Saturday, July 4, 2015

My oil pulling journey

Back in March I went through a terrible cold that ended with a really bad ear infection.  I was officially sick for about a month.  Chicken soup and vitamin C helped for the cold, but I was stuck with the earache.  I went to see my primary care physician a couple times for the pain, and every time he prescribed a different drop.  I do not have health insurance so I got slammed with the full price of the drops which range from $30-$60 every single time, plus the additional medication that he prescribed at each visit.

About two weeks with the pain I went to my local health food supermarket to get ear candles, because I read how amazing they were to clean the ear canal but also to relieve pressure and ease the pain during an ear infection.  I did the ear candling thing every other day for a week and it helped relief the pain, but it always came back.  I tried every over the counter ear drop I could get and the helped temporarily, none actually cured the infection.  I was desperate, specially at night when the pain was excruciating and did not allow me to sleep.

By April I was on Pinterest looking for home remedies for earaches and I came across oil pulling.  I read up on the therapy and decided to try it.  I had just extracted some coconut oil that week and I went for it.  Now, you need to be prepared to understand that you are putting oil inside your mouth and you will keep it there for 20 minutes.  CRAZY!!!  I almost passed out, I used raw coconut oil and it is like putting a tablespoonful of solid shortening in your mouth and chewing on it.  Once I got over the gag reflex and entertained myself playing with my phone's games twenty minutes of chewing and swishing had gone by.  I ran into the bathroom to spit it out and I brushed my teeth.  Went to bed and slept through the night.  Next morning I was not awakened by the throbbing pain.  It was very mild and it did not stop me from going about my day.

After that experience including my gag reflex trying to betray me a couple of times.  I decided to keep looking for information on oil pulling and it has become an integral part of my dental care.  My teeth are looking whiter and my gums no longer bleed and that is saying a lot. 

 
So, what exactly is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is an ancient remedy native to India.  I is the action of swishing coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes.  There is not a lot of scientific information on it but some studies suggest that when accompanied by daily brushing and flossing it can help improve your oral health as well as you overall health.  It is based on the Ayurveda method of oil gushing and it dates back thousands of years.

I read a couple of websites before starting it and tweaked the steps a little to fit myself. 


6 easy steps for oil pulling

Do it on an empty stomach.  It is recommended that you do your oil pulling in the morning, first thing, before you brush your teeth or consume anything.  Not even water.  Now I read of a couple of people that do it twice a day; so do it at the time of day that better suits your schedule ( I am doing it as I write this post), preferably on an empty stomach.
 
Swish the oil for 15-20 minutes.  Do it while you are doing something else, I usually do it while I am answering emails or taking a shower, your imagination is the limit on this one.  There are lots of ways for twenty minutes to go by really fast.  Do not swish for longer than that, bacteria in the oil might be reabsorbed by the body after twenty minutes.
Spit it in the trash.  Remember that the coconut oil tends to re-harden when it gets to room temperature.  Let us avoid plumber drama with clogged pipes and just spit it out in the trash bin.  Besides I do not think you want your bathroom sink or you toilet covered in all the bacteria that was just pulled from your mouth.  YUCK!!!
Brush, floss and rinse.   I believe this step is pretty clear.  Just as you normally do.  Brush with your favorite toothpaste, I use one with TF and Co-Q10, use your favorite floss and rinse with water or mouthwash is up to you.
Sanitize the toothbrush.  Now I have to be honest.  I am the brush in a hurry and put the toothbrush back in its cup because we are running very late kind of mom; but after I read about all the bacteria that stays in the brush and that will be the same brush I use twice a day every day… I almost died.  So unless you have an unlimited budget to have a disposable toothbrush or you have the machine, boil some water and white vinegar (I use the teapot) and pour it over your toothbrush head and let it dry.
Remember to do it daily.


Oil Pulling's claim to health is that it can help treat and possibly cure conditions and diseases such as, diabetes mellitus, acne, Chron's Disease, cavities, gum disease, skin issues, metabolic issues, hormonal issues and the list goes on and on.  oil pulling can be done with a variety of oils and essential oils.  Oils like olive oil, sesame, coconut oil, MCT oil, safflower oil, among many others.  Each with amazing qualities for this technique, from anti-cavity- to anti-inflammatory to antipyretic.  Oils can also be boosted with the essential oil of your choosing, as per your condition or disease; in the ratio of 3:1 drops of essential oils to coconut oil.


Next post I will tell you about oil pulling with essential oils and then oil pulling with other oils.

Until next time,

Lucy




References:

1. Fife, Bruce. "Oil Pulling for a Brighter Smile and Better Health." Coconutresearchcenter.org. N.p., n.d. Web.
    15 June 2015.

2. "Coconut Oil Pulling." Wellness Mama. Web. 13 June 2015.



Important disclaimer:  The recommendations in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are my sole opinion and are based on my experience with the oil pulling therapy.  It is meant to be informative; it is not intended, however, in any way to diagnose, treat, cure and you should talk to your dentist or primary care physician before undergoing this an other alternative therapies.