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This is why you need to gargle coconut oil

Readers Lounge By Gloria Nyang'iye
Coconut oil is extracted from mature coconuts (Photo by monicore on Canva)

The title of this article probably caught you off-guard, but gargling coconut oil is actually a popular beauty and health trend that you need to hop onto. Coconut oil is extracted from mature coconuts and has antifungal and antibacterial properties.

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You can use coconut oil on your skin, hair and in food. However, swishing it around your mouth for a few minutes daily has a number of healing benefits that you probably did not know about. This process of swishing the oil around your mouth is called “oil pulling”.

 Coconut oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties (Photo by Jonas Dücker on Unsplash)

Oil pulling is an Ayurveda Indian folk remedy for whitening teeth, freshening breath and improving general oral health. The coconut oil ‘pulls’ bacteria from your mouth. This is why it’s important to spit out the coconut oil and not swallow it after each oil pulling session.

  • Health benefits

As mentioned above, oil pulling kills harmful bacteria in your mouth, preventing possible future oral diseases. Killing this bacteria also reduces bad breath which is known as halitosis.

Oil pulling also prevents tooth decay and reduces the risk of tooth cavities. This is why it is important to oil pull even when you brush your teeth regularly because brushing alone does not kill all the harmful bacteria in your mouth.

Additionally, oil pulling improves gum health. Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the inflammation that comes with gum disease.

  • Beauty benefits

Oil pulling makes teeth look whiter by removing surface stains. These stains are oil-based and so require another oil to counteract them.

By pulling out the bacteria that’s in your mouth, oil pulling gets rid of the germs before they reach your gut, which then keeps your digestive bacteria levels at a standard level. This will help improve any acne, eczema, rash and even psoriasis.

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Start with a teaspoon and then move up as you get used to oil pulling (Photo by monicore on Canva)
  • How to oil pull

It is recommended that the best time to oil pull is first thing in the morning before you have your first meal. This is so that the harmful bacteria in your mouth are pulled out before being ingested along with any food.

  1. If this is your first time, start with a teaspoon of coconut oil and then increase the quantity as you get more comfortable with oil pulling.
  2. Wait for it to melt in your mouth, then proceed to swishing it around your mouth; up-down, side-to-side, and round-and-round. Do this for 10 – 20 minutes, making sure you don’t swallow any of it.
  3. Afterwards, spit it out. Be sure to spit it in a dustbin, as spitting it in your sink can result in a blocked drain.
  4. Rinse your mouth with water, and then brush your teeth like normal.

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