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It sounds extra AF, but swishing oil around your mouth might just be the best thing for your health and skin, seriously! The idea comes from ancient Ayurvedic medicine and involves taking a spoon of oil and rinsing it around your mouth like a mouthwash, for twenty minutes. Believe it or not, this detoxifying method actually has a ton of health benefits that surpass oral health, and it can even improve acne, whiten your teeth, help with headaches, and detox your entire body.

What You Do:

On an empty stomach – first thing in the morning is the best time – swish between a teaspoon and a tablespoon of oil around your mouth for twenty minutes (at least ten minutes if you’re in a hurry). Our preference is coconut oil (because obvs we have a ton lying around), but you can also use sesame oil or sunflower oil. Initially, it might feel a little gross, but persist, and like us, you might even end up enjoying the experience! It should always be done on an empty stomach, so wait at least four hours after eating, and an hour after drinking. Whatever you do don’t swallow the oil, after swirling, spit it out in your bin. You can do almost anything, except speak, while you do this but keep an eye on time, as if you do it much longer than 20 minutes, it’s possible that the toxins could be reabsorbed into your body. Follow by rinsing your mouth with warm water, or salt water (if you can be bothered!), and brush your teeth.

How Oil Pulling Works:

It’s quite gross to think about, but your mouth is filled with bacteria, fungi, toxins, and plaque. Oil pulling literally cleanses your mouth by drawing out all the toxins from your gums and teeth, before they’re able to spread to the rest of your body.

Why Oil Pulling is Awesome:

Who’d have thought that you can forego a ton of expensive beauty products simply by following this daily ritual? Oil pulling is an amazing way to improve your health and detox your body, skin, and gums. Though there’s yet to be significant research into oil pulling, promising results have been found and many doctors recommend it – apparently, Gwyneth Paltrow and Shailene Woodley are fans. Here’re just some of the amazing benefits:

Clears skin: Catching out nasty toxins before they reach the rest of your body has a huge impact on your skin. The same way washing your skin gets rid of surface bacteria, oil pulling gets rid of bacteria that causes skin problems before they have a chance to take hold. Reports have shown that oil pulling for a month has helped improve acne and eczema.

Teeth whitening and fresh breath: Oil pulling can remove surface stains from your teeth, and because the fats in oil can dissolve plaque, it prevents plaque build-up and reduces the risk of tooth cavities for an extra white smile. The removal of bacteria from your mouth also results in fresher breath throughout the day.

Detoxes your body: The mouth is our gateway to the majority of substances in our body, by removing bacteria from the mouth before it has a chance to reach the rest of your body majorly impacts on your health.

Increases energy: Our immune system works 24/7 to eliminate toxic waste from the body. By getting rid of these nasty toxins at the source before your body has to, saves precious energy to be spent on other activities.

Reduces headaches and hangovers: We’ll be honest, anything that promises to cure a hangover is worth trying; the process of oil pulling will remove alcohol toxins still lurking in your body from the night before, in turn helping you and your body feel much better. Headaches and migraines can be a reaction to your body being under toxic stress; extract the toxins, reduce the stress!

Why Coconut Oil is Our FAV:

We’ve found that coconut oil, (try to use raw organic coconut oil) is the best oil to use. Not only is it easy to find and inexpensive, but it’s also by far the best tasting of the bunch. Coconut oil also contains lauric acid that has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties, while Vitamin E is rich in antioxidants and it’s antibacterial. If you’re going to have oil in your mouth for twenty minutes, it should at least taste okay!

Oil pulling can easily become part of your morning routine: swish while you shower and tone, or while you get dressed and scroll your Insta feed. If you’re at home all day, take advantage of the period after lunch before dinner and swish on an empty stomach while you watch TV.