Oilpulling a BIG SCAM?

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June 19, 2010 By Ravi Kishore

If you've not already heard of oil pulling, you will soon. Also known as oil swishing, oil pulling is supposed to detoxify your body with oil held in your mouth. Does oil pulling work?


Oil Pulling, What is this?

Currently, oil pulling has a bit of a credibility issue. While it's true that oil is widely used in Ayurveda (the folk medicine of India), No body could find any reference to oil pulling ( The distant reference is KAVALAGRAHA procedure used in Ayurveda, but it won't  match completely with oilpulling) or oil swishing in any of our herbal reference books, monographs or natural medicine text books. If oil pulling was ever a real folk remedy -- and not, as many suspect.

Oilpulling Reasearch

Try as we may, we weren't able to turn up even a single study on oil pulling in preparation for this article, which was published in February of 2007. None of the "research" mentioned on pro-OP web sites has been published in any peer-reviewed journal we could find. Not even in "natural" journals catering to complementary and alternative medicine. Nor could we find any information on the supposed "doctor" popularizing this amazing new technique.


The website oilpulling.com instructs readers to take one tablespoon of fresh vegetable oil into their mouths and "sip, suck and pull through the teeth for fifteen or twenty minutes" before spitting the oil into the sink. According to the author of this site, swishing "activates the enzymes" allowing the enzymes to "draw toxins out of the blood". But don't swallow the oil! The oil has, in the words of the author, "become toxic". After spitting the oil into the sink, you must wash the sink carefully because it now contains "harmful bacteria and toxic bodily waste".


According to original  oil pulling web site oilpulling.com, "healing research" has "attracted amazement" over the potential healing benefits of oil pulling. And they aren't shy about making claims, either. Oil pulling is supposed to help with:

- Migraine Headache
- Leukemia
- Eczema
- Arthritis
- Heart & Kidney Disease
- Meningitis

Heard enough? There are also vague references to "women's hormonal disorders" and claims of curing cancer, AIDS and chronic infections.


As skeptical as we are about oil pulling's ability to "detoxify the body", there's little doubt that oil swishing may help some people feel that their teeth were healthier after practicing oil pulling for a few days.

Remember, according to oilpulling.com , your "oral cavity must be thoroughly rinsed and mouth must be washed" after oil swishing. Isn't it possible that anyone thoroughly brushing and rinsing his or her teeth would see a marked improvement just as a result of increased attention to oral hygiene?

And let's not forget that oil swishing is, after all, probably doing a pretty good job massaging the tissues of the mouth. Massage means better blood flow and better blood flow could quite possibly mean stronger teeth. And, perhaps, some of the oils (and the preservatives added to those oils during the manufacturing process) have at least some anti-microbial action.

Does this mean that oil pulling is worth the time and trouble it takes? That's up to you.


Oil pulling is supposed to "pull" toxins (no mention of what "toxins" means) out of your blood and bind them somehow to the oil. But there are serious flaws in this theory:

- First, your blood vessels don't just leak toxins. If chemicals could just leak through the walls of your arteries and veins we'd have no need for oil pulling, would we? We could just rinse our mouths briefly several times a day with plain water and be done with it.

- Oil pulling is supposed to work by exposing the oil to the large veins under the tongue. But anyone versed in basic human anatomy will tell you that those blood vessels simply aren't large enough to expose your entire blood supply to the oil in the 15-20 minutes allowed for the procedure.


We all know that "toxins" are real. No one is disputing that. But toxins that would be "attracted" to the oil used in oil swishing would be fat-soluble. (Because if they were water-soluble, they wouldn't be attracted to the oil.) And fat soluble toxins don't just run around freely in your bloodstream. They'd be stored in your body's fat cells.

So ask yourself this one question: What makes oil swishing so special that it forces your body's cells to suddenly turn loose of all this stored toxic material? And what effect would this sudden dumping of toxins have on your body's natural filtering systems--the liver and kidneys? At least some of this pollution would reach them first, as those "toxins" head toward those large veins under your tongue. And that would tax your liver and kidneys pretty noticably, wouldn't it?

Finally, since the toxins that would be circulatng in your bloodstream would be more likely to be water-soluble than fat-soluble, wouldn't swishing plain water for 20 minutes actually do a better job than oil at removing toxins?


I see no real way that oil pulling could be dangerous. After all, it's just vegetable oil. Assuming you don't choke on it, oil pulling is probably completely harmless.

Does all this mean that oil pulling is a scam? You decide. But you now have the tools to understand why oil swishing can't "pull" toxins out of your blood and the information to make up your own mind about oil pulling.

Written by

Ravi Kishore

1 Review


Robert Reddy
Oilpulling Works

It is my experience that oilpulling works. I am not sure how, but I have noticed significant results with this. I guess oilpulling.com is right in saying you shall practice it to see what it can do for you. Good Luck!

October 2011

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