Monday, March 17, 2014

Oil Pulling-What's the Deal?

In the past week, I've read about, been asked about, and seen references to oil pulling left and right.  What's the deal?  I'm guessing social media.  Someone posts or pins a 'scientific' article and boom- sharing galore.  Hence everyone talking about it. 
I'll admit.  I fell for it.  I read the hype about oil pulling and how awesome it is.  I decided the next day to try it for a week.  I woke up first thing in the morning, grabbed my Costco sized canister of organic virgin coconut oil, dug my spoon into the waxy stuff and jammed a spoonful into my mouth.  I noted the time (5:12a) as the timing is VERY IMPORTANT, 20 minutes, no more, no less!  It was kind of grossing me out until the oil was all the way melted.  I didn't mind the taste, I like coconut, but the texture was a little odd.  I swished around, being careful not to swallow any of those fresh pulled toxins.  After about 5 minutes, and seemingly the volume of liquid in my mouth had tripled, I was doubting my ability to hold on for 20 minutes.  I continued to swish.  I fought the urge to swallow, but why is it that when you can't do something that's the thing you feel you need to do the most?  After what seemed like the longest 20 minutes ever, I spit the coconut oil/saliva/toxins into the garbage.  My teeth felt nice, but they were also coated in oil.   Day 1 done. 
Like I said, I would give it a try for a week.  As the week passed, it got less weird, and just part of morning routine.  I could do it while getting ready, feeding the baby, packing up my stuff for the day, and be done in time to spit it out and brush my teeth.  I even did it on my commute to work one morning, but then I had to spit the crap into a ziplock baggie at a stoplight, and that felt weird.
I researched a little more and found many of nearly the exact same "instruction/benefit blog posts" and then after some more digging, and a timely article by Huffington Post, I came to the conclusion of 'meh.'  There are no scienfic studies to back up all the incredible claims.  Supposedly it is really good for oral health, and it is also supposed to "remove toxins from your body through your mouth" as well as a myriad of other beneficial claims.  Um, ok.  The oral health improvement, I can maybe see, as the oil might provide an environment in which bacteria do not like, and therefore a reduction in bacteria can occur.  The "removing toxins from your body through your mouth claim?"  I'm calling BS.  How exactly would that work?  Toxins generally collect in your fat tissue, all over your body.  I have no idea how swishing oil in your mouth for 20 minutes a day could possibly pull those toxins out of your fatty tissues, dispose of them into the oil, and then easily be spit into the garbage.   
To each his/her own.  If you like doing this and feel it has benefits?  Then by all means do it!  To me?  Its just one more thing to do in the morning, and I can't help think that someone is playing a cruel joke on me everytime I stick a spoonful of waxy coconut oil into my mouth and keep it there for 20 minutes. 

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your assessment - I tried it too (mostly because it couldn't hurt me and because I try not to diss on something without trying it)... but also found it very meh. Felt no different, just a little oily afterwards.