It’s been a whopping 10 weeks since I last tried a new health fad. Who could forget my week long juice fast? I’ll be sure to do that again
Well this can mean only one thing: it’s time to test something new! Where there’s a will, there’s a craze, friends.
So, I have scoured the interwebs to find the latest fad that is sure to improve our lives, and [drum roll please]… I found it!
Hey, if it’s good enough for the Queen of Snootyville, Gwyneth Paltrow, it’s good enough for me.
Here’s what Her Goopiness had to say about oil pulling:
“I use coconut oil a lot; I do on my face, on my skin and in my cooking. And I just started “oil pulling,” which is when you swish coconut oil around [in your mouth] for 20 minutes, and it’s supposed to be great for oral health and making your teeth white. It’s supposed to clear up your skin, as well. It’s really interesting; it’s an ancient, ancient technique. I read about it on the Internet.”
That’s right, Goopy, if you read it on the Internet, it must be true.
As much as I trust my BFF Gwyn implicitly, I thought it might make sense to do my own research. Here’s what I found.
Oil pulling purportedly focuses mainly on oral health. Specifically it is said to help with:
- removing germs and toxins
- preventing diseases of the mouth, such as cavities and gingivitis
- reducing or eliminating bad breath
- giving you healthier gums
- producing brighter, whiter teeth
But oil pulling allegedly also helps with other maladies such as:
- migraine headaches
- hormonal imbalances
- gastro-intestinal maladies
- sinus congestion
So, to net it out, oil pulling gives you a nicer smile, better breath, increased energy, decreased headaches, clearer sinuses, better sleep and clearer skin. [I read it on the Internet. It must be true.]
I repeat, wow.
It’s a modern-day miracle, is what it is!
…But…what’s this?…It’s been around for thousands of years, according to ancient Ayurvedic practices?
Fascinating. I decided I’d bite.
Next I had to learn how to actually oil-pull.
Visions of taffy-pulling flashed through my head.
Well it turns out oil pulling is nothing like taffy pulling.
1. Just grab a tablespoon of coconut, sesame, sunflower or olive oil. [Or as much as you can handle without gagging, like I did on my first try…]
2. Master your gag reflex. Mind over matter. Mind over matter. Mind over matter. YOU CAN DO THIS, NANCY!!!
3. Swish the oil around your mouth for exactly 20 minutes. Not 19. Not 21. [And certainly not 90 seconds, as I did before I spit it out the first time…]
4. Spit it out.
The only two golden rules to follow are: 1) do it for 20 minutes; and 2) DO NOT SWALLOW ANY OF THE TOXIC WASTE YOU’VE BEEN SWISHING AROUND IN YOUR MOUTH.
Easy peasy. [Or, if it’s not, see step 2 above…]
The first time I did it, I used coconut oil, which comes in a solid state. I figured that because I like the taste of coconut oil that I wouldn’t mind putting it, in its solid form, into my mouth and allowing my mouth-heat to melt it down so I could swish.
I clearly underestimated the power of my gag reflex.
My eyes started to water immediately.
I valiantly tried to suppress the urge to spew, but eventually had to run to the sink to spit out the part liquid, part solid, nastiness in my mouth.
Key Lesson Learned: Render the coconut oil into a liquid before putting it in my mouth.
I tried this for 3 days in a row before leaving for my business trip to NYC 2 weeks ago, but – for obvious reasons – dropped the habit while I was away. I only just got back to it yesterday.
The jury is out as to whether this oil-pulling thing really is the miracle cure to end all miracle cures, but I seem to be getting better at not being completely skeeved out by it, so I’m willing to give this a good test run.
I’m committed to doing it daily (or near daily) for at least 2 weeks.
I’ve got nothing to lose, and a less aggressive gag reflex to gain.