Oil Pulling Revisited: Where The Danger Lies

This week my social media feed exploded with one particular link to the trend of ” oil pulling.” While Mike Rothschild already did a great job of debunking some of the miracle claims on a Skeptoid blog last year, and Orac poked fun at it as early as 2007, I wanted to point out a few of the details both from the comment section of Mike’s post, as well as the pseudoscience claims in the link I saw this week which are both misleading and possibly dangerous.

If you don’t feel like following the links, here’s the basics of oil pulling: Put a teaspoon or so of coconut oil in your mouth (most sites of course say unrefined and organic because we don’t want any “chemicals” in our chemicals). Swish the oil around for 20 minutes. Spit out all of the “toxins” (I guess coconut oil is toxic?). Then rinse with salt water. Finally do your normal oral hygiene routine. Watch miracles happen – well at least by their claims.

Here’s what I pointed out – of course rinsing your mouth for an extended amount of time is going to improve your oral hygiene. The focus on taking care of your teeth, plus extended mechanical action will of course loosen plaque and bacteria from your teeth. Mechanical action is an important component for removing bacteria. This is why surgeons don’t just run soap over their hands or why we don’t just rinse but instead brush our teeth. Most study on soaps and alcohol-based rubs I looked at conclude that the addition of mechanical action increases the effectiveness of those products. Though just a hypothesis, it would be reasonable to conclude the same effect takes place in oil pulling.

The fad of oil pulling has even caught the attention of local news stations. Most reporters went to local dentists, and most had similar conclusions as I did. The practice itself is pretty safe and not likely to cause harm. It probably does have some effect because it both provides for removing of bacteria and other material from the mouth. It also makes people think about their oral health, so it has a side effect of improved oral health because there is less skipped teeth brushing sessions.

There isn’t any scientific studies proving any of the claims, even the ones with plausibility. The only “studies” are the ones reviewing the Ayurveda literature or small studies from India done under that premise – and they are not very good quality. Basically, this is a classic case of the argument from antiquity, where because someone did it in the past, it must be good. This is also how we know small rocks float.

So what’s the harm? Likely, not alot in the practice itself. Though, there are reports of lipid pneumonia being associated with oil pulling. While this isn’t solid evidence of harm, when a certain activity continues to be a source of a certain health issue, it means we should more closely monitor that activity. It will be interesting to see if more reports continue.

There is also harm in the claims and how they relate to inaction. When I point out the excessive claims made by oil pulling proponents, the question usually is “what’s the harm?” There is an entire website dedicated to showing examples of harm in things, including inaction, being harmful. The link on my feed this week is from a website called “Fashion Lush,” making many claims which I find disturbing.

Helps get rid of acne/ eczema/ psoriasis/ & other skin care issues.

While many of these issues are usually pretty harmless and common, it is important to check with your doctor if you suddenly develop these issues because it can be a sign of a more serious issue. Each of these issues have different causes, and there is no plausible mechanism proposed for how cleaning your teeth helps cure these issues. The harm here is thinking oil pulling will cure this, and maybe not finding out there is a more serious issue underlying the condition.

General body detox.

Cures a hangover (hallelujah!!!) & a migraine.

Any time one sees the term “body detox” you should raise your doubt shields. What does this even mean? If your body truly contained toxic levels of anything, you should seek immediate medical help. Other than that, your body does a pretty good job of maintaining the proper levels of things. Some proponents claim the consistency when the oil is spit out is “proof” of toxins coming out. If this is true, it should be easy to test the oil and measure what’s in it. Yet, for some reason these “naturopathic” “doctors” haven’t done these tests.

And even more strange is the idea of curing a hangover. A hangover is a set of symptoms with varying causes. I’m not sure how oil pulling is supposed to attack all of these problems (including dehydration which is one part of it). In reality, the only cure is time.

If you have migraines, I again would see your doctor. Migraines could be a sign of another condition, and even if not can be serious. Just don’t rely on clean teeth to cure it.

Helps with general pain issues.

Manages any weird hormonal imbalances.

If coconut oil contains any hormones, I wouldn’t recommend using it. Use of hormones without monitoring by a doctor can be very dangerous for your health. If it is pulling hormones out of your body, that could be just as dangerous. However, there is a low probability of either happening.

My concern here is again people will replace this with traditional care think oil pulling is a replacement for legitimate, evidence-based medical care. Imagine someone with a thyroid condition, or some other hormonal imbalance for which they are being treated: they start oil pulling and they “feel better,” so they stop taking their medication under the assumption the oil will “keep them balanced.” Now what?

Prevents cavities & gingivitis. Some people even reported it HEALED their cavities?! Not sure about that one… but who knows?!

Actually, science knows. A cavity is damage to the tooth structure, and there is no evidence or method known to regenerate the structure once it has been destroyed. Certainly better oral hygiene could slow or stop the progression of a cavity, and when a tooth is damaged the root structure pulls back from the tooth, thus reducing the pain. So it might feel “healed,” but it really is just being maintained. The concern is because of the damage and without being repaired, the tooth could be weakened and further damaged by use. This could lead to intense pain – and could even lead to serious infections if not properly treated.

My concern is not with the practice of oil pulling. It is with the claims that go with it. There is a possibility there is some direct harm (the pneumonia). It is also likely it is a waste of money as a simple salt water rinse along with the brushing and flossing would have the same effect. I also am concerned with the continued peddling of pseudoscience, which only hurts the overall scientific literacy. I would say there isn’t much harm in doing this, but please don’t believe it is the next miracle cure either. I will just keep brushing and flossing.

Update: A couple of medical professionals have weighed in as well. Dr. Steven Novella reached much the same conclusion in his SBM post on the topic. Dr. Mary Berk-Mooney also weighed in via the comments here. Her Facebook post should be visible, provided you have a Facebook login. 

It seems those within the fields of medicine and dentistry reached similar conclusions. One commenter on Mike’s post noted, as a hygienist, that those who do oil pulling on a regular basis have plaque that is harder to clean than those with normal oral hygiene routines. While just anecdotal – I don’t think ticking off your hygienist is a good idea considering the sharp tools they put in your mouth!

 

About Eric Hall

My day job is teaching physics at the University of Minnesota, Rochester. I write about physics, other sciences, politics, education, and whatever else interests or concerns me. I am always working to be rational and reasonable, and I am always willing to improve my knowledge and change my mind when presented with new evidence.
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37 Responses to Oil Pulling Revisited: Where The Danger Lies

  1. argoodlv says:

    FYI FWIW tripped over this article with citations of studies. had no time to go further.
    http://jonbarron.org/article/oil-pulling-detoxing#.Uxt9KYW41H0

    • Eric Hall says:

      The actual studies cited are the same ones I briefly mentioned and the ones Mike linked to in his article. They are very small, all from India (where the “ancient wisdom” of oil pulling originates) and all contain a level of admitted bias by citing the controversial text this supposedly comes from anyway.

      The other thing that should raise the skeptical senses is the fact the author somehow thinks detoxing is an actual thing that is accomplished by cold sheeting and saunas. Woo to prove woo equals woo.

  2. Great article! You are addressing exactly what I’ve been explaining to my patients. (I am a dentist and have been in dentistry longer that this FASHION blogger has been alive). The studies that are mentioned are weak. Based on a sample of 20 (too small) teenage boys (not a randomized population). Most studies about coconut oil are being sponsored by the coconut oil industry. Amazing what people will blindly believe!

  3. S. Buck says:

    I came to many of the same conclusions as you did just reading the article just using common sense. Of course your mouth will be healthier because you are rinsing it non-stop for 20 minutes to loosen stuff and then I bet you’re even brushing more thoroughly because you’re thinking about all the goo that was in there. I can even see how it helped headaches, stress and TMJ because you’re forcing yourself to sit quietly, focus on one thing and relax. You cannot tense your jaw and swish at the same time and even the small muscle movements of swishing and pulling will help relax those tense jaw muscles. It’s kind of like oil pulling meditation. Lessening your stress and anxiety also helps lesson all kinds of skin conditions – I get acne and eczema when my mind and body are overstressed, making myself relax for 20 mins a day would probably help that too!

  4. I’ve put my professional opinion analyzing this fashion blogger’s post on my Facebook page.
    Troy Dental Care/ Dr. Mary Berk
    Feel free to add your comment and to share, share, share!!!

  5. Kat P. says:

    “My concern here is again people will replace this with traditional care.”

    I think Ayurvedic medicine is a bit more “traditional” than modern synthetic medicine. Have you read much about Ayurvedic healing? It doesn’t appear that you know much about natural healing at all.

    • Well, the only problem with that is there’s nothing “natural” about ayurveda. It’s based on the body’s balance between three elements: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. As these “elements” were based on the guesswork of ancient ignorance and do not actually exist in the natural world, it’s hard to call it a “natural” system.

      • yolanda says:

        You are soo off. Why do we continue to think people in ancient times were stupid? We have pyramids and sphinxes(wrong spelling) and we today have no idea how it was done. In egypt they used honey and some type of plant for birth control and people were living a lot longer than we are now! Sooo why were they soo stupid and the people of today soo smart? Ridiculous! Ancient ignorance…try ignorance today….we are soo dependent on these people who pretend to have best interest in mind then hit you in head with dentist bills. Smh….people are dumber today then they were before. We are only told we are smarter but that’s not the truth. We are too arrogant to see that tho

    • Eric Hall says:

      Kat – you are right. I will correct this sentence. Please see my edit above.

  6. Just look at the list of ingredients for a typical mouthwash and decide for yourself.
    coconut oil or a list of dangerous chemicals all linked to cancer and ill health.
    My concern here is again people will replace this with traditional care???
    I bloody hope they do because traditional care is based on a toxic brew of chemicals!

  7. Mary Miller says:

    I am not convinced of EVERY amazing claim when it comes to this, but I do think that organic, non-GMO, cold pressed coconut oil would be much healthier for you than normal commercial mouthwashes/toothpaste. You cant just buy coconut oil from Walmart. Otherwise it will have added chemicals and will be more processed. Not all things marked “All Natural” actually are all natural. Most of the things that we are willing to put in our bodies that have been marked “safe” have a lot of chemicals that if looked at individually can be quite harmful to the body.

  8. yolanda says:

    You people are funny. Legitimate care? You mean western based medicine that doesn’t actully cure anything but makes sure youre well enough to work but not well enough to not have to go to hospital/dentist….this system is set up to keep people depending on these so called doctors/dentists. If you’ve never done oil pulling yourself then maybe you should try it before trying to poke holes in it. I’ve been oil pulling for a month and I’ve noticed great changes in my teeth and I’ve also noticed the detoxing effect. You lie when you say there’s no such thing as detox. Smh…I won’t go into how or why because anyone who wants to know can just think about it and figure it out. We don’t need experts to tell us everything. We have brains and minds for ourself and are capable of using our own mind. Debunking oil pulling? Really? You have nothing better to do then attempt to debunk something that is cheap and effective? You must be working for the pharmacheutical company or something. Your words are very misleading like when you said that “most” reporters had same outcome as you…most is not all which means some had an experience like the ones who have actually been doing oil pulling. You are disgraceful and neither this or the other article debunked anything. You just put a lot of nice words together to play on the brains of the easily impressionable and sheeple. Whatever. Anyone with common sense will disregard this blog and try it for themselves.

    • Eric Hall says:

      Maybe oil pulling is causing you to shake your head alot more…

      Again – let’s take the oil you spit out and bring it to a lab an test it. What are these toxins? How do you “feel” detoxing?

      Our brains are actually terrible at evaluating evidence because our brains evolved to survive in nature, not evaluate complex claims. We have research indicating how poor we are at many things our brain does, which is why we need science to overcome the limitations of our brain.

      • Day says:

        this article is completely biased. I am not impressed. don’t read this article, and snopes? seriously… quit nay saying on something you don’t understand or have not tried yourself.

        • Eric Hall says:

          Can you show me specifically where the bias is in the article? I looked through it again and I believe I provided logical, reasonable explanations for all of the points I was trying to make. Also, while I do occasionally cite snopes in other articles, can you show me here where I cited it? I missed it.

          • Justsayin says:

            I am not here to defend oil pulling only defend that accurate points are made for and against.

            You can’t tell that you are biased? Let me give it a shot and help you…

            “While Mike Rothschild already did a great job of debunking some of the miracle claims on a Skeptoid blog last year, and Orac poked fun at it as early as 2007, I wanted to point out a few of the details both from the comment section of Mike’s post, as well as the pseudoscience claims in the link I saw this week which are both misleading and possibly dangerous”

            These articles are just as biased as yours. They go in looking for the half assed reasons it won’t work. So you show yourself as biased by accepting these guys as legit in their conclusions… which are that it doesn’t work as well as as modern off the shelf stuff.

            “(most sites of course say unrefined and organic because we don’t want any “chemicals” in our chemicals). Swish the oil around for 20 minutes. Spit out all of the “toxins” (I guess coconut oil is toxic?). “

            You mock the fact that it is recommended to use oil that is as “clean” as possible… good advice for anything you put in your mouth… you hint at chemicals being in the oil but you don’t explain why. Is it in the refining? In the coconut itself? But you agree there IS chemicals in both. Making people think that that means the two are equal there fore it is ok to eat or drink both… or as dangerous to eat or drink both… chemicals in your chemicals? That really doesn’t even make any sense.
            But then you would agree that unrefined and organic would be a plausible thing to try to get, right? The more “clean” a product you use the safer it should work, right? And the more contaminations that are in it might be enough to the ouaitive effects,,, trying to take bad things out but just swapping them for other bad things.
            That is just the scientific method at work, right?

            NOPE! You mock and belittle it even though it might make the difference. Being a man of science you should know you want a clean beaker and uncontaminated solution, right? Sheesh! Ohhhh noooooo…. YOU’RE not biased at aaaaaallllllll.

            “There isn’t any scientific studies proving any of the claims, even the ones with plausibility. The only “studies” are the ones reviewing the Ayurveda literature or small studies from India done under that premise – and they are not very good quality. “

            No study must mean it doesn’t work… that’s not a biased way of approaching this subject.
            The Indian studies also use an oil that doesn’t have any antibiotic properties where as cocnut oil does. That skews the ultimate results.

            “Basically, this is a classic case of the argument from antiquity, where because someone did it in the past, it must be good. This is also how we know small rocks float.”

            You mean like how the ancients knew the world was round? Or leeches? or maggots? Or bezoar stones? Washing your hands? Or yoga? Or acupuncture? The last two were mocked heavily for a long time, but now insurance companies pay for yoga or acupuncture.

            People fought hard to not have to wash their hands. Washing your hands have no effect on anything, look… I can put my fingers in my mouth and nothing happens, so it’s the same putting it into a body in surgery. Right?

            All of these things were rediscovered from antiquity and were said to be the foolishness of stupid people… but now we know all these things are helpful in one way or another. Leeches have been shown to have medicinal effects, maggots eat dead skin, and even bezoar stones have been shown to neutralize arsenic.

            After it was discovered that fruit cured scurvy it still too the British fleet over a hundred years to allow their sailors to use fruit to help their scurvy. 100 years!!! And they KNEW it worked!

            Why don’t you tell the Muslims to stop using their chew sticks? At one time there was no studies that said it worked. But now there is.

            There are lots and lots of things that we do now tht were ridiculed and discarded. When Tesla was in school a brushless motor was considered to be impossible because of the rules against perpetual motion.

            So to lump ALL ancient ideas and methods into the “rocks float” category is totally biased against anything whether it works or not.

            .

            “(toxins) What does this even mean? If your body truly contained toxic levels of anything, you should seek immediate medical help. Other than that, your body does a pretty good job of maintaining the proper levels of things.”

            Really? This is so absurd that there is no way you can say it without being biased.

            Toxins in the body and being TOXIC are different things. Yet you gladly interchange them, Very scientific of you. So by your rational low levels of radiation in the body would be ok. And after months or years that person gets sick, it can’t be because of the low levels of radiation being put into the body every day. Those are way too low to ever be toxic. Right?

            So people don’t have toxics building up in them? You can’t have something in you that is “toxic” to the body but eats away at you for years? That must NEVER happen.

            Unless it makes you sick right away then it can’t be toxic. Radiation kills immediately once it reaches the body.
            The body is anything but capable of maintaining anything properly. Especially in a world where we eat things that have no nutritional values to help keep the body strong.

            “If you have migraines, I again would see your doctor. Migraines could be a sign of another condition, and even if not can be serious. Just don’t rely on clean teeth to cure it.”

            Not so much you being biased but just to let you know that doctors suck. If you are relying on them to teach you anything you are sadly mistaken.

            I suffer from migraines most of my life. I ha insurance , was leaving my job and wanted to use it, before I didn’t have it anymore, so I went to have my migraines checked out. Had migraines for over 20 years. The doctor asked if work was stressful and prescribed Zoloft. The pharmacist was puzzled because Zoloft causes migraines. That’s it!!! WHAT the F!?!?!?!

            So doctors are not the end all of what is really going on. You are believing a bunch of people who have no problem cutting off the wrong leg. Even though it has been proven to prevent bad things from happening… Doctors in the 21st century are fighting to NOT do check lists. Writing out a simple check list and running through it before a surgery. Even checking off something so simple as :WASH HANDS” has proven to reduce infections. But it is not embraced but fought against by doctors.

            Lots of products doctors endorse turn out to be harmful and things they try to keep from people sometimes turn out to be the best thing ever… but it cuts into someone’s pocket book so it is ridiculed and mocked.

            Republicans attacked the Japanese hydrids when they first came out. You sound the same as they did when they said they got terrible gas milage and couldn’t climb up a hill and no one will ever buy them. Right?

            YOU are a teacher????? But you have no ability to understand context!
            “Manages any weird hormonal imbalances.
            If coconut oil contains any hormones, I wouldn’t recommend using it. Use of hormones without monitoring by a doctor can be very dangerous for your health.”

            Nothing ever says it ADDS hormones, or USES hormones. EVER! But that the effect of cleaning out your filtering system (saliva and lymph nodes and teeth and their roots) help your body regulate it’s hormones, possibly by just getting rid of the particles that infect your system.

            If you pour in an agent into your gas that removes the things that are clogging your gas filter then the motor will run better… it doesn’t really improve anything it just makes it run smoother and stops the sand from getting into the engine. If you remove the things that are causing you problems then when your body can operate correctly and your hormones would smooth out as well making it seem like it it is doing something TO the hormones, but it‘s not, it‘s just getting the junk out of the way so the body can function properly.

            Or is that too intricate for your scientific mind to comprehend?
            “My concern is not with the practice of oil pulling. It is with the claims that go with it. There is a possibility there is some direct harm (the pneumonia). It is also likely it is a waste of money as a simple salt water rinse along with the brushing and flossing would have the same effect.”

            Do you know that? Is there a study that has SHOWN you and proven to you that “pulling salt water” has the same effects as oil?

            That would definitely be a study needed. Do people using oil have any better effects that doing the same thing with water? Salt water? Other liquids? Toothpaste water? But you just assume that is would do the same thing. So once again you show yourself to be nothing but biased as you believe in studies that have never happened (salt water vs. oil) but refuse to believe anything else because there isn’t a study on it. That is the very epitome of BIASED!!!!!

            “It seems those within the fields of medicine and dentistry reached similar conclusions.”

            What!?!?!?!? The field of dentistry is not finding any evidence that something cheap and simple is better than all the expensive products out there that help them stay in business???? WWHAAATTAAATATATA?!?!?!?!!?!? I am shocked, SHOCKED!!!, that they didn’t find any benefits to something that is challenging their own rule. SHOCKED I tell you!

            The oil companies want you to know that oil spills are no big deal and there has never been a legitimate study to show otherwise.

            Doctors and tobacco companies used to say that cigarettes where good for you. Doctors said radiation is good for you. Cocaine, cannabis, morphine, all good for you. If you believe what the doctors USED to say.

            This article is ok for what it is, but you are biased and you never had any intention of deviating from the status quo. Are you skeptical or cock sure that you are completely right no matter what? Because that’s not skepticism it’s just cynical ego boosting.

            Anyway that’s what it looks like to me :)_

          • Eric Hall says:

            You use a very twisted form of logic to prove oil pulling works and to prove my bias. I won’t address every point but let me hit a couple.

            What is coconut oil made of? It is made of chemicals. Chemicals are basically various forms of baryonic matter. Water is a chemical. Fatty acids are chemicals. Coconut oil is comprised of several chemicals. Saying “use product x to avoid chemicals” is a scare tactic. I would at least accept the use of “less impurities” but not “chemical-free.”

            On toxins and hormone balancing – how? Show me what toxins and how. What specific toxins are being removed that the body can’t on its own? Show me a study that measures hormone levels in people before and after oil pulling.

            Thanks for the insults on my ability to use my brain and questioning my ability to teach. Please understand it only reduces the credibility of your comment.

          • Justsayin says:

            Hey
            Yeah, sorry about the more personal insults but it factors into whther you are being biased and how you are being biased, I’m playing devil’s advocate and I did say at the beginning I am not being pro pulling oil. I am just a bit over zealous in my writing style.

            And it was about you and your view point being biased, not about the specifics being right or wrong.

            but you gotta admit it looks like you use the republican way of thinking. Only see what you want to. Such as over looking my specifically saying I am not trying to defend the claims it makes. I am just trying to point out that you are being biased in all your point of view about pulling oil. And you gotta admit that when you claim to use science as your base but like I said you assume things without any proof when it fits your view point, such as saying it’s no different than salt water, but then demanding absolute scientific proof.

            I mean You focus on the semantics of water as a “chemical” when you know what they mean. That is spiteful biased. but you don’t recognise it as being biased. Because you refuse to even consider that you might be wrong or might have to concede that you are argueing over somethng that is trite…because they are using a layman’s term for chemicals, and not the pure by the science book definition? Really? that’s gonna be your response to it? You can’t hold your science background as reason for you having more believability than others, and then focus on somethng so trivial as some kind of proof that they are wrong about everything. That’s not a sciency way of exploring somethng at all.

            And instead of debating the subjects and the actual points you simply dismiss everything I wrote because I hurt your feelings. Yes, insults are a good reason to dismiss the things you can’t admit being wrong to.

            And you are about you not being biased. I laid it out for you, took the time to point out the various things and you only respond by trying to discredit ME not my items.

            By the way, how can I show you the toxins in the after swish when there is no study like that? So you are just so willing to claim the facts when there are no facts on either side of that discussion. You can’t say there aren’t, or there isn’t anything in it that would show that it is good to get it out of the mouth, the mouth, by the ,where it is easiest to access the blood such as putting nitro under the tongue. So cleaning out those areas would be benificial, yes?

            It could just as easily be that keeping the “toxins” out is just as good as removing them. Maybe it doesn’t remove toxins, it just helos to keep new ones out. So your body CAN clean its self. How can the body do what it has to when there is a constant stream of junk going in keeping it from being able to clean itself out? You know as well as I do that there are sicknesses based on a toxic level of somethng being in the system enough to cause minor problems. Mercury is a good exsample. Not enough to kill you outright but the symtopms grow over time.

            But your premise of why you are skeptical is that the body naturally balances itself and cleans itself just fine. What’s that based on? where are your studies on that? and what about the people who don’t fit in your studies and it really does work on them? Does a drug not work because it only works on a few people?

            You claim the body to be a remarkable machine able to self clean and regulate… What about menopause? the body doesn’t seem to be able to balance itsself out then. How about platic poisoning? It isn’t able to regulate that, plastics can through the bodies hormones out of wack. Maybe it can IF you can stop the poisons from getting into you constantly in the first place.

            And the science you rely on to tell you how modern things work so much better than ancient stuff. that has been used for a long long time… that science that you belive in so much as recently had to come out and admit they ef’ed up by assuming rats are rats and that they believed that whatever worked for men would just as easily work for women. But now they found out men and women have different chemistry (duh) and that medicines today work better on men then women for that reason.

            So they were wrong as much as the “alternative medicine” people are .

            By the way, why are you skeptics never skeptical about the status quo side? They have just as many reasons to lie to you as the alternative side does. More in a lot of ways. Who does pulling oil benefit? The coconut people? Who is making money on this?

            You are no better or worse than the believers. You both use the same inadequate information but attack eachother for not having enough information. You are almost worse though, because you haven’t tried it, or talked to people who have (that you trust) and you only look at the surface of it and then dig yourself in without ever thinking about the other persons points. You only accept the the results from only one side of the argument, the side you believe in, in this case the billion dollar corporate side.
            Realistically You can’t be totally skeptical on it because you don’t know all the facts, reasons, theories etc etc etc, so how can you have a real opinion about it one way or the other? And yet instead of coming at it from, “maybe, but I doubt it because…” you are solid steel sure that it culdn’t work at all. “It doesn’t work because I don;t believe it and the rich science community has told me to believe it totally doesn’t work” right?

            You aren’t being skeptical at all, I’m afraid to say, you’re just a being a party of NO.

            And again, because you can’t read my postings well, I will reiterate, I am NOT being PRO or con Oil pulling, I have no idea how much of it works and what doesn’t. Or have any idea on the absolutes of it.

            My point was that you are indeed actually coming at this thing from a biased point of view. Which you claimed you are not. You are just looking for reasons to prove it wrong and not even trying to figure out the other side at all. Maybe the relaxation of 20 minutes swishng somethng in your mouth is enough to help get rid of your hangover, and that is what is being taken for a cure. Maybe. But would that kind of logic matter to you?

            You probably believe a person can’t blow their own sails, right? A common belief by people and science, they say it isn’t possible, right? Everyone who is logical and not biased knows that a person cannot put a fan on their boat and turn it on and blow their own sails until they move. Right?

            And yet the Mythbusters proved it IS possible. They showed that the skeptics like yourself didn’t take in all the different inputs and outputs in a real world situation. You would only focus on “for every action there is an equal and opposite action cancelling it all out” and you would argue that pointuntil you were disgusted that anyone would ever think differently and you would see your side as all perfectly logical… and you would be wrong.

            Your skeptical way of looking at things closes your mind off to what is actually happening, the extra air being pulled into it and the reaction of the wind pushing off of the sail. Lots more to it that you would have ever thought of. You would have argued it is impossible until your fingers are sore from typing. You would never even consider any other answer… and you would have been wrong wrong wrong.

            So sorry if it seems I am attacking you, by the whole point is to show you that you are being totally biased in your skeptical view and that means being a little personal. I mean come on, you’re a teacher, of science, you should know better. It’s disappointing ot me. You dismiss everything that hasn’t been checked off by the man.

            So I apologise for coming on so strong and insulting you. I really am looking for a good discussion on this matter. I guess it isn’t going to be here though. It’s like trying to discuss the wright brothers flight and the only thing coming from your side is “it’s wood, so it’s impossible for it to work ” wow. compelling.

            I do appreciate the quick response though. Although you beat me, I was going to put down an apology for my style beng a bit rough, I figured i wouldn’t get a response at all, but you beat me to it and made me look like jerk. haha.

            Anyway, no hard feelings. take care. I’m here if you got anything more than just semantics, needing studies that don’t exist, and just assuming that your guess is somehow much more solid than anyone elses thoughts simply because you can’t wrap your head around anything that might have a different approach, especially if’n they don’t agree with you and your way of adding it all up.

            Later, hater and thanks again

    • Day says:

      High five!

  9. hippocrates said “let food (not drugs) be your medicine”. Modern doctors know nothing about natural healing properties of plants, etc they’re simply not trained. Anyway as for oil pulling i had a major miracle. I don’t see any attachment icon so i guess i’ll just paste my “miracle letter” here. i apologize for the length. As to scientific proof. I agree there needs to be some double blind studies. As for me like the blind man that was healed said to the skeptics “once i was blind now i can see”. However, i agree that i need to follow up with my dentist but it’s still a miracle. Thanks
    rudy ferrara

    QUOTE

    “Hi Pat

    I was researching the internet about dental infections as i have a (molar) tooth in my upper left jaw that is infected and playing hell with my body to the extent that my lower back and neck were in terrific pain for months. My entire body was suffering. My neck muscles were so tight that it even affected my voice. Couldn’t sleep, was constantly irritable, etc And it started recently getting worse. My entire jaw was now in pain. i started experienceing dissiness and near fainting spells while practising golf. Scared the H out of me.

    I brought this on myself as usual lol. A filling fell out over a year ago and i didn’t have dental insurance so i kept putting it off. Has to be one of the stupidist things i’ve ever done. Then last week the tooth cracked and part of it fell out. I was scheduled for a tooth extraction and was googling alernative treatments/remedies to see if there was still a chance i could save the tooth and not have another empty space. I already have three empty spaces from extractions.

    While researching under alternative dental treatments and cures i stumbled onto something called cavitations which i never heard of before. I then found this article in google under dental cavitations entitled

    “Dental cavitations and cavitation infections (ischemic osteonecrosis”

    It’s the sixth article from the top and when you click on it it takes you to a page titled “Healing teeth naturally”. After reading the article i discovered something called “oil pulling” which i’ve also never heard of before. Seems it’s a miracle tooth pain and infection CURE. I was skeptical but after being on it three days my tooth pain is GONE including lower back, neck,, my whole body relaxed and is on the mend. OMG.!!! It’s a miracle.

    I suggest you read this article pat. There is something about oil pulling and fibromyalgia I thought might be of interest. I’ve included a couple excerpts below

    rudy

    ps If you should decide to try oil pulling using olive oil rather than the standard sesame seed oil therapy you should get REAL organic olive oil as there are so many knock offs out there. Real olive oil when taken orally will give a slight burning sensation in the back of your throat. I use COLAVITA but am switching to

    california olive ranch which is much better

    TESTIMONIAL
    “Oil pulling has afforded help with pain from temporo-mandibular joint (jaw joint) disease and fibromyalgia: “I did not think I would be able to do this for 15 minutes due to jaw pain but after 2 1/2 minutes my jaw pain left. The stiffness, pain and soreness in my body was gone before the 15 minutes was up. I have been suffering from fibromyalgia since 1991 and this is the only thing I have tried that gave me immediately relief.”

    On using olive oil for oil pulling

    The late erudite father Thomas Häberle, an eminent but little known Swiss naturopath, used olive oil massages to great effect in a number of illnesses. He stressed that he reaped great successes using olive oil for diseases of the bones and head, writing that olive oil is able to penetrate even the hardest bones and bring healing where it is needed. For this reason it seems ideal to use for oil pulling.

    Father Thomas Häberle has left us three small but information-packed books on natural healing two of which have been translated into English, Helping & Healing and Counselling & Curing. [sales pitch removed here]

    (Note: one person actually reported that swishing with olive oil straightened his teeth!)”UNQUOTE

    Reply, Reply All or Forward | More

    • Eric Hall says:

      Testimonials and anecdotes can be the first step in the scientific process by giving us a direction to form a hypothesis. However, the human brain is very fallible and subject to all sorts of bias.

      I won’t address every story, but the first where the broken tooth caused pain. Yes, if the tooth broke and exposed a nerve, it would cause pain. Any regular mechanical action would aid in the pulling in of the pulp material. It is the same idea as what happens when a tooth is filled – it hurts at first, but the pulp material begins to pull away from the tooth, thus there is no nerve left to cause pain. The dangerous part of the story is if there is an infection and it goes untreated it could be bad! Again – oil pulling is likely keeping the broken tooth clean – so sure it is fine for that. But it is no magic cure – it is simply a way of scrubbing the area – same as what you could do with water, mouthwash, toothpaste, or any other mechanical action.

      • rudy ferrara says:

        You didn’t hear what i was saying. my whole body was affected to the point i was having dizzy spells, excrutiating lower back pain tight muscles, spasms to the point i had to crawl over to a table to lift myself, my throat was a twisted knot and my voice diminished. All disappeared almost immediately. I was irritable because of all this couldn’t sleep couldn’t do anything well as i wasn’t myself. It is truly a miracle that no mouthwash could have done. And i continue to improve.

        Even my TMJ which is related to the mouth has disappated and is on the mend for the first time in years with no artificial mouthpiece. I rub the deep penetraiting REAL olive oil on the TMJ area as well as inside the ear for tinnitus. You are skeptical i can understand that you just haven’t been in my shoes or others who’ve had worse ailments

        rudy ferrara

        • Eric Hall says:

          If you were in this much pain with this little energy, how were you able to do proper oil pulling techniques? Because if you were able to do a swishing motion for 20 minutes, and rinse your mouth after – all without choking on the oil, something tells me there were other factors you are not revealing or not considering.

          • rudy ferrara says:

            ok you’re a skeptic ok that’s why this is skeptoid

            All i can reiterrate is i was in terrible shape many months from neglect of my infected tooth. Very stupid i know i put money over my health. However, i attributed the symptoms lower back pain, spasms, tmj etc to other causes like poor diet. I tried antibiotics, pain killers vitamins eating a healthy diet NOTHING WORKED. I stumbled onto oil pulling because i didn’t want a fourth tooth extracted. I was just about ready to have it extracted because my symptons got worse started getting dizzy on the golf course, had another excruciating muscle spasm where i told you what happened.

            I tried olive oil becauws that’s what the particular article i read said might have even more benefit than the other oils. Read the article please. That was june 10 within just a couple days symptoms decreased 50%. The ONLY sympton that didn’t go away immediately was the tmj. It improved but still was affecting my lower jaw. So i started massaging the olive oil externally as swooshing evidently helped the tmj indirectly (I won’t go into that now) so i attacked the problem directly. And yes iis almost down to zero. Had i massaged it at the beginning i would have been fully recovered within a week

            Yes i was able to swoosh even in my condition.So for something to disappear that quickly without any other drug or therapy is my miracle. You can try to explain it away. I’m sure skeptics try to explain how the gershon therapy cured cancer within a couple months (see food matters). You’ll see it right before your very eyes. Yet they use alternative not mainstream drug therapy. My brother has lung cancer and refuses to even try alternatives. Now he’s going thru hell with radiation and chemo therapy which will only further compromise his immune system which is at the heart of the problem. He seems to be starting to consider what i’ve been suggesting to him about alternatives. I hope so as cancer has a 2% complete recovery rate with a five year “survival” rate then you die. Check the stats.

            We are not used to the word CURE in this country. Other countries including germany, europe asia have practised oil pulling for decades with great results. Only in america where stockholders reign supreme doctors, our food and drug industry, politicaians are controlled by a minority of mega billion dollar ponzi scheme corporations. Funny thing we lead the world militarily and we also lead the world in degenerative diseases. Greed rules and will continue to rule until the people wake up. I’m not holding my breath.

            You may think i’m against the medical establishment. You’re wrong i had a hernia operation and the team of doctors and assistants were BRILLIANT. You can’t use an alternative for that. You CAN use an alternative with diet, food, and other proven remedies not recognized by the mainstream establishment for the reasons i mentioned for treating many ailments. You can continue being a skeptic. Actually it’l healthy in a way so long as you are open to alternatives. I on the other hand am a BELIEVER in alternative medicine which should be practised alongside standard medicine but med schools are funded by the same political economic system that’s fighing tooth and nail to abolish alternative medicine. Vis-a-vis the state of vermont is being sued by monsanto and the gmo industry. So you think they want to lose even one battle in labeling gmos at the state level. Even one loss would compromise their billion dollar empire which they will fight to the death to defend. GREED RULES

            I hope my brother tries alternative treatment. It won’t hurt him and may save his life because alternative medicine CURES people i can testify to that and so can countless others who didn’t have the luxury to wait for some double blind studies that will forever get bogged down in beaurewucratic red tape. There’s no time like the present. I’m 71 and hope to be 80 some day. 90???

            rudy ferrara

          • Eric Hall says:

            So how do you quantify your 50% improvement? Do you have a standard scale by which to measure it?

            Again, I am not doubting your story, just the explanation of a “miracle cure.’ A neglected broken tooth that becomes infected and/or lodged with food becomes a fantastic pathway for the infection to spread to the blood. Look at how much oral wounds tend to bleed – there is alot of blood in that area! So if you start actually taking care of the wound/infection – of course you will feel better. It isn’t because of oil, or even the type of oil. It is because you treated the wound by keeping it clean. You (nor I) have no idea if your symptoms were related or not. But based on your story, you had poor oral hygiene or some condition that gave you poor oral health. Once you started paying attention to it, you got better. It is not unreasonable to assume once you took care of your oral health you felt better, both because of the connection of oral health to other health issues (as science as shown) and because you are suddenly taking care of your health.

            Believers in “miracles” often try to cite cancer statistics and use cancer as a buzzword in comments here. Cancer is not one disease, but a set of over 200 diseases. You can’t treat all cancer with the same treatment. Even if Gerson therapy worked, it wouldn’t work for them all, nonetheless for all the other claimed diseases it cures. But the truth is it doesn’t – http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-not-so-beautiful-untruth-about-the-gerson-therapy-and-cancer-quackery/

            Cancer survival is much higher than 2% over 5 years. Maybe for your brother’s particular case that is the odds, but not for the diseases in general lumped under cancer. I’m sorry he is going through those tough treatments. But it is the best evidenced way for him to survive. Why you only trust doctors when you want to trust them is a bit disheartening.

          • rudy ferrara says:

            the gerson therapy has over a 50% CURE rate for lymphoma and other cancers. That is phoenomenal. With billions poured into cancer research since nixon cancer deaths have doubled way orver 200,00 a year. Again, we are the leader militarily but pathetic when it comes to degenerative diseases a lot of which is food related. Our food supply or should i say assembly line food system is the major culprit. Having a hernia is one thing doctors can fix and i trust them. I do not trust them when it comes to disease.They aren’t trained for prevention and cure as hippocrates stated let food be your medicine not drugs. Japan is way ahead of us even china or india. even mexico grows their food on organically rich soils. Good soil good food. Monocultured, toxic, nurtrient deficient soils you might as well put a gun to your head. If cancer were the cause of the disease then cutting it out should cure it, but it doesn’t. It just comes back again and again and until we realize it’s nutritionallly related it will never be cured. Our bodies have/are being compromised in this toxic laden world we live in. Our immune systems can just take so much and when you add the aging process a sure fire combination for disaster. But if you give the body what it needs it is a remarkable machine that will take care of itself for a long long time.

            I never ever heard of juvenile diabetes growing up in the 50’s. Way too much refined sugar and starches in our diets which BTW feeds cancer. The signs are all around us. We need to get our heads out of our a— and wake up. We are consumers dependent on a modern assembly line mass production food delivery system. That’s fine with cars (or maybe not with built in obsolesence) but with food it just doesn’t work. Nature always produced healthy food when we gave our soils, plants livestock TLC

            Yes as i mentioned i was going to have the infected tooth pulled as it was playing havoc with my body and i just didn’t realize a tooth could do that. Very stupid i agree. The filling had dropped out long ago. Then last month it cracked and another part fell out before i had done the oil pulling. The pain was excruciating as i said, affecting my entire body. The tooth or what’s left of it is intact. But i did keep my mourh clean. Before oil pulling i did everything for an infection, brushed, flossed, gargled with listerine which should have taken care of it.Gargled with salt, etc after each meal, etc but it continued to get worse despite my efforts to keep it clean. In one week my mouth had recovered after years of infection. And you say that’s not a miracle.Not only my mouth responded but my entire body.

            Just a month earlier in may i had a severe spasm attack to the extent i had to crawl over to a table to pull myself up. I was in excruciating pain. I hadn’t had one these to this extent for many years. I had been taking magnesium and it helped but didn’t prevent anything as far as my overall health. At first i oil pulled three or four times a day now once or twice. And you say that olive oil i mean real olive oil not watered down stuff isn’t powerful. How do you account for the fact that myTMJ disappeared just a couple days after i started massaging that area from the outside. The oil pulling was helping the TMJ internallly by addressing toxic issues and over time it probably would have healed it.

            I have no statistics or blind studies or scientific data to PROVE my healing but i am healed 100%. And yes i will go to my dentist and have the tooth extracted if it can’t be saved but i just about can guarnatee the dentist that diagnosed me with xrays would be shocked to even think i could recoup from such a situation let alone not need to have the tooth pulled immediately as he said. And at the time i agreed and scheduled an appointment. I don’t need a scale to measure my improvement. No lower back pain. Gone. No muscle spasms. Gone. no constant tooth and jaw pain.Gone.And sleeping better for a change. Not irritable.My energy is coming back, even my libido. TMJ nearly cured. Without drugs, without having the tooth pulled, just olive oil and oil pulling did the job. Believe it or not. I am now a believer. There IS a place for alternative medicine.

            rudy ferrara.

          • Eric Hall says:

            The Gerson “therapy” does not work. There is no evidence for it working.

            You cannot give cancer statistics without context. If cancer deaths are up, why is that? Is it that deaths by other reasons have gone down?

          • rudy ferrara says:

            your a skeptic (agnostic) and i’m an eternal optimist. Glass half full. And never the twain shall meet. I’ve said all i can and am still at square one. Time to move on time is too short and valuable

            r ferrara

  10. asdwriting says:

    I find it amusing you’d rely on dentists to tell you whether or not something could be used in place of their routine care. What would you expect them to say “Yeah, do this and see me less often, threatening my income greatly”

    If you want to disprove something, do the science, Except it won’t be done because it can only have negative impact on those with agendas.

  11. Oil pulling cured my gingivitis. Not the brushing I was always doing, not the flossing that was already part of my routine… Oil pulling. Your argument that cleaning your mouth by swishing fluids works anyway does not debunk anything. It’s a dumb argument. Yes that is why it works, that is what it claims. And thank goodness that works. Coconut oil is amazing for hair and skin, so it’s very small wonder it’s so refreshing for the gum. That it is good for your skin is also no revelation as people have been using it for their skin for ages, so there’s another debunking to your “debunking.” Oral health is a precursor to over all health so anything you do to protect your oral health helps over all health. After curing my gingivitis oil pulling amazing helped to clear up my chronic repiratory issues. Your article is not very good.

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