Adventures in Oil Pulling – My 21 Day Experiment

All Graphic Design by Rio Rocket

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What is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling, also called Kavala Graha or Gandusha, is the ancient practice of swishing oils from plants in the mouth for a period of time to draw out oil-soluble toxins and impurities in the body. Oil pulling is one of the five main dental hygiene practices in [dt_tooltip title=”Ayurvedic Medicine”]Ayurvedic medicine (“Ayurveda” for short) is one of the world’s oldest holistic (“whole-body”) healing systems developed more than 3,000 years ago in India. It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit.[/dt_tooltip] as discussed in the Vedas (Vedic texts).

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What is the Purpose of Oil Pulling?

To pull toxins and bacteria from the body that have built up in your mouth. Dentists suggest that by improving [dt_tooltip title=”oral health”]The condition of the mouth, throat, gums and teeth that affect an individuals ability to bite, chew, smile, speak, smile, and swallow. It has tremendous impact on periondontal (gum) disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, other diseases, disorders, and your psychosocial state of well-being.[/dt_tooltip], the health of the entire body is improved.

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What are the Benefits of Oil Pulling?

For centuries oil pulling has been used to as a traditional Indian remedy to:

  • Whiten teeth
  • Cure tooth decay
  • Heal bleeding gums
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Prevent heart disease
  • Prevent cavities
  • Boost immune system
  • Improve acne
  • Strengthen gums and jaw
  • Sooth dry throat

The [dt_tooltip title=”Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine“]An open-access, peer reviewed journal published jointly by The Institute of Trans-disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology (TDU) and The World Ayurveda Foundation (WAF), and published on Elsevier.[/dt_tooltip], just recently cited a study that reviewed holistic approaches to oral health which revealed that oil pulling is one of the most effective natural health practices in preventing tooth decay, and even loftier claims of treating more than 30 [dt_tooltip title=”systemic diseases”]A disease affecting the entire body, rather than a single organ or body part. [/dt_tooltip]. See Case Study #1 and Case Study #2 below.

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How to do Oil Pulling

The Best Oil Pulling Method for Beginners

  1. Upon awakening and while on an empty stomach, first hydrate with water.
  2. Use 1 tablespoon of oil and swish the oil around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Afterward spit the oil in the trash (it can harden and clog your drain).
  4. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water.
  5. Brush your teeth with a toothbrush you DO NOT use daily.
  6. 30 minutes later brush with the toothbrush you use daily and rinse with mouthwash.

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The Best Oils for Oil Pulling

The most popular oils are cold pressed, unrefined, organic virgin Coconut Oil (Case Study #2), Sesame Oil (Case Study #1), Olive Oil, and Sunflower Oil.

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My 21 Day Experiment

...we're going on an adventure

Having known about oil pulling for several years, a friend of mine recently asked if I had ever tried it, in which I replied, “No, but I probably should have by now.” Since I recently purchased a new supply of Coconut Oil and Olive Oil, I decided to give it a whirl and go on an adventure.

So I began my 21-day experiment with an oil I’m very familiar with – Coconut Oil. I read that twenty-one days was a good initial evaluation period to judge whether it’s working for you or not, and also to work through any potential side-effects.

As of writing this I was only four days in so I didn’t have much to report, except that my teeth appear to be a bit whiter and brighter. I didn’t experience any of the side-effects I’ve read about such as feeling “queasy” afterward. I’ll need at least 7-10 days as a true measure of how beneficial this practice has been to me. That’s also a fair amount of time to post a visual before-and-after of my teeth.

That also doesn’t mean I can’t post findings and results from those that have been oil pulling for months or even years. Scanning the internet for experienced oil pullers, I reached out to two popular YouTubers for case studies. Here’s what they gave me.

Case Study #1: GrandRiver Nick

During my phone conversation with Nick, he pointed out to me that Sesame Oil is considered the most beneficial oil for oil pulling. Nick recommends a variety of oils for the first three weeks such as Sesame Oil, Olive Oil, Palm Oil, and Sunflower Oil. After twenty one days, you can use your favorite oil for oil pulling once a week as maintenance.

Some people may feel queasy or experience headaches as a potential side-effect from the body getting rid of the toxins. Most people should be able to work through it. He told me that after oil pulling for some time he feels his teeth and gums are much stronger.


Nick warns that if you have the old school [dt_tooltip title=”mercury-amalgam fillings”]Approximately 50% of the composition of dental amalgam fillings, also known as “silver fillings”, is elemental mercury by weight. The chemical properties of elemental mercury allow it to react with and bind together the silver/copper/tin alloy particles to form an amalgam.[/dt_tooltip], you’ll want to have them removed prior to oil pulling to avoid them being stripped and broken down from the oil. He recommends having your dentist do half your mouth first (either the bottom or right side first), and then the other half thirty days later.

30 MINUTE RULE: Oil pulling will trigger your mouth enzymes to create [dt_tooltip title=”amylase”]The enzyme that begins digestion in mouth saliva which converts starch and glycogen into simple sugars.[/dt_tooltip] to begin the digestive process. This happens whenever your bite into anything that’s not water. So thirty minutes after your initial ‘rinse and brush’, you’ll want to brush again with the toothbrush you normally use. This will remove the amylase released into the mouth and prevent it from stripping your teeth of its enamel.

Before and After

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Video/Photo Courtesy of GrandRiver Nick:



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Case Study #2: The Hungarian Experiment

I also reached out to The Hungarian Experiment, who impressively documented his oil pulling experiment with videos for Day 1, Day 7, Day 11, Day 15, Day 22, and Day 30 on his YouTube Channel. His oil of choice was Coconut Oil.

His Day 22 video is very telling and he’s quite candid about the fact that while maintaining habits of drinking black coffee and smoking during his 30-day oil pulling experiment, his results were still fantastic.

You can watch him do his first oil pulling session in his Day 1 video. Here he writes down on a whiteboard what he is feeling during his first oil pulling session.

Prior to the day of his Day 22 video he had his third cheat day of that month. While oil pulling the day of the video, he pointed out that the oil got unusually thick – forcing him to spit it out after twelve minutes.

He explains that he noticed this during every oil pulling session after a cheat day.

His Day 30 observations video offers findings about the results of oil pulling for thirty days and what science and research say about oil pulling, namely the American Dental Association.

Before and After

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Video/Photo Courtesy of The Hungarian Experiment





After only four days I can say I am noticing increased brightness in my teeth and receding of the gum line. The result of this is that my smile appears slightly fuller and brighter. I will be switching over to Sesame Oil starting Day 5 as per Nick’s recommendation, then to Olive Oil on Day 9, while repeating this cycle until twenty-one days has elapsed. As far as my physical health goes, I feel the same as I have been, so I’ll need at least two to three weeks to gauge whether I feel any overall health benefits. Even if oil pulling primarily benefits oral health then I’d say it’s definitely worth the first twenty minutes of your morning. You can swish the oil around in your mouth while you perform other activities such as checking and sending emails, getting clothes ready for the day, listening to voicemail, etc.

Stay subscribed or Join Today to automatically receive email updates when I post my oil pulling follow-up and other content on peak performance just like this.

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Studies on Oil Pulling

Indian Journal of Dental Research – oil pulling compared to mouthwash

Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research – oil pulling with sesame oil

Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry – oil pulling for bad breath

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American Dental Association (ADA) – criticism of oil pulling studies

Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine – oil pulling and tissue regeneration

Seven Research Studies – on oil pulling for promoting oral hygiene

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