Oil pulling freshens breath but probably doesn’t cure cancer

By Julianne Mosher,

Oil pulling may be the latest health craze but recent studies are showing that it doesn’t cure everything people are saying it does.

With dozens of blogs on the web stating that the ancient Indian practice of oil pulling - swishing around coconut oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes - cures everything from bad breath to a hangover, acne and diabetes, such as WellnessMama, some experts are saying otherwise.

While the promise of a whiter smile and cleaner mouth sounds very compelling, doctors are saying that this practice should be an added supplement and people shouldn't dismiss brushing, flossing, and dental visits altogether, The Huffington Post reports.

“Oil pulling should not be used to treat oral disease such as gum disease or tooth decay,” Michelle Hurlbutt, RDH, MSDH and associate professor of dental hygiene at Loma Linda University in Southern California, said.

“It’s more of a preventive rinse that could be used adjunctively with your regular mouth care routine.”

Myths claim that oil pulling can help cavities, headaches, hormonal imbalances, infections, liver problems, arthritis, and cancer. However, for now it may be best to use the oil swishing to just maintain a clean mouth.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/David Shankbone

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