What’s so special about coconut oil?
Its scientific name is Cocos nucifera, meaning “nut-bearing.” Coconuts have a long and respected history throughout numerous cultures in the world, and many depend on them for their survival. Pacific islanders refer to coconut oil as a cure for all illnesses and many call it the “healthiest oil on earth.”
The coconut palm, which produces the coconut, is known as the “Tree of Life,” and although many people have been aware of this nut’s amazing nutritional quality, they may not know that it is a “functional food.”
Functional foods are those not only high in vitamins, minerals and fiber, but that also possess healing properties. Modern medicine and science are finally catching up with tradition and uncovering the real story behind the coconut and why everyone should use it. As a result of increasing research, many people are responding and starting to replace other oils in their home with coconut oil—this is good news.
The problem with toxins
Let’s face it, we are exposed to an alarming amount of toxins on a daily basis. From the BPA that lines your canned goods to the pesticides liberally sprayed on anything alive these days, our bodies are constantly absorbing an outrageous amount of chemicals.
Even though you may try to live as pure a life as possible, sneaky sources of dangerous metals are everywhere, even in the so-called “all natural” products that fool consumers into believing these ingredients are safe.
Over time, high concentrations of metals build up in our systems and can lead to a wide variety of conditions, including, but not limited to:
- Dry skin
- Joint or muscle aches
- Loss of appetite
- Low blood pressure
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
Try as you may, there’s just no getting around the obscene amounts of toxins we are exposed to daily.
Benefits of oil pulling
Modern naturopathic practitioners are joining with ancient Ayurvedic health practitioners in an understanding of just how powerful a detoxification and healing tool oil pulling really is.
Although coconut oil is not the only oil that can be used to oil pull (others include sesame, sunflower and olive), we love its long list of health-promoting properties, listed below:
- Antibacterial—stops bacteria that cause gum disease, throat infections, urinary tract infections and ulcers in their tracks.
- Anticarcinogenic—keeps dangerous cancer cells from spreading while boosting immunity.
- Antifungal—destroys infection-promoting fungus and yeast.
- Anti-inflammatory—suppresses inflammation and repairs tissue.
- Antimicrobial—inactivates harmful microbes and fights infection.
- Antioxidant—protects from free radical damage.
- Antiretroviral—destroys HIV and HTLV-1.
- Antiparasitic—rids the body of lice, tapeworms and other parasites.
- Anti-protozoa—kills protozoan infection in the gut.
- Antiviral—kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, AIDS, hepatitis and more.
Some positive side effects of oil pulling may include the following:
- Overall strengthening of teeth, gums and jaw
- Plaque prevention
- Prevention of halitosis
- Prevention of cavities and diseases such as gingivitis
- Prevention of lip, mouth and throat dryness
- Possible remedy for jaw soreness and TMJ
- Relief of migraine headache
- Hormone imbalance correction
- Inflammation reduction
- Support of normal kidney function
- Relief from sinus congestion
- Relief from eczema
- Improved vision
- Pain reduction
- Aids in detoxification
- Help with insomnia
How to oil pull
Follow these instructions to oil pull.
- Oil pulling should be done on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.
- Use one tablespoon of organic virgin coconut oil – you may want to start with ½ tablespoon and work your way up to a tablespoon.
- Swish the oil around in your mouth slowly and be sure that the oil reaches all parts of your mouth – do not swallow.
- Swish for ten minutes minimum. Try to work up to twenty minutes if you can.
- Spit out when you are done and rinse with pure water.
- Brush with a natural toothpaste afterwards.
Note: You may feel a bit ill during or after oil pulling – this is generally a good sign that your body is dumping toxins and should dissipate as you become healthier.
Additional detox tools
In addition to oil pulling with organic virgin coconut oil, consider these six additional ways to help your body eliminate dangerous toxins.
Drink more water. Drink only purified water in non-BPA-lined bottles or glasses. Water helps each cell eliminate toxins through the kidneys and helps you sweat more efficiently, another means of ridding yourself of unwanted agents.
Consume more citrus. Aside from being very high in antioxidants, citrus fruits are also loaded with pectins that help naturally detoxify the body. Grapefruits in particular are high in naringenin, a flavonoid that helps the liver burn fat that would otherwise store toxins.
Dry brush your skin. The skin is the largest organ in the body. When pores get clogged, the skin has a much harder time shedding dead cells and allowing toxins to leave via sweating. Dry brushing helps unclog those pores and encourages lymphatic flow, which also helps keep toxins from accumulating.
Exercise daily. A good sweat session will help rid your body of built up toxins. Exercise also helps keep the digestive system moving smoothly (another way our body detoxifies itself). All that movement keeps blood circulating throughout the body, which keeps any metals from accumulating.
Say no to GMO. Genetically modified foods contain heavy pesticides loaded with dangerous chemicals and metals, so avoid GMOs.