Body

Um, What Exactly is Oil Pulling? And, Should We All Be Doing It?

Can swishing oil around in your mouth really reap health and beauty benefits?

Willing to swish?
When I got to my friend Colleen's house for dinner last night, she opened the door, waved a lot and didn't say anything. Odd? Yes. But, as she seemed to be swishing something around in her mouth at the time, it made sense (ish).

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Now, while I'm sure that Martha Stewart wouldn't approve of her having greeted her guests with a mouth full of anything, it turns out that Colleen wasn't banishing garlic breath with Listerine or any such thing, she just happened to be half way through her newly adopted ritual of oil pulling.

Huh?

Exactly.

The deal is that Colleen, who is big into all sorts of experimental health/beauty things (she's been using a derma roller forever, brews her own kambucha, etc.), has glommed onto rinsing her mouth -- for up to 15 minutes each day -- with oil. Sesame, sunflower and coconut are the purported best choices for this ritual which stems from a centuries old Ayurvedic practice that's said to deliver many benefits.

From whitening your teeth to clearing up your complexion to preventing all sorts of horrific oral diseases, "oil pulling" has eons of good press behind it and has recently become a "cool" thing to do.

Now, while I couldn't get Colleen (who's notoriously camera shy) to gargle for an iPhone video, HuffPo found willing participants.

Watch, and let us know; is oil pulling something you'd be willing to give a -- swish?


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