Oil Pulling: A Cleansing Ayurvedic Practice

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Oil Pulling: A Cleansing Ayurvedic Practice

What to Use:

  • One tablespoon of coconut oil — appropriate for all Doshas, though especially pacifying for Pitta  Dosha or during Pitta season due to its cooling properties.
  • OR, one tablespoon of sesame oil — appropriate for Vata or Kapha Dosha or during Vata or Kapha seasons due to its warming properties.
  • In general, oils for Pitta should be cooling, oils for Vata should be warming, and oils for Kapha should be warming + stimulating.

How to Oil Pull:

  • Complete after tongue scraping to decrease the bacterial load within the oral cavity, and prior to eating or drinking.
  • If using coconut oil, either run the jar under warm water to soften the oil or place the solidified oil directly into your mouth, as your internal body temperature will melt the oil.
  • Move the oil throughout the mouth, threading it through the teeth, and covering all surfaces of the oral cavity for five to twenty minutes. Avoid swallowing any of the oil.
  • When finished, expel the oil — do not swallow. It is recommended to expel the oil in the trash or compost bin — avoid the sink, as coconut oil can re-solidfy within the plumbing system. Gently rinse your mouth with water.


  • Provides complimentary benefits to routine oral care (it is not recommended to replace daily brushing & flossing with oil pulling).
  • Cleans and freshens the oral cavity, decreasing the overall amount of bacteria as it binds to the oil.
  • Promotes health of the teeth, gums, gingiva, and oral mucosa.
  • Whitens the teeth and improves the breath.
  • Decreases sinus drainage (though can increase during oil pulling), joint pain, allergies, fatigue, and headaches.

Have you noticed any other positive benefits from oil pulling? Leave a comment below.


The Author

yogi + registered yoga teacher + life-long student of the eight-limbed path

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