I know I will regret this, but I am exhausted and just wanted to publish this post tonight. If you don't know what oil pulling is- look it up, and then come back to read my daily account of how I began. Essentially, it is an ancient practice of putting the highest quality of vegetable oil in your mouth and slowly swishing it around for up to twenty minutes for the maximum health benefits derived from using this as a full body detox process as well as an oral hygiene boost. The benefits I have read about range from helping diabetes to skin disorders, and most everything in between. I posted to Facebook that I was considering it and out of the few that have done it, only one said she couldn't do it due to vomiting. I am here to say that I learned of this practice one two years ago, and the thought of putting oil in my mouth freaked me out so badly, I had to wait until now to get the nerve up to do it. And, I did vomit the first time. Persistence paid off, and I have not had any issues since that day.
Let's do this backwards… I will tell you that I don't know what day I am on, but today is 2/3/14, and I am oil pulling both morning and night, just under a full tablespoon, and for twenty minutes each time. I love it! I actually look forward to it now. (I am not even kidding.) I have my routine, and honestly don't know if there are any changes happening, however, I love the fact that I have a full twenty minutes to guiltlessly play on the computer or smart phone. I actually love the taste, and would be willing to video it, but don't think it's necessary. If you want one, request it, and I will add it. Below you will see the good, the bad and the ugly of how I got started, just under two weeks ago. I read through a little of it, and at this point, the night time pull does not keep me up, and I have not had any side effects. My mother continued, and she is doing it close to a week now. She only does mornings, and has reached the twenty minute mark a few times. She has some serious congestion issues during her pull, therefore, she has had to stop a few times with that. I can only assume that is part of the pull experience- to release that congestion that plagues her. The reason she continues she says is the feeling she has on her teeth all day long. If she manages only ten minutes a day, at least she can reap the benefit of the dental side, if not the full on detox properties of this exercise.
1/24/14 Day one- After dinner, one full tablespoon of coconut oil, five minutes. Gagged and vomited a little. (They all warned me to do it on an empty stomach.) I was just so anxious to experience it, that I did it as soon as we got it that night.
1/25/14 Day two- woke up in preparation to do it, and decided to use less than a full tablespoon and do only commit to five minutes. Done. No problem.
After my nightly shower, I was anxious to try again. I did it for fourteen minutes, and again, didn't use a full tablespoon, and had no naseau or problems. Could have gone longer, but Geoff was asking questions about the coconut oil and tea tree oil concoction I had made for the bottom of his feet for after the shower. (I will do a post on that and the essential oils once we have some more time with it.)
The hardest part for me is actually putting the oil in my mouth and then again at the end when I have to spit it out into the garbage can.
I have to swish with water immediately after spitting it out as the oily texture is enough to make me want to rake the inside of my mouth with a horse hair brush. Tonight, I brushed and flossed first, and then did the oil pull. After, I brushed but didn't use any toothpaste.
Also, interesting to note the the coconut flavor is only present for about 2 minutes, then it is gone. I happen to love coconut. If you don't love coconut or the oily texture, you are so not going to be able to do this. I have looked around and not seen where I can actually use my peppermint essential oil drops in the mixture. That bummed me out. I will continue to research that.
1/26/14 Day three- Woke up, used slightly less than a full tablespoon, and no problem. Lasted 18 minutes. The coconut flavor intensified at the end. Generally, I don't taste that flavor at all. It was actually really good tasting at the end, but my jaw was sore, so I spit.
After lunch….thought I should give it a go again, since I am having some tooth sensitivity, and was wondering if it is psychosomatic to have tooth pain or if I am really dealing with a tooth that is about to rot out of my mouth. (I doubt the latter, but each time I oil pull, I feel like I am getting more comfortable with it.) However, this time, my mouth is crazy sore from doing it so much. Might skip the night one, but this time, I am hoping to get through a full twenty minutes. I am using less than a full tablespoon, and don't foresee increasing it since by the end of the time, once all my saliva builds up, it a mouthful.
I am most impressed that I have truly not had to deal with any other unpleasant side effects besides a sore mouth and this tooth pain that is not so much pain but I think a sensitivity. Only time will tell. I am blogging each of the entries as I am doing it or just after, that way you get a realistic sense for my experience. My golden nugget incentive is the fact that I spent a mere $42, and am hoping that I can go get my teeth cleaned this summer, after about 4 or five years without one, and get a stellar report.
Ahh.. it's still day three, after ten at night, and I am really WANTING to oil pull! However, I am sorta' freaked out by what I read from some other people who oil pulled and had some weirdo type of side effects. I have never had these side effects, but will continue with the once a day routine and then move on to night time pulling once I have been doing this long enough to know that I have passed any possible side effects.
1/27/14 Day four- I did it! I made it a full 20 minutes. However, this time, I have some reporting to do. This is the second time that near the end I had this flavor burst of coconut. That was again, very enjoyable. However, by the fifteen minute mark, I had this sensation of a ball of mucus in the back of my throat, and I had felt that once or twice before and ignored it. This time, I am done with the pull and brushing afterwards, and I have this urge to get it out, but can't. Maybe my morning coffee will do that. (I know, so counter-productive. I make decaf and use vanilla almond milk, and no sugar. As not bad for you as you can get.) I read some side effects people had that included this "wanna-hock-a-loogie" sensation or worse- vomiting mucus. So, we will wait and see what adventure this provides in the future.
And to the person who said you need to use two tablespoons- you my friend, are on crack. There is no way that after twenty minutes that I could have more than one tablespoon of the oil in my mouth since the saliva builds up and by the end, it is hard to corral it all in one little mouth.
As for my health, maybe it's premature, but I have yet to feel or see a difference. Yesterday I found a clever way to liquify the oil, pre-pull. I use a hair dryer on it. By this morning, it was squirting all over the place and that made for extra clean up for the first two minutes of the o.p.. (o.p.= oil pull)
Night time- decided to do an oil pull after the YMCA tonight. We came home, and I was in a foul mode about finding out that the migits aren't allowed to walk the track with us anymore ;o( Have to wait until they are nine years old. Bummer. Anyway, I lost big time in my nightly ping pong game with Geoff, and then came home and binge ate. So, while I showered, I did an o.p. Lasted 14 minutes because my mouth got too full. I am not sure, but I think spitting out and starting with fresh oil would be the best option to finish the full twenty minutes in the future. I was just in need of getting on to dressing and saying prayers with migits at bedtime, so I just stopped, swished with club soda, and then brushed and flossed. I even used my night time mouth rinse- Breath Rx. Who knows what I am doing at this point.
1/28/14 Day five- okay, about 15 inutes into this pull, and honestly, I have a TON of mucus accumulating in my throat this entire pull. might actually becoming very effective. Who knows? However, I would have to say that the amount of liquid in my mouth is overwhelming and I will stick this one out, but net time, I will spit out and start again with more oil t finish the time. Not sure if that will have negative consequences or not. I was eating incredibly well for a few weeks, and the last few days I have been binge eating a ton of junk. Emotionally feeling terrible, however, I lost 2 pounds in last three days so not sure what the heck that is all about. Now my nose is starting to run! The mucus factor is rough.
Okay, just spit. And last night I started rinsing after my oil pull with club soda and then brushing. I couldn't bring myself to use salt water. Never been able to stomach that taste in my mouth. Must have had some freak accident at a beach once. (I really can't stand the beach, the wind screwing with my hair and that salty sea air that everyone misses. blech. I also have started spraying my toothbrush, a Sonicare, with my homemade cleaner, after each brushing with a pull. This is the same cleaner I clean my house with- half vinegar, half original Dawn (dishwashing detergent) and I throw in some water to cut the bubbling effect. I have been doing that to migits and my toothbrush about once a week since I started making the cleaner. (Maybe a year or so.) Those Sonicare toothbrush heads are expensive to replace, and don't need replacing all that often. (I do it every three to four months.)
Pulled last night and was exhausted. After the pull, I had "awake" energy. Geoff and I found a hilarious, hour-long compilation of funny game show answers on Youtube.com. We used our Google Chromecast and and watched on the television. Was fun, but I do notice this alert, wake up feeling from pulling.
Day five, night time pull after dinner… Well, how's about a guest post from another newbie oil puller? My mom is spending the night in this snow storm and I invited her to try a pull. She did it for ten minutes, and it seemed effortless for her. Here's her experience….
Adventure's Mom says-
I started out skeptical about the whole thing. I was thinking that I couldn't keep something in my mouth for any length of time. However, the experience was quite easy after I started to relax. The only problem I had, was that too much saliva filled my mouth and I had to stop. I now realize that I can spit out a little bit when my mouth becomes too full and keep on pulling.
Thanks MOM! Ten minutes for a new puller seems impressive to me. She also used under a full tablespoon, as I suggested. I might up the amount for myself to the full tablespoon in the morning, and then just end up spitting out and restarting. Wonder if that will have an effect on en results?
We ended up pulling at the same time, and around the time she came in to spit, was drying off after my shower. I was struggling with my amount at that time, and ended up spitting about four times to try to clear some of the volume to continue. I am not sure if I should have just spit it all and started with a fresh batch at some point, but have read that people do both. I think next time I will start fresh at the ten minute mark if it starts to get too cumbersome. Also, any time it gets so full, that's when I struggle, and then, I generally just stop swishing/pulling, and that feeling goes away and can restart.
1/29/14 Day six- It's not even six n the morning yet, and I have only had a few hours of sleep. First, I have had a headache since last night Went to bed very late with it in the early hours this morning, and now up because head so bad I need my miracle concoction of Advil and Sudafed. So, decided to O.P. before taking anything. Too closer to a whole tablespoon, if not a whole tablespoon and will attempt to spit whole amount out and restart when it gets too full in my mouth. So far, no major oral changes other that I do this pull each day, mostly twice a day, and after each pull I now swish and spit with club soda a few times and then hot water, then brush, floss (floss nightly, not in the morning) and spray my toothbrush with cleaner since I assume that there are a ton of toxins left on the brush head from the pull I did before the brushing. I also continued with my nightly Breath Rx mouth wash treatment. That is an antimocrobial wash that does not have alcohol in it, and contrary to the name, it is sold over the counter, and has a really nice mint flavor.
I think I am switching back to once a day though. First, the coconut oil wakes me up. Too much for night time. Second, it is time consuming, and night time is special in the house for bonding. (No- not that kind of bonding.) Essentially, kids spend a ton of time with us once Geoff gets home, and to pull myself away from that is counter productive to a healthy lifestyle.
Here's the one major coincidence, if you will, to all this. I have lost weight since O.P.'ing. Like, a couple of pounds, and actually haven't worked outing a day, and didn't eat very healthy half the time I have been doing it. (I fell off my wagon… going back on.)
1/31/14 Day 8- I have been O.P.'ing for a full week now, and as of this morning, I pulled a full 20 minutes and didn't spit, didn't gag, and the time just flew by. I am surprised that I love it so much. I mean, I actually enjoy taking my laptop and having an excuse to hole up in the bathroom, and just veg. Honestly, I love the taste, and my general routine is to O.P. twice a day. In the winter, I only shower once a day- night time. So, that time is my O.P. time, unless I shower too close to dinner. (Since we usually head to workout after dinner, it helps to space my eating/pulling time.) Rare snow fall this past week disrupted my normal routine, but I assume I will continue with the twice a day since I do have endocrine and dental issues I am trying to resolve.
The congestion build up I mentioned on an earlier update in the post has resolved, and I have yet to have any issues/side effects/or concerns about this practice. IF this is totally harmless, why not?
An aside- My mom has done the pulling now for three days. She took to it very well. I don't know if she will continue, but she says she is headed to Trader Joe's for a 12 oz. jar of coconut oil. She just told me that in the few days of pulling, she has notices that her teeth feel fresh brushed (no film) all day long, and she noticed some discoloration resolved from some of her teeth.
I would love to hear if you have done it. On Facebook, there was a fun little discussion about it right before I started. Good, bad, or ugly, share your experience in the comment section.
Addendum- February 17, 2014
Had to revisit this post to update. Doing twice a day, love my experience, however, honestly can't tell if it is doing any good. If not doing harm, why not continue? I really enjoy the idea of it doing good, and that alone is enough to keep me going. It is virtually effortless to do, so a swishing I shall continue on! Will update if any changes or if I see a dentist. Shooting for summer 2014 for a dental cleaning and full x-ray set. We shall see!