Oil Pulling with Olive Oil: Everything You Need to Know

If you are wondering what oil pulling is, and if you can use olive oil for oil pulling, you have come to the right place. In this quick guide, we explain what oil pulling is and offer tips for getting started with oil pulling with high-quality olive oil. Here is what you need to know about oil pulling for beginners:

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What Are the Benefits of Oil Pulling with Olive Oil?

Oil pulling is an ancient practice that is supposed to promote oral hygiene. Oil pulling has its roots in Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems that originated in India about 3,000 years ago. Oil pulling involves taking an oil and swishing it around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes in the morning. Practitioners claim that it offers many benefits, including whiter teeth, clearer skin, detoxification and more.

While not all the benefits of oil pulling have been scientifically substantiated, oil pulling may be able to reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth. This is because most bacteria are single-celled organisms surrounded in a fatty membrane. Since oil is a fat, the bacteria naturally sticks to the oil and then is removed from your mouth when you spit the oil out. Certain types of oil, including extra virgin olive oil, are also rich in antioxidants that can help reduce gum inflammation.

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Tips for Oil Pulling with Olive Oil

If you are interested in experimenting with oil pulling with olive oil, here are some tips to get you started:

  • Start with only five minutes. While people claim that swishing the oil around for 20 minutes will reap the greatest benefits, this is a big time commitment and many people struggle to hold oil in their mouth that long right out of the gate. Instead, start with five or 10 minutes and then try to work your way up to 20 minutes over time.
  • Do not swish too hard. If you find your jaw getting fatigued or cramping up, then you are swishing the oil too hard. Oil pulling is supposed to be gentle, not vigorous. You are basically just letting the oil move back and forth in your mouth. Think small ripples rather than big waves as you swish it around.
  • Use the right amount. Some people practice oil pulling with two tablespoons, but this can be a lot for beginners, and may result in you swallowing some of the oil (which rather defeats the point). Instead, start with one tablespoon and then add a little bit at a time until you find an optimal amount.
  • Do not swallow it. While drinking olive oil may have some benefits, that is not the purpose of oil pulling. The point of swishing the oil around for so long is so that it can absorb bacteria and other things in your mouth, so you do not want to swallow it. Instead, spit it out when you are done swishing it around.
  • Discard it in the trash can. Speaking of spitting out the oil, you should not do it in the sink or toilet. Oil buildup over time can cause the pipes to become clogged and result in an expensive plumber’s bill. You should discard the oil in the trash can whenever you are done to prevent plumbing problems before they start.
  • Try a flavored olive oil. Because of the viscous texture and distinct taste, holding oil in your mouth can be a strange experience at first. Choose an oil with a pleasant flavor, such as extra virgin olive oil, to help ease yourself into oil pulling. If you need more help getting acclimated, you may wish to start with a flavored olive oil, such as our lemon olive oil, and then transition to plain olive oil when you are ready.

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To make the most of your oil pulling experience, we recommend choosing a California extra virgin olive oil. Domestic producers such as Brightland can maintain more control over the harvesting process, ensuring that you are getting the highest quality olive oil with the most health benefits.