So, Um, Oil Pulling

Having a baby throws off your body's rhythm...major! First going through pregnancy (joy of joys), then the birthing process, and then (if you choose) breastfeeding. Let's just say that since the day I conceived, shit's been a little wacky. My point in this rambling is that I reached the point where I would do anything to get back to homeostasis as I once knew it. Which brought me to oil pulling.

First of all, what is oil pulling? Well, it's pretty simple. I take a hefty teaspoon of organic coconut oil and swish it in my mouth for anywhere from 10-20 minutes each morning. I'm careful not to swallow it. After I spit it out (in the trash, not down the sink), I rinse my mouth with salt water, then I brush my teeth. That's it. Very simple.

Why am I doing this? Oil pulling is purported to have many benefits, one of which is that it can be hormone balancing (hello, yes please!) It also is said to remove toxins/ bacteria. The mouth, and actually the tongue in particular, correlates to other parts of the body (much like the foot does in reflexology). If you believe that everything is connected in the body, then you won't have trouble buying into the fact that cleansing the mouth in this way each morning can be extremely beneficial.

For me, I was looking to establish a routine that would help my overall health. Since I began breastfeeding, I've found that my immune system has suffered. I've also had terrible sugar cravings, and I read that oil pulling can help clear candida, which is a yeast overgrowth that can is stimulated by sugar. Let's just say I'm caught in a vicious cycle. The one thing that the oil pulling couldn't do was hurt, so I figured I would give it a shot and see what happened.... here's what I found.

I've been oil pulling for over two weeks, and..... drumroll please....I love it.

There have been some very clear benefits for me. The first is that I have always had these stains on my back molars (since I've been an adult, anyway) and they are always there, even after trips to the dentist. Since I started oil pulling, they are gone. That was unexpected, but totally welcome. My teeth feel extremely clean after I do my morning routine!

Oddly, I feel very hungry after I do my oil pulling. But then I read that it stimulates digestion, so that's not as surprising. And a word on that: boy does it stimulate digestion. Like, better than coffee. Take that how you will.

As for my immune system, well, I'm working on that. I don't know if the oil pulling helps or not because I am doing a lot of things to give my immunity a boost. Here's the list: I do Bragg's Vinegar almost every day (1 shot followed by a glass of water); somewhere in my day I also have an Emergen-C pack in a glass of water. I also still take my prenatal vitamins in addition to a Vitamin D supplement and a DHA supplement. And raw honey, in my tea each day. Immunity overload? Eh, who cares. It makes me feel better.

Now let's talk sugar cravings because honestly, I have sympathy for those with cravings like I never have before. They struggle is real, people, I swear. Since I began oil pulling, my sugar cravings have not gone away completely, but they have become diminished and more manageable. I can say no more often, so it's a start. Also, I don't feel like I am always on the verge of a yeast infection, which is a nice change. Cutting down on sugar is hard, but I'm really trying my best and I believe the oil pulling is helping.

If you are considering doing oil pulling, I advise choosing an organic, high quality oil. I have read you can use sesame oil, but I use coconut oil and I really like it. It's important to do it on an empty stomach (before your coffee or breakfast). Simply swish the oil around in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. The swishing can be gentle. After you are done, rinse your mouth with salt water and then brush your teeth. That's it! Enjoy. 


  1. Have you ever added an essential oil to the coconut oil? I'm not a fan of coconut, but am wondering if a flavor would mask it.

    1. I have not added essential oils to my pulling, but people definitely do! Thieves is a great blend, but I would think you could do any number of oils...clove, peppermint, etc. The benefit of the oils and the pulling would be great!!!