Hey yall, Mo here. Some of you may have seen articles floating around the ‘interwebs’ lately about oil pulling, the practice of gargling oil(not really gargling, more like swishing around in your mouth) to pull bacteria from the mouth and detoxify the body. This practice is rooted in Ayurvedic medicine, ancient medical texts like the Charaka Samhita date back over 2,000 years and describe oil gargling restores health to the body.
Like a lot of other women that make the decision to stop chemically relaxing their hair, my eyes were opened to the links between the products that I ingest and put on my skin and hair affect my health. (knowledge is a beautiful thing…..) I really started oil pulling as an experiment, I’d initially planned to start taking a teaspoon of coconut oil a day because of the many health-promoting effects on the body, particularly the lauric acid, which increases HDL (high density lipoprotein), the good cholesterol.
Anyway, I didn’t think that I could force myself to swallow the oil, so I decided to swish it around instead for about 10 minutes. After spitting it out (in the trash, not in the sink!), I immediately noticed that my teeth felt like I’d just left the dentist. I’m pretty OCD about teeth, so I knew that I was on to something. I’ve also noticed my allergies symptoms improving, and for somebody that never leaves the house without Kleenex, that was a welcome effect as well.
My daily regimen now consists of oil pulling twice a day.
More research uncovers a direct medical link between oral health and heart health. The mouth is the front door to the body, and it carries more than 600 types of bacteria (Source). Mouth health bears an effect on the health of the body. Research suggests that “gum disease may contribute to heart disease because bacteria from infected gums can dislodge, enter the bloodstream, attach to blood vessels and increase clot formation. It has also been suggested that inflammation caused by gum disease may also trigger clot formation. Clots decrease blood flow to the heart, thereby causing an elevation in blood pressure and increasing the risk of a heart attack.” (Source)
Another study conducted by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research showed that adults with higher levels of these periodontal-disease-causing bacteria, the more likely people were to have thicker carotid arteries.
So, aside from the cosmetic benefits of oil pulling, there is medical research that shows how the effects of this practice contributes to heart health. Now knowing what you know, would you do it?