You've probably read about oil pulling in the past few years. It's become a hugely popular health practice, especially among celebrities, but it's not a new trend by any means. In fact, Indians have been practicing it for thousands of years.

What exactly is oil pulling, though? It's actually a pretty simple concept: you either swish or hold oil in your mouth for a prolonged period of time. To get a little more specific, there are two types of oil pulling techniques:

First, there is the Kavala Graha technique. This involves both gargling and swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth.

The second technique is the Kavala Gandusha, where you completely fill your mouth with oil, then swish it.

Both techniques have been found to be effective, which is probably it's been around for such a long time.

What's the best way to pull oil?

According to Col. T Koteswara Rao, an expert in oil pulling therapy, he advises that you adhere to the following steps for the best results: 

  1. When you wake up in the morning, brush and floss, then take a tablespoon full of sunflower oil and put it in your mouth. After that, raise your chin slightly and keep your mouth closed. Be careful not to swallow the oil. It's not a huge deal if you swallow a little by accident, though –– it will pass through your digestive system easily –– but you'll have to restart step one all over again, and oil gets expensive! 

  2. Next, swish the oil all throughout your mouth. Use your tongue to pull the oil through your teeth carefully and slowly. Make sure that the oil reaches your gums and the soft pallet just before your throat. Also, you'll want to ensure that the areas where your jaws join get some oil. Doing so allows the oil to trap all the pathogens in your mouth. 

  3. Pull the oil slowly for about 15-20 minutes. At the beginning, this seems pretty difficult to do, but many pro pullers have said that it gets easier with time. Also worth noting: at first the oil is very thick and viscous, but after about ten minutes of constant swishing, it becomes thinner. 

  4. Spit out the oil and check its color. If it retains its original hue (usually yellow), then you did not do it properly. Try oil pulling again later that evening. 

  5. After spitting the contents in your mouth, rinse your mouth well and drink sufficient water to carry you through the day.

What Problems Arise during oil pulling?

Like any other medications, you may see some unwanted side effects or other problems during the oil pulling process. They include:  

  1. Mouth dryness. This usually happens if you're dehydrated and not producing enough saliva, so if this happens, make sure to drink more water every day. 

  2. Nose blockages. The remedy to this is blowing and cleaning your nose right before you start oil pulling.

  3. Sneezing or coughing. Usually, this is caused by irritation that arises from not pulling the oil correctly. When it happens, stop pulling until the need to sneeze or cough passes. Alternatively, you can spit out the oil and restart the process.

What are Some health benefits of oil pulling?

As we mentioned earlier, oil pulling is a traditional remedy that has withstood the test of time due to its health benefits. Some of them include:  

● Antioxidant Generation 

Oil pulling produces antioxidants, which serve to attract the bacteria’s cell wall and make the bacteria stick to the oil, which ultimately kills it. In addition to that, the oil pulls toxins from your oral cavity, leaving it pure and healthy. 

● Removal of plaque-building bacteria

Oil pulling also destroys plaque-building bacteria that cause dental caries, bad breath, gum inflammation and various other oral cavity infections. The result is  healthier gums, whiter teeth, and clean, fresh breath all day long.  

● Whole-body benefits

Proper oil pulling not only protects your mouth from diseases, but also other parts of your body. It strengthens cognitive functioning, helps maintain your complexion, combats fatigue and even soothes sore throats. 

Oil pulling and weight loss

According to ancient Indian medicine known as Ayurveda, when you wash your tongue during the oil pulling process, you wash other parts of your body, too. This includes your kidneys, lungs, heart, intestines, liver and spine.

That's why many experts believe that oil pulling can also effect weight loss, especially due to its strong connection to your liver health. 

How is the liver involved in weight loss?

Your body loses weight when excessive fat is converted into usable forms of energy. Your liver is responsible for the distribution of that energy into the blood stream. If it's healthy and clear of toxins, it'll function better, and ultimately more energy will be channeled towards your body’s blood stream. The end result? Weight loss.

Additionally, your liver is responsible for removing toxins and other waste products from your blood stream. If your liver isn't functioning properly, fat globules will manifest themselves in your blood, which makes fat accumulate. Oil pulling ensures that your blood stream and liver are clean and functioning the right way.

This ancient practice comes amazing health benefits, from boosting your oral health, and cognitive functioning, to maintaining your liver, lungs, and other parts of your body. With a clean liver, your body is able to properly maintain its fat content, which leads to better weight management and optimal health in general. 


  1. Col. T Koteswara Rao (Oil Pulling method. Oil Puling –Wonderful Therapy)