Oil Pulling Benefits for Skin : Everything you need to know!

The modern world is today benefitting from several fragments of ancient wisdom and that includes the practice of oil pulling. Associated with India’s traditional medicine system of Ayurveda, oil pulling is said to be primarily beneficial for oral health. Additionally, oil pulling benefits for skin are innumerous. But, it is also claimed that the approach helps cure around 30 diseases of the human body system, including headaches, diabetes, migraine, and asthma. Read on to know what is oil pulling, how you can do it, and what are its benefits.  

Oil pulling benefits for skin

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling or oil swishing is an ancient and traditional practice that finds its mention in the ayurvedic “Charaka Samhita” in which the approach is referred to as “Kavala Graham” or “Kavala Gandoosha”. This concept was brought to light again in the 1900s in Russia by Dr. F. Karach who claimed that various oral, as well as systemic diseases, could be cured by this simple, yet effective, technique. 

How to perform oil pulling?

You can perform oil pulling in two different ways. Either hold the oil in your mouth or swish it forcibly around your oral cavity. Swishing has additional benefits than just holding as it helps the oil in mixing well with your saliva which activates the enzymes that remove toxins from your blood.

  • Perform oil pulling on an empty stomach in the morning. You can also practice it as frequently as three times a day in case of acute diseases. 
  • Sip one teaspoon of oil (10 ml) and rinse your mouth thoroughly with it. 
  • The oil should reach all your teeth and soft tissues of the mouth with such a force that after the action is performed the oil should become thin and milky white.
  • Dispose this oil in a trash can as it can clog drainage pipes if you spit it in the sink.
  • Do not swallow the pulled oil as it contains harmful germs and bacteria from the mouth which might enter your gut.
  • Follow your routine brushing after pulling the oil. 

What is the best oil for oil pulling?

oil pulling benefits ayurveda

Several oils can be used for oil pulling. A few of them are listed below.

  • Coconut oil – It is the most famous and common amongst all. Studies have shown that coconut oil has antimicrobial properties against Streptococcus mutans, a major bacteria involved in causing dental caries. It has also proven to be helpful in the treatment of swollen gums.
  • Refined edible oils – Sunflower and sesame oil are a couple of easily available ones. Sesame oil has potent antioxidant properties. 
  • Olive oil – Many people have this question – Can you use olive oil for oil pulling? Well, the answer is Yes. Most recently olive oil was also used for oil pulling and showed to be beneficial in reducing bad breath. 

What are the health benefits of oil pulling?

Before you start thinking, Has anyone tried oil pulling? ; let me share the fantastic oil pulling benefits Ayurveda has in store for you. The Health benefits of oil pulling can be categorized as oral health benefits and systemic health benefits. There are many benefits of oil pulling for skin and hair. Also, a noticeable improvement in oral hygiene is seen just in two weeks of practicing oil pulling correctly.

Apart from the above-mentioned oral benefits, here is an oil pulling benefits list for you.

Oral Health Benefits

  • It can reduce harmful bacteria found in your saliva and plaque. 
  • Oil pulling significantly reduces the level of microorganisms that cause bad breath.
  • The practice may help prevent tooth decay.
  • The health of your gums might significantly improve with oil pulling. Oil pulling helps keep the lips and throat moist and heals any soreness in the jaw regions.  


Systemic Health Benefits

  • It helps in curing migraines and headaches. 
  • Various gastrointestinal diseases, as well as arthritis, can be cured with this traditional practice.
  • Oil pulling helps treat hormonal imbalances in women. 
  • Diabetes and high blood pressure were also seen to decrease in people who practiced oil pulling. 
  • Oil pulling has also shown to reduce the oral side effects of chemotherapy in patients being treated for chronic infections like AIDs and cancer. 

Dr. Karach, who unveiled oil pulling in the 1900s, also believed that regular application of this treatment would increase the average human lifespan to approximately 150 years!

Other Oil Pulling Benefits

  • It is simple and easy to perform. 
  • Oil pulling is cheaper than taking a multivitamin supplement and yet it may prove to be more effective and beneficial.

Oil Pulling Side Effects

It involves no complex products, instruments, or use of chemicals. This technique does not have any side effects neither does it have any allergic effects. It is completely harmless. 

To conclude, even though oil pulling has not been recommended officially by any dental council, you may try it along with tooth brushing and flossing practices to maintain oral health.

Have you used Oil Pulling? 

Let us know in the comments below


  1. Shanbhag V. K. L. (2017) ‘Oil pulling for maintaining oral hygiene – A review’, Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 7(1), pp. 106–109. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcme.2016.05.004.
  2. Hebbar, A., Keluskar, V. and Shetti, A. (2010) ‘Oil pulling – Unraveling the path to mystic cure Abstract : Introduction ’:, Journal of International Oral Health, 2(4).
  3. Woolley, J. et al. (2020) ‘The effect of oil pulling with coconut oil to improve dental hygiene and oral health: A systematic review’, Heliyon. Elsevier Ltd, 6(8), p. e04789. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e04789.
  4. Khan SN, Chakkarayan J, Iqbal PS, Luke R  (2015) ‘Oil Pulling – The Best Drugless Therapy’, J Pre Clin Dent Res, 2(2), pp. 62–66.
  5. Selvam P. P., Nandan N. and Raj S. (2017) ‘Oil Pulling – A Blessing in Disguise’, Journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medical Sciences (JAIMS), 1(4). doi: 10.21760/jaims.v1i4.6910.
  6. Asokan S, Rathan J, Muthu MS, Rathna PV, Emmadi P; Raghuraman; Chamundeswari. Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2008 Mar;26(1):12-7. doi: 10.4103/0970-4388.40315. PMID: 18408265.

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