Oil pulling — a resource for your holistic business strategy

Heal your mouth and brighten your smile by swishing oil around your mouth every morning.

Put your best smile forward in your business.

As I said in the post where I shared my tooth powder recipe, good health and exquisite self-care is such an important part of every smart woman’s holistic business strategy.

Oil PullingHere’s another in my occasional series of health and wellness tips that I use and that I am so happy to share with you!

The claim that oil pulling would whiten my teeth grabbed me.

Because of course. Vanity has propelled me to begin many of my wellness practices. I don’t mind. Left to my own devices, I am so lazy. If vanity can get me to create new healthier habits, I’ll take it!

I chose to use unrefined virgin coconut oil, even though sesame oil is the most traditional (the idea of sesame oil makes me gag, but that’s just me). A tablespoon in the morning first thing (before brushing or drinking or eating), and then ten minutes or more of swishing it around in my mouth. Here’s the article that got me started, in case you want to read more.

Here’s what I noticed first: After a few months of almost daily oil pulling I noticed that the color of my teeth was brighter, with less staining (and I drink gunpowder green tea every day, so this is definitely a thing!).

And then! A few months later, I realized that the deep and scary constant pain deep under a molar was gone. Gone! This has made me a convert for life. I have no clue about any of the other health claims connected to oil pulling, but if they are true, I guess I will happily find out!

Then I added the charcoal and now it’s working even better!

This article crossed my feed one day about four months ago. Adding activated charcoal makes perfect sense — I already use it in my homemade tooth powder (recipe here).

black oilHere’s my recipe

  • Soften a jar full of virgin unrefined coconut oil. You can do this in a double boiler. Me, I’m lazy and I’m okay with using my microwave. It takes a couple of minutes on low power to soften. For a container, I use a pint canning jar.
  • Add a tablespoon or two of activated charcoal to the oil while it’s still soft. Warning! Warning! I can’t emphasize the messiness of activated charcoal enough. When I used to open capsules, I learned to do so over the sink and even then the cleanup was challenging — it gets everywhere! Now I buy my charcoal in bulk, and when I open the container a cloud of granulated black powder gets released. Before I wised up, I was cleaning black powder out of the cracks in my blond bamboo floor for weeks. Now I add the charcoal to my oil pulling mixture and my toothpowder outside of my house!
  • I am going to add some organic lemon and chamomile oils to my mixture (I was just reminded about this in Elizabeth’s article).
  • Keep at room temperature. It will harden, but I seem to be able to stick a spoon in it, even on cold mornings.

And here’s my method

  • On awakening, get a tablespoon of the oil into your mouth. You want to do this before brushing, or eating, or drinking anything. Clean-up tip. I wipe the spoon down with a paper towel because the gunk clings to the spoon.
  • Spend about ten or so minutes swishing the oil around in your mouth. Gently.
  • Spit it out. Anywhere but down a drain. Remember it will harden again — could clog your pipes! I spit into a plastic bag in the trash and make sure the bag stays upright.
  • Brush your teeth. Enjoy your day. Smile big!

Tell me what you think.

Did I leave anything out? Have you tried oil pulling?

Let me know what you’re thinking in the comments. Blessed be!

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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1. What a great article! I had a vague idea about what oil pulling is, but you clarified it for me in much more detail. I will need to try it sometime. It sounds interesting to me! Thank you very much! -Stacey

    • Stacey, thanks for the kind words. Let me know what you think when you try it. I’ll tell you, though, I think you need to oil pull consistently for a few months to get the goodness.


  2. I’d read several health benefit claims about oil pulling but I admit what led me to give it a try last month was for the whitening. It took me awhile to get into a routine but once I began seeing the results I was happy I made the effort. The oil is pretty pricey out here in the middle of the Pacific but I’ve decided it’s worth it. Thanks for filling in some of the blanks on this process Sue!

    • Marquita, I love my whiter teeth too! Hmmm, you’re making me think I should find a way to bring some coconut oil with me (for pulling and cooking) rather than going out to source some when I land in Kaua’i in nine days.

      Triple baggie, maybe.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Love and light,

  3. Have been meaning to try this for quite a while, Sue, and your article offers a welcome nudge to get going!

    So many health (& beauty) benefits to coconut oil! I eat copious amounts (straight, in coffee/tea, and in cooking)…and it’s been pretty much my only skin product for many, many years. Skin is so porous that I like living by the Ayurvedic adage of not put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat!

    Thanks for the helpful post and tooth-care nudge!

    • Dana, How do you use coconut oil on your skin? I find it frustrating because it’s always solid at room temp. Teach me!

      Love and gratitude,

    • Amy, welcome here. Enjoy the feeling of doing such a nice thing for your mouth, teeth, and self!

      Blessed be,

  4. Funny thought I had left a comment here. was from my mobile while i was away into the ether. I oil pull with coconut oil each day- have use sesame and it is okay. Will try the charcoal now i see it has lots of side benefits. Have you ever tried tumeric for whitening? I believe it works- always been too scared my teeth would go yellow

    • Suzie, I haven’t heard of using turmeric. I too worry about adding any tinge of yellow to my teeth. I looked it up though. It seems to be called for when an infection is present — a cold or something.

      Let me know what you think as you experiment.

      Love and light,

  5. Oh my, this is a divine wink for sure as I have been seeing oil pulling reminders all over the place this week;) Thanks Sue, for sharing your tips about adding the activated charcoal and essential oils. Time to get my coconut oil pulling ritual started again! joyful blessings, Tina

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