My mornings, for the past 10 days have begun with a half a teaspoon of delicious cold pressed virgin coconut oil, which I purchased on my trip to Thailand. I know a lot of people who have tried oil pulling and are disgusted of putting about 20g of fat into their mouth and whooshing it around for 20 minutes. Remember, you are NOT meant to swallow it. I, on the other hand, love the taste of that nutty, fatty coconut meat (No, I still don’t swallow it).
I got into an early battle with the container since the pump was not working. I didn’t think of twisting it open and squeezing it into my palm (I think I just didn’t want to commit to the first twenty minutes). A month later, attempting for the second time, I realized that I had to be a bit more clever about getting the container open. With scissors and a knife, I recovered about 90% of the contents.
Successfully, every morning, since late February I have been following this 3000 year old Ayurvedic oral detoxification method. I did not do much research before I began this, but have been reading up on it and trying it myself to really see the benefits. So far, I have not really seen any side effects, unless I am accidentally swallowing the toxic remnants and absorbing saturated coconut fat, which is going straight to my belly. Although I’m still waiting for my glowing skin, beautiful white teeth, improved sleep, increased energy, etc…
But, here are my top three reasons why you should try oil pulling.
- Oral Hygiene – Although 10 days is not enough time to really see a significant difference, I have been noticing that my coffee stained teeth are in fact a little brighter. It also has a great way of getting rid of that morning breath immediately. Not being a scientist and all, I am going to guess it’s killing microorganisms and bacteria in there.
- It is Meditative – The act can be used as a meditative practice and I don’t mean whoosh it around, while you are concentrating on your breath. But I have used oil pulling as a method to get me out of bed and start tidying up my bed, wash any remaining dishes, sort out any clothes that might be out. It’s helped me create a 20 minute morning routine. Surprisingly, it makes me get up and start my day quite nicely. Once my space is clean, I have already set up a good environment for my seated meditation.
- Self Discipline – Sadhana is an important discipline for ascent of human self. The devout endeavor of self-refinement and improvement can be any virtuous, spiritual practice. You’re probably saying how is moving oil around the mouth a spiritual practice? Well, the fact that one ritualistically moves around the morning, whether through breathing exercises (or pranayama), or physical postures (asana), there is a practice of moving towards self-discipline or moving towards “perfecting” the practice. That is what sadhana is.
So are you convinced and want to try?
- Buy virgin, cold pressed coconut oil. Any ayurvedic store should have one, but I’ve heard the Trader Joes version is also quite good (and economical).
2. Take about half to one teaspoon of the oil and place it in your mouth. Start with half. It is solid at first and it will water down and fill up your mouth. Depending on your oral toxin levels, it might foam a bit. Don’t be alarmed. Toss a bit out if it becomes too overwhelming.
3. Move it around for 20 minutes (I’d say 10 minutes minimum). Build up to 20. I’m not going to lie, if you think too much about it you will probably find this to be tedious and boring.
4. When you are done, spit it out in a trash bin and not in your sink. It tends to clog up the plumbing system as it is oil.