Oil pulling, that is. Since my husband’s last dentist appointment, I’ve noticed my coveted jar of coconut oil is almost empty! I’ve been using coconut oil for cooking and baking (and sometimes for snacking) for several years. A pure, unrefined, raw product, coconut oil is a nourishing real food with an impressive array of health benefits from skin care to improved immunity to heart health.
If the fact that coconut is a saturated oil has you avoiding it, know that the world of saturated fats consists of various molecule lengths. The vast majority of the oils we consume (and with which the saturated fat health concerns are connected) are long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Coconut oil, however, contains mostly medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). MCFA do not contribute to cholesterol concerns and have been shown to protect against heart disease.
Coconut oil consists of 50% lauric acid, the highest concentration of any food. Lauric acid is an important type of fat, not found in many foods, with commonly needed anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal power. In lesser amounts, it contains capric acid, also with antimicrobial properties, making coconut oil a valuable medicinal food.
Now, in addition to consuming it, my husband is swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil in his mouth for 15-20 minutes a day. The new Ayurvedic dental hygienist suggested this for the antibacterial and detoxification benefits. He claims his teeth are whiter and cleaner already.
Optimal Oil Pulling:
- Pick the same time everyday to work up to 20 minutes of “pulling” or swishing.
- Do not swallow the oil, and spit it out in the trash when you are done.
- Brush and floss your teeth afterwards to remove the toxins the oil pulled out.
- Scrape or brush your tongue to completed rid your mouth of any remaining toxins.
- Enjoy a super clean and healthy day!
I won’t be surprised to find Coconut Colgate and Coconut Crest in the drugstore in the near future, but like most “new” health findings, there is usually a long history of use in traditional cultures. Throughout the tropics, coconuts have been used successfully for many culinary and medicinal uses for thousands of years. Therefore, I’ve stocked up on organic, unrefined coconut oil and made room for a jar next to the toothbrushes as well as in the kitchen.
To learn more about using coconut oil for a healthy mouth:
- Coconut Oil Combats Tooth Decay by Dr. Mercola
- Dr. Bruce Fife’s book Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing
In addition to replacing your mouthwash with coconut oil, if you also like the idea of eating it, here is a very simple recipe to get more coconut in your life.
Coconut Toast: Spread coconut oil or coconut manna (a spread made from the whole coconut) as you would butter on a slice of toast and cover with unsweetened coconut flakes. Add a sprinkling of cinnamon if this reminds you of cinnamon toast. There’s no need to sweeten, as coconut comes with a naturally sweet flavor.