Oil Pulling – One Week In

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.oil pulling how to introduction to oil pulling


[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 1I 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 2The 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 3My 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?


18 thoughts on “Oil Pulling – One Week In

  1. My accupuncturist wants me to do this, but I can’t stomach the texture. As far as sinuses, if you haven’t already try cutting dairy (and all things containing caesin and whey) out of your diet for about two to four weeks. I was always congested and phlemy as a kid – and broke out easily (never acne). I always ate/drank dairy. I still like dairy but after a few solid tests without a doubt I get stuffier, break out and get sick more often when I regularly consume dairy. Even caesin in non-dairy gets me.

    • If you warm it up first it’ll liquify so that might help? I’ve heard sunflower oil does similar things too. So far no help on the sinus’, bt definitelyyyy improving my skin. I was lactose intolerant when I was a kid so I wouldn’t be surprised if dairy still messed with me somehow! I may have to suck it up & try cutting it out again to see if it helps. 😦

  2. I had never heard of this, but then I’ve seen people talk about it twice just today! maybe it’s a sign….uhh, a sign that Dave should do this, because there’s no way I’d be able to. Dave’s the one with psoriasis. I’m the one with ugly teeth, but whatever.

  3. Interesting post. I am not on the “oil pulling” wagon but wondering what medication you took as a child to stain your teeth so permanently.

    • I had back to back ear infections for about 5 years, so I took a slew of medicines- we’re not really sure which one did it, but pretty sure it was one of them. The dentist said it’s a “marbleized” issue that was most likely caused by medications while my teeth were developing.

      • Amoxicillin is a huge no-no! (interesting side note: my computer put an error line under amoxicillin & tried to auto correct it to penicillin)

      • Curious because my sister took amoxicillin when she was young and she has a few very, very subtle, barely noticeable brown-ish stains and calcium deposits. Her teeth are still nice and they don’t look gross or anything but if you look closely as well as know what to look for you can see the stains. They tried a few things to correct it but nothing got rid of them completely. I’ve heard oil pulling is GREAT for skincare/acne. Good luck.

        • I think they’re barely noticeable to everyone but me, to me they stick out HORRIBLY. I have like tunnel vision and can only see spots when I look in the mirror. In pictures you really can’t even tell they’re there…. so I bet they’re pretty similar to your sisters’. Thanks!

  4. I just started oiling pulling last week! With allergy season upon us, I thought it couldn’t hurt to try something new. I haven’t gotten into the swing of it quite yet. I’m going to keep on at it and see what happens. I’ll be following along with your results. Glad to have found someone trying it, too!

  5. Wow! I just had some friends talking about this. It is also supposed to be good for migraines (which afflict my husband). We are thinking about trying it. Good for you for sticking with it 🙂

    Ps. Allergy shots … No fun. I’ve been on allergy shots for over 10 years and still do not see any results when I am off the shots. I find a monthly shot curbs my allergies but recently I’ve started having terrible reactions to the shots. Itchy, dizzy, etc. I hope it works out better for you!

    • ugh I hope the allergy shots work- I was literally allergic to EVERYTHING. It’s only been 2 months but I haven’t made much progress because I keep having reactions.
      I read that coconut oil helps with migraines too! Maybe it’ll work! I’m going to post another update in about a month to see if anything more obvious ends up working out.

  6. oooh! i’m so excited to read your first hand account. most of the time i can’t figure out if people are serious or not! my husband and i tried a few years back, but it was a real lack luster effort. i’m curious if it might help my rosacea… hmmm… looks like i might be swishing some coconut oil tomorrow! 🙂

    • yes! I read SO MUCH STUFF but it’s really hard to know what’s real or not so I just figured it’d either help or do nothing at all… but it didn’t sound like it would hurt so it was worth a shot. I’m really hoping it’ll help with my bad skin!!

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