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Oil Pulling with Essential Oils: The Lost Key to Abundant Life!

Oil Pulling with Essential Oils

The Oral Health Epidemic

An estimated 80% of disease symptoms are caused by problems in the mouth, and millions are exposed to disease-promoting dental procedures every day! Oral health is one of the most overlooked health issues in conventional and integrative medicine, yet experts claim that…

  • It's possible to reverse cancer by properly eliminating oral infections
  • 90% of all heart attacks are caused by oral pathogens
  • Autoimmune disorders can be resolved by getting rid of toxic dental materials
  • Reversing gum disease can help you get rid of digestive problems
  • Root canal procedures increase your risk of cancer and other degenerative diseases

Growing Popularity of Oil Pulling

It has taken long enough, but oil pulling has finally gained some popularity in the U.S. In fact, I believe that it's one of the lost keys to abundant life health!

Used primarily in Ayurvedic medicine, oil pulling is a fantastic oral detoxification procedure that is simply done by swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. This unbelievably effective procedure has been used for centuries as a traditional Indian folk remedy to cure and prevent bad breath, bleeding gums, cracked lips, throat dryness and tooth decay in addition to strengthening gums, jaws and teeth. In fact, oil pulling is mentioned in the Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita where it is claimed to cure about 30 systemic diseases ranging from headaches and migraine to diabetes and asthma.

Oil Pulling Research

As stated by one study, “The myth that the effect of oil-pulling therapy on oral health was just a placebo effect has been broken and there are clear indications of possible saponification and emulsification process, which enhances its mechanical cleaning action.” (1)

In other words, oil pulling works by cleaning (detoxifying) the oral cavity in a similar way that soap cleans dirty dishes. It literally sucks out the fat-soluble toxins out of your mouth and creates a clean, antiseptic oral environment that contributes to the proper flow of dental liquid that is needed to prevent cavities and disease.

These 3 studies help explain the efficacy of this ancient oral health procedure in a little more detail:

  1. In 2008, the Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventative Dentistry published a triple-blind random control trial that evaluated the effects oil pulling with sesame oil has on Steptococcus mutans bacterial count in plaque and saliva. Twenty boys were recruited to be part of two groups; one in which 10 practiced oil pulling and another that used chlorhexidine mouthwash, the active ingredient in most anti-cavity mouthwash, for 10 minutes every day in the morning. After collecting samples for 2 weeks, it was discovered that, even though chlorhexidine was more effective in reducing the bacteria, oil pulling was significantly effective in killing S. mutans, one of the primary causes of cavities. (2)
  2. In 2011, the same journal shared the results of a similar study that evaluated the effects oil pulling has on halitosis (bad breath) and microorganisms that cause bad breath. Again, taking 20 young volunteers, the results of this study were even more in favor of oil pulling than the one above. According to the authors, “Oil pulling therapy has been equally effective like chlorhexidine on halitosis and organisms, associated with halitosis.” Additionally, the researchers discovered that oil pulling also has statistically significant effects on reducing the gingival index, a marker that determines the severity for gingivitis. (3)
  3. Dr. Abhinav Singh – Department of Public Health Dentistry, People's College of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Bhopal, India – wrote an article in The Indian Journal of Dental Research that describes how “brushing is contra indicated in the cases of mouth ulcer, fever, indigestion, those who have tendency to vomit, asthma, cough, thirst.” Consequently, many people who suffer from these conditions are left with no other alternative, but to oil pull to clean their oral cavity. As has been seen for centuries, oil pulling therapy is preventative, as well as curative, and can be used to avoid many surgeries and medications. (4)

Other oil therapies are suggested by researchers to foster oral health, as well. According to Singh, “Ayurveda advises oil gargling to purify the entire system; as it holds that each section of the tongue is connected to different organ such as to the kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, small intestines, stomach, colon, and spine, similarly to reflexology.”

The Best Way To Oil Pull

To help detox and keep your smile bright and shining, mix EO with unrefined, organic coconut oil. Here are some tips:

  • Like most other detoxification procedures, the best time to oil pull is first thing in the morning right after you get out of bed.
  • All you do is swish between 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut or sesame oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. Easy peesy!
  • Don't worry, you won't even notice 20 minutes have gone by if you do this during your normal morning routine (i.e. while you shower, put your clothes on and prep for the day).
  • Immediately afterwards, rinse your mouth out with warm water. Use salt water for added antimicrobial properties.
  • Be sure NOT to swallow the oil.
  • And don't spit out the oil in the sink, because it WILL coagulate and clog your drains!
  • Don't be shocked if the oil/saliva mixture you spit out is milky white or yellow.
  • Finally, brush your teeth as normal.
  • I recommend oil pulling 3-4x per week.

Note: This should be a relatively relaxing process, so don't think that you need to swish your mouth with oil for the entire time or else you're bound to wear out your jaw muscles. Simply move the oil in your mouth and through your teeth without swallowing any of it.

Adding Essential Oils

I'm one of those of “if 1 is good, then 10 must be better” kind of guys, and I'm always trying to find ways to enhance and maximize the things that I do. When it comes to oil pulling it dawned on me pretty early on:

If I'm swishing coconut oil in my mouth for 10-20 minutes, then why not add some antimicrobial essential oils to the mix?!?

Essential oils carry some of the most potent antibacterial and anti-fungal properties on the planet, so they can only help, right? Plus, as the essential oils get absorbed by the oral mucosa, the body will enjoy their antioxidant and medicinal powers. Plus, because the oil pulling oil acts as a carrier oil, I haven't experienced any harmful effects of using some of the more potent oils like clove.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to use essential oils during my morning oil pulling routine:

At the end of the day, you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain from oil pulling. There are relatively no known side effects and, as we've seen in the research, the list of benefits is quite remarkable. Try it today and make it a part of your natural hygiene routine!

eo-club_inner-circle_banner_600x150-2

Resources:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21525674
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18408265
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21911944
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19336860


This post currently has 54 comments.

  1. Kenneth Coleman
    March 9, 2017

    Can I use eucalyptus oil added to the carrier oil?

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      March 9, 2017

      Sure, I’ve done this before. Just 1 drop because it can be strong…

        Reply
  2. Loretta Allsup
    December 17, 2016

    I”m a little confused is this fractionated coconut oil.
    When I click on the link for coconut oil the page is blank.
    If mixing with EO and its not fractionated do we melt the oil first to mix it or just stir it?

      Reply
    • Customer Support
      December 27, 2016

      Just stir together, you will melt it as you are swirling it in your mouth. šŸ˜‰

        Reply
  3. jim
    November 26, 2016

    great article i started oilpulling couple years ago,,before that i had dental problems galore for years and years and thousands of dollars…i got the mercury out ,,have to,,,and since the oil pulling have not had one minor and major problem its the best approach to health ive took all my 60 years and that includes all the supplemenbts vitamin drips etc etc in the world .. this is the best kept secret to health everyone needs to know!! and at almost no cost!! keep on trucking Dr..

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      November 26, 2016

      Awesome – thanks for sharing Jim! šŸ™‚

        Reply
  4. Kamen
    November 24, 2016

    Hi , i wonder isn’t it better to oil pull 10-20 mins after tooth brush(water is no more only saliva) this way the harsh cleaning substances won’t wash of the oil film on the teeth and the oil will stay through the day , cause if you brush straight after oil pull you will just brush all the oil from the teeth and there won’t be any further tooth protection and remineralization? On other hand i wonder how is lauric acid in coconut oil affecting the enamel as acids weaken it and make it softer , so how good it will be to have fatty acid through the day if my first question goes in practice , as softer enamel will mean more vulnerable tooth ? Thank you in advance , hope you would answer my questions

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      November 25, 2016

      Hi Kamen,

      In my opinion, the purpose of oil pulling is detoxification and cleaning, not protection and remineralization. With that said, I feel it’s best to rinse and wash your mouth after oil pulling to ensure that the most amount of toxins remaining from oil pulling are removed from the oral cavity. It’s more about cleaning the mouth & teeth because oil pulling can certainly stir up a lot of junk.

      Lauric acid isn’t an “acid” like you might think of acids. Lauric acid is a type of fatty acid found in saturated-fat foods.

      “A pKa of 5.3(1) indicates dodecanoic acid will exist almost entirely in the anion form at pH values of 5 to 9 and therefore volatilization from water surfaces and moist soil is not expected to be an important fate process” https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/lauric_acid#section=Top

        Reply
  5. Linda
    October 13, 2016

    Can I put all of the oils together in the same container in a carrier oil ? Or do they all need to be and mixed at a the time of doing oil pulling ?

    Thanks,,
    Linda

      Reply
    • Customer Support
      October 19, 2016

      Oh, you could definitely make this ahead of time! šŸ™‚

        Reply
  6. Linda
    September 11, 2016

    Dr. Z, I have gingivitus. I am going to use the clove, oragano and tea tree oils. How many drops of each EO do I put in 1 tbs. of coconut oil?

    Thanks,
    Linda šŸ˜€

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      September 11, 2016

      Hi Linda, a 2% dilution is usually regarded as safe…

      Using these conversions:

      1% dilution: 6 drops of EO per oz of carrier oil (1% of 600 drops is 6)
      2% dilution: 12 drops of EO per oz of carrier oil (2% of 600 drops is 12)
      3% dilution: 18 drops of EO per oz of carrier oil (3% of 600 drops is 18)

      If working with tablespoons are more comfortable for you, 1 oz. = 2 tablespoons. So, there are 300 drops of EO in a tablespoon.

      1% dilution: 3 drops of EO per tablespoon of carrier oil (1% of 300 drops is 3)
      2% dilution: 6 drops of EO per tablespoon of carrier oil (2% of 300 drops is 6)
      3% dilution: 9 drops of EO per tablespoon of carrier oil (3% of 300 drops is 9)

        Reply
  7. Rabiya
    September 4, 2016

    I have been doing oil pulling for the past 1 and half week. I love it so much. I do 3 times per day with 3 different oils. Coz i want to get max benefit. I use seseame coconut and olive oil. I like it so much. Is it alright to use different oils 3 times a day???

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      September 6, 2016

      That’s A LOT of oil pulling!!

      I only recommend doing it a few times per week, and not every day to give the body a break. šŸ™‚

        Reply
  8. Shirley
    August 29, 2016

    I have 4 silver fillings – Can oil-pulling take out toxic components ? Will the toxicity be released more if I continue oil=pulling?

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      August 30, 2016

      Hi Shirley, the jury is still out about this because there’s no research proving either way. My guess would be that it shouldn’t be a problem because you’re not swallowing the oil afterwards. We also have to keep in mind that this isn’t a vary invasive process. There’s only such much detoxification oil pulling can produce…

        Reply
  9. Becky
    August 25, 2016

    Always wondered, why do you oil pull BEFORE brushing your teeth? It would seem like you should get as much gunk off as you can by brushing then oil pull.

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      August 26, 2016

      Good question Becky…

      Oil pull BEFORE you brush because most people rinse their mouth out with water after they brush. Since oil and water do not mix, you want as little H20 in your mouth as possible when oil pulling to facilitate the detox process, so brush (and rinse with water after afterwards)

        Reply
    • Kim
      November 26, 2016

      Hi Becky!

      You can floss before you oil pull, in order to remove any gunk from your teeth; remember to scrape the sides of your teeth with the floss as well. šŸ™‚

        Reply
      • Customer Support
        December 9, 2016

        My apologies, but Dr. Z is legally prohibited from giving medical advice over email. He has, however, created a special Facebook group that can help as we have hundreds of members that are actively engaged in sharing testimonies of how they have overcome similar questions as yours. You can be part of it by joining his essential oil’s club here –> http://essentialoilsclub.info

          Reply
  10. Courtney Bazen
    August 19, 2016

    Hi, I started to get a canker sore on my lip. Can pulling help and should I add and EOs? Thanks o much…

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      August 19, 2016

      It can help soothe, yes. I’d use lavender. šŸ™‚

        Reply
  11. Claudia
    August 3, 2016

    Hi Dr. Z,

    I just stumbled upon your website – I love it! My 8 year old son has autism – we are seeing progress in his recovery due to diet, removal of toxins and various biomedical therapies like infrared sauna. I have always tried to include essential oils in to our routines – but not sure what to use and how. I use lavender oil – extensively – I rub on his feet at bed time. Any recommendations how I could use Frankincense or other oils? His predominate issue is leaky gut and an infectious load. Trying to correct his gut has been the toughest challenge.

    Thank you!!! Claudia

      Reply
    • Customer Support
      August 15, 2016

      Claudia,

      If you don’t already have access, I’m going to highly recommend Dr Z’s free program, Heal Your Gut VIP which you can sign up for here: http://drericz.com/hyg-vip There you will find a lot of great information on healing the gut!

      In addition, we have some articles on essential oils for anxiety which are often helpful for kids with autism!
      http://drericz.com/best-essential-oils-anxiety/
      http://drericz.com/favorite-diffuser-blends/

      Our friend Tammy Trayer of TrayerWilderness.com has an autistic son whom she has helped tremendously with essential oils and a healthy diet. I really think you’d enjoy the wealth of information on her site as well!

      Blessings,
      Customer Service

        Reply
  12. Thomas H.
    June 17, 2016

    Hey, Dr. Z,

    I have read that the the simplest way to see if an Essential Oil has been cut with other oil is to spill a drop on a sheet of printing paper and let dry. If the E.O. hasn’t been adulterated the drop will not stain the paper. I was surprised to see that a rather expensive Clove Bud E.O. I got from a respected supplier left an oily residue when I applied the “test”.
    Is that normal for Clove Bud Ess. Oil, or did I get an impure product?
    Thank you,
    Thomas H.

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      June 20, 2016

      Hi Thomas,

      Although certainly creative, this test won’t give you valid results. It’s not that simple as many oils will stain paper (citrus, for example). Unfortunately, the only way to see if an oil is adulterated is to get it tested by a chemist…

        Reply
  13. shalini Mehta
    April 17, 2016

    Hi Dr.Z,

    After I heard you on the Food Matters webinar I’ve seriously got into essential oils. I am an Indian and truly, you inspired me into oil pulling. Thanks. My question is I’ve been having more than a liter of warm water with lemon after I get up in the morning for last two years and honestly it has helped me to ease very comfortably. Now in oil pulling you’ve mentioned to do it immediately after getting up. So do I do it after I had my water or before that, then the good bacteria that I am putting in will be lost? Kindly advise please.

    Thank you.

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      April 17, 2016

      Hi Shalini,

      I have found that oil pulling first for 15 minutes and then drinking water is the best approach.

        Reply
  14. Gary
    March 30, 2016

    Is it okay to do oil pulling with silver amalgams? I have heard that it may not be a wise idea.
    thank you

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      March 30, 2016

      I haven’t seen any research suggesting otherwise. It’s a tough call because of the potential leaching of the mercury. However, you’re NOT ingesting the oil – you’re spitting it out…

        Reply
  15. Tana
    January 27, 2016

    I have started oil pulling for a couple of days. However, in the past I have had a metal taste in my mouth that comes and go’s (Awful) since oil pulling it’s gotten worse:( any suggestions as to what might be causing this?

    Blessings,

    Tana

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      January 31, 2016

      Hi Tana,

      This has happened a couple times to my wife – particularly when she first started – and we took that as a sign that she needed to do a heavy metal detox because the metals were being stirred up in her system.

      She did the Master Cleanse (http://themastercleanse.org), a colonic and used cleansing & detoxing foot pads by Kinoki.

      Hope this helps. šŸ™‚

        Reply
  16. Hope
    January 26, 2016

    Thank you for the article. I have a quick question. Is there another oil that can be used for oil pulling? My daughter breaks out after using anything with coconut oil.

    Many blessings.

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      January 26, 2016

      Hello Hope, traditionally sesame seed oil has been used. You can try virtually any oil – as long as it’s organic and non-GMO.

        Reply
  17. Nicola
    December 21, 2015

    Hi Dr Z

    Since listening to your Oral Health Summit, i have become a bit addicted to oil pulling as it makes my mounth feel so good first thing in the morning. I have been using a teaspoon of coconut oil every day.
    my teeth have become really sensitive over the last few weeks. Could i be overdoing the oil pulling?
    Thank you!

    Nicola

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      December 22, 2015

      Hi Nicola,

      You can definitely overdo anything, which is why I recommend oil pulling only 3-4 times a week for 10-15 minutes a day.

      However, I’ve never heard of anyone experiencing teeth sensitivity after oil pulling. I wonder if there’s something else going on…

        Reply
      • Nicola
        January 4, 2016

        Thanks Dr Z,

        I have cut down on the oil pulling to every other day. At the same time i have also switched from my homemade toothpaste to a shop bought one (flouride free), as i ran out of raw ingredients and havent had time to re-order yet. Perhaps coincidentally (or not!) all sensitivity has disappeared.
        I guess i will need to reintroduce my toothepaste to know whether that was a problem šŸ˜‰

        Thanks again!

        Nicola

          Reply
  18. Donna Smeal
    December 19, 2015

    I can only swish the oil in my mouth for 10 minutes before I’ve added so much saliva that I can hold any more liquid in my mouth. Am I doing something incorrectly?
    Thanks,
    Donna

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      December 19, 2015

      Hi Donna,

      Try using less coconut oil. If that doesn’t help, then maybe 10 minutes is your just enough for your body. šŸ™‚

        Reply
  19. Theresa
    September 2, 2015

    Dr. Z,
    One more request, there are so many brands of EOs out there, each one claiming to be the best, can you suggest a place I can buy EOs.
    Thank you and God Bless

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      September 2, 2015

      Hey Theresa,

      God Bless you as well!

      To ensure that I can continue to provide unbiased, evidence-based material I must remain “brand neutral,” and I cannot recommend specific companies to purchase products from. I trust that you understand. šŸ™‚

      With that said, there are several quality, therapeutic grade brands out there. Here’s what I do:

      Ask the company that you’re interested in for a report of their sourcing and quality standards. (indigenously sourced, sustainable, organic, non-gmo, etc..)

      Check online for some positive and negative reports – be careful to not let MLM propaganda get in the way of truth. (EVERYONE’s brand is the best, right? Especially, when they’re selling something).

      Contact the company and see if their grade is safe for internal use.

      Try a couple, and test for yourself.

      Lemon, lavender and peppermint are common and relatively inexpensive and you should get a good gauge to see if this brand is for you or not.

      Remember, many of these companies get their oils from the same supplier. They just private label them.

        Reply
  20. Theresa
    September 2, 2015

    Dr. Z,
    I have been oil pulling since about a year now. Since the last six months I sincerely oil pull 5 days a week. However, about five months I started getting kind of pimply hives on my body with itching. It started first at the nape. I used creams prescribed by the doctor. It worked and when I stopped using it, came back and now it appears all over my body with intense itching. Any suggestions what it could be, related to oil pulling, body getting rid of toxins, etc? Also which EO would be suitable for this either to use it with oil pulling or just applying on the skin?
    Blessings in Christ.

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      September 2, 2015

      Hi Theresa,

      Your dermatologist could definitely advise you more accurately about the cause of the hives, however, I don’t suspect it’s from oil pulling. Detoxification reactions usually happen much sooner than what you experienced. Seeing that you started oil pulling a year ago, I’d expect a reaction a few days after first starting, not several months.

      I would recommend only oil pulling a couple times a week. We don’t want to overdo it…

      Regarding which oils to use for the hives, I’ve seen diluted lavender, tea tree, frankincense, myrrh, helichrysum to be very effective.

      Hope this helps!

      Dr. Z

        Reply
  21. Therese moffattT
    September 1, 2015

    Which essential oils do you suggest adding to the coconut oil, for helping to rid my body of polymyalgia?
    and thanks so much for your valuable information you freely share with us.

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      September 2, 2015

      Hi Therese,

      For oil pulling, I have seen these oils help with inflammatory conditions: lemongrass, frankincense, myrrh, peppermint, and chamomile.

      For topical use, these may help as well: DILUTED wintergreen, white fir/balsam fir, blue tansy, and cypress.

        Reply
  22. ssabassasssabrian
    September 1, 2015

    Thanks for this great article. I’ve been oil pulling for a year and a half. When I first started oil-pulling, I did it for 2 weeks straight- every morning first thing. Then one day I had a very unusual vomiting episode. I figured that my body was overloaded with toxins (eg. mercury fillings) so I decided to stop for a while. Then started back up several months later oil-pulling only once a week. I have found this works best for me as I think my body couldn’t handle doing that on a daily basis. My teeth are whiter and brighter. I add organic peppermint essential oil drops to my coconut oil. I also don’t use a typical toothbrush or toothpaste. I use a miswalk stick. šŸ™‚
    One more thing….an important FYI to add to your list…the oil CANNOT be swallowed…spit out in trash can. The oil can clog drain pipes. šŸ™

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      September 1, 2015

      Duly noted. I updated the article to put in those two good points! šŸ™‚

        Reply
  23. Dianne
    August 6, 2015

    I have read that oil pulling may cause fillings to come loose or fall out. Perhaps this would be due to further decay since filling was first put in. Your thoughts please.

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      August 6, 2015

      Hi Dianne,

      I’ve never read that in the scientific literature. Not sure the source that you’re referring to.

      Oil pulling works by cleansing the mouth of microbacteria, it’s not a rigorous process, just like swishing mouthwash around your mouth. I’m not a dentist, but from what I understand, if someone has a loose filling virtually any food or liquid can cause it to dislodge. Oil pulling cannot extract fillings, just the bad toxins!

      Hope this helps.
      Dr. Z

        Reply
      • Crystal
        August 18, 2015

        Thanks for the info Dr. Z. I started oil pulling a few months ago after hearing about it for the first time and I am hooked.

        Blessings!

        Crystal

          Reply
        • Dr. Z
          August 18, 2015

          That’s great, Crystal, thanks for sharing!

          I’ve been enjoying clove & spearmint essential oils with my coconut oil lately. Do you oil pull with EOs?

            Reply
          • CarolCar
            February 27, 2017

            Dear Dr. Z,

            I have been battling H Pylori since having a Whipple procedure last summer. I recently did the antibitotic course and had to stop after 10 days because my tongue and mouth were beet-red and sore. My holistic doctor put me on oil-pulling so I started a few days ago and could see an improvement in gas right away. Found your site and added oregano and clove and did it twice a day for the last couple of days. Last night I had stomach pain so severe that I surmised it was killing off the bacteria in my stomach. What do you think? After reading your very informative forum I think I will cut back as my system is very sensitive. Or maybe just use the coconut without the EOs.
            I appreciate your insights!
            Carol

             
          • Jody
            March 12, 2017

            I have tried oil pulling but it gagged me! Any suggestions?

             
          • Dr. Z
            March 15, 2017

            A friend had this problem and flavored it with a drop of peppermint or lemon essential oil and it helped. šŸ™‚

             

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