We have friends that have moved to another state... so sad!! Really! But they were so kind and gave me a pantry FULL of goodies before they left ... including organic virgin coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut juice!! So much, I don't know what to do with it!! That alone was a challenge for me to find a way to incorporate it into our daily life.
And we began with ... dum, dum, DUUUUM ... Oil Pulling.
It looks easy enough, and evidently offers many health benefits that would GREATLY affect my health/personal life. I have lupus, sjogrens, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and some other stuff, and coconut oil, more specifically, Coconut Oil Pulling, looks like it could bring wellness into my daily life.
Looking at just ONE of my health issues, Sjorgens, your body's white blood cells destroy the glands that specifically produce saliva and tears. It's an autoimmune disorder, and it's miserable. Your mouth is so dry that your tongue and mouth feel like dry leather. Your eyes feel like a hundred needles are pricking them - or like a bad chlorine-salt water-sandy beach day. It's the pits. And one of the claims of Oil Pulling is that it causes your mouth to produce more natural saliva and promotes oral health. When your mouth doesn't have an active production of saliva, you are more prone to problems with tooth decay, enamel erosion, gum disease, and it helps you chew, taste and swallow. If I had a dollar for each time I choked swallowing food, well... I'd be close to a millionaire.
Oil Pulling looks promising. It looks easy. It sounds weird, and maybe a little "hookie," but I've had several friends of mine, one in particular who has ROCKING teeth and has the best oral hygiene that I know of (including her two handsome boys), said they practice oil pulling with good results. So, it must be a good thing, right?
So, what is this mysterious oil pulling? Basically, it's swishing oil (usually Sesame, flax seed, Sunflower or Coconut) in the mouth for up to 20 minutes (not a typo!) to improve oral health. Of the three, coconut oil offers the best results, as it has detoxifying effects, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and breaks through plaque and bacteria, pulling them out from between the teeth and in the gums. Oh, yeah ... it also whitens teeth. I also found so many testimonials from people who experienced benefits from oil pulling, including help with skin conditions, arthritis, asthma, headaches, hormone imbalances, infections, thrush, liver problems and more (a lot of those are symptoms of lupus or side affects of the drugs I take!).
How Do You Do It?
These tips are found all over the Internet. They are not MY tips, but a gathering from dear friends and the good old web.
1. It's best done first thing in the morning, before eating and brushing.
2. Use 1-2 teaspoons of organic virgin unrefined coconut oil (Trader Joes). A friend pointed out that it has a very low melting temp (76 degrees), and said she fills her sink with hot water and puts the jar in the sink to melt the solid coconut oil. You can put it into your mouth while you shower.
3. Place the oil in your mouth and "PULL" the oil through your mouth, similar to swishing.
4. Pull the oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. YES! Twenty minutes! That's long enough to break through plaque and bacteria but not long enough that you start re-absorbing the toxins and bacteria.
5. Spit into the TRASH CAN. You'll know why when you see how hard coconut oil is, and well -- melted oil re-hardens. Do not swallow the oil because of bacteria, toxins and puss that are now not in the oil! And it's just gross.
6. Rinse well with warm water and brush well.
How Did it Go???
BWAHAHAHAHA!! Oh, baby. Who was I kidding?!? It's NOT easy.
I first made the mistake of placing two TABLESPOONS (oops) of the solid oil into my mouth (as I had read others use it solid). Big mistake. The texture is awful. I gagged, and gagged and spit it out straight away.
Then, I had a slight issue with the whole 20 minutes (which a friend said I would at the beginning). Like 19minutes and thirty seconds. Epic failure. EPIC.
Finally, while I love coconut, after those two failed attempts, I couldn't even THINK about oil pulling without gagging. SERIOUSLY. So I took a day break away from it and will try it again tomorrow.