Dating back thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine, oil pulling may seem like an unlikely curative miracle due to its simplicity. Yet practitioners of the therapy laud its effectiveness in healing everything from AIDS to diabetes, heart disease to leukemia. Testimonials aside, scientific research has shown oil pulling can vastly improve the condition of the gums and teeth by reducing dental bacteria, viruses and fungi - which in turn fosters overall health.
Oil pulling basics
Oil pulling is a technique where a tablespoon of oil (sesame, coconut, olive or sunflower) is moved around the mouth and through the teeth with a swishing motion for 20 minutes, one to three times per day. The premise behind the therapy is that oil attracts various pathogens in the mouth which are then suspended within the liquid and subsequently spat out. The oil also seeps into hard to reach pockets below the gum line where damaging bacteria tend to thrive.
Health harming oral pathogens
Even with the best dental hygiene, germs can still get the upper hand over health. When our oral condition is in bad shape, it effects every system of the body. Take for instance cognitive decline. According to GreenMed Info, periodontal disease has been linked with stroke and cognitive impairment in numerous studies. Attikon University Hospital in Greece showed a clear correlation between periodontal disease and stroke. Likewise, the University of Alabama School of Dentistry discovered in a 9,853-participant study that tooth loss was strongly connected to cognitive decline.
Furthermore, bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans multiply within the mouth and secrete toxins into the bloodstream, thereby causing inflammatory disorders like heart disease. As reported by naturopath Case Adams in Cognitive Decline Linked to Periodontal Disease:
"A late 2011 study from the School of Dentistry at Italy's University of Cagliari studied forty men between 20 years old and 40 years old. Half of the men had periodontal disease and the other half did not. The researchers tested the subjects for parameters indicating developing cardiovascular disease among both groups.
The research found that the periodontal disease patients had higher levels of inflammation-associated IL-2. This suggested to the researchers, "the existence of an early endothelial dysfunction in young adults with atypical periodontitis."'
Oil pulling has been scientifically shown to substantially reduce problematic Streptococcus mutans bacteria. Global Healing Center states:
"Another study [published in the African Journal of Microbiology Research], conducted in 2008 found a "remarkable reduction in the total count of bacteria" in the mouth, and an overall marked reduction in susceptibility dental cavities. The antibacterial activity of sesame oil was also studied and found to have an effect on the Streptococcus mutans in the mouth. In fact, these studies showed an overall reduction of bacteria from 10 to 33.4 percent in participants, and after 40 days of oil-pulling, participants were found to show 20 percent in average reduction in oral bacteria."
Not only does oil pulling boost oral, cognitive and cardiovascular health, but it also heals a host of other conditions. Mike Barrett of Natural Society reports:
"... Dr. F. Karsch, M.D., presented a paper to the All-Ukrainian Association outlining rather incredible possibilities oil pulling is capable of. Going by Dr. Karsch, oil pulling benefits can help with almost any illness or chronic condition, including:
Mouth and gum disease; stiff joints; allergies; asthma; high blood sugar; constipation; migraines; bronchitis; eczema; heart, kidney, lung diseases; leukemia; arthritis; meningitis; insomnia; menopause (hormonal issues); cancer; AIDS; chronic infections; varicose veins; high blood pressure; diabetes; cracked heels; acne, arthritis; bronchitis; dermatitis; sinusitis; and many more."
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