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A few months ago, we were introduced to the Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling. At first, we were skeptical: swirling a tablespoon of oil around our mouths for a minimum of 20 minutes at a time? We don't have the time nor the patience for that, we thought. Little did we know that after a few days of some serious detox symptoms, we'd bounce back to whiter teeth, healthier gums, clearer, more dewy skin, and a whole host of other welcomed benefits that we hear are coming down the pike. 

Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic detox practice where you swish about a tablespoon of high quality, unrefined oil (we recommend coconut oil for all its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties or cold-pressed sesame oil) around your teeth and gums, much like a mouthwash, usually for a minimum of 20 minutes first thing in the morning. Do not drink, eat, or even brush your teeth before beginning the ritual. The oil then "pulls" bacteria and toxins from your mouth, throat, and lymph system and clears mucus build up from your sinuses (your nose will start running!). Once the 20 minutes are up, you simply spit (into the toilet or garbage, not the sink! No one likes a clogged drain), rinse your mouth with water, scrape your tongue (for an even more thorough cleaning), and brush your teeth. Personally, I like to follow it up with my morning glass of warm lemon tea for a solid one-two detoxifying punch. Immediately, you might notice the practice taking effect. Your nose will begin to run, you might begin to cough and clear congestion from your throat -- it's working! You may even feel energized or, if you had been out boozing the night before, your alcohol-induced headache may even disappear. The effects are immediate!

Now, should you feel a bit sluggish after a couple of days similar to perhaps how some of us feel while partaking in a detoxifying juice cleanse, don't fret. According to many sources, it's perfectly normal! You're simply going through the detox process and your body is working to clear all the bad out of your system. Rest, relax, get lots of sleep and eat healthy. Maybe even take yourself for a pore-clearing facial to help the process along. Help your body cleanse and detoxify! Some even find using a neti pot helpful to aid in clearing out the sinuses, as well. Help your body help you!

After a couple of weeks, we really started to notice a huge difference in our health and the appearance of our skin. Oil pulling has become part of our daily morning detox regime. Have any of you tried oil pulling? What benefits did you experience? Let us know in the comment section below!

Photo Courtesy of Building 25

Written by Team LuliTonix — September 16, 2013

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