The Magic That is Oil Pulling

Oil Pulling sounds like something that might best be done in private, and not discussed at dinner. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is a magical cure all. When I say cure-all, that is exactly what I mean. The health benefits claimed for Oil Pulling:

…it is invariably the result 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.

What is this marvellous technique?

In the morning, before breakfast on an empty stomach you take one tablespoon in the mouth but do not swallow it. Move Oil Slowly in the mouth as rinsing or swishing and Dr Karach puts it as ‘ sip, suck and pull through the teeth’ for fifteen to twenty minutes. This process makes oil thoroughly mixed with saliva. Swishing activates the enzymes and the enzymes draw toxins out of the blood. The oil must not be swallowed, for it has become toxic. As the process continues, the oil gets thinner and white. If the oil is still yellow, it has not been pulled long enough. It is then spit from the mouth , the oral cavity must be thoroughly rinsed and mouth must be washed thoroughly. Just use normal tap water and good old fingers to clean.

Clean the sink properly, you can use some antibacterial soap to clean the sink. Because the spittle contains harmful bacteria and toxic bodily waste. If one were to see one drop of this liquid magnified 600 times under a microscope, one would see microbes in their first stage of development.

It is important to understand that during the oilpulling / oilswishing process one’s metabolism is intensified. This leads to improved health. One of the most striking results of this process is the fastening of loose teeth, the elimination of bleeding gums and the visible whitening of the teeth.

The oil pulling /swishing is done best before breakfast. To accelerate the healing process, it can be repeated three times a day, but always before meals on an empty stomach.

That’s right. You can heal your leukaemia and heart disease simply by swishing vegetable oil around your mouth for 15 or 20 minutes several times a day. If it doesn’t work, it may be because you are using the wrong oil. F. Karachi recommends Sunflower or Sesame Oil, while others insist that only Coconut Oil has these magical properties.

Is there any possible truth to these claims? It makes sense that rinsing your mouth with an oily solution would have the capability to remove bacteria from your mouth. Periodontal disease has been linked to a number of disease and conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Other conditions under investigation for a connection include: rheumatoid arthritis, COPD, and obesity. The cause and direction of these links is still uncertain, but it is certain that good oral hygiene is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. According to dental experts, the best way to maintain oral health is through brushing and flossing, a healthy diet, and regular checkups. Swallowing any vegetable oil would probably have some benefit if you suffered from chronic constipation, but there are better means to deal with bowel problems.

As might be expected from any  Ayurvedic treatment the theory behind oil pulling is more magic than science. From the newspaper article pictured above:

Anything that causes illness must cure it. Oils and fats being the root causes of all ailment, they must then, also cure them.

The concept of “like cures like” has absolutely no biological or chemical basis.

“Like cures like” is another way of stating the ancient superstition of sympathetic magic – the kind of magical thinking that led some ancient cultures to believe that rhino horn is a cure for impotence because of its superficial resemblance to the erect male organ. This is a pre-scientific notion, based upon vitalism or essentialism – that substances contain an essence that can be transferred separate from their physical substance.

Along with like cures like, oil pulling is also linked to the concept that our bodies are full of toxins that must be removed. All guides to pulling recommend spitting rather than swallowing because the oil accumulates toxins from throughout the body.

“Oil pulling is one of the most remarkable methods of detoxification and healing I have ever experienced in my career as a naturopathic physician.”

I am not doing to delve into the fad of detoxification here, it’s just too large a topic. I’ll just point to an article by David Gorski, in which he concludes:

Whatever the reason for the resurgence of belief in various “detox” modalities, one thing’s for sure. Unnamed, unknown, undefined “toxins” are the new evil humors and miasmas, and detoxification is the newest fashionable form of ritual purification.

I think that greater benefits of Oil Pulling might come from using the technique in the privacy of your own room to help relieve stress.

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