Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The C-Word: Oil Pulling or Running the Pipes

If you have ANY issues with your teeth, gums or respiratory system, you owe it to yourself to try oil-pulling. Of all the odd health stuff I do - 16 ounces of green juice every morning, body brushing, supplements, quitting sugar and most grains - this is one of the easiest and it's had the most immediate results.

Some say it clears toxins from the respiratory, digestive system and the skin, even reduces TMJ jaw pain and improves sleep.  Apparently, it makes perfect sense to car mechanics who often run oil through the works using the phospholipids to liquify and draw out debris, sediment and other junk. If you have cancer, it is worth it to this process add to your healing arsenal.

It's actually an Ayurvedic technique so they've had years (um, centuries) to test it out. But on a purely anecdotal level, when I started doing it, I am embarrassed to say I hadn't had my teeth cleaned in years. I slunk into my favorite dentist's office (Dr. Idelle Brand, if you live in NYC) for a catch-up.

Coconut oil is great for oil-pulling because it has additional antibacterial properties. Use about this much - a heaping teaspoon if it's solid and a tablespoon if it's liquid.

Amazingly, I had very little plaque on my teeth at all. I also noticed that from one appointment to the next (a few months), my periodontal disease seemed to be gone and my gums were fuller. I had no loose or achy teeth and the tea stains were also greatly reduced.

Traditionally, one uses sesame or even sunflower oil, but I found the best results - for me - with coconut. The oil one chooses depends on the health issues one wants to focus on. I've read listservs where people say pulling with olive oil resolves their gout pain. Anecdotally, people have used oil-pulling to resolve halitosis, sinusitis, arthritis pain and even eczema. I just read that oil-pulling with coconut oil can kill the candida (yeast or thrush) and the streptococcus bacteria in the mouth. By the way, the brand doesn't matter as long as it's reputable - and probably anything you have in your mouth that long should be organic.

Basically, I put a heaping teaspoon full of solid oil (a tablepoon of liquid oil) in my mouth, first thing in the morning. I swoosh it around while I make breakfast for Rara and make the tea and the juice. That takes about 15 to 20 minutes and since I am by myself, I don't have to talk to anyone and I am distracted. For more severe conditions, one can do it twice a day - so just before bed - always on an empty stomach.

DO NOT SWALLOW IT! This is important because it is drawing out toxins and you don't want to put them back into your system.

When I finish, I spit the oil directly into the garbage bag and run and brush my teeth.

DO NOT SPIT IT INTO SINK! Crucial because 1. it's full of toxins and 2. you will clog up the drain (and hate me forever)!!!

It's incredible - my teeth feel supersmooth and clean - polished and slippery as a marble tabletop. It's a great thing for cancer chemotherapy patients because it's a gentle way to reduce bacteria in your mouth without irritating your sensitive tissues.