Proof that oil pulling actually works.

Oil pulling is a bit of a buzz word at the moment, so chances are you've heard about it. You might be wondering what it's all about though, so here's the deal...

Oil pulling is the practice of swishing oil around in the mouth to draw out toxins and is a traditional Ayurvedic technique, originating in India. Indians have long used oils for various things other than cooking, much demonstrated by my grandmother who would pin me down to put castor oil in my ears as a child, apparently to keep them healthy and reduce wax build up. I don't know if it actually worked, but I have vivid memories of the oil bottle coming out at bath time and the sensation of the cold oil trickling into my ears. It wasn't pleasant.

While the oil in the ears technique didn't quite take off in the western world, it seems that using oil in the mouth has piqued the interest of many people recently, with articles on the subject popping up everywhere and even new brands that have monetised the concept. This is probably largely due to the claim that this practice can help to whiten teeth in a natural way, however oil pulling can also improve oral health and assist in reducing headaches, acne and general inflammation in the body.

Naturally, all of these reasons to try oil pulling were pretty attractive so with that and the fact that my grandmother had been touting this remedy to me for years, I decided to give it a go.

What I used.

Although sesame oil is what was originally used for this practice, I'm a huge fan of coconut oil and I use it for a very long list of things which includes body moisturising, face cleansing, shaving and cooking, so it was a no brainer to use it for my oil pulling endeavour. 

I use this cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil as it's great value for a large amount (seeing as I use it so much) plus it's worth noting that extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil is different from just the 'pure/organic' coconut oil. The cold pressed variety actually tastes more coconutty because it's unrefined (which will make for more pleasant swilling) and is just better quality oil as it hasn't been hydrogenated, making it much nicer for your body (inside and out)!

I  swished 1 tablespoon of oil around in my mouth for 15-20 minutes every night before I brushed my teeth, for 21 days.

Since I was trying out alternative oral health, I also ditched my usual Colgate toothpaste in favour of Earthpaste. It's a natural toothpaste with just 7 ingredients: Purified Water, Redmond Clay, Xylitol, Essential Oil, Real Salt, Tea Tree Essential Oil and Menthol. The paste doesn't contain a foaming agent so you won't get a mouth full of white bubbles like you're used to and it's a brownish colour (due to the clay) so don't be alarmed. It comes in 5 flavours: Cinnamon, Wintergreen, Spearmint, Peppermint or Lemon and although you do have to get used to the taste, after a few brushes you won't notice much difference. I've actually forgotten what it's like to use regular toothpaste and I much prefer Earthpaste because I don't get that slimy film in my mouth after brushing anymore and my mouth feels much cleaner for longer.

I did miss a few days out of the 21 I did this for but I was pretty consistent with using the oil every evening for the past 3 weeks. I usually took a mouthful to swill around while I was in the shower, then brushed once I got out. One thing to note with Coconut oil is that you mustn't spit it out in the shower or sink because it can solidify and clog your pipes. I spat it out into a handful of tissue, then threw that in the bin.

Now for the good bit! The results...

I'll be honest. When I took my 'after' photo this morning, I wasn't expecting to see much difference at all. I was actually a bit worried about what I'd write in this blog if my teeth weren't much whiter. However, as you can see from the before and after pics below, I was very pleasantly surprised!

Not only have my teeth gotten whiter, they look healthier on the inside, too. I had some decay forming on my back teeth which has visibly reduced and my mouth and throat is much less dry when I wake up in the morning. I'm also prone to jaw ache if I eat gum for long periods and I realised the other day that this had lessened, so clearly the action of swilling the oil around in my mouth has strengthened the muscles. My lips are also in better condition (as you can see from the cracks in the before photo)!

I plan to continue with the oil pulling and using Earthpaste for the time being. It'll be interesting to see how my oral health continues to improve as I'd much rather use natural ingredients on my body wherever I can. I want to make my own toothpaste at some point, too. 

If you want to try oil pulling yourself, here's what you need to do:

  • Get some extra virgin cold pressed Coconut Oil (I use this one, however you can also use sesame oil)
  • Put 1 tablespoon of oil in your mouth at night time before you brush your teeth
  • Swill this around for 15-20 minutes
  • Spit out into the bin

You might need to build up to using 1 tablespoon and lasting for 15 minutes, but it's ok to take it slow. If you're having trouble with the taste or the texture of the oil, start with 1 teaspoon for just 5 minutes and increase from there.

Hopefully this has been helpful if you've been wanting to find out more about oil pulling. Let me know how you get on if you decide to give it a go.

If you've already tried oil pulling, what were your thoughts? Did you get the results you were hoping for? Let me know in the comments!

Five things.

So I haven't been great at posting regularly, mainly because life seems to have taken over in the last couple months!

Ty and I were in Los Angeles with my mum at the beginning of January looking at wedding venues, then I came to Phoenix at the end of Jan and have been here since. While a lot has been going on, none of it has really felt blog worthy, so I thought I'd tell you guys about a few of my current obsessions instead...


Obsession one: My nephews.

These two cuties are Ty's sister's kids, so now that I'm officially their auntie I'm showing them off to anyone who will listen. The big one is Ky and the little one is Zo but his big brother has named him 'Bubba', so that's what we call him. 

It's nice having them around while I'm out here as they keep me company while Ty's at work and are a pretty fun distraction, even when they're getting in to everything and I'm chasing them around. One thing being with them has definitely confirmed for me though, is that I'm not ready for my own kiddos just yet. Ty is great with them and I love being with them too but we're sure we want to wait a few more years before we take that step!


Obsession two: Dutch Bros Coffee.

Ok, so I'm not a coffee person at all but since I discovered my love for Dutch Bros I've developed a taste for it. It might be because the drinks that I like are loaded with carameliser and sugar that I like them so much, but whatever, the stuff is magical. Their staff are also consistently witty, cool and make you wish you had them as a friend, which makes for a great customer experience. Stuff like that is important to me so it might be another reason why I like them so much. I applaud their recruitment process.

My favourite drink is the Ninja Turtle as a Dutch Freeze (which just means that it's an icey). It's on their secret menu so you won't see it displayed when you go there but if you ask, they'll tell you all of the secret concoctions they make (or you can click here). If you have a Dutch Bros in your area and haven't tried it yet, I can't recommend it enough so go try it! (They didn't sponsor this post, but if anyone from HQ is reading - I'd be open to the idea :).


Obsession three: Being married.

It really is the subtle things about being married that you notice the most. It's in little things like buying a Valentine's Day card that says 'husband' on it, and receiving one that says 'wife'. It's in making joint decisions about important and exciting things, like the area you want to buy a house in or what our plans for the next year should be. It's even in hearing him call you his wife and giving people your new surname. Although I know this feeling won't last forever, it's nice to finally be able to savour it with him seeing as we spent the first 2 months of our marriage apart. 

This year was our third Valentine's Day as a couple but the first we've spent together. Although I do think the 'holiday' is pretty inconsequential, it was nice that our first one in the same place was also our first as husband and wife. 


Obsession four: Outdoor lighting.

On the many viewings during our wedding venue hunt I realised how much I adore great outside lighting, specifically chandeliers. A lot of the places I loved had fairy lights hanging down from trees in a way I hadn't seen done before and it had such a lovely effect. One of my favourite venues had a massive waterfall with two chandeliers hanging above it - just gorge.

I actually got a lot of interior design ideas from our venue hunt and I think I'm more excited about decorating our house than I am about planning this wedding. Anyone know a wedding planner that wants to do it all for me? 


Obsession five: NARS velvet matte lip pencils

Sephora has been taking all of my pennies since I've been out here (as it usually does - why on earth they shut down in the UK I'll never know). One of my favourite purchases of late has been these NARS matte lip pencils. I've been using lip pencils instead of lipstick a lot lately and these ones give that perfect matte effect without rubbing off as easily as most 'normal' lip pencils. They're not cheap but they're worth the investment.

The colour I'm loving at the moment is Bahama. It's fitting my mood perfectly.


That's all I have for now because my other obsessions of marathon watching Parenthood in between the 11 other shows I have on the go and eating 'low fat' cheese strings aren't very interesting to read about. Bet you're glad I spared you that, right?

What are you obsessed with at the moment? Give me some new ideas for things to obsess over!