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Oil Pulling 101

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for improving oral health. It is believed to heal more than 30 systemic diseases when performed regularly.

The idea behind oil pulling is that swishing certain oils in your mouth (such as coconut, olive, or sesame oil) helps “pull”, trap, and remove the bacteria that cause plaque buildup, tooth decay, bad breath, and gingivitis – resulting in whiter teeth, healthier gums, and fewer cavities.

Using oil pulling to draw out toxins and bacteria from your mouth can help eliminate and prevent bacteria from entering further into your system.

According to Dr. Bruce Fife, “Your mouth is a window to your body”. If your mouth is filled with cavities, swollen and inflamed gums, bad breath, plaque or tartar buildup then that’s a sign that things aren’t working properly in your body.

In the book, Oil Pulling Therapy, Dr. Fife makes a great case on how important it is to keep your mouth clean. Apparently bacteria in the mouth is known to trigger health conditions like arthritis, chronic fatigue and even diabetes.

Oil pulling can be an amazing method to improve oral health which helps keep the whole body healthy!

How It Works

1. The oil helps to soak up bacteria and other toxins out of your teeth and gums.
2. Coconut oil is rich in Lauric Acid [1] and has been proven to be antimicrobial (kill bacteria, viruses and fungi).

How To Oil Pull

It is best to do this on an empty stomach, before you brush your teeth.

Step 1: First thing in the morning, before eating or drinking, take 1-2 teaspoons of your oil and begin swishing it in your mouth. Do this before you brush your teeth or have a glass of water.

Step 2: Swish for 15-20 minutes. Personally, I like to oil pull while I’m getting ready in the morning and having a shower. The time passes much quicker!

Step 3: Once your 15-20 minutes is up, discard your oil in the garbage.

Step 4: Rinse your mouth with warm water.

Step 5: Brush and floss as normal. Repeat each day, or at least 4-5 days per week, for best results.

Oil Pulling Tips


Tip 1: Make Oil Pulling Chews

I’ve been making oil pulling chews inspired by a recipe from Wellness Mama. I keep them in my refrigerator and they’re the first thing I see when I open my fridge (a great reminder for me to oil pull before eating breakfast).

To make your own oil chews you just need to melt your coconut oil over low heat. Once it’s melted add a few drops of essential oils and mix well.

Pour the oil into small molds or ice cube trays. Freeze the oils and pop them out into a bowl.To use your oil pulling chews, just pop one in your mouth and chew until the coconut oil is melted.

Then start the “swishing”!

Tip 2: Whipped Coconut Oil

You can make up a batch of whipped coconut oil mixed with your favorite essential oils(s) and store it in a glass jar. When you’re ready to oil pull, just scoop a small spoonful out and swoosh it in your mouth.

Adding Essential Oils

General Rule: Add about 1-3 drops of essential oil to about 1-2Tbsp of coconut or sesame oil.

*I only recommend using truly pure, therapeutic grade oils, especially if you are putting them in your mouth.  I use DoTerra Essential Oils [2] as I know they are safe to use in this way.

Un uplifting mixture: Add 1 drop each of clove, orange, lemon and peppermint

If you’re battling an infection: Add 1 drop each clove, oregano and tea tree oil

Frankincense and myrrh is a sacred mixture

Other oils to try:


Peppermint Essential Oil, with its minty, invigorating flavor and scent, is a great oil to add to combat bad breath and leave your mouth feeling clean and fresh.  I also like to use Peppermint in the morning when I oil pull as it gives me an energizing boost if I am feeling a bit tired.

On Guard

On Guard Essential Oil Blend is a combination of Wild Orange Peel, Clove, Cinnamon Leaf and Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf and Rosemary Leaf. On Gaurd Oil has myriad uses and might be one of my favorite essential oils.  It can be added to your oil pulling routine to relieve bad breath and give a feeling of freshness to your mouth and teeth.  This blend can support your immune system.


Clove essential oil promotes a healthy immune response, and may support overall wellness.


Spearmint essential oil includes naturally occurring carvone and limonene (google them!). Blend with Peppermint oil for digestive system support.

Cinnamon Bark essential oil promotes a healthy immune response, and helps maintain a healthy lifestyle regimen*.  This oil includes the naturally occurring constituent cinnamaldehyde (google it!).