Celebrities ranging from bobsleigher Amy Williams to rap artist Tinie Tempah, and Made in Chelsea stars Lucy Watson and Jamie Laing are raving about oil-pulling. The trend – popular among health junkies on Instagram – involves swishing a small amount of coconut (or sometimes sesame) oil in your mouth as part of your morning teeth cleaning regime. But does it really make any difference?
Until recently, there has been little scientific evidence to show the benefits of oil pulling. Now, a new study published in April found the ancient Indian practice using coconut oil in the mouth could be an effective procedure in decreasing plaque formation and plaque-induced gum disease.
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The research, published in the Nigerian Journal of Medicine‘s March/April 2015 edition looked at 60 people between the ages of 16 and 18 who added oil pulling to their oral hygiene routine over a 30 day period. Their plaque and gum disease levels were assessed on days 1, 7, 15, and 30. After just seven days of oil pulling, levels of plaque and gum disease significantly reduced, and continued to decrease over a period of a month. The researchers, from Kennur Dental College in India, said: ‘Coconut oil is an easily available edible oil. It is unique because it contains predominantly medium chain fatty acids of which 45-50 percent is lauric acid. Lauric acid has proven anti inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.’
Oil pulling is increasingly being added to people’s morning brush and floss routine, but has been a traditional remedy for 3000 years in Ayurvedic medicine – the ancient Indian healing system. It involves taking a teaspoon of oil and swishing it round for five to 20 minutes before spitting it out and some of the further benefits attributed to it in Ayurvedic medicine include glowing skin, fresher breath and a better ability to fight colds. Discover our range of eight different flavours of oil pulling on Georganics.