Indiana Daily Student

We Tried It: oil pulling

Coconut products are the new black and have been for a while. The newest craze comes in the form of oil pulling, a ritual Gwyneth Paltrow swears by. 

Oil pulling, coconut oil specifically, dates back 2,500 years as a form of traditional Indian medicine called Ayurveda. The process involves swishing around coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes, and then spitting it out. This ancient method is said to whiten teeth, improve overall oral health, and relieve migraines and allergies by drawing out and collecting bacteria in the mouth. However, the back of the bottle recommends it as an oil for cooking or as a massage oil for the skin and hair.

INSIDE’s inquisitive minds wanted someone to try it out, and I became the guinea pig. The results of this health fad are less than favorable.

Step One

Purchase the coconut oil, which will set you back about $8.

Step Two

Take the plunge.

I decided to give myself a week of experimentation. As for the amount of time to swish the oil around in your mouth, 20 minutes was asking a lot. The 45-minute strength core class at the SRSC doesn’t involve that much muscle activity. 

Instead, I gave the oil five minutes to work its supposed magic. The oil has the texture of candle wax, and when scooped out, looks like the shavings of a bar of soap. Sounds appetizing right? It starts out as a solid and progressively melts in the mouth, a sensation which induced immediate disgust. The lack of taste was the only thing keeping me going. 

After the eternal five minutes I spit the oil out into a napkin because it will cause clogging in a sink drain. The suffering was over.

The Results

This is the part where I confess my sins. After only two days of trying oil pulling, I stopped. 

The feeling of solid to liquid mixed with the five minutes of constant muscle movement had me thinking this is not the life I wanted for myself. However, my teeth did feel clean after the first attempt.


Leave coconut oil for food. Thanks anyway, Gwyneth.

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