The Benefits of Oil Pulling Therapy | How Often Should You Oil Pull

Guest post about oil pulling by Dan Greene

What is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is an ancient practice originating in the subcontinent of India as a traditional folk remedy that involves swishing oil in the mouth. It is first mentioned in the ancient Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita, where it is referred to as Kavala Graha or Kavala Gandoosha.

A Ukrainian oncologist, Dr. F. Karach, used oil pulling therapy with success in his own practice. He introduced this therapy at a conference to the All Ukranische-Union of oncologists and bacteriologists belonging to the Academy of Science in the USSR where he presented a paper on the method and evidence of its benefits.

So what is oil pulling used for? This holistic routine is described as being capable of improving oral health while treating diseases such as diabetes mellitus or asthma. It is also said to boost teeth whitening and reducing the bacteria and plaque that cause bad breath, cavities, swollen gums, tooth decay, and gingivitis among other health benefits.

For more in-depth information about this natural remedy get my best-selling book Detox Your Mouth, Heal Your Body where you will learn about the mouth-body connection and other natural oral hygiene information.oil pulling book

The Oil Pulling Method

The oil pulling method is very simple, it involves swishing a tablespoon of oil, and it is easy to add to your daily oral hygiene routine. The oral health benefits of this routine have been documented in studies and many oral health professionals recommend this. Although it can help with disease, you should not ignore professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment if you have a serious issue with your dental health.

How to do oil pulling.

how to do oil pulling

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Gently swish the oil back and forth between your teeth and push it against the side of your mouth. Try not to swallow the oil as you do this.

Oil pulling should be done for 20 minutes as this seems to be the time needed for optimal results and to give the oil time to seep into the dental pockets.

After the 20 minutes of swishing, the oil will be less dense and it will have transformed into a milky color.

If your mouth gets tired before the 20 minutes are up then you are a little too vigorous with your swishing.

Do not spit the oil into the sink as it can cause the drain to plug as the oil (particularly coconut) thickens.

Do you brush your teeth before or after oil pulling?

You should brush your teeth within minutes after oil pulling even though you may find the taste of coconut products delightful.

How much should you use?

Use one tablespoon of oil such as unrefined organic sesame oilsunflower oil or coconut oil. You can add a teaspoon of tea tree oil [1] or 1/4 teaspoon of limonene oil [2] to an 8 oz. bottle of your pulling oil to gain other benefits and add a different flavor. Supplement companies are now providing products designed specifically for this purpose. Most people practice their oil pulling routine with coconut oil as the positive health effects of lauric acid are well-known. Olive oil is not one of the recommended oils.

What time of day should you oil pull?

The most effective time of day is to do it first thing in the morning a few minutes after waking up and before eating or drinking. You can rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash when finished and brush your teeth or eat. There is no waiting period required after swishing the oil.

How often should you oil pull?

Many oral health practitioners feel that oil pulling with coconut oil as a part of a regular daily oral hygiene regimen that includes brushing and flossing can improve oral care. The oil pulling treatment will still benefit your dental health even if it is only done a few times a week. Obviously don’t skip the brushing or the flossing as there will still be some bacteria present in your mouth. You wouldn’t want your dentist to find any new cavities on those teeth during your next treatment.




What are the benefits of oil pulling with coconut oil?

There is quite a long list of claimed improvements by many people including doctors, dentists, and other health practitioners. There is even published scientific research to support some of the claims.

Many testimonials can be found online of people declaring positive results from oil pulling with coconut oil such as this article by Morgan Potts at

Dr. Mercola describes oil pulling for oral health.

Results reported by Dr. Karach:

Dr. F. Karach, an oncologist, presented a review paper at a conference of oncologists and bacteriologists in Ukraine where he described many benefits of this Ayurvedic therapy that he had witnessed at his own practice.

This included treating a bad blood disorder that he had been suffering from for more than 15 years. Dr. Karach also claimed the therapy alleviated bad arthritis pain he had been experiencing.

In his opinion, humans have the potential to live for 140-150 years if we can decrease toxins and reduce harmful disease-causing organisms in our body.

  • Mouth & gum disease
  • stiff joints
  • allergies
  • asthma
  • prevent bad breath
  • high blood sugar
  • constipation
  • migraines
  • bronchitis
  • eczema
  • leukemia
  • arthritis
  • meningitis
  • insomnia
  • tooth decay
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • sinusitis

Does it really work? Can a simple coconut really be that healthy?

There isn’t an overabundance of studies on the health boosting properties of the oils. But there is proven evidence to support some of the claims. Just a brief search in journals of medicine can provide information on the link between oil pulling and improved oral health.

Scientific research proving some of the effects of Oil Pulling

This study[1], published in 2009, showed a reduction in plaque-induced gingivitis due to oil pulling.

“In this study, oil pulling therapy has been equally effective like chlorhexidine against halitosis and organisms which are associated with halitosis. Sesame oil has the following advantages over chlorhexidine: no staining, no lingering after taste, and no allergy. Sesame oil is five to six times cost-effective than chlorhexidine and is readily available in the household. There are no disadvantages for oil pulling therapy except for the extended duration of the procedure compared with chlorhexidine.”[2]

A reduction in tooth decay causing S. mutans was found in this study[3] published in 2011 in the Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry.

1. Asokan S, Emmadi P, Chamundeswari R. Effect of oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. Indian J Dent Res 2009;20:47-51

2. Asokan S, Kumar R S, Emmadi P, Raghuraman R, Sivakumar N. Effect of oil pulling on halitosis and microorganisms causing halitosis: A randomized controlled pilot trial. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2011;29:90-4

3. Asokan S, Rathan J, Muthu M S, Rathna PV, Emmadi P, Raghuraman, Chamundeswari. Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2008;26:12-7

If you want to learn more about this fascinating subject I invite you to read my book.

Dan Greene is the author of Detox Your Mouth, Heal Your Body. Available on His personal favorites are coconut and sunflower oil.

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