What Is Oil Pulling?

A fad making the celebrity rounds is oil pulling, which is swishing a spoonful of plant oil (particularly sesame, sunflower and, more recently, coconut oil) in one's mouth.

Proponents of oil pulling tout improved oral hygiene and whiter teeth, clearer skin, reduced inflammation and benefits related to diabetes and other diseases.

While oil pulling is new among contemporary popular culture, the practice is an ancient Aryuvedic tradition. There is no consensus on how oil pulling would work — theories range from the antibacterial properties of unrefined oil to prolonged oral moisturizing to increased salivation — and there is no scientific evidence that supports its efficacy related to health benefits.

Food & Nutrition Magazine
Food & Nutrition Magazine publishes articles on food and diet trends, highlights of nutrition research and resources, updates on public health issues and policy initiatives related to nutrition, and explorations of the cultural and social factors that shape Americans’ diets and health.