Here’s the deal. All you have to do is take a big swig of the oil of your choice (I’ll take coconut oil, thanks, because at least it sounds tasty) and swish it around your teeth and gums for 20 minutes without retching. Then spit the goop in the trash, rinse with salt water and brush. Do this every day for at least a week (the longer, the better) and you just may cure all that ails you.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF OIL PULLING?
If the bile is rising just thinking about a mouthful of the slimy stuff, we feel you. Then again, maybe after a few oil shots, you get used to this new (old) brand of mouthwash. Perhaps the possible benefits—picture a plaque-free, cavity-free smile—outweigh the risk of tossing your cookies.
If you’re a fan of home remedies and you’ve read Deepak Chopra’s book Perfect Health, none of this is news. You’ve probably been swishing oil for more than a decade now. Or you tried it way back when, laughed at yourself, and gave up. Or maybe you came across Erica Stolman’s recent post WTF Is Oil Pulling + Why I’m Hooked, where the young fashion blogger gushes about her new obsession, crediting oil for practically saving her life, not just her teeth. Her claims: swishing cures tooth sensitivity, insomnia, eczema and psoriasis, relieves pain, headaches and hangovers, clears sinuses and allergies, detoxifies the entire body and just about everything else.
The skeptics, like Lisa Barger, are saving their oil for their salads. Back in 2006, she dissected the trend in her blog, Empowerment Through Education, and was shocked when her post Is Oil Pulling a Scam: Debunking Oil Pulling became so controversial that she received rape threats. According to naysayers, the apparent benefits, which can’t extend beyond massaging gums and maybe helping skin because you can’t help but swallow some, are based on no clinical research. Also, no one is clear on how exactly to perform the ritual. How much do you take and for how long? And while there don’t seem to be health risks, the procedure is ancient and still isn’t backed by doctors and dentists.
So tell us. Oil Pulling: Are you in or are you out?