We discovered this natural remedy that strengthens teeth and gums, whitens teeth, clears sinuses and freshens the breath – all you need is something you’ve already got in the pantry! Find out how to do oil pulling and why it’s so great!

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice from India of swishing oil around the mouth to clean the bacteria from the mouth and rid the body of toxins. Think of it as a natural mouthwash, without all those harsh chemicals and colours.

Plaque sticks to the oil as you swirl it around the mouth, and gets into the gums to clear away bacteria. Plus it naturally whitens teeth! There are plenty of reports of gingivitis and tooth sensitivity going away, receding gums strengthening, bad breath disappearing and teeth whitening after just a few weeks of daily oil pulling.

The oil also acts as a magnet drawing toxins out of the sinus area, ideal if you suffer from sinus pain, stuffy noses and sore throats. That’s why you need to spit out the oil after swooshing it around to get rid of those toxins.

Traditionally sesame or sunflower oil are used, but I – and many others – prefer organic, extra virgin coconut oil. It has a much more pleasant taste, and contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus it’s great to cook with too!

How to do oil pulling

Oil pulling should be done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I’ve been doing it in the shower – a great way to multitask!

Take 1 Tablespoon of your chosen oil and swish it around your mouth for 10-20 minutes. If using coconut oil, which comes semi-hard out of the jar, the oil will melt in the mouth. Swirl and ‘pull’ the oil through the teeth and over the gums. The oil will work with your saliva. Make sure you don’t swallow!

Spit out the oil (have a tissue ready so you don’t end up spitting it out into the sink and clogging your pipes!). Rinse your mouth a few times with water. Then brush your teeth as normal. Done!

The first time you do it feels a bit weird – but persevere. Feel free to start with 1/2 Tablespoon on oil and swirling it around your mouth for 5 minutes. Do it daily and build up.

Have you tried oil pulling?