Ever wondered about oil pulling for A-list white teeth? Ever heard about oil pulling for A-list white teeth? Well, it's actually an ancient Ayurvedic technique that's been around since way before the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Miranda Kerr began raving about its benefits. In short, it's a method of swilling oil (usually coconut) around your mouth to remove staining on the teeth – but it's also said to promote overall health and wellbeing. We're in.
Who wouldn't want gnashers like Gwynnie's?
That said, it can be a little messy – and gross – to spoon a chunk of coconut oil into your mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes (yep, 20 minutes), so the lovely folk over at Sister and Co have come up with a refreshing ice cube version that you can keep in the freezer to use each morning.
Sophie Thompson, author of new book Skin Food: Natural Skin and Hair Care Treatments, says: "When you swill the oil around your mouth, the bacteria get caught up in it and dissolve in the liquid oil, so when you spit it out, out come the toxins and bacteria with it. Removing oral bacteria helps reduce the build-up of plaque, strengthens gums, makes breath fresher and helps keep teeth white."
She adds: "Coconut oil has excellent antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and many people find it pleasant tasting. Also, you won’t be able to create individual-sized cubed portions as in this recipe with other oils because they don’t solidify like coconut oil. Each portion is the perfect amount for your daily oil pull and you will have enough to keep you going for at least the next couple of weeks." Here's what you need - the recipe makes about 15 portions…
460g (1lb) solid coconut oil or 500ml (18fl oz) liquid coconut oil
Optional: 20 drops peppermint essential oil
You will also need a standard-size ice-cube tray
If your coconut oil is solid, melt the oil in a bain marie over a gentle heat. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10–15 minutes, then stir in the peppermint essential oil, if using.
Pour into your ice-cube tray and refrigerate for about 1–2 hours or until the oil has solidified. Pop the cubes out of the ice-cube tray and cut each cube in half. Store the cubes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to a month.
In Ayurveda, it is believed that oil pulling is best done on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Pop the cube in your mouth (it will turn to liquid on contact) and swill the oil around and throughout your mouth and between your teeth for as close as you can get to 20 minutes. You may find you can only manage 5 minutes at first, but it gets easier! A tip is to oil pull when you’re doing something else so that you have a distraction, such as taking a shower. When you’re done, spit the oil out into the bin, not the sink, as the oil can clog drainpipes when it solidifies.