to start your day off with the energy you need to ease your depression, anxiety or even post-traumatic-stress. You’ll also get whiter and healthier teeth as a result too! It’s a healing win-win.


About the author


Feeding The Heart is a blog and resource dedicated to empowerment for whole heart living after trauma. I'm a writer, trauma sensitive-informed yoga teacher, and a trauma survivor here to share my story and journey of holistically healing.

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