One of my friends posted [this article] on Facebook and after I read it I ended up in a Google rabbit hole. For hours. It all seemed so fascinating. In a nutshell, oil pulling is swishing coconut oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes a day and it is supposed to do amazing things. Amazing things includes helping with skin and allergy issues, whitening teeth, strengthening gums, etc.
My sinuses are AWFUL (I’m also about 2 months into allergy shots- but that’s a whole other post), my psoriasis is on my scalp which sucks because when I have outbreaks I can’t wear black, and I have permanent teeth stains from medications when I was young that even $500 professional whitening couldn’t fix compounded with my serious morning tea habit.
I just so happened to be in the midst of a particularly itchy psoriasis outbreak (damn you, harsh New England winter!) so I decided I might as well give it a try. I figured it would either help or do nothing, but it doesn’t really seem to have any negative results.
[This] is the coconut oil I bought and it seems like it’s enough to last an extremely long time. I just spit it out into an old jelly jar when I’m done swishing (I’m a jar hoarder) and I store both under the sink with a tablespoon.
This is how my first week went down:
- Day 1: I had no idea that coconut oil was a solid at under 76 degrees and a liquid at over 76 degrees. And man is it solid! It was like scraping wax, and you need a whole tablespoon (at least!). The first 30 seconds were utterly disgusting. Then my 98.6 degree mouth liquefied the coconut wax slices and I happily swished for about 15 minutes before I couldn’t take it anymore. Be sure to spit it out into a jar or trash can, because it can re-solidify and clog your drains.
- Day 2: The first 30 seconds are still god awful, but now that I know that will end it’s more bearable. One of my friends recommended warming the oil up first, but honestly I’m too lazy for that. Lasted 18 minutes this time. It’s really hard to resist the urge to swallow (stop giggling!), so that seems to be what my biggest obstacle is.
- Day 3: My teeth are maybe a little whiter, but I just wrapped up using another whitening product so I didn’t expect much on that front. My head is still super itchy so whichever article told me their psoriasis drastically improved in the first 2 days is full of crap.
- Day 4: Still have the scalp psoriasis but I think my skin is clearing up a bit, particularly by my chin which is always a problem area. I’ve also learned to let the coconut oil sit on my tongue for about a minute before I start swishing so it breaks down a bit more. 20 minutes isn’t really a problem and wanting to swallow isn’t anymore either.
- Days 5&6: I had a serious head cold and couldn’t breathe through my nose, so no oil pulling these days
- Day 7: I feel like I’ve gotten into a real groove- I put a whole tablespoon on my tongue and let it dissolve for 30-45 seconds before I start swishing. I don’t feel like it has a taste, 20 minutes is no problem because that’s about how long it takes me to get situated when I get out of the shower, and it leaves my mouth feeling clean. Also, my scalp is starting to feel better.
TL;DR version: Definitely worth sticking with it, my skin is noticeably clearer and I do think my psoriasis is a little better. I’ll give another update in a month!
Have you heard of oil pulling? Tried it? What’s your experience?