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Oil Pulling: The Ancient Ritual That Transforms Your Health

oil pullingThe simple yet highly beneficial method of cleansing your mouth that can help detoxify your entire system.

Since your mouth is the repository of a tremendous amount of bacteria that can impact different areas of your body, it’s no surprise that researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, emphysema, hepatitis C, obesity, and stroke can be linked to gum and dental problems.

Dentists who practice holistic and biological dentistry believe that each tooth is connected to an organ.

If that tooth has a root canal, is decayed (even under a crown that X-rays don’t pick up), is an implant, or even has been pulled—leaving behind a cavitation (hole in the jawbone)—you can experience a whole host of health challenges in the associated meridian line of that tooth.

As Hal Huggins, pioneering mercury-free, biological dentist extraordinaire once said, “How many people know the consequences of housing the 40 anaerobic bacteria in implants, the 60 in root canals, or the 8 in cavitations?  How many know the adverse consequences of trying to fight these microbes with antibiotics?  Should you be told the consequences or just accept the fact that dentistry has raised the requirement bar of 30 million root canals per year up to 60 million per year?”  Dr. Huggins firmly believes that root canals are related to serious diseases—MS, leukemia, and even breast cancer.
















Source: Dr. Ralph Wilson, Naturalworldhealing.com Download a PDF version of chart here.


So since the oral cavity/body health connection is becoming indisputable, it may be helpful to include oil pulling as part of your daily oral hygiene habits. At the very least, it may help to dramatically clear up gum infections.

So powerful it beats mouthwash and toothbrushing benefits 2:1!

Oil pulling, a time-honored Ayurvedic technique, works wonders for deep pockets in the gums that harbor bacteria and inflammation-causing plaque. Used for years by those who have embraced an Ayurvedic healing approach, a relatively recent 2007 study in the Journal of Oral Health and Community Dentistry found that this simple method reduced gingivitis by 52 to 60 percent and cut plaque by 18 to 30 percent!

By the way, oil pulling also beat both mouthwash (which reduces gingivitis by 13 percent and plaque by 20 to 26 percent) and brushing (which reduces gingivitis by 8 to 23 percent and plaque by 11 to 27 percent).

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Simply put, this quick and easy morning practice will support the health of your entire body.

coconut oil pullingHere’s what to do:

  1. Put about 2 teaspoons of oil (such as sesame oil or coconut oil) in your mouth.
  2. Work the oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes, sloshing it from side to side, sucking and pulling it through your teeth. You can spit it out intermittently but make sure you put more oil back in your mouth to continue the process. (Check your emails, bounce on a rebounder, do some “silent” chores to make the time fly by.)
  3. Spit it all out (either in the sink or in a jar, if you have a septic tank) and rinse with a large glass of water to remove any oil residues.

According to Dr. Bruce Fife in his book Oil Pulling Therapy, “When you put oil in your mouth, the fatty membranes of the microorganisms are attracted to it. As you swish the oil around your teeth and gums, microbes are picked up as though they are being drawn to a powerful magnet. Bacteria hiding under crevices in the gums and in pores and tubules within the teeth are sucked out of their hiding places and held firmly in the solution. The longer you push and pull the oil through your mouth, the more microbes are pulled free. After twenty minutes, the solution is filled with bacteria, viruses, and other organisms.”

This is why it’s so important to spit it out rather than swallow it!

You can also improve gum health with CoQ10, which heals gum tissue faster than any other nutrient I know. Japanese research shows that taking 30-90 mg daily is extremely helpful with bleeding gums, deterioration of the gums, and loosening teeth.  Your heart will thank you, too. I personally recommend a daily dose of 100 mg.

For more novel and simple approaches to health and seasonally-based detox, check out my book Fat Flush for Life: The Year-Round Super Detox Plan to Boost Metabolism and Keep the Weight off Permanently.


Dr. Hal Huggins, www.hugginsappliedhealing.com
H.V. Amith, Anil V. Ankola, L. Nagesh, “Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque and Gingivitis,” Journal of Oral Health and Community Dentistry 1, no. 1 (January 2007): 12-18.
B. Fife, Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body through Oral Cleansing (Colorado Springs, CO: Piccadilly Books, 2008).

Comments (40)

  • Christina castleforte March 28, 2014 - 7:31 pm Reply

    I have been oil pulling for 6 months now. I have noticed quite an improvement in my gums and teeth. One year ago my dentist told me I needed a root canal and a deep tissue cleaning of my gums and had lots of tartar. Now today the dentist is amazed from the last time I saw him
    It reversed me from having to have a root canal. My gums are fine and no tartar on any of my teeth.

  • Diane March 29, 2014 - 7:25 am Reply

    Does oil pulling help with already existing cavities? That haven’t been filled yet?

    • Ann Louise Gittleman March 29, 2014 - 12:29 pm Reply

      Hi Diane: There have been a few anecdotal reports that suggest oil pulling can help with existing cavities but the jury is still very much “out.” Best to err on the side of safety and have that cavity filled with a biocompatible material that is not amalgam-based.

  • Vivian Paysour March 29, 2014 - 9:14 am Reply

    Can I use olive oil for pulling?

    • Ann Louise Gittleman March 29, 2014 - 12:30 pm Reply

      Hello Vivian: YES — olilve oil would be fine for oil pulling.

    • SJ April 2, 2014 - 12:07 am Reply

      No… I’ve read research that oil pulling w/olive oil may turn your teeth brown

      • Team ALG April 2, 2014 - 12:29 pm Reply

        Years of our research and personal experience indicates quite the opposite. We have never seen any discoloration from oil pulling, but it is very effective for whitening teeth. Would you mind sharing the research that you are referring to?

  • Debra March 29, 2014 - 10:07 am Reply

    Does it matter what kind of oil? Could it be avocado oil?

    • Ann Louise Gittleman March 29, 2014 - 12:32 pm Reply

      Good Day Debra: The oil does not matter — avocado oil would be a great choice because is so mild and would be acceptable for most finicky folks. The sesame and coconut have been traditionally used by various health practitioners over the years. Coconut is a favorite because it is anti-bacterial and anti-viral.

  • Pat Kain March 29, 2014 - 5:25 pm Reply

    I have been doing the oil pulling for about four months and have noticed a wonderful transformation in my health. My gums have been sore, aching and swollen and now are actually are healing. My overall health has improved, since my accident, of which I was seriously injured. So people try it, you would be surprised.

    • Ann Louise Gittleman March 30, 2014 - 1:15 pm Reply

      Thanks for your inspirational post, Pat.

  • Joan thompson March 29, 2014 - 7:12 pm Reply

    20 minutes?

    • Ann Louise Gittleman March 30, 2014 - 1:15 pm Reply

      Yes — the research results suggest 20 minutes per day -preferably in the morning when the bacteria content of the mouth is highest after sleep.

  • Diana Rivers March 29, 2014 - 9:21 pm Reply

    Isn’t coconut oil kind of solid? How does that work? I suppose it melts in your mouth? Is that true?

    • Ann Louise Gittleman March 30, 2014 - 1:16 pm Reply

      Yes, Diana – coconut oil is kind of solid but it does melt in your mouth. I personally end up “swallowing” the coconut oil so I use macadamia nut myself!

  • Grunde Storli Holm March 30, 2014 - 8:34 am Reply

    Thanks! Would you do this instead of brushing? And f.ex two times a day?

    • Ann Louise Gittleman March 30, 2014 - 1:17 pm Reply

      Hi Grunde: This is not considered a substitute for brushing, just a very helpful adjunct to a lifestyle program for teeth and gums. I personally “pull” twice a day but results can be obtained by simply pulling once in the am upon arising.

  • Joy March 30, 2014 - 6:15 pm Reply

    If you melt it first it is a lot better. I do coconut oil and there is no taste.

  • Karen March 31, 2014 - 7:46 am Reply

    Is it safe to do oil pulling if you have metal fillings?

  • Ann Louise Gittleman March 31, 2014 - 11:02 am Reply

    It is safe to oil pull regardless of the material of your dental fillings.

  • sonya March 31, 2014 - 3:45 pm Reply

    After Oil pulling, do you then brush your teeth?

    • Team ALG March 31, 2014 - 4:39 pm Reply

      Yes, rinse your mouth out with warm water and then it will be the perfect time to brush.

  • Debby March 31, 2014 - 7:36 pm Reply

    Oil pulling is amazing!Whiter teeth,increased energy,deeper sleep,helped my singing,more focused,excellent dental checks,decreased sugar cravings,and I’m believing that my health will continue to improve.I have only been pulling one month!Thank-you for sharing this information,I really think that this will bring hope to people with many ailments that drugs are normally given.The book you mentioned by Bruce Fife is a must if you want to learn

  • Debby March 31, 2014 - 8:01 pm Reply

    More.Even my husband has had relief.His ears and allergies have been greatly helped.We use coconut oil from Trader Joe’s and really like it’s mild flavor.I found out about this on earth clinic.com researching coconut oil.Thank-you Ann ,for your site is really informing people to take charge for their own wellness.

  • Midgy April 5, 2014 - 11:13 am Reply

    I’ve heard many times how bad root canals are for our health. and I have one. is it better to have it taken out and get a dental implant? or is that just as bad and I’m stuck with this situation? thanks!

    • Ann Louise Gittleman April 7, 2014 - 7:41 pm Reply

      Hi Midgy: There are several books which have documented the toxicity of root canals which allows bacteria and endotoxins to seep into the system. The problem is that if you actually have the tooth pulled or decide to have an implant, either way you can run the risk of a cavitation (hole in the jawbone) if the procedures are not done correctly. If you are not currently having any unresolved health issues at the moment,your immune system may be handling the overload of toxic residues and I would personally leave well enough alone.

  • Tammi April 6, 2014 - 10:30 am Reply

    I am with Midgy. I too have a lot of existing dental work. So I am concerned after looking at the chart. Do you keep it all? Do you reverse it? I believe this information to be true and very disturbing. On a side note testimony, I have a friend who had an implant. She also had lots of health problems that doctors never really figured out. For reasons unrelated to her physical health, she had it removed and went with another option. Miraculously, her health is restored and is in amazingly great health. All issues are gone. Doctors don’t say this is why but we know it is. It’s the only thing that changed and it began to clear right away.

  • Ann Louise Gittleman April 7, 2014 - 7:47 pm Reply

    Hi Tammi: It would be best to see a biologic dentist who could assess your personal health situation and make appropriate recommendations. Sometimes individuals get more sick when their fillings or root canals are reversed and all these processes need to be monitored by a biologic dentist well equipped with a nutritional and homeopathic arsenal of immune building remedies to restore total health 🙂

    • Betsy Campbell March 31, 2017 - 12:03 am Reply

      I have been doing a lot of research on autoimmune conditions and root canals. I have had several over the years, and I also have RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS and I feel a direct correlation with the root canals. Now, I need to have a bridge replaced, and there’s a root canal that my dentist has referred me to an Enthodontist to see if the root canal need to be re-treated. I have been putting it,off,for a while because I’m afraid. My friend has RA went to the dentist for a filling ended up,in the hospital because she contracted osteomalitis in the bone.i started oil pulling and plan to continue to ensure that I remove as much bacteria from my mouth. Where can I find a biologic dentist near OAKLAND CA. Or Sacramento, CA

      • Team ALG March 31, 2017 - 9:32 am Reply

        Betsy, Here’s the link to the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine https://iabdm.org/location/ where you can find a local dentist.

  • badmouths April 18, 2014 - 3:26 am Reply

    I’ve read lots of articles about oil pulling and they always say that 1 to 2 teaspoons. What could possibly happen if you’d make it 3 to 4?

    • Team ALG April 21, 2014 - 2:45 pm Reply

      Use as much as you can comfortably swish.

  • Andrea October 6, 2014 - 4:21 pm Reply

    Is this safe to do if you have existing mercury fillings & can this oil pulling leach more mercury out & into ones body..??

    • Liz October 8, 2014 - 11:58 am Reply

      Oil will not leach mercury. Phosphoric acid found in carbonated beverages will.

  • Amanda October 25, 2014 - 3:47 pm Reply

    How often should or can this be done?

  • Harry November 3, 2015 - 11:56 am Reply

    Somewhere I read two times per day for maintenance and three times a day (or more) to deal with serious tooth or gum issues. And my own thoughts are that existing root canals are a serious issue (and/or gum disease, toothaches, cavities and the like). Basically the more often the better…

  • sharon price May 6, 2016 - 9:15 pm Reply


    • Teresa Davis January 2, 2017 - 8:12 am Reply

      Hey Sharon I know you wrote this several months ago. I hope all is well and wanted to know how the oil pulling is going for you currently?

  • Candice April 2, 2017 - 7:24 pm Reply

    what if a person has post nasal drip. Does that count as swallowing. I try not to but I’ve got an allergy and it is always there – 1st thing in the morning. Does that count as swallowing? I’ve been at this oil pulling for a month now. I hate to think it is all for naught as I am swallowing but it is just the post nasal drip.

    • Team ALG April 3, 2017 - 10:43 am Reply

      Candice, don’t worry, as long as the oil stays in your mouth you are doing the oil pulling.

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