Coconut Oil Pulling Detox.

Via Jennifer K. Jones
on Sep 15, 2011
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An expert weighs in on how to do it:


I have a habit of asking healthy, thriving seniors what their secret to longevity is.

I get a mixture of old wives’ tales as well as tried and true practices (drink lots of water daily, don’t drink alcohol, eat five veggies a day, don’t smoke). Occasionally I get an answer that piques my interest and leads me to do research and experimentation.

Oil Pulling was one of those interesting suggestions. I can say, after having done it for quite a while now…it really works. This is an ancient Ayurvedic practice used to detox the body with results like:

  • Whiter teeth
  • Healthy gums
  • Clear sinuses
  • Decrease in allergy symptoms, asthma & PMS symptoms
  • Increase in energy
  • Better sleep
  • Clearer skin
  • Regulated menstrual cycles

There are reports of other benefits due to the cleansing effect it has on the immune system.

The idea behind the practice is that, through the process of swishing, pulling the oil through the teeth and around the mouth, the toxins, bacteria and latent infections are pulled out and into the oil. We harbor an unbelievable amount of toxins in our mouth and because of that, our immune systems are kept quite busy in that region. When we eliminate that energy drain by oil pulling, our immune system can then focus on other things. Makes sense.

My husband and I began oil pulling using the traditional sesame oil. Heed my warning… if you use sesame oil, you probably won’t make this a regular practice. We both gagged our way through 5 minutes and decided the benefits couldn’t possibly outweigh the nastiness.

We then switched to coconut oil, and the experience is much more pleasant.

As a side note, coconut oil is just a wonderful oil to have on hand for a number of different uses: cooking, body moisturizer, hair conditioner. So, if oil pulling ends up not being your thing after investing in a tub of coconut oil, it will not go to waste. Also, coconut oil is solid at room temperature but will quickly liquify when it reaches body temperature.


How to:

Put approximately 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swish around your entire mouth, pulling through your teeth and around your tongue for 15-20 minutes.  The frequency is up to you, although people report experiencing the most notable benefits when performed daily.  Some do it up to three times a day while others shoot for once a week.  Best when done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

After the pulling is complete, be sure not to swallow the oil as it is full of bacteria.  Do not spit it out in the sink, but rather into your compost or trash—otherwise you’ll clog the pipes when the oil congeals. You should spit it out into the trash, and be sure to rinse your mouth out well with water and follow with a good brush.

That’s it. It’s cheap and easy enough that it’s certainly worth a try to see if it works for you.

Wishing you peace, joy & heath.

For more information:

Bonus videos:


About Jennifer K. Jones

Jennifer K. Jones is the owner of a multi-media marketing firm, yoga instructor and practitioner, holistic health practitioner, writer and artist. She is the mother of three incredible little boys & an amazing baby girl, all of whom will hopefully grow up to live their passions with gratitude, radiate and spread pure, unconditional love to every being that they encounter, and thrive within the vast openness of their wildest dreams... and Jennifer is striving daily to lead them by example. Contact Jennifer at her website.


65 Responses to “Coconut Oil Pulling Detox.”

  1. Sara says:

    I've always used sesame, didn't know I could do it with coconut oil! Thanks for this article-

  2. NesMaret says:

    Can you use Olive oil?

  3. JenniferKH says:

    Hi there – Yes, I have read that you can use unrefined olive oil.

  4. frankhark says:

    Is there a particular brand of coconut oil you recommend? Can you give suggestions on where and what to buy? I have a rash (eczema /psoriasis) so always looking for immune support.

  5. NesMaret says:

    Just did the pulling, i'm shocked from what came out
    … I know TMI, Will look for coconut oil.

  6. JenniferKH says:

    Hello… I love Nature's Way EfaGold Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. You can get it at Whole Foods.

  7. Layne says:

    Thanks for the article.
    However, the scientists who created the method recommend only cold-pressed Sesame and/or Sunflower oil. They state several times that other oils were not proven to be as beneficial in their studies. I use coconut oil often and am aware of its healing properties, but it seems irresponsible to recommend it as a replacement for the oil pulling method without research to back it up. UNLESS, you have other sources to corroborate that choice. If so – could you share?


  8. JenniferKH says:

    Here is just one of many articles that I've read that suggests coconut oil for pulling (posted above as well)… Sesame & Sunflower are the more traditional oils but other oils, including olive, work too.

  9. frankhark says:

    Fantastic, Thanks Jennifer. I am going now and may start asap.

  10. Carla Royal says:

    I want to do this but I am hesitant. I read about the benefits years ago and decided to give it a try, but in the description I read it said that some people have reported dental work loosening and even falling out. I didn't think much of the warning and begin oil pulling for awhile. I don't know if it is a coincidence or not but a few months later my crown loosened and came out! Not much fun, especially since it is one of my two front teeth! It was easy enough to have the crown glued back in but I have oil pulled since. Coincidence? Maybe, but I had had that crown good and solid for many, many years with no problem. Any advice?

  11. Dave says:

    You may suggest that people spit the used oil into the garbage since it can solidify and has the potential to clog the pipes in the sink.

  12. Cynthia says:

    Good information! Coconut oil is phenomenal for so many reasons, and it has natural antibacterial properties, so it's a great choice here. See the book, The Coconut Oil Miracle, for lots of great info on this miracle of nature. One small editing comment: I believe that you meant to say that you get an answer that "piques" your interest rather than "peaks" it.

  13. Whaleback says:

    Thanks for pointing out the correction and in such a kind fashion. I noticed it right away and thought I was the only one.

  14. frankhark says:

    I just tried it too. But it was clear. Didn't notice anything…shocking. I'll definitely keep at it, at least for a few weeks..

  15. Wow. Interesting! I'm going to try it. PS. And now I'm really hungry 🙂

  16. I tried it once and was so grossed out…would a smaller amt. of oil still work? I'm pretty vigilant w/ my Tom's of Maine & my floss, but thought this would be cool. A friend that is a big Weston A. Price foundation/Traditional Foods advocate recommended it & I wanted to like it. I love coconut oil for lots of other things, but 15 minutes of it in my mouth made me want to hurl.

  17. Jennifer says:

    Over the last 6 months or so, I tried pulling oil pretty regularly until I ran out of coconut oil, and then slacked off with an occasional mouthful of safflower oil. I just had a dental checkup and was pleasantly surprised — I have the very beginning stages of gum disease, and my dentist measures the pockets around my teeth and notes any bleeding. There was zero bleeding this time, and pockets in two major areas were reduced. I haven’t been doing anything else differently, so it seems likely the oil pulling was beneficial. (I’d love to see some controlled science experiments done on this!)

    I’m going to get back into the habit of swishing every day or every other day just to see how my next dental visit goes.

  18. elephantjournal says:

    I tried (once) nothing happened…got tired as I went…probably have to keep at it. ~ W.

  19. elephantjournal says:

    Would love to hear on this—I don't have fixtures but that would be horrible! ~ W.

  20. elephantjournal says:

    Michelle Christiana Bailey WOW! i'll have to try this, starting today!

    Donna Runion Oil pulling is awesome, I will have to try it with coconut oil instead of sesame. The only thing in her article I disagree with is spitting it out into your sink, you will definitely clog your pipes. And most people have those pop up stoppers, you really don't want that nastiness accumulating there!

    Judy Boyd Griffin Will have to try this one.

    Joe Allegretti How about Snake Oil Pulling? Sorry… not buying it, but sure, it's cheap and can't hurt. Go ahead.

    Jennifer Marranci I knew about doing this with olive oil, which I don't like the taste of. Coconut I could do

    Nicole Wagner it's true I have been doing it for over a year now … whenever I have a cold and swish with it for 10 plus minutes it naturally brings out all that gunck that is causing my illness! I'll be better within days 🙂 Plus my teeth are naturally white with this stuff 🙂 And it's slimming aka model Miranda Kerr which I've also experienced. ps it's never clogged my sink 🙂

  21. Jeff says:

    A scam, but a relatively harmless one. The only thing it will likely hurt is the size of your wallet. Specialty vegetable oils tend to be expensive.

  22. Anandi says:

    Will try it as I have no health or dental insurance and trying to take good care of my teeth and body.

  23. bill says:

    I've tried I didn't notice anything but you have to be consistent. I have heard people arthritis go away from it.

  24. elephantjournal says:

    Shannon S Bought some yesterday! Tried it yesterday, even put it on my skin and gave my dog a little! Smells sooo yummy!

    Peggy James love coconut oil… will try this.

    India Lee Can
    Carrie Radcliffe tried this years ago with sunflower oil. always have coconut oil around for cooking, etc., so i tried it a few days ago and haven't stopped! thanks for the tip!

    Maggie Kane I m definitely going to try this. Love coconut oil, but never thought to use it in this way. ♥

  25. elephantjournal says:

    Nice to see some criticism…strange it can be a scam if visibly whitens teeth according to so many folks who've tried it and comes from a 2,000+ year old tradition of testing and practice…I don't know either way. ~ W.

  26. elephantjournal says:

    Okay, just read the report…says oil pulling doesn't come out of Ayurveda! ~ W.

  27. abigail says:

    More about this here.
    Coconut oil is a welcome update!

  28. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    I never thought of coconut oil! I tried the sesame and was with you there – couldn't even make it to 5 minutes!

  29. […] learned about this cleanse from Maya Fiennes’s amazing book called ‘Yoga for real life’. Every morning, as […]

  30. wim says:

    i have done it for years with just water which feels very refreshing, i can imagine that with oil more bacteria will stick to it.

  31. […] odd pasta or rice. I go to bed at 8-9 PM and wake up at 6 AM. I’m currently experimenting with oil-pulling and ice-cold showers but they are not daily habits just […]

  32. Tabitha says:

    I agree with you here, In my years as a PT and nutritionist I see people jump in and out of diets and quick cures, if they think swilling pigs pee in their mouths would stop them feeling guilty about all the sugar that they continue to eat then they will do it. I do believe that oil swilling will remove some bacteria, but so does any kind of detox, so does breathing! Eat Well, Think even Weller, and LOVE your beautiful body. If oil swilling works of you… that too!

  33. boulderwind says:

    Ah, if only health were so simple! As a natural health practitioner I see this as a rather harmless thing, but get really tired of the "Do this ONE wacky thing (take this supplement, etc.) and ALL your problems will disappear!" Desperate people looking for a simplistic solution jump on the bandwagon without changing their diet, lifestyle, mental health habits, etc. and for a while it is the NEW FAD only to disappear into oblivion…. remember those bogus foot baths where the water turned colors whether there were feet in them or not? Remember ear candling?

  34. Teresa says:

    I also did not think to try coconut oil. I tried sesame with the same result as you and your husband….pretty awful. Excited to try again now!

  35. cathywaveyoga says:

    I have been iintereste din this for awhile. i am curious if you had any effects when using the coconut oil which make a strong recommendation.

  36. Danielle says:

    Hi, I had a great experience with oil pulling as well. I agree, coconut oil is definitely more pleasant tasting for sure. I’ve read that it doesn’t matter much what type of oil you use, just that you swish for at least 10-15 min and then spit out…don’t swallow any of the oil.

  37. […] risen at dawn to oil pull, tongue scrap, Abhyanga, shoot water up my nose and take herbs, and that’s all before doing […]

  38. […] that you can use all over (I like to travel with coconut oil—good for the body, hair and […]

  39. Jacqueline says:

    I just started oil pulling myself, about a month ago. (I had heard about it before and was considering it; would you believe my holistic dentist recommended it to me!) I started with coconut oil (which I happily cook and bake and moisturize with) and I have to say that oil pulling with coconut oil also made me want to hurl. So I tried it with sesame oil; as soon as it was in my mouth I knew immediately that this was the oil for me. Give it a try!

  40. Jacqueline says:

    It's not a fad; it's comes from Ayurveda which is a system of medicine that is 5000 years old…you know, the sister health care system to yoga….

  41. morningsong says:

    I use coconut oil for almost everything… I love it! But, I only use sesame for oil pulling. It has certain qualities that coconut doesn't, specifically – it is a better detoxifier and also high in calcium so provides a calcium bath to your teeth and jaw bones. Lucky for me, the taste isn't an issue, but if you use raw rather than toasted oil it is lighter in taste.

  42. @howlinglove says:

    Second time I've heard of this. I actually brush my teeth with a paste of coconut oil and baking soda.
    15 minutes huh? I heard that before as well. Seriously? That's a long time. Won't you starting salivating and overflow? "Accidently" swallow due to all of that time?

  43. Meghan says:

    Um, I get what you are saying but you are jumping to a lot of conclusions that the people interested in this are not taking care of themselves in other ways. If they are on this website they probably are. This is not a cure all it is a beneficial practice many seem to benefit from. I have tried it and without my family knowing they have commented on my teeth being whiter. A wisdom tooth that was giving me some aches is not any longer. Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.
    There are so many ways to take care of ourselves and most of them have been hidden and only toxic substances introduced into our lives.

  44. meghan says:

    20 minutes is what I do and have read. I do it in the morning when checking emails. Take your mind off it and it goes quickly. I put a paper towel to my lips to give some pressure to swish against. And I have towels ready for any slight spillage and a bowl to spit if needed. It really is very helpful.

  45. carly says:

    before or after brushing?

  46. john says:

    who is lisa barger? seems like she's beating up on a strawman. who is doing the scamming? every oil in the grocery store is vegetable oil. nobody uses lard to cook anymore. try to think before posting.

  47. Tru says:

    Wouldn't suggest spitting oil in the sink…especially coconut. It could solidify in the pipes and cause clogging. Spitting in the toilet is a better idea. 🙂

  48. […] Coconut Oil Pulling Detox. This is an ancient Ayurvedic practice used to detox the body with results like: Whiter teeth Healthy gums Clear sinuses Decrease in allergy symptoms, asthma & PMS symptoms Increase in energy Better sleep Clearer skin Regulated menstrual cycles ________ Oil Pulling Using Coconut Oil As you are primarily removing toxins from the mouth, the majority of the benefits are focused around this area. With Oil pulling you can look to strengthen your teeth and gums, eliminate tooth decay, reverse gingivitis and even repair those loose teeth. It really is an ‘all in one’ solution for cleaning in your mouth. To cap this off, it will even whiten your teeth within a couple of weeks _________ Oil Pulling – What it is * What it helps * How to do it * and Using coconut oil for it. Health issues oil pulling has been known to aid with and in some cases cure (based on individual accounts): Acne Arterio Thrombosis Arthritis Bad Breath Bleeding Gums Bronchitis Candida Overgrowth Chronic / Acute Sinusitis (Sinus Infections) Chronic Blood Disorders Such As Leukemia Chronic Diseases Digestive Problems Constipation Crohns Disease Diabetes Eczema Gingivitis / Gum Disease Heart Disease Insomnia Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Ibs) Kidney Disease Migraine Headaches Neuro Physiological Paralysis Post Nasal Drip Skin Conditions Tooth Decay Ulcers Whitens Teeth White Tongue Women’s Diseases ____________ Oil Pulling for Oral Health Oil pulling is an age-old remedy that uses natural substances to clean and detoxify teeth and gums. It has the added effect of whitening teeth naturally and evidence even shows that it is beneficial in improving gums and removing harmful bacteria. ____________ Oilpulling Method Step by Step ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I am NOT a doctor. This page is for education only, and is NOT intended to be medical advice. Always talk with your health practitioner before taking any herbs or supplements. […]

  49. Brad Yantzer says:

    Oil pulling is a new hippie dippie thing within the yoga and spiritual and cleansing world. It originates from Ayurveda but what is being touted about it is completely blown out of proportion. Claims of liver detoxing to all sorts of ridiculous claims are being made. People are using all kinds of oils such as coconut oil for it as well. It is important to understand the deep knowledge behind this because it is from ayurvedaa and without the details your gonna create disease. Gandusha is the swishing of oil or water in your mouth until tears develop in the eyes. There are SIGNS and SYMPTOMS of doing it correctly and not that is highly disregarded by this article and others due to lack of any understanding of ayurveda and/or oil pulling. There is dietary conditions that NEED to be followed including eating a light diet as per ayurveda not western ideas of a light diet. To not follow these guidelines can result in disease or at minimum bad repercussions. In general, you NEED to oil and foment the face PRIOR to have proper effects and not cause a deeper imbalance. Oil pulling is only done with warm sesame oil or water (once again, just sesame oil) unless specifically directed by an Ayurvedic DOCTOR where they would then give you a medicated oil to use for certain reasons. There are four types of gandusha. Each for their specific purposes. But yet all of this knowledge is thrown to the ignorant wayside and harmful information is shared like this article. Using coconut oil will create problems with dental, bad breath, cavities, and a whole lot more due to the qualities that the coconut oil has. but do as you will after all it is your health your playing with.