Coconut oil may be one of the main staple ingredients in your kitchen cupboard and if it isn't, why not?! I always used to cook with olive oil if I was to ever fry anything, often vegetables and I was a big fan of fried eggs. For a long time I didn't make the connection to the grease factor playing upset with my digestive system so I looked for cleaner ways of cooking, I replaced olive oil with coconut oil years ago and have never looked back since.
As well as being an amazing food staple, coconut oil has many other benefits.
One of them being for oral hygiene! When I first started my yoga journey I went wild on cleansing techniques and alongside tongue scraping this something that also stuck.
Never heard of oil pulling?
Its as simple as it sounds, you put a teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth and pull it around the inside of your mouth. You swish, you gargle and push and suck it between your teeth. The aim is to move the oil around the mouth as much as you can for a long period of time.
As well as cleansing the mouth, tongue, teeth and throat it gives you a REALLY good face workout! It's amazing to physically feel the muscles around your face working, we work our body to find definition and tone but we often forget about our faces! What a sin!
Coconut oil possesses strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which can help reduce the number of harmful bacteria within the mouth. It can help prevent plaque formation and improve both gum health and oral hygiene, it's also said to help pull stains off the teeth.
It is recommended to oil pull for 15-20 minutes, if you find it hard to 'swish' for that long build yourself up to the duration. The longer the better as it can stimulate the saliva glands and really work deep into the gums and bateria hidden in and on the tongue.
Once you are ready to dispose of the coconut oil you can spit it into the bin, it's not recommended for down the sink as this can clog the drainage pipes when the coconut oil hardens in cold weather! Upon spitting you will see that it's cloudy, this is all the bad bacteria. DO NOT swallow the oil after you have finished!
After this wonderful 20 minute ritual swill the mouth with cold water and brush your teeth. Honestly, you will be amazed at how CLEAN it all feels in there!
As well as coconut oil you can also use sesame oil (this is something I haven't tried personally so if you have let me know what you think! If you're planning on tongue scraping do it before this practice, and even better do the whole thing upon waking before food!