Oil Pulling: A Surge of Popularity for Ancient Hygienic Practice

Thursday, 13 Mar 2014 08:57 AM

By Nick Sanchez

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Swishing mouthwash is a standard hygienic practice for millions of Americans, but the ancient practice of oil pulling has seen a recent surge in popularity. Many claim it can cure dozens of ailments, from plaque buildup to anorexia. Others say it has limited value.

Oil pulling is rooted in Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medicine system of 3,000-plus years ago. It advises practitioners to swish everyday oils, like sesame or sunflower oil, around their mouths until the oils becomes thin and whitish in color. Accustomed to a shorter rinse time with traditional mouthwash, many newcomers may need to work up to the task; oil pulling often takes upwards of 20 minutes to complete.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

The Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine claims that "oil pulling has been used extensively as a traditional Indian folk remedy for many years to prevent decay, oral malodor, bleeding gums, dryness of throat, cracked lips and for strengthening teeth, gums and the jaw."

Beyond the immediate mouth area, the journal asserts that oil pulling can also benefit "dry face, dull senses, exhaustion, anorexia, loss of taste, impaired vision, [and] sore throat."

Sound too good to be true? According to the few published clinical trials available, it might be.

Some mouth bacteria that causes bad breath and gingivitis can be killed with oil pulling, but some experts say it fails as a comprehensive cure-all.

Loma Linda University Associate Professor of Dental Hygiene Michelle Hurlbutt, RDH, MSDH, told the Huffington Post, "[Oil pulling] should not be used to treat oral disease such as gum disease or tooth decay. It's more of a preventive rinse that could be used adjunctively with your regular mouthcare routine."

Similarly, Houston dentist Dr. Wayne Brueggen told CBS affiliate KHOU that "it can't hurt." However, he doubts the efficiency of the method.

In an unpublished clinical trial, Hurlbutt found that a bacteria linked to cavity risk, Streptococcus mutans, was significantly reduced in test groups after a two-week regimen of daily oil pulling with either sesame oil or coconut oil.

"She found that the sesame oil group experienced a five-fold decrease in the bacteria as compared to the water group [the control group], while the coconut oil group experienced a two-fold decrease. But after the daily oil pulling stopped, levels of the bad bacteria began to creep up again," according to the Huffington Post. 

Concluding her study, Hurlbutt deemed it "promising," and said oil pulling is ripe for more comprehensive studies and trials.

In the meantime, she also recommended oil pulling enthusiasts stay away from spitting in the sink, because oil will clog the pipes.

Editor's Note: Do You Support Obamacare? Vote in Urgent National Poll

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

'Frozen': Most Popular Toy in Holiday Survey Dethrones Barbie

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 19:46 PM

Barbie has been the most popular holiday gift for more than a decade, but this year the iconic doll will have to let it  . . .

Nor'easter, Snow Threaten Northeast Travel Ahead of Thanksgiving

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 17:50 PM

The Northeast is bracing for a Nor'easter that is expected to snarl holiday travel plans on Wednesday . . .

Michael Hanline Freed After 1980 Murder Conviction Overturned

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 15:34 PM

Michael Hanline, who was convicted of murder in 1980, was released on bail Monday after prosecutors said they are no lon . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved