The Art of Oil Pulling

Oil Pulling has long been used in Ayurvedic practices as a method to draw out toxins (known as ama) that accumulate in the mouth.


1) Choose an organic food-grade oil that will not gross you out -- I prefer coconut or sesame.

2) First thing in the morning (after scraping your tongue) take 1 Tbsp of oil by mouth & swish.

  • It is best to do this on an empty stomach.

  • I generally oil pull first thing in the morning while I’m still easing into the world, washing my face and preparing my tea - the time goes by really quickly!

  • Remember to glide the oil along and between teeth, as well as under the tongue and all the way back toward the molars.

3)  After 15-20 minutes, spit the oil out (in the trash or compost)

  • If 15 minutes feels like too much at first, start with 10 and work your way up.

*Optional, but important: SALT WATER GARGLE*

4) Mix ½ tsp mineral salt (ideally himalayan pink salt) with 2/3 cup of warm water

5) Swish 1 large sip of salt water (do not swallow)

6) Rinse by retracing the pattern of the oil for about 15 seconds

7) Spit salt water out

  • This should leave the mouth feeling clean & free of oil residue.

  • It can also be a great preventative measure for sore throat and congestion.

*And now, one last ACTION FOR PREVENTION*

7) Again, take a large sip of salt water (do not swallow)

8) Tip head back & gargle for about 20 seconds

9) Spit & repeat process two more times


  • Decreased ama (toxins/bacteria) in the mouth, which may manifest on the skin as acne

  • Increased ability to taste all six tastes

  • Prevention of bad breath & gingivitis

  • Whiter teeth

  • Prevention of mucous (kapha) buildup that leads to sinus congestion

  • Strengthening of jaw

Oral hygiene is incredibly important.  The mouth is the place where digestion begins and having good digestion is a crucial to having good health.  You do not need to do this everyday, maybe a few times a week, maybe once a week. Find a routine that works for you.

Take care of yourself & embrace the ritual.

You are here because it’s time to activate your full body awareness and to cultivate routines and practices that invite you to truly thrive. Take yourself on a healing journey with our online wellness courses, or connect with an Ayurvedic practitioner by scheduling a private consult.