Oil Pulling: The Cure for Everything?

Oil PullingI took the call on my cell. “I have the next big thing for you,“ my friend informed me.  “It’s big,” she said, “and it’s fantastic.  There’s already a Facebook page on it.  Everyone is talking about it.  Oil pulling. Have you heard of it?”

“Huh?”  I responded.  I had never heard of oil pulling.

“Oil pulling. It makes your teeth whiter, helps with constipation, cures your arthritis, gets rid of all the toxins in your body.”  She had me at helps with constipation.

“Honestly, I’ve never heard of it.  What do you do?”

“It’s a new natural remedy for everything.  You take a tablespoon of oil and swish it around your mouth for awhile first thing in the morning. Sesame and Sunflower oil work best, but you could also use coconut oil.  It’s best if it’s pure and organic.”

“That’s it?  An oil swish in the morning and all your troubles go away?”

“That’s what they’re saying.”

“Who is saying?”

“Everybody.  Ask around.”

I asked around. I called my most “in the know” friends, asked my hair stylist. No one I know had heard of oil pulling.

By the time I got home that evening to do proper research, I could only remember that the remedy was natural and had to do with oil.  I mistakenly Googled “oil pressing” and spent twenty minutes reading how to extract oil from raw materials under high pressure before I figured out I was on the wrong side of the press-pull dichotomy.  I crossed my fingers and hoped that my research indicated that oil pulling also helps with memory loss (it doesn’t.)

Turns out, oil pulling is an Ayurvedic healing tradition that has been around for hundreds of years. You put one tablespoon of oil in your mouth in the morning on an empty stomach, you swish the oil around gently for 15 to 20 minutes, then spit it out and rinse your mouth.  Supposedly, the enzymes in the oil literally pull toxins, pus and mucus from inside your body’s cells, blood and gut.  The process is supposed to make your teeth whiter, clear gum disease, cure sinus infections, improve digestion, and fix a host of other maladies, including insomnia and migraines.

I assessed my body. My teeth could certainly be whiter, my shoulder and neck were sore, and my toenails – they are not pretty.   I hardly ever sleep through the night unless artificially induced, and when I do sleep, apparently I snore like a baboon.  And who at 50 something cannot be a little more regular?

Vitamin World

I decided I would give oil pulling a try.   After all, could 2,598 people who “liked” oil pulling on Facebook be wrong?   I had pure sesame oil at home- it wasn’t going to cost me a dime.  There were no extra calories involved (no swallowing the fat) and no extra exercise (unless you count swishing).

I brought the oil and tablespoon upstairs and placed them next to my bathroom sink.  By the time I went to wash up that night, they were gone.

“Why did you move the sesame oil and the tablespoon back to the kitchen?” I asked my husband, a little disappointed that it didn’t cross his mind that the oil might have been for something a little more interesting.  He just looked at me, eyebrows raised, and said, “Because that is where they live?”  I explained to him about oil pulling.  “Sounds disgusting,” he said.

And disgusting it was.  For eight mornings in a row I swished sesame oil in my mouth for 20 minutes, while the oil became warm and mucousy in my mouth, and I held in the gags.  I lay in bed reading and swishing, not able to get up to brush my teeth, exercise, have my coffee, talk to my husband before he left for work, or kiss him goodbye. I swished thick oil for almost three hours of my life.   I must be insane.

After eight days, the coffee stains on my teeth were as dark as ever, and my gums were still receding.  My neck and shoulder still hurt, and my toes were as ugly as ever. I was still an insomniac who snored (the worst kind of insomniac) and I was no more regular.

My father would have loved this.  He would have pretended a sneeze was coming on.  “Oil pulling….” he would have said, pretending the sneeze was imminent, with each ensuing “ah” becoming increasing louder and higher in tone.  “Ah…Ah….Ah…(slight pause)… horseshit!” he would say, as the pretend sneeze came out.  And he would be right.

I guess I took one for the team.



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Oil Pulling: The Cure for Everything? was last modified: by

Ronna Benjamin

Ronna Benjamin

After 28 years of practicing real estate law, Ronna Benjamin realized how much she loved writing and how much she hated lawyering. She jumped into the world of writing at Better After 50 and never looked back! She is loving her “second act” as Partner and Managing Editor at Better After 50. Ronna writes humorously about the things BA50s are concerned about – personal experiences with adult children, the quirks of aging parents and in-laws, and her own emotional and physical health issues (i.e., insomnia, anxiety, and bulging waist lines). A native Bostonian who loves to spend time with her husband and three adult children, Ronna also enjoys sailing, cooking, running, and biking–and she tolerates skiing so she is not left home during family vacations. Check out her new book “We Are Better After 50 Because…” co-written by Ronna and her BA50 Partner Felice Shapiro, a perfect gift for the birthday girl in her 50’s! 

  84 comments for “Oil Pulling: The Cure for Everything?

  1. Marlene Clayton
    January 29, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Thank you for the rest of us who thought oil pulling might deserve a try.

    • January 29, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      Ronna – you are such a hoot! I guess you learned not to believe everything you hear or read!!!!! Thank Goodness!

    • Sonya
      August 13, 2013 at 10:58 pm

      First of all, from what I have read and learned about oil pulling you have to do it for 20 minutes for at least 30 days for it to be effective. If you are going to review something please do it correctly before evaluating so we can get an honest review. I just began today and I am willing to put in the 30 days. If it doesn’t work then I am not really out too much. If it does work, then great, I will continue to do it. I have done other de-toxing, and have had different results. Different oils are supposed to accomplish more or less accordingly. I am trying the coconut because I thought this would be really gross, and at least the coconut oil has a good flavor (at first). 29 more days to go!!

      • Pia Hellgren
        September 17, 2013 at 4:20 pm

        WORD! I did do it for two moths and yes, my gums stopped bleeding and yes, my teeth were whiter and yes, my skin was clearer and yes, I was more regular! I have since stopped- stupidly- and now my nasty tooth infection is back! Just oil pulled twice today and will continue to do so forever after I get rid of this infection. (And please, no responses about the dangers of a tooth infection- I am WELL aware and am doing everything that I need to do to fix it, BUT antibiotics!). Also, how can it be too long to try this for 30 days? What is 20 minutes every morning? NOTHING! Read the paper at the same time, for crying out loud.

        • Carol Anne
          April 11, 2014 at 8:45 am

          I’ve been doing it for a week now…. coconut oil with 4 drops of oregano oil to try to heal an abscessed tooth with a fistula…. I was on antibiotics for 10 days but didn’t help so now before I let them pull the tooth, I’m doing my own kind of pullling… after a week my gums in general are much better and there is much les pus coming from the abscess fistula…. this morning after I removed the pus, some blood came out which i think is a good sign…. I’m continuing to do this while packing the area with activated charcoal to keep overnight to continue to draw out the infection. Good luck!

  2. Michael Benjamin
    January 29, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Thank god it’s over. The sight and smell of you swishing coconut and sesame oil (some of which occassionally dribbled from the corner of your mouth) stayed with me all day. I can’t wait for the next thing your so called “friend” suggests.

    • Ronna Benjamin
      January 29, 2013 at 10:39 am

      And I thought you thought it was sexy….

      • Georgina
        August 26, 2014 at 11:22 pm

        I have been oil pulling for receding gums since Oct.2013 this is August 2014 and my gums have almost completely grown back. My dentist said it would never happen that they were so bad. I just wanted to prove everyone WRONG as so far I have! I use coconut organic 3 times a day for 25 minutes each session…..I also message my gums with Aloe Vera gel once a day !! This is amazing and I feel very Blessed that the gums DO grow back !!! GA

        • Amy S
          October 26, 2014 at 1:36 pm

          How do you swish for so long?! I can’t even go 20 minutes. Advice please!

        • Felicia
          January 21, 2016 at 2:46 am

          I agree and second the same thing: my receding gums totally healed and my teeth are so white from daily oil pulling (using safflower oil) that it looks like I go to a dentist to have my teeth cleaned. It does work.

          • Jess
            April 4, 2016 at 9:41 am

            I’m on my second trial, a week in between each, and I must say this second time at oil pulling has been a little bit easier. Both times I’ve done it, I’ve noticed my teeth are brigther, shinier and maybe even a little whiter. I really do think that this is a beneficial treatment for our teeth and should be part of our daily routine. I use cold pressed unrefined coconut oil and so far it has been great. 20 minutes is a bit of a challenge but I just try to distract myself and honestly, the minutes just fly by. I usually get in a Ted talk or a hair tutorial video on youtube while I make breakfast. By the time it’s done, it’s time to spit it out and brush my teeth!

  3. January 29, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    I appreciate your team effort for being the taster!

  4. January 29, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    I would have done this, but I am so glad you did instead. Thanks!

  5. Nancy Mirshah
    February 2, 2013 at 6:59 am

    I did try it for 2 weeks. My teeth did get whiter and felt very clean. I slept better and had dreams for the first time in a long time, indicating deep sleep. Things plateaued after 2 weeks. Uncertain whether to continue, but want to keep going to see if the arthritis claim is true.

  6. Enchanted Seashells
    February 5, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Wow, so it takes like 2 weeks? How exactly does it make teeth whiter? I’ll try anything, well almost anything. I had never heard of this!

  7. February 7, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    So glad you experimented for us and I do not have to. Im laughing at your thought of your father pretend sneezing his opinion.

  8. Erik
    March 24, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Yes, 2,000 something people on facebook could be wrong. There are plenty of stupid people in this world who are gullible and believe anything that is fed to them or anything that is repeated over and over. They think, “it’s been repeated over and over again by new age healers(AKA BS’ers making money off of stupid or naive people in most cases.)” Not saying this doesn’t work, this particular thing seems to work from reading about it and thinking about it. If it wasn’t for the overwhelming positive support from AVERAGE(not paid BS’ers) people online saying great things about it then I probably wouldn’t believe it. Back to my main point which is that the 2,000 something people on facebook “can’t be wrong can they?” is just a stupid argument. And again, the answers yes.

  9. Erik
    March 24, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    …..And about my previous comment. When reading about the average persons testimonies(which is overwhelmingly positive) they go IN DEPTH with their before and after analysis. So I am not just saying, “I read about it online and people are saying YES IT WORKS.” Not I am saying I believe it works because they don’t just say, “yes it works,” They give in depth reviews on the before and after state of their oral health. And again, the people in favor of it working are hugely supporting it, while the skeptics usually start off by saying, “I haven’t tried this…but it sounds kooky(something along these lines….)” Well if they never tried it, why should anybody listen to them? It’s good to be skeptical, but just because something SOUNDS kooky doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. But then again, just because you think something works doesn’t mean it works either, best just to experiment for yourself.

    • Peter
      June 24, 2013 at 2:56 am

      Oh Dear! You obviously have not tried it properly. Use coconut oil. Its better. Do it twice a day for at least a month. Then come back and tell us. Otherwise your pointless article is misinforming and childish. Time to grow up!

      • Kevin
        July 27, 2013 at 6:38 pm

        You are 100% right. I’ve been doing it for a month. I had severe gum disease and toothaches all of the time. It was so bad that I kept a bottle of Alieve i my desk drawer at work. It would take at least 6 months to see the union dentist so I couldn’t wait for that since one tooth had just fallen out and another was on the way. I searched the Internet for “home remedies for tooth decay”,. I came across oil pulling and since then my toothaches disappeared(and I suffered toothaches for years), my teeth has tightened, and this week I noticed that my horribly stained front teeth are whitening. I also brush with baking soda. Either the OP didn’t use the right oil or she didn’t do it properly or consistently because had she done so she would’ve noticed results very quickly. Can 2,000 or so Facebook fans be wrong? Of course,they can. But are they? No.

      • natask
        August 9, 2013 at 1:05 pm

        I am glad you said that because I’ve been doing it for 3 weeks (coconut). I do it once a day and haven’t noticed anything yet, I’ll keep doing and it and try for twice a day.

        • KyLe
          February 4, 2014 at 4:18 am

          The delay to GET RESULTS depend on your toxicity level !! For example, if your body is has a huge amount of toxins to clear, TWICE oil pulling per day will be necessary, or many weeks are necessary to see the first improvement of your conditions …

          So keep on doing : some symptoms can get worse for 1-2 days maximum (called “Healing crisis” – a natural response of the body before getting better), it shows that the body begin to respond and the healing will start..

          for example, COFFEE stains can get darker on the enamel just a short time before it will be removed, etc ..

          When the body get rid of its toxins, it will relieve the joint sores, etc..
          Just Be patient .. May be you have lot of toxins to clear ..

          • Jak
            April 6, 2016 at 5:19 pm

            I agree. I been doing oil pulling for about 2 months now with organic coconut oil, the solid type. May be 2- 4 times a day for about 20 minutes each session. After the first three weeks my bottom front teeth had noticeable much less plaque and it has really cleaned in-between the teeth to loosen any minute food as can be seen when I water pic.

            However, after two months or so, I started to have a serve tooth ache on my right side front teeth area, top and bottom. I tried a few other home remedies as to lessen the pain and it helped! I thought I had major cavities or gum disease or something. Even though I try to keep everything natural, I was considering going to the dentist for xrays, which I generally always refuse to be subjected to ion radiation.

            Anyway, in short, all of a sudden the pain went away prior to doing to the though of the dentist. I feel now, what I was experiencing was a healing crisis, which is a great thing.

            I am a firm believer and of oil pulling…it works!

      • April 1, 2016 at 10:21 am

        Very well said. It works. Many people talk and judge things by just attempting once or twice. Oil pulling in an ancient Ayurveda therapy and tried and tested by many. It takes time but gives results. You can’t expect natural medication to work like steroids. Each body is different and the therapy will take its course to show results. All those who have benefitted including me are lucky and those who have already decided it’s not worth it even before trying, I can only pity you.

  10. Erik
    March 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    I just read the ending of this article and assumed it was “pro-oil pulling.” But now I realize after actually reading the majority of the article that “2000 something people can’t be wrong can they” was just a look back to past thoughts about it. But 2 weeks? I hear people saying very positive things oil pulling but they talk about doing it more for like 6 months before seeing GREAT results. 2 weeks is literally NOTHING compared to 6 months. Point is, this article doesn’t tell people jack sh** besides you will you have to try doing it longer than 2 weeks to maybe actually see some results.

    • Ronna Benjamin
      March 24, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      Erik, thanks so much for your comments. I hope that you read this in the manner in which is was written- tongue in cheek- so to speak. If you read my pieces, you will see that they are mostly written in a sarcastic, fun and sometimes informative manner. My research usually consists of talking to friends, and I am open and up front about that. Yes, I do think this oil pulling business is a bunch of BS but this was not supposed to be a scientific experiment. This was just too disgusting for me to continue, and I was plenty ready to be done with it after two weeks. If you would like to try it for 6 months, god bless you (and your significant other). Have fun.

      • Joanne
        August 18, 2013 at 8:26 am

        You articles might be written tongue in cheek but I think it is irresponsible to write something that you have very little knowledge and/or experience with. Oil pulling is not something you sample for two weeks and expect results. Sarcastic does not fit well with informative. Sarcasm is not the same as funny. I am sorry I read your article and will definitely not be back.

        • NinaP
          October 24, 2013 at 6:26 am

          I am 100% with you Joanne!

      • Lynda
        February 17, 2014 at 9:07 pm

        I thought your article was funny. I’m grown up enough to decide whether or not this is right for me, irrelevant of what you say in your article. If people can’t see the humor than it’s their loss.

        • Ronna Benjamin
          February 18, 2014 at 8:06 am

          Finally! Thanks so much for writing….that is absolutely how the article was meant to be taken.

        • Cara
          March 10, 2014 at 11:23 am

          I have a container of coconut oil looming on my kitchen counter. We are staring each other down as I gulp my coffee in defiance. I found your article while “researching” whether I could still try oil pulling AFTER my morning coffee because let’s face it, I don’t do a damn thing before coffee, especially something as bizarre and potentially gag-inducing as sucking oil for a god-awful length of time. That said, I loved your article, your sense of humor, your experience, and I too am enough of an adult to stubbornly try it myself if for no other reason than the twenty-something bucks I spent on this jug of misery/miracle that awaits. After my coffee, of course. 😉 Thanks for the morning laugh.

          • Ronna Benjamin
            March 10, 2014 at 11:26 am

            Cara, I must say– you made MY day! Thanks so much for writing in– you sound like a kindred soul.

  11. Arild
    April 21, 2013 at 4:34 am

    Oil pulling is definetly not a BS business. It made a big difference in my life.

  12. Lizzie
    May 25, 2013 at 2:25 am

    I must agree, I think it does something. I see the illogical notion of it and I see the logical notion. It really comes to this… ‘To each his own’. Amen.

    • June 6, 2013 at 4:56 am

      I have been oil pulling for 8 days using coconut oil, and have definitely seen a difference. My teeth have become whiter for the first time in years and a lose molar has tightened up considerably. The only downside is I have had a few spots on my face. Hopefully this will end soon. True that a lot of people always believe everything new which appears on the internet. On the other hand lots of people are blinkered and won’t accept anything that is different! Unfortunately they will miss out on a lot of helpful and good things.

  13. Michelle
    June 20, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I’ve been doing this for two years. My tarter and plaque build up is pretty minimal and my gums have improved. When I stopped for six months, due to a move and I fell out of the habit, the cleaning at the dentist was painful because I had so much gunk on my teeth. I haven’t had a cavity or root canal since I began. It definitely works but eight days is just the start. You need patience and persistence. Try coconut oil – it’s quite pleasant! Good luck.

    • Kevin
      July 27, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      Coconut oil is what I use. As I stated earlier either Ms. Benjamin didn’t use the right oil or didn’t do it consistently. If you were to google “oil pulling”, you will get thousands of links attesting to it’s benefits…even from some medical professionals.

  14. eni
    July 28, 2013 at 7:17 am

    my husband and i have been doing this for a week. His Once inflamed red gums are now pink. He has periodontal disease and not even the dentist was able to do anything about it. Yes it works for us 100%. We use coconut oil and do it once a day. My mouth feels clean and my tartar is GONE. Placebo effect ? Who cares, its free, unlike the dentist.

  15. Candace
    August 3, 2013 at 9:02 am

    This article was a bit shocking and so misleading. It is important to note that just because something did not work for you, does not mean it will not work for others. I have been oil pulling for two months and have seen amazing results! After just one week my teeth started to get whiter. I have deeply embedded stains that I have had since childhood and I am 52. I have bleached my teeth professionally on several occasions; however, this deep staining has never been impacted. I am proud to say those stains are almost gone! Additionally, my husband suffers from severe asthma and recently had been taking breathing treatments 2+ times a day due to allergy season. After just one week of oil pulling, he has not done any breathing treatments! We are saving money on the cost of inhalers and the nebulizer medicine with a $9 bottle of unrefined sesame seed oil. I have arthritis in my knees and I now have almost no pain during exercise. Looking forward to no pain at all! Try it for yourself.

  16. Scarlet
    August 4, 2013 at 4:44 am

    Well…cool thing you didn’t know. If your teeth are getting darker, its cuz there healing! The darkness is the minerals rebuilding themselves, and makes a type of “Scab” persay, and goes away after two to three months. Haven’t got that far yet, but I’m three weeks into it. ALL my teeth are cavities, and 2/3 of my teeth are filled. And I couldn’t have candy, or cold things. THREE WEEKS, I can eat candy again! haven’t been able to for 4 years! I can eat ice cream again! Haven’t been able to eat ice cream since I was 16, and now I’m 25! I did extensive research online, and tried it! and I will never go back. It didn’t take my sleeping issues away, or my back and neck aches, but what its doing for my teeth is amazing! I cut out toothpaste all together, and drink fluoride free water now to! AMAZING! I also take a picture of my teeth every day, so I have three weeks of pictures to prove the process works. JOURNALING my experience, to SHOW it to others. so, the darkening of your teeth, is your teeth healing itself. I am currently on Percocet for some pain issues, and have not had to take a stool softener, because it has been helping with constipation. People need to also realize, everyone has a different diet. Diet has a lot to do with how your teeth, sleep, bodily functions are. Oil pulling is for helping your teeth heal themselves, not for curing everything. Also, main stream media is not going to support this, because they want you to keep buying toothpaste, and going to the dentists. Its how people make there living. But my husband and I have not used tooth past for three weeks, we smoke, and drink coffee, and yet, never have bad breath! Ever! and my husband has had chronic bad breath the entire time that I’ve known him. Not any more! That is my story so far. It works for what I need it to work for. My cavity is not getting bigger, its getting better, and I don’t need to buy tooth paste, and spend money going to the dentist. As for everything else, that Is Diet related. Hope this helps make your rethink your decisions.

  17. B
    August 8, 2013 at 8:38 am

    This article is so LAME! I’ve tried oil puling and have found it to be a amazing and natural treatment for whitening teeth (among other things). I’m thinking that your attitude is the problem, not the pulling. AND, I’m willing to bet you were using a poor quality oil, as the first time I did it I used a high quality organic olive oil and noticed a difference right away. A significant one. Even my dentist commented about it.

  18. Robb
    August 14, 2013 at 10:03 am

    The trouble is that you were pulling Sesame Oil. I tried this several times, and it was more than my senses could handle. I switched instantly to the coconut oil which has very little flavor and was not unpleasant at all.

    For the not-so-open-minded folks, it will not work for you. As with everything in life, when you expect the worse, you find it. The good thing for you is that it provides more ammunition for you to judge others and complain about.

    For the open-minded, try swishing for at least two weeks with coconut oil. Your gums looks pinker and feel healthier. I can’t say that my teeth are whiter and I don’t honestly know if it helps to “cure” other personal issues despite the claims. I swish in the morning after waking up and before brushing my teeth. If your goal is to remove plaque, then research Periogen. I’ve used this in conjunction with the coconut oil. Within a month the Periogen will dissolve the plaque, even below the gumline. I have one final dentist appointment next month and then I suspect I will never need to go again.

    • Ronna Benjamin
      August 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      Really? It won’t work for skeptics or “not so open minded” people? I agree that sometimes the mind can be a very powerful healing tool, but with oil pulling, I believe it is totally a placebo effect. Sorry, don’t buy that it works.

      • Pia Hellgren
        September 17, 2013 at 4:30 pm

        Eeehhh, again, you didn´t do it long enough! Why won´t you cop to that? I mean, it is NOT an instant remedy like a Valium, you know, it is something that helps the body help itself to heal. Also, your talk about how it would be a strain on one´s relationship is quite shallow. I wouldn´t want a partners who went off me because I tried something that could (and did) help me. And IF one happens to have an insensitive partner that is grossed out- 20 minutes away from that partner oil pulling would probably be a great idea! (BTW, you say your aeticle is tongue-in-cheek. Fine. But not only does this make people NOT try something that would greatly benefit them, it also shows that your sense of humor has gone when you reply to certain commets here).

    • Nancy
      February 15, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      Robb…I’ve been getting great results from adding tea tree oil to my sunflower oil while doing my oil pulling regimen. Thanks so much for the tip on periogen. I’d never heard of it before and did some research. I’m very excited to give it a try but need some clarification. When you said you use periogen in conjunction with oil pulling, do you mean that you add the periogen to the oil or that you use the periogen at a separate time? Please let me know. I would like to start using periogen as soon as possible and would like to know what the best method of use would be. Thanks again for your insight!

      • Helen
        February 15, 2014 at 5:39 pm

        I would not use that theres Fluoride in it..

    • Keep Your Crazy We're All Stocked Up Here.
      July 28, 2014 at 3:27 am

      “For the not-so-open-minded folks, it will not work for you. As with everything in life, When you expect the worse, you find it.” ??? – That is some load of BS. It is a completely illogical viewpoint. Our thoughts have no bearing on what will befall us. Life is chaotic and random, beautiful and devestating. Science is science. Facts are facts, regardless on how we feel about what they represent or support.

  19. chanel
    August 15, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    It’s a wonder to me why you would write an article after trying something for only eight days. Or not researching further beyond FB or a few websites. Maybe try reading books on a subject, interview real people?
    You mentioned you tried “pure sesame oil” that was in your cabinet. Now heres the interesting part that it seems you failed to grasp in your research regarding Oil Pulling. Was your oil unrefined? Organic? Cold pressed? Not many people have this type of sesame oil in their cabinet. Did you also not read peoples symptoms can get worse before they get better?Now the black teeth has me a bit puzzled which is my question of…what type of oil were you using. Please refrain from the attempt to debunk something that has been used for thousands of years, and you tried for only eight days. Sounds like you should be in the pharmaceutical industry.
    I have personally practiced oil pulling and noticed some wonderful benefits. I sleep better, my heels are always soft, my teeth are beautiful…the list goes on. However, I did my research, I spoke to Holistic practitioners, I used the correct oil, and the results have been fantastic. Oh and Ronna? I Oil pulled for more than 8 days. I understand this is your personal experience, but highly disappointed you failed in your research, and then chose to write about it after only eight days. Shame.

    • Ronna Benjamin
      August 15, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      Sorry, but I found it too disgusting.

      • Pia Hellgren
        September 17, 2013 at 4:34 pm

        wORD is for the original poster! For you I can only say… sigh! Jesus, there are WAY more disgusting things that you probably do each and every day. But even so, how juvenile to disqualify this based on your own idea of what is “disgusting”.

      • Toni
        October 13, 2015 at 3:09 am

        Your loss Ronna

  20. Josh
    August 18, 2013 at 2:07 am

    I’m 35 and i’d never had a cavity… i did see this coconut oil pulling BS a few months ago and thought- why not? 2 months in… i have my 6 month cleaning and what do i have…a cavity!

  21. ben
    September 23, 2013 at 10:49 am

    obviously the person who wrote the article is either a dentist or the wife of a dentist.But hold on……my dentist(Holistic) told me to OIL PULL.I did and got results in less than a week.As a matter of fact a cavity is gone after 2 weeks- that’s- right gone.The woman who wrote the negative article did not do it long enough and that is what a lot of the mainstream doctors hope for. They are nothing more than dispensers for the pharmaceutical companies.Most people want a quick fix and have been trained like seals by the Medical Invasion to discard any medicine that regards homeopathic solutions.I am happy to see many are waking up and realizing the truth of the matter.

    • Ronna Benjamin
      September 23, 2013 at 11:10 am

      nope, sorry Ben….was a lawyer, now a writer and publisher of this magazine- just telling the truth as I see it.

      • ben
        September 25, 2013 at 12:42 am

        I was being “Tongue in Cheek ” with the obviously part. I know the woman says she was a lawyer then quit. In any case I have reversed severe gum disease and my brother has eliminated two cavities with oil pulling. My dentist acknowledges this and recommends it- but he is a holistic dentist. In no way shape or form would I push a Holistic Cure on anyone that wants to use drills and surgery and Novocain. I think we need to make informed decisions and trying Homeopathy or anything Holistic for a week is not research. Here is some one who is researching Oil Pulling the right way with photos-
        Check it out

  22. Kay
    November 2, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Why are people getting angry? If it works for you great! If you don’t have the patience to do it long enough to see the benefits then too bad for you. There is no reason to get upset. Everyone is entitled to their own experience and the length of their own trial. Respect one another’s opinion. What benefits a particular person might not benefit the skeptic. The mind is powerful and can cure many illnesses but you have to believe. Once you give up on yourself your body will give up on you. Western medicine did not believe in eastern medicine in the past. Acupuncture is now available in our hospitals..so what does that mean? If people are resorting to other means of medicine and THEY are losing money then they will make it available if they can make money. People don’t be surprise if you need a prescription for OIL Pulling. Just saying lol.

  23. Sheila
    November 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I have a quick question to those who oil pull.. Since coconut oil is usually in a more solid state, how do you melt it enough to swish it around and gargle it? Surely you don’t microwave it, which wouldttotally damage all the wonderful healthy enzymes in the oil. Please advise! Thanks!
    Oh. And how long do you keep it in your mouth?

    • Ronna Benjamin
      November 7, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      The heat from your mouth melts it very quickly. Do not heat it beforehand.

    • January 19, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      I melt the coconut oil I use for oil pulling (in the microwave for a few seconds until liquid) because I dislike the texture of putting it solid in my mouth. I was curious as to whether heating it would change the properties of the oil and potential benefits, so I looked it up and found this article: http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/enzymes_and_coconut_oil.htm

      For anyone who doesn’t want to read the whole article, the short of it is this: there are no enzymes in oil and heat doesn’t “hurt” the coconut oil in any way.

      Good news for me since I MUCH prefer to start off with the liquid (I love mixing in a few drops of Peppermint Essential Oil). My husband has a bad cavity and has noticed his pain and naseau (yes, cavities can make you feel sick) slowly disappear after oil pulling for 3 weeks (and he hasn’t seen a dentist). I took a pic of his cavity today and plan to take another pic in a month for comparison. Either way, it’s worked for him so far & in the 2 weeks I have done it I noticed lessened sensitivity to cold on my front teeth. I’ll post our “results” on my blog in a month or so.

  24. December 3, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    i have been oil pulling since 27 oct. yes, it’s only been a short time. after 2 weeks i noticed that i could breathe better. no morning congestion, which is common here where i live. my teeth feel dentist clean.
    i alternate the cold press organic sesame oil with organic coconut oil. few weeks ago i added a tap of
    clove oil. one word. WOW! that really woke me up. this will continue to be a part of daily routine.

  25. c.elangovan
    February 7, 2014 at 4:41 am

    nice article ,people need patience,and thing does not equally work for two different persons

  26. February 13, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Hi! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout
    out and tell you I really enjoy reading through your posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that
    cover the same topics? Thanks!

  27. karth
    February 16, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Thanks for this misleading article. I have been doing oil pulling for almost 45 days and I have to admit that its been pretty amazing with the results I had experienced. My plaque level is minimal. Lower front tooth have become whiter. Deeper sleep. My mouth is fresh till I get back to home from work. Skin rashes and acne have disappeared (still some marks on my face but Im confident that it will vanish soon). sensitivity totally gone.

  28. Adi
    March 2, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Oil Pulling is totally effective if choose the right oil… I initially heard about oil pulling from a friend after telling her about my recurring dental issues and was initially skeptical. But after doing a REALLY BASIC google search, I decided to try it and chose to use an organic, raw, unrefined coconut oil (which is known for having antibacterial and antiviral properties) for only three days a week for the past month and I got rave reviews from my dentist at my appointment today about the overall improvement of my oral health. I have periodontal disease and my gums were extremely inflamed. I had some scaling and root planing (SRP or deep cleaning) done about a month ago and today my dentist noticed that my gum tissue was a lot more firm and there was virtually no bleeding at all. This is something that I have been unable to achieve with brushing with a super expensive sonic toothbrush at least twice daily, vigilantly flossing after every meal and QUARTERLY trips to the dentist for oral health maintenance/cleaning and spending tons of money on prescription mouthwash (chlorhexidine)… Your results will obviously vary based on the state of your oral health but it’s nothing to casually dismiss especially when it seems that you couldn’t even be bothered to take the time to do super basic research before conducting your ‘experiment’…

  29. Halo
    March 4, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I’ve been oil pulling with virgin coconut oil 5 mornings per week for the past 6 months. My teeth are much whiter and much less stained. I am a habitual drinker of green tea and colas! At my last dental appointment, the hygienist made a comment to me not once, but twice about how clean my teeth were. She asked me what I’d been doing differently. When my dentist came into the room, she even mentioned to her about how good my dental hygiene was. I’ve always taken very good care of my teeth and always performed the same steps with the same products year after year, the only thing I added this time was oil pulling. I don’t know about any other ailments that it is supposed to be able to cure or prevent, for all I know it has kept me from contracting who knows what! I do however know my teeth are extremely cleaner and whiter since adding this to my dental routine. If the hygienist noticed and made mention, in my mind I should keep it up! Also I’ve gotten a few comments about how nice my skin looks. Honestly, I hadn’t noticed the difference but it could be working in that area as well! I highly recommend oil pulling. In my opinion, it’s a no brainer. Swish while you’re in the shower, it doesn’t take any more time out of your morning!

  30. Trena
    March 20, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    I have been using the coconut oil for about 2 weeks and I have noticed a difference
    I started because i have the worst allergies and i’m sick of taking medication year round so i was willing to try anything…I’m not sure if it is helping my allergies because the weather is so crazy it is either raining or snowing but I am sure i will be able to tell once spring gets in.
    I would suggest you do in the the shower so you are not just sitting there counting down.
    I can say that my mouth feels clean and fresher now.. and bowel movements are a lot better
    Hope this helps someone we are all different try it for yourself you might like it

  31. April 13, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Iv just started oil pulling with coconut oil. I will keep doing it twice daily as the body takes longer to heal and improve naturally than with drugs. I know it’s not a miracle cure, and will take time, but I’m willing to try this as it’s all natural. All I can say to the negative people and the quitters is ” if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” every person is unique and different so will work at different time frames for each individual.

  32. Julie Kenel
    April 18, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I have been oil pulling for almost 4 weeks…..I ABSOLUTELY love it!!!! It has made my teeth whiter and feel cleaner than ever before. I no longer have allergy headaches, my nasal passages are completely clear and I also sleep better. My skin is glowing and I have just recently notice that the brown spots on my hands are fading….not sure if its the oil pulling – Anyway, I also have more energy. Please give it more time. Everyone will respond differently. I can’t wait to go to my dentist this month and see what they say. I use organic coconut oil every single day.

  33. April 27, 2014 at 6:16 am

    Oil Pulling is really awesome therapy and i have started this from today. And i am feeling better today after taking the therapy. 🙂

  34. Jenna
    April 29, 2014 at 1:29 am

    If you seems to get worse after a week then I would say it’s definitely working since the idea is to pull toxins right? That’s what it’s doing when it doesn’t look pretty. and you have to be patient and do it for a lot longer than a week. I’ve been doing this with coconut oil for three weeks and my teeth have improved immensely.

  35. Kristi
    July 13, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    This is ridiculous. I sure hope people don’t listen to your crap. I have been oil pulling for 10 years straight and it has SAVED my mouth. I have healed severe gingivitis, receeding gums and cavities. You didn’t even properly give it a try and it sounds like you had a bad attitude the entire. How disappointing. I feel sorry for people who follow you and actually listen to you.

  36. September 24, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    You really should be more responsible if you are going to say something doesn’t work by giving it the recommended amount of time to work. To do it for only 8 days is ridiculous. Nothing can heal you in 8 days! Give us several months of trying it and maybe we would consider you have really tried it. Oil pulling does work, you don’t even have to do the full 20 minutes although apparently, the longer the better. I have read that 15-20 minutes is long enough. I just wanted people to know that it DOES WORK, so give it a try.

  37. Karen
    September 26, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Oil Pulling is the most over-hyped b.s. I have ever read about. I tried it for one solid month with coconut oil and it did zero not even make my teeth feel cleaner.. One thing people have to realize when you have been in the health and healing field is people want more than anything to believe that something is working that they are putting their energy into. You can go onto almost any dental product on amazon and you’ll see “My teeth feel stronger” “My teeth are cleaner” but no evidence to this. With all these thousands of people doing this why no abundance of before and after pictures? People who are into this stuff are the truest believers out there. The holistic movement is more a religious movement than one supported by evidence.

    • Ronna Benjamin
      September 26, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      FINALLY! Thank you Karen for this comment…I really appreciate it!

  38. January 10, 2015 at 12:20 am

    Dear Ronna,
    I am an Indian, and such therapies are part and parcel of our ancient remedies. I have been doing it for many months, and the toxins are coming out, bringing back the old pains and aches from the body finally removing them forever, have good clean teeth and mouth, good jaws because of constantly and regularly doing oil pulling at least 2- 3 times a day. i have known about this therapy years ago, started it and kept on for sometime before leaving for some place and then totally forgetting about this wonderful cure for everything.
    Then i suddenly remembered about this again, and wondered how could i have forgotten to continue this simple but effective system of cleansing the whole body , not just the mouth.
    Again i started, i do it with sesame oil and coconut oil. i keep alternating both oils ( that is whichever oil is nearby).
    I am 56 years old, and i am a fitness instructor for the last 20 years, i should definitely know what i am upto. Think of the time you are tempted to gobble something up, to satisfy your crave for food, you can’t do that now, for you become aware of the rule, that you should not have eaten anything solid for 4 hours or so before doing oil pulling. So you can keep a check on what you eat, and since for maximum benefits it is advised to do it 3 times, there is hardly time to indulge in junk food in between.Of course one should be prudent and start of slowly and doing it once a day before going in for 3 times a day.
    Also just because coconut oil is solid does not mean you have to struggle with it in your mouth, you can easily warm it up in the microwave and start oil pulling.
    These two oils are the best to use and using other oils is not so good.
    Think of how much exercise you would be giving to your mouth, cheeks and jaw, think how slim your face can look effortlessly. Think of the glow it is bound to give your whole body and face. Which ym or exercise program can give you all these benefits without moving from your place.
    In fact once you have mastered this you can go about your normal work while oil pulling instead of just wasting time sitting one place and doing it. i do health bouncing in the Rebounder, at that time, and also use dumbells ot work out my shoulders and arms every alternate days.
    It is fun and it is healthy, it doesn’t need any high funda research to see results
    Just as the Nike Ad says: Just Do It!

  39. melissa
    April 3, 2015 at 10:51 am

    I don’t like oil pulling but I love what it does for me so I will continue to oil pull. I am doing it as I type. My skin is glowing after 5 days of doing this, My energy level has gone up, clear nostrils, clearer mind, better sleep ( w dreams), regular bathroom goes, breath smells better stays fresher longer, less sensitive teeth, I can feel my body preparing for my menstrual (TMI) I know/ the health benefits are endless i believe// Removing toxins from your body/ what an awesome experience and better life I am having/ I will tell everyone I know about this experience and these life changing results

  40. Cathy
    June 30, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Wow. Eight days? That’s not really fair :/

    I hope people will realize that Ronna was trying to be funny, and she was (I thought).


    I am on day 11 and you can’t make me stop! 🙂
    I use mostly organic cold-pressed coconut oil. Once in a while, I’ll switch to olive oil for a switch (also cold-pressed). For whatever reason, I usually put a drop of Peppermint Oil in the olive. I can’t seem to get any sunflower or sesame where I live. I only buy stuff in glass containers. No plastic for me.

    My oil pulling started when I had a pain in my mouth. Not a tooth, though. I have little protrusions that stick out from my bottom teeth, one on each side. I don’t know what they are called but I seem to recall a dentist or hygienist telling me that they’re less common than more common. Anyhow, one of them was hurting and looked different than the other one (sort of a lighter color) for about two weeks. I dealt with it since dentists are out of the question, really. Anyhow, after about two days of OP (I usually swish twice before I eat anything), it diminished and is now almost non-existent.

    Always rinse your mouth with warm water real good and brush afterward.

    I am also beginning to see and feel other positive changes in my overall health and I’m almost certain it’s not my wild imagination.

    Again, I thought Ronna was funny, but sort of unfair. I guess there’s also the possibility that some people’s bodies don’t respond as quickly as other’s do.(??)

    Never spit in the plumbing or septic system in any way. Garbage bag!
    And remember to always do it on an empty stomach, and that includes liquids.

    Don’t be a baby. You can do this!

    Think of it this way: For twenty minutes in the morning, you give your body a fighting chance for the whole day. I’m sure none of us really know what’s going on in there, but this definitely seems to help.

    Good luck and happy swishing! 🙂

  41. fd
    September 23, 2015 at 9:03 pm


  42. manilal aheibam
    September 28, 2015 at 4:40 am

    I’ve started “oil pulling” therapy with sesame oil from today.Ronna, do you think that sesame oil is better than coconut oil ?

  43. April 1, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    I again have to record here that Ayurveda recommends using Sesame oil / coconut oil for best results. Use whichever you prefer. Any cold pressed oil that is pure will give results. Diet also plays a major part in healing.

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