Oil Pulling (using Coconut Oil): Detoxing and Healing the Body through oral cleansing

Posted on 06 March 2013

Have you heard of Oil Pulling (OP) before? After I read Dr Bruce Fife's Book, Oil Pulling Therapy Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing I just HAD to start Oil Pulling ASAP! I've been Oil Pulling (OP) for almost 8 months now and Damn! I wish I had of started Oil Pulling AGES ago! I'm only writing about it now cause I really wanted to test and try it first to see what it was like and how it affected me so I could share it with you and tell you how it really is!

What is Oil Pulling? It's a form of detox and promotes cleansing and healing for your whole body. Oil Pulling originated in Ayurvedic medicine. All you do is swish oil in your mouth for 20mins to pull out toxins from your body. People have been known to use different types of oil but I use Virgin Coconut Oil =) Sometimes people call it oil swishing. It has a very powerful cleansing and healing affect not only on the mouth and sinuses but the entire body!

How does it work? Oil pulling works by detoxifying or cleansing the body. According to Dr Bruce Fife in his book, 'Oil Pulling Therapy' he says: "It soaks up or 'pulls' disease-causing bacteria and their toxins out from around the teeth and gums, cleaning the mouth far better than any toothbrush or mouthwash". He says, "Apparently oil pulling is like a vacuum cleaner that sucks viruses, bacteria and fungus out of the body". In this way, disease promoting toxins are removed, thus allowing the body to heal itself. As a consequence, health problems of all types improve.

What will you notice? The first thing that most people notice when they start OP is an improvement in their oral health. Teeth become whiter, breath becomes fresher, removing of plaque, relieving of inflammation and the tongue and gums take on a healthy pink colour. Even problems such as bleeding gums, tooth decay, and gum disease are greatly diminished or completely healed.

There have been thousands of testimonials of how OP has helped different people with different health problems all around the world. To help motivate you to want to OP for a full 20 minutes, here's some of the most common conditions people have reported that respond to oil pulling, (as listed in Dr. Fife's Oil Pulling Therapy book):

Back and Neck Pain
Bad Breath

Bleeding Gums
Chronic Fatigue
Crohn's Disease
Dental Cavities
Migraine Headaches
Mucous Congestion
Peptic Ulcers
Periodontal Disease
Tooth Abscess

As everyone is an individual and has different health problems you will see different results depending on your health. The general consensus with myself, friends and relatives is that teeth definitely get whiter and look cleaner, gums are more pink and healthier looking and plaque and tartar build up is reduced significantly. Some have also told me that it's helped with their bowel movements, hair has become softer and less grey, they have become less bloated and lost excess fluid, skin has become softer and has firmed up.

What you need to know though is when you do OP consistently you will more than likely experience a healing crisis.

What is a healing crisis? (aka detox reaction or Herxheimer reaction) To sum it up in a nutshell it is a detox reaction to the natural healing that you are doing (from the OP). First and foremost it is nothing to be afraid of! =) A healing crisis is actually a positive sign that your body is getting better. What happens is your body seems to get worse before it gets better because it is expelling all of the bad toxins out of you! Sometimes you may even feel great at first and then get sick or feel unwell or experience certain symptoms. As stated above, we are all individuals with different sicknesses/diseases both internally and externally and so everyone is going to experience a different healing crisis. For example you may expel mucous, have excess smelly gas, get a rash, bloating etc. What I have noticed since OP is that I have had a couple of Healing Crisis' and the symptoms that I experienced is the symptoms that I've had throughout my whole life. As I kept OP they went away. Yes, some of my symptoms were uncomfortable (my Crohn's Disease symptoms) but it was definitely worth it. I wasn't shocked with symptoms I had in my healing crisis. It wasn't anything new. My symptoms lasted for varying amounts of time, ranging from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. A couple of things lasted a month or two. My husband, mum and friends have also reported that their healing crisis symptoms were also things that they had experienced previously throughout their life.

I would highly recommend reading the following links and book to gain a deeper understanding of what a Healing Crisis is:

Not everyone has the will power to keep going if their body starts to show signs of a healing crisis. But I would HIGHLY recommend to keep going as it's your body showing you that it is healthy enough to expel these things or go through these symptoms to get better. I see a healing crisis as amazing and positive because it is so obvious to you that it is working and eliminating toxins! =)

When I first started OP I noticed that I had tartar build up on my teeth. To get rid of tartar I brushed my teeth with bicarb soda (baking soda) mixed together with virgin coconut oil.

Here's my Coconut Oil Tartar Buster Toothpaste Recipe:

1 teaspoon Virgin Coconut Oil

1 teaspoon Bicarb Soda (aka Baking Soda)

Mix together and put on your toothbrush and brush the tartar away!! =)

It doesn't taste very good but it sure gets rid of tartar! After brushing with this homemade toothpaste my teeth were so clean it looked like I had just come back from a trip to the dentist. I also bought an electric toothbrush which really cleans your teeth so much better than a normal toothbrush. It's so worth getting one! I don't use the electric one everyday but I do try to use it at least once a week. I'm too impatient to use it everyday cause it's a lot slower than using a regular toothbrush! Haha. Anyways, I use the tartar coconut oil toothpaste recipe about 1-2 times a month. The rest of the time I use a fluoride free toothpaste when brushing.

Now I'll get to what you have finally been waiting for.......

Here's a Step by Step Method on How to Oil Pull (with my extra side notes hehe)

Step1: First thing in the morning on an empty stomach take 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and place in your mouth.

NOTE: The amount of oil you choose to take is up to you. Some people say to take 1 Tablespoon but from my experience unless you have a big mouth you will simply not be able to keep swishing for 20 mins with this amount!

You can OP anytime of the day but your mouth has the most bacteria in the morning so it's best to do it as soon as you wake up.

Step 2: Keeping your mouth closed swish, suck and pull the oil through your teeth and around your gums in your mouth without swallowing it.

NOTE: Try to imagine the oil swishing around every surface of your mouth. As you keep swishing and pulling the oil you will notice that your mouth keeps getting fuller due to the combination of the saliva and the oil.

It?s VERY IMPORTANT that you DON'T SWALLOW the Oil! Because the whole point of this is to pull the toxins and bad bacteria out, not to swallow them back down again! Make sure you swish slowly! =) Don't go a hundred miles an hour or you will not last the full 20minutes. (Trust me, I learnt my lesson lol). Move it around in your mouth and through your teeth, as if it was mouthwash (Don't tilt your head back to gargle though). You'll find that the oil will start to get watery/thinner as your saliva mixes with it. Relax your jaw muscles and use your tongue to help move the liquid around the inside of your mouth. Also rest the oil just inside your mouth in front of your teeth and lips and around the gums. Keep in mind that it all might sound complex at the start but there is actually no right way or wrong way to swish and pull oil. Don't focus on doing it right just do it with very natural gentle, relaxed movement. If you have the unbearable urge to swallow or if it becomes too unpleasant, spit out and try again.

Step3: After 20 minutes spit out the oil. Why 20 minutes? Dr Fife says "the longer you push and pull the oil through your mouth, the more microbes are pulled free. After 20 minutes the solution is filled with bacteria, viruses, and other organisms?. He also says "some people have observed that if they pull for a full 20 minutes certain health problems go away, but if they reduce the time to less than 10 minutes, their problems may return".

NOTE: Spit the oil out in a bag and throw it in the bin or spit it out somewhere in your backyard where you don't want anything growing. DON'T spit it out down the sink or the toilet because coconut oil solidifies and you don't want to clog up your pipes! Now here's a tip that no one tells you...the reason you spit it out in the back yard in the same spot is because the toxins are so grose that it will kill your grass (yep wait and see how your grass turns black). So DON'T spit it on a nice plant or near your vegie garden in the backyard because they will probably die =(

You will also probably notice that it will probably smell grose and it will look a milky white colour. You might even spit out other nasty looking stuff. Don't be alarmed about anything really. It's great to see it all come out!

Step 4: Rinse out your mouth thoroughly with water and spit out to get rid of any excess toxins left in your mouth.

Step 5: Brush your teeth with fluoride free toothpaste. Why fluoride free? Despite what you may have been taught fluoride is a poison and you don't want to add to your toxic load by brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste! There are plenty of natural fluoride free toothpastes on the market. Do your research and find what's best for you. =)

Extra Notes:

  • If you have a dry mouth or feel dehydrated then you can drink some water before oil pulling.
  • It will probably be hard to last 20 mins when you first start to OP because you are simply not used to doing it. This is ok. Gradually build up to this time frame. If you like you can spit out and put more oil in and keep going until you reach 20mins. Likewise, if you are OP and start to get too much mucous or go to cough or sneeze then spit it out and put more oil in and keep going again.
  • Make sure you do something while OP or the time goes SO SLOW! For example I like to check my email, get my breakfast ready, water my plants or read a book to make the time go fast! =)
  • Be disciplined. If you are going to try Oil Pulling to better your health do it at least once everyday in the morning. You can't expect your health to improve if you only try it once and give up!

To accelerate the healing process, you can OP 2- 3 times a day. You can OP any time of the day but it is recommended before meals on an empty stomach as this is when the bacterial population in your mouth is at the highest level.

  • Be patient. Some people report positive results from minor conditions in a matter of days. However, more serious problems may take several months or even a year or more.

Hopefully this post has inspired you to try Oil Pulling. I feel so good after doing it!

Now, even after all of this info if you are still a bit unsure I'll leave you with this fact:

Your mouth is filled with billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their toxins. Your toothbrush can't get rid of this!.......Oil pull my friend =)

-Live the Coconut Life-

To Great Health!


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Comments (27)

Pure DTX·03 July 2018 - 04:37pmThank you for sharing your experiences, this has been such a good read. Superb writing skills mate. Keep it up.

Sten Bjorsell·23 April 2018 - 06:56amIs the reason the oil pulling works for some but not for others that one really must "suck", applying vacuum in the mouth, to get the gums tissues around the teeth to give off any toxins from bad teeth or root canals? Just "swishing", does it really work? I have also used simple saline solution, which seems to work at both 1% (near body-salt) and 2 %.
Finally, if it is the vacuum that makes oil pulling work, could low pressure be a reason for dizziness, fainting, arrhythmia, DVT etc. when flying long haul? The pressure on the mouth tissues is the same as sucking up water by mouth 2 meters with a hose. But not spitting, just allowing the stuff from the gum tissues to come out, swallow or down it with water or coffee on the plane. Is it possible?

Jen·26 January 2018 - 04:53amHi I have been op for 3 days now once before bed , I didn't realize it should be in the morning , my question is my younger around the tip is reddish and feels a little sore almost dry like I can see my tastebuds , is this normal ? Or anyone experience this ? Also does this pull the good bacteria as well, leading to " thrush "

Traci·10 September 2016 - 03:18amHello! I'm very curious to find out about your husband Dominic's experience as I'm having a hard time getting rid of my detox symptoms especially when none of these symptoms were present until I started oil pulling?

Elizabeth·07 August 2016 - 03:47pmHi Leon,
Sorry to hear about your aching tooth. Must be sore and painful for you. While I can't tell you what to do I will tell you what I would do. If it were me I would see my Holistic dentist to see what they would say as they are different to a 'normal' dentist as a holistic dentist takes into account your whole lifestyle and whole body and has a natural approach to dentistry. We (my husband and I) see a holistic dentist in Sydney. If you google 'holistic dentist' I'm sure you will find one in your area. Also I would highly recommend you read the book 'Oil Pulling Therapy' By Bruce Fife. This book has a wealth of information all about oil pulling, root canals, abscesses, tooth decay, cavities etc. It will help you to make more of an informed decision. I know after reading this book I would never myself get a root canal. We do sell this book in our online store. Alternatively you should be able to easily google it and buy it anywhere. Good luck and let us know how you go :)
Take care and to great health!

leon·07 August 2016 - 04:04amHi! I dont have reports for a cure or anything, but I need your help, I really dont know what to do. My dentist has said before that I have a dying tooth and one day I would need a root canal, I was and still am against it and within last week i noticed an area above the dying tooth starting to ache and swell a bit, especially when i touched it. After 5-6 days I decided I needed to do something as I suspected it was either a tooth abscess or an infection. To try and combat this, I oil pulled with coconut oil. The first day it didnt swell as much and there were not much changes, however, the next day (which is today) when i OP and rinsed with salt water, i think i saw a small little hole thing draining out the pus, a fistula was it called? That didnt feel too bad, but then throughout the day it started getting worse, especially after I ate some durian (im thinking as the durian is pretty heaty, it might have triggered something?) so as soon as I got home, I OP again and rinsed with salt water after. I took a nap and woke up 2 hours later to find the swelling has seemingly doubled in size. Is this normal? I know some people have bad healing reactions and I was wondering whether this was one of them. Please help, I really dont know what to do.

Elizabeth·17 July 2016 - 06:22pmHi Jaypee,
We are no longer selling coconut oil or any coconut products except for books for now as it is too hard for us as a small online business to stay competitive against the big supermarkets where coconut products are so widely and easily available now. We love your coconut oil and I bought some of your coconut aminos and coconut wraps the other day. I look forward to trying them =)
If we do start to sell coconut oil again I'll be in touch.
Thanks and all the best with your business. I hope you and your family are loving the Central Coast! It's a beautiful place to live =),
To Great Health!

Jaypee·15 July 2016 - 06:42pmHI Elizabeth, hope you are well. Just wondering if you are still selling Virgin Coconut Oil? We are living here in the central coast should you need any


Kim·12 September 2015 - 04:16amGreat article! Debra's post is possibly the most important step of all re: thoroughly rinsing & cleaning your mouth afterwards. I started laughing where she says 3x with salt water, as that is my exact regimen (although I only brush once after that).

It took me a week to figure out I was herxing. By searching online, I stumbled on the saltwater rinse idea & decided to try it because my actual reason for starting the OP in the first place relates to bad breath, dental & allergy/sinus issues I have had for years (plus it kind of made sense that my toothbrush might not reach every surface the oil had coated; whereas saltwater could rinse it out). Interesting that my herx reaction involved musculo-skeletal symptoms that had been flared up not too long ago. Sciatica is pretty far from the mouth, so that's mostly why I didn't equate the two things - until doing more internet research a week later. Once I added the rinsing routine, my herx symptoms seemed to improve pretty quickly.

I use coconut oil, since I already have the large Costco tub of it. I'm going to get a tongue scraper next, as that is recommended as a better alternative to brushing the tongue (I'm not getting very far back). Already my breath has improved significantly; Teeth are shiny, tongue is pink without coating (except the back), but my gums are about the same. OK, so I'm on week 2 now, expecting a fast miracle cure right away . . . maybe the gums are improving, but not noticeable enough to me since I am looking every day.

I believe the rinsing, rinsing, rinsing is the most important step, so you don't reabsorb the toxins.

Elizabeth·04 September 2014 - 08:34amThanks so much for sharing Debra! Very happy that the Oil Pulling is working wonders for you! =)

Debra·02 September 2014 - 07:58amDetox Reaction - Swollen Glands & gums - Like many, I at first experienced the above to include a recurring tooth abscess. Although my teeth felt super clean and I experienced some healing, I thought about giving it up due to what was really detox reaction. I thought about it, and changed how I rinse afterward. If you think about it, the residual oil that is left in your mouth, between your teeth and lodged in the tissues of your tongue is full of all sorts of nastyness. So... I began to do the following after oil pulling and have eliminated ALL of the bad reactions I was experiencing:
1) Spit it into a cup, not the drain or toilet.
2) Do NOT swallow any of it, don't gargle it at all or let it get to the back of your throat while pulling.
3) Immediately after spitting it out, rinse, rinse rinse aggressively, pushing it through your teeth. I use saltwater and rinse 3 times, but I imagine there are many things that would work.
4) Thoroughly brush your teeth. I use Elizabeth's coconut/baking soda toothpaste recipe, above. I brush everywhere, including my tongue. You can actually see brownish bacteria goo trapped in the oil come out.
5) Rinse again, I do this 2X.
It adds a few minutes to your regimen, but for me has worked wonders.

Stacy·08 May 2014 - 04:46amI pulled for 6 days and suddenly got extremely painful gums. As if all of my teeth were loose and I felt like pulling them all out. I have googled this symptom and found nothing. I had to stop pulling because it was unbearable - I could barely eat and had trouble moving my mouth at all . After about five or six days of not pulling, my teeth and gums were back to normal. Has anyone experienced this? Should I try again?

Elizabeth·24 March 2014 - 08:49amHi Phani, Yes, I am 100% cured of Crohn's and I did it by following the GAPS diet and including A LOT of Coconut Oil into my diet (eating about 3 Tablespoons a day and rubbing it into my stomach) and I used it as my oil in cooking. The book I read and followed was 'Gut and Psychology Syndrome' by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride. I cut out all other chemicals on my body to reduce toxic load and only used natural cleaning products around the house. Please read my post 'Why I decided to start using natural products'. This explains what I switched over to and still use today. I only Started Oil Pulling after I was already cured. In my opinion you won't be able to cure crohn's with Oil Pulling. Your body needs a lot more help than that. Vegie juices and broth is great. However, I would really recommend the book 'Gut and Psychology Syndrome' by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride so you can fully understand the break up of what nutrients your body needs and how our body works so you see a detailed map of how your body will heal by following a certain process. It is a really easy book to follow and I wish you all the best with it. =) I can't recommend adding coconut Oil into your diet enough as it is extremely soothing to the digestive tract. I had thousands of ulcers in the lining of my intestines and I could feel the effect of the coconut oil. Coconut Oil is anti-inflammatory and its antimicrobial properties kill bad microorganisms that cause chronic inflammation. I would highly recommend the book, 'The Coconut Oil Miracle' by Bruce Fife. Stay positive and know that your mind and body is very powerful. You can heal yourself. You just need to follow the right steps and keep your focus on being cured, staying positive, know that you can do it and being determined enough to follow through. You have my support =) Take care, Elizabeth

phani·19 March 2014 - 09:07pmhello i have been oil pulling for a while, and eating just veg juices and broth, i think i am having a healing crisis, i cant believe my tongue is still so white, and my crohns has moved from small intestines to become proctitis. any words of encouragement to continue, i have stopped all allopathic meds. are you cured? with love and light, phani, a greek autralian living in cyprus.

Elizabeth·06 December 2013 - 09:28amHi David,
Thanks for sharing your experience - great to hear all is going well! =) Keep up the great work! Good to hear you haven't had any ill effects. Not everyone gets a healing crisis as it depends on what's wrong with you. Everyone's different. Yes, please keep us posted =)

David·06 December 2013 - 04:40amI've been oil pulling with sunflower oil twice a day for three days, and already I see results: my teeth are whiter, my gums look healthier & aren't bleeding. My dentist told me I would need expensive skin grafts for my receding gums, but already I see some regrowth. My mind is also clearer. No ill effects yet but I'll keep you posted.

Elizabeth·29 October 2013 - 07:07amHi Linda,
My husband Dominic has had his amalgam (metal) fillings removed and I've been asking him to write a blog about his experience. (Hopefully he will get around to it in the New Year!) I have read that they do gradually leak into your system. Very happy that the OP has helped you! Please keep us posted so we hear what happens with the Glaucoma eye drops. =)

Linda·28 October 2013 - 09:21pmHi, I have been suffering with a bitter metallic taste in my mouth for 3 months. I am convinced it is either the metal fillings in my teeth but dentist says not. Or it is a side effect of Glaucoma Eye Drops. I have stopped the drops for 2 weeks and been OP with Sunflower Oil for about 10 days and after a very bad weekend I am happy to say today is the first day I have no bitter or metallic taste. Only hope when I start the drops again it does not return.

Elizabeth·25 October 2013 - 08:08amHi Marie,
I have no experience with nerve damage unfortunately so I have no idea if Oil Pulling would help with it. Oil Pulling isn't a cure for everything. Oil Pulling helps expel toxins from the body which in turn helps/allows the body to heal. Mucus is quite a common sign after Oil Pulling. I personally never had mucus but family members and friends did. Oil Pulling symptoms is different for everyone. Nerves is a totally different ball game so I can't really comment as I honestly have no idea.
If anyone reading this has had personal experience with Oil Pulling and nerve damage I would love to hear about it.
Please keep us posted Marie =)

marie·22 October 2013 - 06:59pmI have been oil pulling for nearly two months now - i felt good for the first two weeks then i started to feel worse, i have a lot of nerve damage from a back operation and then a disk fusion in my neck, the burning sensation i have in my back , neck and head has worsened , i have read that your normal symptoms can worsen and i guess i am just needing some re-assurance that this exacerbation of my symptoms is just part of the healing crisis, at first i was expelling a heap of mucus which has settled down now but now it's the burning and back pain that is worse - i will keep oil pulling as i have had these symptoms for some years so i didnt expect a miracle cure in a short time so i will keep going and hope i am doing the right thing - i did post a comment a while ago but have had no response so sorry if u have read this before

Elizabeth·19 October 2013 - 09:38amHi Geraldine,
This is a tough question for me to answer as I have personally never had a tooth extracted but I would presume I would wait at least a few weeks before doing anything to let my mouth heal. Then I might try OP depending how my mouth felt. I personally wouldn't recommend the bicarb soda and coconut oil toothpaste until your mouth feels back to normal after waiting a fair amount of time as it would most probably be too harsh on the tender gums. In this case the best advice would be to use your own instincts and common sense to decide what's right for you =)

Geraldine·18 October 2013 - 04:44amHow soon after a front tooth extraction can I OP and brush with the coconut and bicarb toothpaste

Elizabeth·14 October 2013 - 07:59amHi Anniemae,
A lot of people get bloating from all sorts of things. It could be toxins expelling from your body from the OP. It is your personal choice if you decide to OP 2 times a day, iIt certainly wouldn't hurt. In my personal experience and my friends and families experience we have noticed that if you do OP 2-3 times a day you get through a healing crisis and feel better quicker. If you are bloated you could try to stay away from eating wheat and drink plenty of purified clean water to help flush toxins out of your body. Also, stay away from processed foods and eat healthy to give your body the chance it needs to heal. Good luck and please feel free keep us posted on your progress =)

anniemae·13 October 2013 - 02:05pmHi, Ive been oil pulling for three days now and have noticed that I am getting REALLY bloated, and even feel like im carrying a lot of water weight in my arms and stomach. Is this a side effect of OP? Should I start doing it two times a day instead of just in the morning? I will continue op, but am hoping that this is just a healing crisis and will go away soon!

Elizabeth·12 August 2013 - 03:52pmI should have added that we only Oil Pull once a day now in the morning for up keep. If you are trying to heal a particular health issue then we would recommend you try 2-3 times a day.

Elizabeth·12 August 2013 - 03:47pmGreat question Greg. It's up to the individual. Once you start seeing results you might not want to stop. We won't be stopping. We do it every day. Even now that we have gone through certain healing crisis' we still keep oil pulling because we know it's getting rid of bad bacteria and toxins from our body. It's a simple and effective way of helping to keep us healthy. If you keep oil pulling you will definitely notice how clean and healthy your teeth and gums look and that in itself is motivational. :)

Greg·12 August 2013 - 01:31pmThe steps don't say - how long you do this for ? Every day for the rest of your life ?

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