Does The Oil Pulling Therapy Really Work?

It sounds miraculous that an early-morning oil swish can eliminate so many bodily disorders.

If somebody were to tell you many of your health ailments, especially dental problems, would be greatly relieved by an early-morning oil swish, you would shake your head in disbelief. Another miracle cure; oh,no!! Please suspend your disbelief for a while, read on, and then decide.

The oil swish method is called ‘oil pulling therapy’ and has its benefits listed in Indian Ayurvedic texts. All you have to do is to take a tablespoon (or a mouthful) of minimally processed sesame oil and swish it in the mouth for 10-15 minutes and then spit it out. ‘Swishing’ would mean pulling and pushing the oil through your teeth. With your tongue, you can gently rake the debris collected overnight on your palates, tongue and teeth, and as the muck dissolves in the oil it gets thicker and thicker, and finally after about 10 minutes, you feel it turning watery and thin. At this stage, you can spit it out, wash your mouth and then brush your teeth as usual.

This method gets rid of the millions of bacteria and the associated toxins that resides in the mouth without disturbing the healthy microflora. It is claimed that the swishing activates enzymes and heals body’s cells and prevents their damage by their antioxidant action. As outrageous as it may sound, its supporters claim that “diseases like migraine headaches, bronchitis, diseased teeth, arterio thrombosis, chronic blood disorders such as leukemia, arthritis and related illnesses, neuro physiological paralysis, eczema, gastro enteritis, peritonitis, heart disease, kidney disease, meningitis, and women’s hormonal disorders are completely eliminated from the organism” (

If oil pulling cleans the mouth, would a mouth wash do? Personally, I feel “more clean and fresh” with an oil swish than with a mouth wash, but there are other reasons as well. Mouthwashes contain acids and frequent swigs of mouthwash can leave the mouth sore and make the teeth sensitive. Moreover, the all-natural sesame oil has antioxidant properties that a mouthwash cannot match.

How Does Oil Pulling Work?

Sufficient research has been done on the efficacy of this method for reducing dental plaques, alleviating gingivitis and strengthening shaky teeth. Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria. Candida and Streptococcus mutans are common residents in our mouths and a significant contributor to tooth decay. Researchers found that the oil pulling group had a reduction in Streptococcus counts in both plaque and saliva.

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  1. Oh…so oil pulling is very effective. Let me start doing it.

  2. very nice post..

  3. Heard of yoghurt swishing
    But sesame oil swishing?
    So lets have oil swishing
    Smiling, swishing well wishing!

  4. I haven’t heard of this therapy before. Perhaps, we should give this method a try. :-) liked it.

  5. This is a new one on me. I would think you would need a lot of patience to swish for that long. An interesting piece.


  6. This is quite interesting. Liked the info.

  7. I’ve never heard of this before. I’d like to try it.

  8. Very informative and well researched. Thanks.

  9. Oil pulling was very popular in our state once and many people reported that they got relief from their ailments.

  10. great share…very useful infromation indeed..this is new for me..thanks for sharing :)

  11. Well, I’ve learned something new today. Thank you.

  12. I liked this information-I did not oil pulling could do so much!

  13. Interesting info. Thanks for sharing this one, friend. Helpful!

  14. something new to me, very interesting, may try out, thanks.

  15. Interesting..

  16. Now that we’ve covered those aspects of , let’s turn to some of the other factors that need to be considered.

  17. this seems to be very effective. but i hate oil pulling

  18. interesting

  19. this is a really very interesting and enjoyable articlle to read. i had never heard about the oil pulling therapy. it sounds like a very fresh and new idea that attracts me. very well researched and beautifully scripted. i liked it all. :)

  20. I like it

  21. very nice post..Keep sharing more.
    medical devices and gadgets

  22. Great information to the world. :)

  23. great article. no harm in trying. i will give a go. thanks.

  24. Uma, I have read about this oil pulling in some oil advertisement. I had my doubts and hence did n’t give it a try, now I think I can after reading your post.

  25. Wow! Though I know this already and written an article on oil pulling, i learnt how it can be presented in a nice way. Yours is definitely superior than my article. Thanks for sharing.

  26. My sister has been swishing for over 6 months now. She works in a call center and hasn’t been sick yet while working near a lot of sick people during the cold and flu season so I started it a month or so ago. It had to work up to 20 minutes a day but it’s not so bad. Just read some mail or play a video game while doing it and the time passes pretty fast.

  27. I first heard of this practice from an employee at the health food store I frequent … sounded strange, impossible for oil to pull gunk out of your mouth. Well, I researched the method today and gave it a shot. I used sesame oil and swished for 5 mins. I was shocked by the result! My teeth are free of the plaque build-up that regular brushing was not removing. My teeth appear whiter and my gums look pinker. I am a believer.

  28. Before you begin oil pulling inspect your teeth with a magnifying mirror. Then after doing oil pulling for 5-7 days (both morning and evening) for about 15 minutes each time, reinspect your teeth. It’s very probable that you will see a vast improvement in the looks of your teeth and gums. I’ve been amazed myself because it truly works very well for me. My teeth stain rather easily and several weeks after having my teeth cleaned at the dental office, I’ll notice them appearing more stained. After doing oil pulling for several days my teeth are far more clean looking. Yes, it does work and I highly doubt you will be disappointed in the results.However, be sure to brush your teeth immediately after oil pulling because the stain material on your teeth is softened up and is more readily removed at this point when you brush.

  29. Can you use other oil or does it have to be sesame? I read another forum that said to use organic coconut oil. Can you use EVOO?

  30. Shannon, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is very good: in general, any unprocessed oil is definitely more useful, and olive oil and sesame oil top the list.

  31. Thank you for responding to my post Uma. I’ll give it a try : )

  32. I got a link for this oil pulling from a friend. Have been doing for 1 1/2 months with sunflower seed oil. Does it realy work? i cant feel or see any difference. What am i doing wrong?

  33. Angie, it should work. Did you swish long enough till the thick and viscous oil turns watery? If you did, the least change you will notice is the disappearance of halitosis and inflammation and stopping of bleeding from gums. I have found it highly effective. If you never had a specific problem, may be the results don’t look dramatic enough.

  34. does it have to be cold pressed sesame oil or can it be any oil?
    Would EVOO like you buy in the supermarket to cook with work?

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