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The Benefits of Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil

Last Modified on Feb 05, 2016

If you are an avid follower of natural medicine, you have probably seen or heard of oil pulling. While many people are aware of the practice, though, others are skeptical and don't actually realize how beneficial it is.

Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about oil pulling with coconut oil, and once you're finished, try it for yourself. You'll be glad you did!

Earth Clinic Readers Love Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil

Julie LOVES oil pulling!

[YEA]I have been oil pulling for approximately one month and my teeth feel wonderful and the cleanest they ever felt. My skin is so clear and my brown spots on my hand and arm are fading. I no longer get headaches. My nasal passages are always clean - no allergy headaches this spring! The arthritis in my knees is so much better. I am also sleeping better. I will continue to do this. Its the best thing ever!!!!!! LOVE IT!

Dani says that her teeth became whiter and less sensitive.

[YEA]I have suffered with very sensitive teeth for years and avoided going to the dentist for fear of the pain that comes with a checkup and clean. That is until I started oil pulling with coconut oil. After a week of oil pulling for approx 10 mins a day 5 days a week all sensitivity was gone and I stopped using sensitive toothpaste. My teeth became whiter and most soreness went, I just had a very slight tenderness around the my bottom 4 front teeth. So I went to the dentist expecting cavities and was told that there were none and I was doing a good job cleaning my teeth despite avoiding the dentist for many years. After having a proper clean my teeth look and feel amazing. The oil pulling sorted out my sensitivity and improved my gums and oral health so that I didn't suffer pain or feel embarrassment at the dentist. I will continue to oil pull so that sensitivity doesn't return. Thanks again earth clinic.

What is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic medical treatment; however, oil pulling has made a popular comeback in recent years. That is because oil pulling is cheap, easy to do, effective and safe.

Oil pulling is really simple. All you do is swish a small amount of natural oil through the mouth and then spit it out. While it may seem strange, oil pulling boasts big benefits, as it literally pulls the toxins from the body and removes them as you spit them out.

How does Oil Pulling Work?

Sound too simple to be true? Well, it's not. The process really is that simple and that beneficial. Oil pulling has a unique effect on the body. The friction created by rolling and pushing the oil around the mouth generates a unique cleansing effect in the mouth. This effect is exactly what cleans the oral cavity and removes toxins. The process not only eliminates bacteria in the mouth, however. It also removes bacteria and pathogens from the rest of the body.

Do I Have to Use Coconut Oil?

A number of different types of oil can be used, but coconut oil is considered the best option for specific results. Coconut oil has been found to have the greatest whitening effect on the teeth as well as eliminating certain types of bacteria. So, no, you don't have to use coconut oil, but it is the most effective for certain results.

To learn more about the benefits offered by different oils, read Sandy's incredible Oil Pulling Compilation, based on hundreds of testimonials from Earth Clinic readers!

How to Do Oil Pulling

  1. Put a tablespoon of your favorite oil into your mouth first thing in the morning.
  2. Swish the oil in your mouth and move jaws up and down as if chewing. The idea is to keep the oil moving.
  3. Do this for 15-20 minutes. If you can't do it that long, just do what you can. It becomes easier.
  4. Do not swallow the oil; it is collecting the bacteria in your mouth.
  5. Spit out the oil, rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth.

The Advantages of Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is considered one of the most effective oil options and is believed to help in the following ways.

  • Improved oral health;
  • Eliminating bacteria;
  • Whitening the teeth;
  • Freshening breath;
  • Treating migraines and tension headaches;
  • Alleviating chronic pain;
  • Helping arthritis.

Oral health has a unique tie to overall health. That being said, oil pulling is a particularly effective treatment option as it naturally improves oral health and, in turn, alleviates a number of general health conditions. So, will you try it for your health?

Continue reading below for more reviews from Earth Clinic readers who have tried oil pulling with coconut oil. Some of the feedback will astound you! Let us know what you think!

253 User Reviews Add New Post


Posted by Barb (Indiana) on 08/21/2015

[YEA]  I started oil pulling about 3 weeks ago. I can't believe the result already. I'm using organic coconut oil. What are thoughts about OP at night instead of in the morning? Any commentary would be appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by Amy J (Oregon, US) on 01/26/2015

[YEA]  I have no negatives when it comes to oil pulling.

I have been doing it with coconut oil for nearly one month, and while I do not have any miraculous things going on, there are a few major differences I noticed after a couple weeks of doing it, and if I miss a day, I notice things start to regress in some areas.

Being that I am a singer, the biggest change I have noticed, though I didn't realise until a few days ago it was related, was the regaining the lowest parts of my low register. I lost it some time ago due to allergies, occasionally I'd get glimpses of it, but it never quite came back for good.

Over the last few weeks, I noticed my voice deepening a lot. Now, I have a huge vocal range spanning close to 4 octaves, but I lost a good octave due to the allergies, maybe more than that. I still haven't regained the highest parts of my upper register, but we'll see if over time, oil pulling helps that as well.

It has certainly helped with gum inflammation, I had some inflamed areas, and they are now normal and my gums don't look red anymore either, but healthy and pink. :)

I got frequent sinus infections, and while I may get some sinus pressure every now and then, for the most part, my sinuses are pretty cleared up and I don't get massive sinus headaches anymore.

For me, those 3 things are enough to keep oil pulling, even if I never see any new benefits down the road.

God Bless ~Amy

Replied by Karenb
Anchorage, Alaska
Reading the posts here has convinced me to try oil pulling. I have teeth cavities and loose teeth. I also get mouth sores a lot. I hope this is the remedy that I've been looking for.

Posted by K Hagan (New Jersey, US) on 12/01/2014

[YEA]  I read about oil pulling about six years ago. At that time, I oil pulled with sesame oil for a few weeks but stopped because I read somewhere that it messes up your tooth enamel. I had a post nasal drip. It cleared my nasal passage and I coughed up mucus. About four months ago, I started experiencing joint pain in my hips. I considered going to the doctors but decided to explore earth clinic once again. I have been oil pulling for the past two months with organic coconut oil. My nasal passage is clear, I coughed up mucus, (my mucus went from green to clear in color), fresher breath, whiter teeth, gums are not as sensitive, joint pain in my hips is 90% better and I less back pain too. I plan to continue oil pulling and try different oils. I am so thankful for this website. It has saved me and my children money and time spent at the doctors office.

Posted by Gail (US) on 10/02/2014

[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS]  I started oil pulling with coconut oil 5 days ago . After my first pulling, I was nauseated, but my teeth were whiter and less sensitive . The next morning I awoke with a dull headache that lasted for 3 days , and I was nauseated again after my second op with co . The 3rd day I broke out with blisters around my mouth and I felt very hot but not like a hot flash kind of hot also the third night after I did the op I was getting ready for bed and I started feeling very stressed and depressed . The next morning when I woke up I felt okay . I then read on this site that it could of been because I was detoxing copper from my brain which made me feel relieved . Also on the 3rd day my jaws started hurting and on the 5th day I notice my tongue has turned white not coated white but actually my tongue is white . My jaws still hurt . Will continue although I think I will try sunflower and olive oil I will still use co too . Like this site so very informative . It's nice to hear from people who have some of the problems I do .

Replied by Bee
New York, NY, US
Hi Gail ;; (U.S.)

I am oil pulling and the first few days I felt like I had the flu.... Its def. detox or die off symtpoms.. They are less now and I have been oil pulling for a month....A lot of plague came off my teeth... gums are better and teeth are whiter. I use organic safflower oil.

Replied by Gail
Defuniak Springs, FL, US
[SIDE EFFECTS]   I guess I have a yeast problem and heavy metals . I'm looking forward to feeling better I just hope it doesn't take a month . Thanks for the encouragement and I hope OP continues to help you too.

Posted by Nora (Kentucky, Usa) on 08/10/2014

[YEA]  I tried organic virgin coconut oil for oil pulling which I had never heard about until now and I love it! It actually solved my oral issues when not even commercial mouth wash would, including my toothpaste! Unbelievable, if I hadn't tried it I would not have believed it, but I told myself, (what can I lose, so , I tried it and after about a month to a month and a half, great results, my mouth has totally healed! ) . I even read the website "wellness mama" and the other health benefits of extra virgin organic coconut oil and wow, even changed my toothpaste from flouride to the same mixture on this lady's website to try it out and it works! I am also looking into anti-inflammatory foods and detox foods to aid in better over-all health and flush out the toxins for myself and my family. I've always tried to watch what I eat and eat healthy, but there's always room for improvement. I do what I can, though, given a very tough economy still right now, so this coconut oil pulling is really helping and I think I'll stick with it.

Posted by Joojoo (Tampa, Fl) on 07/16/2014

[SIDE EFFECTS]  I have used coconut oil for oil pulling the last 2 days. Part of my gum is inflamed today, like red, puffy, and it feels kind of raw when I touch them with my tongue. I looked everywhere on the internet, and haven't seen anyone with the same experience. Is this normal? Are there ways to heal the gum or should I just keep pulling? I do have lots of fillings and 2 root canals. Thank you!

Replied by Rama
[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS]   I had done OP off and on from the time I heard about it, which was more than 20 years ago. Sometimes , due to certain reasons I might have stopped for a short while , and would have totally forgotten about this therapy.

Then few years back again I started it, and did it regularly 3 times a day, and that was the time got so many blisters in my mouth. I still continued with great difficulty , thinking it was okay, as it must be all the toxins coming out and they would go away, as Sesame oil is also good for treating ulcers anyway in India.

But then I could not even open my mouth it was so painful, that I had to visit a doctor and get medicines to get rid of the blisters. After that, I decided I will not try OP.

Now again I suddenly remembered it and as I am in my 50s with all the associated problems related to this age, I thought I would start again.

So I started with once a day early in the morning and slowly as the week progressed I have started doing it twice a day.

Till now I have had no problems and I really like doing it.I also have not noticed any positive changes in me, but that is okay, we have to give time to healing to see results. I am willing to wait. I feel I must have got too excited and had started doing 3 times previously, that is why too many toxins were released and caused the blister problem. This time I am more sensible, if I see some problem, I would reduce it to once a day, and see when I can re start it to twice a day, or even stop it for a while I have no doubt in my mind regarding its goodness. I have done it both with sesame oil as well as coconut oil. I don't like sun flower and olive oil. I would keep alternating between Coconut and sesame oil.

I will soon get back with my updates.

Replied by Timh Donate

I have found that walking around or even sitting upright in a vertical position is not ideal for Oil Pulling. Recline your body 45 degrees and the pull is much more effective.
Replied by Marilyn
I would think reclining 45 degrees while oil pulling would make it really hard not to swallow the oil.

Posted by Julie (Clarksburg, Md) on 04/21/2014

[YEA]  I have been oil pulling for approximately one month and my teeth feel wonderful and the cleanest they ever felt. My skin is so clear and my brown spots on my hand and arm are fading. I no longer get headaches. My nasal passages are always clean - no allergy headaches this spring! The arthritis in my knees are so much better. I am also sleeping better. I will continue to do this. Its the best thing ever!!!!!! LOVE IT!

Replied by Janine
Perth, Western Australia
I'm not sure how I can contribute to this site. But obviously I can't send a message to you. There are so many people that dont believe this. I am not normally an alternate person but I have been trying this for 3 days only. I was due for a dental appointment but the plaque on my teeth is becoming lesses and lesser. I originally googled this for a throat mucous problem which I have had for 12 years and no doctors prescription has been able to fix. 3 days later my throat feels fabulous apart from being quite dried out which makes it hard to swallow but I just buy lozengers. I disagree with the dentists clean and scale treatment that we have here in oz as I think that it thins your teeth down. I am totally amazed by what coconut oil has done so far. I'm sorry to bother you but thank you.
Replied by Rsw
Uniontown, Oh
Hi Janine,

We are grateful that you have taken time to contribute your findings on the recent oil pulling. It is with joy that we hear it is working out. You will never bother us with any comment, good or bad, on your experience with a remedy or question about a problem. We all enjoy learning from each other at Earth Clinic! Thanks.

Posted by Layla14 (San Jose, Ca) on 03/11/2014

[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS]  I am 28 yrs. old, female at around 148 lbs., 5'5". I am pretty healthy overall, with minor skin concerns. I made a choice to start trying different types of Ayurvedic therapy and to start using more organic body products without all the chemical/parabens. I firmly believe that I can be healthier (along with a clean diet & exercise of course) without relying on medicine/chemical crap, so that is the reason why I have taken it upon myself to do research on Ayurveda & holistic health :)

Currently suffer from certain things: occasional dandruff, some scalp psoriasis, oily skin, keratosis pilaris (upper arm), fatigue, unhealthy weight (in my opinion, I want to be at 130 lbs.), occasional mood and mild depression. Also my knee joints will start hurting if I put too much stress on them (i.e running more than 5 miles). I also feel that I drink too much alcohol/usually social binge drinking weekends and sometimes weekdays. I know, it's bad!

I started oil pulling 3 days ago with coconut oil for 10 mins. first thing in the morning. The side effects of detoxing did not start until this morning (third day), I woke up feeling hot (flu-like symptoms), groggy, and just moody. Throughout the day I have been feeling somewhat nauseated as well. I've noticed that after my first OP, I've had really deep sleep accompanied with vivid dreams!

Positives haven't been significant, since it's still too early to tell...but just like with other people... I have seen that my skin looks somewhat smoother, teeth are whiter, my vision seems a lot clearer too (colors are more vibrant), good quality sleep, and I have also been leaning on to craving healthier foods. My cravings for salt & sugar seem to be decreasing as well.

I am going to continue with OP and I'll check back in within a few weeks! Hopefully will see more benefits :)

Replied by Carol
Braintree, Ma
The oil I bought was in a jar and is solid, will that work as well?
Replied by Liz
Boston, Massachusetts
It's supposed to be solid, so the answer to your question is yes. It will liquefy once it is in your 98.6 degree mouth. :) The entire jar will become liquid when the weather is warmer.
Replied by Barbyb
I am only into my second day of OP and have experienced clean feeling teeth and mouth only. I am committed to this process so I will check back in as I go along.

You might want to try the WO (water only) haircare routine for your scalp problems. I am into my fifth month of showering with water only. My hair has gone through some adjustments but is clean and healthy and the natural wave and curl are returning. My skin is smooth and clear. Body odor minimal and I combat that with the application of coconut oil which seems to help.

I am hoping that OP will add into my WO therapy and I can become healthier. I am 77 yrs old and this is all good.

Posted by Jdwarner (Des Moines, Iowa) on 03/08/2014

Hi, I did my research on this oil pulling and decided to start doing this myself. I am on day one. I chose organic coconut oil. I decided first thing in the morning and in the shower was the best time for me to do this. I have a few questions. I find it hard number one to do it the entire 20 min as most say, is it still effective if I do it less amount of time? And second, I know I swallowed a very small amount because I found it difficult not to with all the swishing and and saliva that was worked up. Is this bad?

Replied by Pc
Do not swallow any! 10 minutes is better than none. Try building up to 20 minutes. It takes time.
Replied by Andrea C
Do it for a few minutes, like as long as you can tolerate and work your way up. Love Andrea C xxxx

Posted by Lydia (Dallas,texas) on 12/10/2013

[YEA]  Hi All. I started oil pulling 2 weeks ago, with coconut oil. when I began the end result when I spit out was very foamy and white. NOw when I spit out , it's not foamy or white, it's just like spitting out oil and saliva... Is this goood or bad? or normal? My teeth still feel very clean afterwards, and I've had the best poops EVER, since I started oil pulling. Anyway just wondering about why there is no more white foamy stuff. thanks.

Replied by Terri
Los Angeles
Lynn...The guy at Trader Joes just told me about Oil Pulling and everything he said is exactly what happened to you. I think it is great. I am going to get some coconut oil and start right away. He has been doing it for 3 yrs & said he has never felt better. Keep it up.
Replied by Starrynight3
Denver, Colorado
I am now oil pulling with coconut oil for the first time as I type this. I have quite a few upper crowns (about 6) Does it effect crowns? I notice it says it makes teeth whiter, probably natural teeth right? Should I brush first or just after? Is Tom's toothpaste ok?

Posted by Tony (Singapore) on 12/01/2013

I have been doing oil pulling for some weeks with coconut oil. recently when I spat out the oil, some spilled on toilet seat and after some time, I notced some ants on the seat. any explanation ? thank you. regards

Replied by Doshee
San Francisco, Ca
Don't spit coconut oil down your toilet or sink drains. They WILL clog up!
Replied by Ana
Homestead, Fl
[YEA]   I started oil pulling with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil last month and although I have yet to see improvements, I remain hopeful. I started oil pulling after reading about the health benefits of doing so, and hoping to help my teeth and strengthen my gums since they bleed a bit when I floss sometimes.

I also take 1 teaspoon of fish oil, sometimes flaxseed oil and pulverized egg shells in a glass of V8.

DO NOT spit out the coconut oil in the sink, IT WILL CLOG YOUR DRAIN!! Spit it out in a plastic bag and toss it after, then rinse your mouth with warm water, then swish a mix of baking soda and a bit of hydrogen peroxide for just a minute, spit it out, then brush your teeth as usual. Remember to "clean" your toothbrush after brushing your teeth, with some hydrogen peroxide to get rid of any bacteria.

Love this website!

Posted by Jenny (Brisbane, Australia) on 11/30/2013

[YEA]  Hi everyone, have been meaning to try oil pulling and finally started today. I have periodontal disease and broke a tooth recently about which I am terrified of going to the dentist - profit driven like medical - so I decided to try some self help. I am using coconut oil which I already use for cooking, face moisturiser etc. and I found it easy to do but accidentally spat it out in the shower about 10 minutes in. Even with this short time, I have noticed a difference in my mouth! Teeth feel cleaner, smoother, and my mouth is fresher. I heard its also good for chronic sinusitis which I have so we will see.

After doing the oil pulling, I brushed my teeth with borax and baking soda, and then rinsed with sea salt in water.

I plan to do it each day and get up to the required 20 minutes. What do I have to lose - this is a natural product.

Will post again in a couple of weeks to report on results.


Replied by Debbie
Ny, Usa
Go to a dentist too! It cost money to be specially trained - don't wish they cost less - work on making more $. You are taking care of your physical health - put same energy into your financial health - focus on the end result and be the person you need to be to have the result and start doing the actions necessary. Be, Do, Have - then you can help other people - help with dental bills and whatever else - and teach them to be successful like you are. Oral Health is so important! Go to the dentist too! Wishing you health and success

Posted by Malismjau (United Kingdom) on 10/26/2013

[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS]  Hello! I'm 24 years old female. I started coconut oil pulling about 4 days ago. At the beginning only 10 min in the morning whilst taking shower and didn't notice any particular changes. Last two days I have been doing it 20 min in the morning before breakfast and 20 min before bedtime. I had root canal done on two of my molar teeth 4 years ago. To start with I had infections and I couldn't get rid of them but than it just stopped and I was getting jaw pains every now and than.... yesterday my gums swell around the two teeth, my jaw pains are constant, I had sore throat. This morning I woke up with less swelling. Still feeling horrible. Also noticed that I stink of sweat and it was so intense I had to run to shower straight away. I feel so unwell. I smoke about 6 cigarettes a day. Today I could barely handle one. Feel like I have no carvings at all. Smoke makes me cringe. I am convinced that all toxins and bacteria is leaving my body and I feel very unwell. But happy at the same time and wont stop. I cannot believe I haven't fond this cure before.

Replied by Earthy
Burbank, Ca
Malismjau, did you start to feel better after using the coconut oil for a while? Do you still use it? Have you stopped smoking completely? Please let us know how you're doing.

Posted by Caitlin (Austin, Tx) on 09/20/2013

[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS]  Oil Pulling REALLY does cleanse as well as make your teeth whiter and improve your oral health. When I started with coconut oil, it did a number on my eczema skin, making it worse. So... I stopped! But going back to it after a couple of weeks also brought another kind of detox I did not go through the first time - i.e., headaches, backaches, blurry vision, but, better skin. Now, the heavy detox symptoms (3 days) are wearing down; skin is definitely looking better, and more importantly, if I oil pull for 15 minutes before bed, I sleep like a baby. Finally deep-sleeping through the night! Getting enough sleep by oil pulling has really improved my mood, my foggy brain, and my dark, under-eye circles -- they have all but disappeared. So, a big YES that oil pulling works where nothing else natural that I tried, did.

Replied by Rosie Q.
Santa Cruz Ca
Hi everyone, I am new to this site and unsure of how to begin a new thread. Anyways, I am wondering for anyone's experience with oil pulling if they have mercury fillings. I started a few days ago and am not sure if it's too dangerous, basically swishing the oil around could bring mercury out of the fillings and into my mouth. so I am not sure if I am experiencing candida die off or something worse! I am going to keep it up, it's mainly an increase in mucus and acne which are both signs of candida die off. Any feedback is appreciated! Oh am also wondering if anyone has ever gotten their fillings removed- any and all information on that would be wonderful. Thanks so much!
Replied by Mike 62
Denver, Colorado
Rosie: I am going to send you to 4 websites. 3 of these contain complete and technical explanations from phds in cellular biology and 1 has hundreds of videos where ordinary people who have recovered very rapidly from everything under the sun give testimonials and recipes. We are a world wide organization with meetups in all large cities. We are the 80/10/10ers. Dr. Doug Graham candida at natural news, raw food health the candida cleanse, Andrew Kim blogs, why cells go bad, insulin revisited, carbon dioxide, and raw food videos.
Replied by Jerry
Aurora, Co
Hi Mike 62,

I did not see a post of the 4 web sites you mention but would be very grateful for access to them. Thank you! Best Regards, Jerry

Posted by Billie (Washington State, Usa) on 09/12/2013

[YEA]  I started oil pulling with coconut oil about three weeks ago. I have a stubborn fibroid, and after being on six month herbal regiment to shrink it, while it helped, I just didn't want to take all those herbs anymore. It did help reduce my period from heavy and seven days to about five days, and lessened the flow -- sorry if that's TMI :)

Anyway, I researched oil pulling and what caught my attention was that a person who had a problem with shifting teeth, once they started oil pulling, their teeth stopped shifting. Mine have been shifting since I got my braces off 8 years ago. I have to wear my retainer at night. So I started oil pulling and I have not had to wear my retainer since; my teeth have stayed straight and are whitening beautifully.

Even better though, my most recent period only lasted three days, and it was extremely light. I don't have any joint pain, I feel refreshed. I am hoping that it helped shrink my fibroid a bit more, as I am combining this with Chaste berry and serrapeptase, as well as drinking ACV water.

I feel better than I did when I was in my 20s. I love oil pulling; it's easy, I do it in the shower, and after I spit out the oil I gargle with salt water to loosen the little bit of oil from my mouth and then brush. If you haven't started oil pulling and are still trying to decide, give it a try for about a week, especially if you are suffering from arthritis. A week won't hurt you, and sparing fiftheen minutes before breakfast to do this -- you won't regret it.

Replied by Elsa Easterly

Great to hear of your success! I am interested in what you were taking for menstrual issues. Could you please be specific about the amounts of chasteberry (and any other herbs), serrapeptase, and ACV that you used? Thank you very much. Elsa

Replied by Billie
Washington State, Usa
Elsa, I take two capsules of serrapeptase a day, as well as one capsule of blackstrap molasses for iron and two capsules of chasteberry. I only drink ACV and water throughout the day. I avoid soy, and I also try to avoid dairy unless it is organic. My periods have been consistent and now because of the oil pulling, light. I am very happy with the results.

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