The Benefits Of Oil Pulling


The ancient practice of oil pulling is getting a modern day awakening.

Healthy Hollywood keeps hearing about the incredible benefits of swishing coconut (or sesame) oil around your mouth. Folks swear it helps to whiten your teeth, remove toxins, lessen congestion and some even say the Indian healing ritual helps clear up acne.

Healthy Hollywood is definitely down to give this practice a swirl — why not?

“It is an age old method of oral cleaning and is one of the most powerful, effective methods of detoxification and healing in natural medicine. The process ‘pulls’ bad bacteria and their toxins out from nooks and crannies in the mouth,” explains cosmetic dentist Dr. Jessica Emery, owner of Sugar Fix Dental Loft in Chicago.

Healthy Hollywood sought out Dr. Emery to find out if the oral benefits were real or snake oil.

“There is a connection between the mouth and the body, if the load of bacteria is less in the mouth getting into the body systemically, the less the body has to work to fight and it begins to heal itself. This is why people feel so good when using this therapy. Oral bacteria can disrupt body chemistry. Oil itself doesn’t do the healing, the body does,” adds Dr. Emery.

Most folks recommend using unrefined coconut oil because it has strong antibacterial properties. Others think virgin sesame oil works well. To start, it is recommended to do first thing in the morning when bacteria counts are at their highest.

Dr. Emery suggests using 2 to 3 teaspoons of oil and ‘you push and pull it in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes. After you’re finished be sure to spit it out in the trash (not down the drain) because the oil can cause clogs. “Some people state immediate results and others say it takes days to weeks. It really depends on how comprised your immune system is. It’s incredibly powerful and extremely safe as long as not swallowed,” advises Dr. Emery.

For more on Dr. Emery and her practice, check out

-- Terri MacLeod

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