I write this on the 4th January 2018 and I have had a stinking cold since boxing day.
I don't find myself getting colds often, in fact, I've not had one for about two years. This one has been particularly nasty. My diet is on the whole very varied and healthy, and I think my immune system is strong at keeping these little infections at bay.
As a self-confessed foodie, one of the symptoms that really irritated me was losing my sense of smell and taste. Being as inquisitive as I am, I did some research into how to mitigate these symptoms and came across a technique called 'oil pulling'.
I gave it a go, and my results we're very surprising. Read on!
What is oil pulling?
Oil pulling is a technique where you take a cooking oil, like coconut, sunflower or sesame oil and 'pull' it through your teeth and around your mouth for an extended period of time.
The idea is, is that in doing this, the harmful bacteria is pulled through your gums and binds with the oil to be safely ejected from your body.
Although most of the studies into oil pulling have been using sesame oil, many people have had additional benefits when using coconut oil. Benefits such as aiding with skin conditions, arthritis, asthma, infections and even whitening teeth.
How do I pull oil?
Here are the steps you should take:
- Use 1-2 teaspoons of oil and put in your mouth. If using coconut oil, use a teaspoon to chisel off some teaspoon-sized chunks.
- Swill the oil around your mouth for 20 minutes. Be sure to pull it through your teeth and around all of the inside of your mouth. Coconut oil will take a few minutes to go from solid to liquid in your mouth.
- After 20 minutes, spit oil into a bin. This is important as oil can go solid when cooling and will block sink plugs. DO NOT SWALLOW THE OIL, after 20 minutes the mixture will contain all kinds of bad bacteria and should not be re-ingested into the body.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water. Rinse as much as you can out of your mouth, I find warm water works best.
- Brush your teeth well. This will remove any other bacteria from your mouth.
So, what happened the day after?
So, back to my Christmas head cold. After deciding enough was enough, I tried this for 20 minutes with coconut oil just before bed. I rinsed well and immediately brushed my teeth.
That night, it was like the symptoms had accelerated drastically and I woke up at 2am with a fever, drenched in sweat one minute and shivering cold the next. The following day I slept an additional four hours and when I awoke, I felt much better.
My sinus pain had completely gone, and the tension headaches had subsided. The difference from the day before was remarkable. I still had a cold, but I had a feeling that I wasn't 'contagious' any more, definitely felt on the mend. Sadly, my taste and smell did not come back any quicker though.
I appreciate, it could all be down to a coincidence and nothing to do with the oil pulling. However, I genuinely believe that this accelerated the recovery for me and will use this technique more often!
I will share my findings on our Twitter account . Be sure to follow us!