Not sure about anyone else but my allergies have been acting up lately due to the change of seasons. I have grown to love the Fall and I’m a Spring baby so I inevitably love the Spring season but with the changes come an increase of allergy issues. It hasn’t been that bad but just a little annoying especially at night with the itchy nose and congestion.
Usually, I reach for my Zyrtec when I just cannot continue to bear it but this time I opted for oil pulling. In case you haven’t heard (and you’re living under a rock), oil pulling is quite the craze. People have reported cleared sinuses as a result of regularly oil pulling. It is basically swishing a teaspoon or tablespoon of unrefined oil in your mouth for twenty minutes a day (preferably in the morning before brushing your teeth). Typical choices for oil are sesame and coconut. Although I have heard of people using others like olive oil, many have attested to having the best results from using coconut and sesame oils. It is really about preference. You can just google oil pulling and find loads of information including the health benefits and side effects. For the basics you can start here.
I did my own “research” on oil pulling before trying it out almost a year ago. I decided that I wanted to see if I would experience improved oral health, skin benefits, and other results including detoxing that I have read about. Just recently, I oil pulled with virgin coconut oil for months and stopped for no specific reason. I did not keep an official record of any changes I noticed besides whiter teeth possibly (my teeth are already fairly white). What I plan to do this time is to keep record of any changes I experience by journaling and posting about anything significant. I am currently on week 4 of oil pulling a few (3-4) days a week. Many people oil pull daily and that is fine. I actually read that oil pulling at least 2-3 times a week can be just as effective. Most people oil pull daily to address issues they may be having such as treating a cavity or just because they want to. I use the Trader Joe’s brand organic virgin coconut oil as my preferred oil.
Here’s my routine:
Three or four times a week as soon as I awake, I take a tablespoon of coconut oil and swish it in my mouth for twenty minutes. I’ve moved up from 15 minutes with a teaspoon to twenty minutes with a tablespoon within the passed few weeks. It really is mind over matter. If you don’t think about it you will be able to keep the oil in your mouth for the full twenty minutes. I suggest using a timer set for twenty minutes (or however long you can handle) and going about your regular am routine i.e. showering, making breakfast, reading, praying, meditating etc. This will make the twenty minute timeframe fly by. Trust me. It works. Let me mention that you do not have to swish the whole time and you can slow down. When I oil pull I give my mouth a rest by slowing down the swishing motion or stopping for a few seconds.
When the time is up, I spit the oil into a paper cup, throw it in the trash can, and follow up with a rinse of warm salt water to rid my mouth of oil residue. Then, I brush my teeth as usual. If anything I believe my teeth and gum game will be on point! At my recent dental visit (last week), I did get quite the compliment on my oral hygiene and teeth in general from my dentist. I wanted to tell him that the oil pulling could be contributing to the condition of my teeth but I chose to keep it hushed.
Before I go, I have some suggestions to share based on my personal experience.
1. No swallowing: Whatever you do, DO NOT SWALLOW the oil. You are pulling toxins from your body and bacteria from your mouth during this process. You do not want to swallow that (Ew!).
2. Water is your friend: Drink more water than usual (I need to do better) when oil pulling. Some people suggest drinking a glass of water prior to oil pulling t help get the process going. It helps with flushing toxins out because not only are you clearing your mouth of bacteria but this is a form of detoxing. After you oil pull, your system will continue the process of detoxing and water will help flush those toxins out efficiently. It’s just beneficial in general.
3. No pressure: Do not feel pressured to start oil pulling for the full twenty minutes if this is your first time. Try using a teaspoon of an oil of your choice and start the timer for five minutes. If you feel fine and think you can go longer increase it to ten minutes. Work your way up to twenty minutes if necessary. Also, try different oils that suit you best. Everything isn’t for everybody. Do what works best for you and at your own pace.
4. Do your research: There is a ton of information on oil pulling on the internet. Look it up and decide whether or not oil pulling will benefit you. Everyone has different experiences with different things so do what works best for you. Depending on the individual, the amount and type of toxins you have in your system you may or may not have side effects. Some people have reported nausea and dizziness. I have not had any side effects. As with anything, before you act educate yourself so you know what to do and what to expect.