I came across this concept or idea of Oil Pulling some months back and was interested to find out that there are many benefits associated to this practice, some of which are related to better skin. I didn’t really think much about it and shelved it to my “potential personal projects” in the back of my mind.
So while I checked my fridge, I found this bottle of coconut oil lying there unused. I had initially bought it to use it as a natural moisturizer. But unfortunately it didn’t really help and moisturizer withdrawal has doomed this product into isolation.
So why not do Oil Pulling instead? I asked. My personal philosophy is to test things out myself empirically, and so I started taking a tablespoon 2 hours after my lunch. (Most resources advocate doing it in the morning. Perhaps I will do it tomorrow). So with my ‘skin in the game’, I think I am going to do it for a total of 10 days, and if it is great, continue it for an X number of days, while reporting what actually goes on. Besides, I am long due for a dental checkup and I think I have a bit of gum problems. So if it works, great! if it doesn’t, at least I know this is bullshit.
Some reasons why I think this has benefits, despite very little “research” or verified studies being conducted to confirm those claimed benefits:
1) It is an ancient ayurvedic practice that has lasted. Time is often the determinant factor in deciding the quality of information or meaningful practice. If this practice does not make any sense (perhaps to generate demand to sell more oil?), then it wouldn’t have lasted. Perhaps there are some real benefits to doing this? Well, I don’t know, so why not try?
2) We are starting to hear more and more people jumping into this bandwagon of oil pulling. Similar to moisturizer withdrawal, in which the quality of MW is spread via the word of mouth simply because it works, this oil pulling technique has been gaining certain momentum, at least in the internet sphere.
3) This technique does not require any new product. There is absolutely no other incentive to industrially or artificially “create this new demand” because 1) oil is already sold everywhere 2) they are sold cheaply 3) it takes very little oil to use this technique
4) Iatrogenics of oil pulling- Are there any? I won’t confirm to say that there aren’t any. Afterall, we are using edible oil products and we are not ingesting them. What about the interface between the oil, our mouth, our gums, our teeth? What are the long term effects of doing so? There could be serious iatrogenics that we are unclear off over the long term. What I do know (via initial research) is that oil pulling has helped plenty of people in that they reported positive benefits. As to how, we have to leave that to hard science.
Thoughts after my first tablespoon of coconut oil pulling:
1) Taste was pleasant. It was not uncomfortable at all. No gag reflex.
2) Once the oil was inside my mouth and when I started swishing, it felt just like swishing a normal liquid, but just slightly thicker. (only slightly).
3) Felt kind of relaxing. I thought about the layout of this post while doing it actually.
4) After 20 minutes, I spitted the contents out into a plastic bag. It looked just like white emulsion. My mouth did not feel that oily after all, and the taste was not horrible. I could smell the slight aroma of the coconut oil. Its nice.
5) I brushed my teeth lightly and it felt clean.
6) “Hey, this is easy! I can do this everyday, or perhaps twice a day!”
So here ends my thoughts on day 1 of my Oil Pulling “Skin in the Game” series. I’ll try to give a short update on what are some of my perceived changes, hopefully everyday.
Have you tried oil pulling too? What are your thoughts and experience with it?
Read: Oil Pulling Day 2