Coconut oil is everything. You can cook with it, you can put it in your hair, you can swish it around in your mouth and become a whole new person. OK, maybe not a whole new person. But there are an overwhelming number of benefits of coconut oil pulling.
By now, you've probably heard of oil pulling. Though it's not quite a household term yet, it's been around for ages, and has gained popularity over the last few years. But what is oil pulling? According to the US National Library of Medicine, oil pulling is a powerful detoxifying Ayurvedic technique that can be used as a remedy for many different health ailments. In short? Gargling coconut oil is a natural way to keep yourself healthy! Not only is coconut oil anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory — it smells delicious.
The best part about oil pulling? It's super easy. You take a teaspoon of coconut oil, put it on your mouth, and swish for 20 minutes. Start with a teaspoon, because as you swish, the oil will almost double in size as it pulls saliva and toxins out, You can always up the amount the next time you try. When you're finished, discard the oil in the garbage can (not the sink, it can harden and clog your drain), rinse your mouth with warm water, scrape your tongue, and brush your teeth.
But what does this do besides leave your mouth feeling like an island? Here are just some of the benefits of coconut oil pulling.
1. It Prevents Cavities
According to Dentistry IQ, the swishing of coconut oil helps pull out bacteria and toxins that often hide in between teeth and gums. By getting rid of those hidden bacterias, you can prevent cavities from forming.
2. It Kills Bad Breath
Oil pulling works by pulling out the toxins that are floating around in your mouth, so it's only natural that getting rid of those toxins would help freshen your breath, right?
3. It Reduces Gingivitis
Beverly Hills periodontist Dr. Sanda Moldovan told Jezebel that the friction created by oil pulling has a soap-like effect on your mouth, killing all the germs that can cause gingivitis.
4. It Prevents Heart Disease
According to Women's Health, bacteria from your mouth can get into the blood stream and several species of bacteria that cause periodontitis have been found in arterial plaque and are known to contribute to heart disease. Oil pulling prevents this bacteria from getting into your blood stream.
5. It Detoxes The Body
Similarly to reflexology, the tongue is connected to the lungs, liver, heart, small intestines, stomach, colon, and spine. So by cleansing one area, you are in turn cleansing the whole body.
6. It Boosts Your Immune System
Full of Vitamin A, and natural fatty acids, Live Strong notes that coconut oil is a perfect way to boost your immune system.
7. It Soothes Dry Throats
The best part of using coconut oil? It's digestable. You don't want to swallow it after swishing, because it's been busy pulling out the bad stuff and will now be full of toxins — but there's no denying that swishing it around in your mouth makes everything slippery smooth, and soothes your throat.
8. It Whitens Teeth
Jump on the celebrity oil pulling train for those pearly whites. Gwyneth Paltrow, Kylie Jenner, Shailene Woodley, the list goes on. The oil possesses natural antibiotic and antiviral properties that brighten and clean teeth. It also contains Vitamin D, which is great for strong teeth!
9. It Heals Cracked Lips
Full of digestable fat-soluble vitamins, coconut oil is a perfect and natural way to keep your lips soft and supple throughout the winter months.
10. It Improves Acne
The Vitamin E in coconut oil is jam-packed with antioxidants that help clear up your skin. By pulling the toxins out, Refinery 29 notes that you're relieving your body of additional stress, and helping prevent acne.
11. It Reduces Headaches
A buildup of toxins in the body can lead to headaches, and oil pulling helps pull those toxins out, reducing your chance of headaches and migraines.