Hi folks, we have already discussed about the importance of body detox for Psoriasis. In this post, we would learn about the benefits of oil pulling for psoriasis. Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurveda detox practice which improves the oral health. It is an effective way to get rid of disease causing microbes from our oral system to promote healthy teeth, gum and jaws.
This ancient technique was promoted by a Ukrainian doctor, Dr F. Karach in 1992, when he claimed that oil pulling can help treat a variety of health disorders including autoimmune disorders, heart problems and hormonal imbalances. According to Dr Karach, oil pulling healed his chronic blood disorder and arthritis in a short span of time.
Oil Pulling for Psoriasis
Now, if you are thinking that how the hell improved oral health would help with psoriasis…then, hold on. Being a psoriatic guy, I also doubted the same.
Let us try to figure out if it can really help us.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder, it means that our immune system (the defense system against disease causing microbes) is hyperactive and it is causing exponential growth of skin cells and inflammation.
Why it has become hyperactive?
The reason being- our body is overloaded with toxins (undigested food, unhealthy microbes and heavy metals) and continuously fighting off these toxins has taken a toll on our immune system and made it angry.
Our mouth is the gateway of our body for external invaders- bacteria, fungi, viruses, undigested food particles, Candida and many more. These harmful stuffs in your mouth can eventually enter your bloodstream to make your blood impure and trigger an autoimmune reaction. In that case, if oil pulling can help eliminate these toxins, then definitely it is going to calm down our immune system. A relaxed and calm immune system implies relief in psoriasis symptoms.
Also, it is interesting to note that our tongue is connected to various body organs such as liver, kidney, small intestine and big intestine. Have you ever wondered that why a general physician would ask the patient to open his mouth and show his tongue? The doctor would check the tongue color, any coating or swelling on it to get a quick idea about the working conditions of other vital organs (connected to the tongue). Our tongue is an indicator of our digestive health and liver. According to Deepak Chopra, a renowned alternative health expert, author and public speaker- a healthy tongue is a manifesto of healthy body metabolism. A coated tongue means that we are not digesting the food properly and it may be due to overgrowth of bad bacteria (such as Candida). There are so many other observations that a doctor makes by observing our tongue and overall oral system. Hence, an improved oral health would definitely help us manage our psoriasis better- the impact may vary from person to person.
Dental Problems, Psoriasis and Oil Pulling
According to a case study published in The British Journal of Dermatology, researchers in Taiwan gathered information about 230000 people. They divided them into two groups. People in the first group were suffering from gum problem and the people in the second group were not. After a span of 5 years, it was observed that people in the first group (with gum problem) were 54% more likely to develop psoriasis than the second group. Hence, dental problems can play a role in triggering psoriasis.
Not only triggering, they can further worsen the condition as well. If you are dealing with any dental problem, then you can understand this. Have you ever noticed that whenever you go for a dental work, your psoriasis flares? It happens because the toxic by-products of your infected teeth make the immune system hyper-active.
Oil pulling is a fantastic detox practice to improve oral health. Hence, if you are dealing with any dental problem, then oil pulling can definitely save you from those frequent visits to the dentist and related psoriasis flare ups.
Health benefits of Oil pulling
Various documented health benefits of Oil pulling are:
- Whitens your teeth
- Reduces plaque, tooth decay and cavities
- Eliminates bad breath (halitosis)
- Heals bleeding gums
- Strengthens your teeth, gums and jaws
- Heals throat dryness
- Reduces the symptoms of skin disorders such as acne, pimples, eczema and psoriasis
- Reduces inflammation
- Eases the symptoms of hangover
- Encourages better sleep
- Helps in hormonal imbalance
- Assists in Sinus infection and other allergies
- Heal arthritis and various heart problems
There are research studies to prove the worth of oil pulling for improved oral health. But, other benefits (including psoriasis healing) are acknowledged by people’s experiences without much scientific evidences. It seems that modern day scientists didn’t take it seriously. Let us hope that the recent growing popularity would change their minds.
Research studies/ papers
- An article published in the magazine – The Journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medicine, Vol.2, 2011- endorsed Oil pulling as one of the most effective natural practice to deal with oral issues such as tooth decay, cavities and bad breath. The authors endorsed this practice to heal more than 30 disorders such as headache, migraine, heart problem and asthma. Although, they didn’t provide any analytical data to prove their claims.
- A research study conducted by the Department of Pediatric Dentistry of a medical college in Tamil Nadu, India concluded that the capability of oil pulling in reducing the count of the bacteria Streptococcus mutans in plaque and children saliva is as good as chlorhexidine mouthwash. This bacteria is a known culprit for tooth decay. They divided 20 adolescent boys in two groups. One group practiced oil pulling with sesame oil and the other one used chlorhexidine mouthwash for 10 minutes a day before tooth brushing. After two weeks, antibacterial efficacy of oil pulling was found at par with chlorhexidine mouthwash.
- A case study published in the magazine- Journal of Clinical and Dental Research, Nov’14- concluded that Oil pulling is equally capable to chlorhexidine mouthwash in reducing the problem of bad breath.
Why Coconut oil
Various Ayurveda literature mentions sesame oil for oil pulling. It is believed that sesame oil was a dietary fat in India at the time when this practice was started and hence, they used it for obvious reasons.
But, now a days, health experts prefer virgin coconut oil over sesame oil.
- Virgin coconut oil has powerful antimicrobial and anti-Candida properties. Hence, the use of virgin coconut oil further enhances the detoxifying effect of oil pulling. Virgin coconut oil contains around 50% lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid with powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. The breast milk which provides all the disease fighting properties to new born babies do contain a good amount of Lauric acid in it.
- Virgin coconut oil has a fairly pleasant taste than other prescribed oils (sesame, olive, sunflower oil)
“Virgin” coconut oil stands for pure, non filtered and non bleached variety of coconut oil which is produced by cold pressing of coconut kernels without any application of external heat or chemical solvent. It ensures that all the intrinsic health properties of coconut remain intact.
Read more: Virgin Coconut oil for Psoriasis
How to Perform Oil Pulling
- For best results, oil pulling should be performed in the morning, empty stomach. After getting out of the bed, perform oil pulling before eating or drinking anything.
- Put one tablespoon (around 15 grams) of virgin coconut oil in your mouth and swish it all around the mouth (like a mouthwash) for 10 to 20 minutes. Do it gently without exerting too much pressure on jaws and cheeks.
- Don’t swallow the oil because it has all the toxins dissolved in it.
- At the end of the process, the clear oil would become milky, loaded with toxins and bacteria. Spit it out in a trash bag. Don’t spit in your sink otherwise the solidified coconut oil may choke the pipes.
- After spitting, immediately rinse your mouth with warm water to get rid of left over oil.
- That’s it. Then brush your teeth and floss as usual and proceed for daily activities.
Note:- Coconut oil becomes solid below 24 degree Celsius which is very close to room temperature (25 degree Celsius). Hence, sometimes, you may need to run the coconut oil bottle (container) under hot water to melt the oil. Alternatively, you can chew the solidified oil for a minute or so and it would readily melt.
Oil amount and Oil pulling time
Ayurveda literature recommends around 1 tablespoon of oil for 15 to 20 minutes.
1 tablespoon of coconut oil = 15 grams (approx.)
1 teaspoon of coconut oil = 5 grams (approx.)
Trust me, swishing 15 grams of coconut oil for 20 minutes is not a child’s play. It is quite difficult actually. When you start swishing, the saliva in your mouth mixes with the oil to increase the liquid amount in your mouth. You may feel as if your mouth is too full with the oil. Hence, go slow. Start with less oil (for example 1 teaspoon) and swish for 5 to 10 minutes. Gradually, increase the amount and swishing time.
During swishing, if you feel too full with oil, just spit a little and keep on swishing.
Some people feel that oil pulling for 20 minutes is too much for them and it disturbs their daily routine. During oil pulling, the oil reaches every corner of your mouth and pulls out unhealthy microbes and toxins. To assure a thorough cleansing, at least 15 to 20 minutes is recommended. To make the things affordable, you can always use this duration to do daily activities such as house cleaning, checking emails or reading newspaper.
Oil Pulling Frequency
For normal healthy people, oil pulling 3 to 4 times a week is more than enough. But, in case of psoriasis, I would suggest to do it on a daily basis for at least 4 weeks. If the results are encouraging, continue everyday and if nothing motivating, then you may reduce to alternative days. It is worth mentioning here that natural healing takes time. Hence, don’t lose patience quickly. There is nothing to lose here. Even if you don’t see any significant improvement in psoriasis, it is going to improve your oral health for sure.
Oil pulling for kids
Oil pulling can be performed at any age. For kids, the amount of oil should be reduced- say half a tablespoon (7.5 grams) or just a teaspoon (5 grams). Also, the swishing time can also be reduced if required. The biggest concern with kids is that they can swallow the oil accidentally which is not desired at all. Hence, kids should perform oil pulling under adult supervision only.
What about fillings, crowns, braces
Oil pulling eliminates bacteria and toxins from your mouth. It can’t remove or loosen dental materials from the teeth unless you exert too much pressure during swishing which is very unlikely.
In short, oil pulling is safe in all these cases with the condition that you do it gently. If you observe anything suspicious after a few sessions of oil pulling, stop doing it and consult your dentist.
Precautionary measures/ Side effects
- Oil pulling is not a replacement for tooth brush. Hence, after oil pulling, rinse your mouth well and then brush the teeth as usual.
- There is no need to apply too much pressure. Do it gently.
- Do not gargle during swishing as gargling can result in swallowing of the oil which is not desirable.
- Oil pulling is a detox procedure. Sometimes, psoriasis symptoms can worsen initially before you feel the improvement. This is due to the rapid elimination of toxins from your body. Nothing to worry about it. Carry on with oil pulling. If you doesn’t feel any improvement even after a few weeks, then you need to stop and monitor the overall benefits.
- Pregnant and breast feeding women may consult their physician before oil pulling. Although it is a completely safe process and barely it would cause any side effects. Still, expert consultation is recommended.
- Sometimes, oil pulling releases the sinus pressure to cause drainage of mucus in nose and throat. It is completely harmless.
- For the initial few sessions, you may feel headache after doing oil pulling. Don’t bother about it. It is also a symptom of detoxification. Other possible symptoms are nausea and/ or vomiting. All these symptoms would fade away with time.
How long it takes to show results
Generally, after a continuous practice for two weeks, people start seeing positive results. Some people experience whiter teeth with no bad breath just after 3 to 4 sessions. But, I would recommend oil pulling for at least 4 weeks to expect some relief in psoriasis symptom because psoriasis is stubborn and we all know about it.
From where to buy
The outer label of virgin coconut oil should clearly mention that it is “virgin” coconut oil manufactured by the cold pressing method. If you are lucky, then you can find it at a store near to you. Otherwise, opt for online shopping portals:
If you are from USA, click here to check
If you are from India, click here to check
If you are from UK, click here to check
Benefits of Oil pulling for psoriasis are acknowledged by people across the world. It is amazing for oral health and overall body detox with minimal side effects. Sincerely try it for 4 weeks and let us know how you feel. We are a community and we learn from each other’s experiences. So, don’t forget to share your experience in the comment box.