Oil pulling – Fad or fab?
I’m always on the lookout for health habits that myself and my clients can follow that enhance our bodies, minds and lives. But I’m always wary of fad diets, money-making scams and anything that cons women out of their hard-earned cash and doesn’t do much for their overall wellbeing.
When I heard about oil pulling, I wasn’t sure what on earth it meant, but a little research led me to a couple of great sites. One was – http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org – where I discovered that you literally swirl and swish oil around your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes a day and then spit it out. It did sound a little barmy but when you compare it with what else women will do for improved health and wellbeing, I thought there are worse things to do!
It’s called oil pulling because the oil pulls toxins and bacteria out from our mouths, leading to a variety of health benefits, including better immunity, better gut function, less mucous and congestion, better vitality, less aches and pains to name just a few. Check out this great blog that explains it in more detail – http://ashleysgreenlife.blogspot.co.uk.
It was traditionally done with sesame oil but you can use olive oil and thanks to my Mum who bought me back a deluxe bottle of olive oil from her trip to Australia recently this is what I started on (don’t tell her that her 2008 blend from the Barossa valley has been used to be swirled round my mouth and spat out, she’ll go mad!).
I carry a lot of tension in my jaw (as I have an extra tooth on one side and record about 3 hours of webinars a day so do a lot of talking!) and almost immediately, I noticed how much more relaxed my mouth/neck/head was. Some people report coughing and spluttering as it clears toxins out but as I’m particularly healthy and don’t suffer from these issues, I didn’t have the ‘WOW, this is really doing me stacks of goodness’, from it straight away, but I have to say that I felt 100% better for it. Interestingly enough (and the two could be totally unrelated), the day I started oil pulling, was the day that without any issues or difficulty I gave up my habitual daily glass of wine. I just didn’t fancy it and since I’ve started this pulling lark regularly, I’ve hardly drunk much at all.
A few days later as I did more research, I went for the coconut oil, which is what’s now recommended as the best oil to ‘pull’ with because of the massive amount of goodness that is left behind from this highly nutrient and antioxidant dense oil, as well as it taking out the bad stuff with it’s pulling power. Without a doubt this is the best and I have to say I feel great doing it.
Here are some facts and figures I’ve discovered about coconut oil pulling since trying it:
1) Coconut oil is typically hard so you have to put it in your mouth like that which does take to some getting used to. Once you’ve got over the fact that it is not hard sun cream into your mouth, you’re away!
2) After swirling through your mouth and gums (you must never gargle or swallow as the oil is full of bad stuff after you’ve been swishing!) the hard oil becomes like water and it actually feels quite pleasant.
3) It says to do 15 to 20 minutes a day but I found it hard to do five minutes at first, if nothing else I’ll get a toned face from this and now I’m nearing 40 (well four years away but you know what I mean), anything that tones up the face is a good thing!
4) I definitely have brighter eyes/skin/hair and many people have commented on that (although I’ve substantially cut back on wine so it could be a mixture of both), I have even better vitality than usual and the after taste is very pleasant. I have one client who is doing it after meals as a way of cutting out a sugary post dinner treat.
5) There are huge health benefits from the coconut oil itself and so although I felt a bit odd sat at my desk doing my work and swirling the oil around my mouth, this is something that you can fit into a busy lifestyle.
6) It’s not very expensive either, a big jar of organic fair trade coconut oil is about £12 and I’m not even an eighth of the way through it after two weeks.
7) Don’t spit it don’t the sink as it can solidify and block drains, spit into a bin instead.
8) I started with five minutes twice a day and am now up to 15 minutes twice a day – I love the feeling it gives me afterwards, its really feels like a good cleanse.
9) After you’ve finished, rinse out your mouth with water a few times and you can carry on with the rest of your day.
10) Instead of asking why would you do this, ask why not?!
I’m not saying it is the most amazing health habit ever discovered but I’ve only been doing it for a couple of weeks. But for those who carry a lot of toxicity in their bodies and want to add a positive daily health habit, I highly recommend it, after all, we put so much rubbish into our bodies these days. Plus, our bodies usually respond really well to natural nurturing and with health benefits from the pulling out of the toxins as well as the goodness that is left behind, especially with coconut oil, what have you got to lose? Well maybe your pride if your caught with a mouthful of oil at work when someone asks you a question!
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Hope this blog finds you happy and healthy!