Oil Pulling Challenge to Transform Your Health and Detoxify Your Body!

I’ve been wanting to commit to doing oil pulling for at least six months now, and thought, why not do it with all of you and we share our progress together? Thus, the oil pulling challenge was born!

The Oil Pulling Challenge with My Merry Messy Life to transform your health and detoxify your body!

So, what the heck is oil pulling?

It is an ancient, traditional folk remedy and Ayurvedic  technique to remove toxins from the body through the mouth (Ayurvedic is traditional medicine from the Indian subcontinent). You swish a raw oil (cold-pressed) around the mouth for 15-20 minutes and then spit it out. The mouth is a bacteria haven so it makes total sense that pulling toxins from there will boost your overall health. It’s the same principle as the Oil Cleansing for cleaning the skin, that like dissolves like, and the oil will cut through plaque and draw out toxins. There are many reported health benefits when used on a regular basis, like:

  • Banishes bad breath
  • Heals gingivitis
  • Helps with skin conditions like rashes, eczema, psoriasis, acne and more (all of which are caused by toxins in the body)
  • Whitens teeth
  • Reduces oral plaque
  • Helps with asthma and allergies
  • Helps with food allergies
  • Helps with migraines and headaches

How Do You Do It?

It’s pretty simple, besides the whole not-swallowing thing.

  • Spoonful of Oil – Just take a small spoonful of any cold-pressed, raw organic oil like coconut, sesame or olive. I usually use about a teaspoon.
  • Swish It – around your mouth for 15-20 minutes. At first, this will be very hard, so give yourself some grace. It might take a week or two to work up to 20 minutes.
  • Do not swallow! As it swishes, it draws the bacteria and toxins from your mouth and into the oil, which is why you must try very hard to not swallow! I don’t swish for the entire time, as my jaw gets tired, but do it every few minutes. Again, this is really hard to control until it becomes a habit. Try it for a week or more and it will get easier.
  • Spit It Out – Then, when you’re finished spit it out in the trash or a cup, but do not put down the drain (especially coconut oil as it will harden back up and clog those suckers up).
  • Rinse Well
  • Clean Well – brush your teeth afterwards with a fluoride-free toothpaste (don’t want to re-introduce toxins with a fluoride one!)

Tips to make it easier – do it while you’re doing something else – showering, reading the morning newspaper, during the morning commute or a car ride, watching TV, playing games on your iPad, etc. That way you’re not going crazy thinking about how long it is and how you don’t want to swallow.

Coconut Oil is Best

Eastern cultures have long-since known a secret that those of us Western cowboys are starting to get – coconut oil rocks, dude. Like totally. Of course, it grows well over there and is native, which it isn’t here, so we get a pass. It contains a magical ingredient I’ve written about before called lauric acid, a medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs) that is converted in the body into a compound called monolaurin, an antiviral and antibacterial that destroys a wide variety of disease causing organisms. So, coconut oil does more than sesame or olive oils by killing germs while at the same time, drawing them out of the body.

The Challenge

Do it once a day for 15-20 minutes or twice a day for 10-15 minutes for a week , commenting here or on any of my social media (use this hashtag so I can find your comment – #OilPullingChallenge) with your progress. If you’re having trouble doing it, we want to know that, too! I’ll be honest and comment in this post right along with you.

Many grocery stores carry coconut oil, but I buy mine by the gallon from Tropical Traditions. It’s organic, cold-pressed, raw and unrefined!

Follow the Challenge

To see each new post, make sure you’ve signed up on the sidebar to the right for “Each New Post.”

  • Day 1 (tip to use peppermint oil here)
  • Day 2 (common struggles discussed)
  • Day 3 (tip to keep from gagging)
  • Day 4 (how it helps with allergies & even PMS symptoms!)
  • Day 5 (teeth are much whiter)
  • Day 6 (healed a toothache and a sore throat)
  • Day 7 (detoxing & die-off symptoms)

Who’s with me?! Leave your comments below!

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About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.


  1. Deanna Finzel says:

    Sounds interesting! Just curious about the fluoride toothpaste re-introducing toxins. Do you have a link on where I can read about that?

  2. Oh I’ve been wanting to do this too! Don’t know why I haven’t so I’M IN! I also get my coconut oil from Tropical Traditions – definitely recommend them! Great products, and super excellent customer service!
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  3. I started this 2 days ago with friends on FB!! So I am in!

  4. Trudy Mintun says:

    I’m in, but I would like to know what results I should expect in a weeks time or is it more long term tosee/feel anything different.

  5. I’ll try it since it’s been on my list for some time now. Good luck! #OilPullingChallenge

  6. Linda Jackson says:

    I’m in and have been wanting to try this also. Really enjoy your blog.

  7. Georgia Beckman says:

    I got a head start. 😉 I had been considering it for a couple of months too & finally started on Sunday, 3/2. First I’ll tell you why I hesitated as I’m sure many others have the same reasons. 1) I thought it was going to feel like cold grease feels in your mouth. You know, when you take a bite of a cold leftover & the grease gets in your mouth? It just kind of coats your mouth & tongue with a thick, nasty feeling. 2) I have a trigger happy gag reflex. I can’t even brush my teeth without gagging. 3) What if I throw up? (I will do ANYTHING to not throw up) 4) The thought of swishing OIL around in my mouth was not pleasing. REALLY? OIL? Now I’ll tell you why I LOVE it. I actually look forward to it each day! 1) It’s refreshing. Not only does it not taste bad, it tastes good! 2) There is no bad after taste. It is a pleasant, refreshed taste. 3) Today is my 6th day of oil pulling & I can already tell a difference in the whiteness of my teeth. I’ve got a ways to go because I am a smoker & I drink coffee & tea, but after only SIX days, I can see a difference. I finally took a close up of my teeth today. The main reason I wanted to do oil pulling is because I have 2 cavities in the front. Not the two in the very front, but the two next to those. I have heard several testimonies of oil pulling not only stopping tooth decay but reversing it AND RESTORING the tooth to a healthy state. Can’t wait to continue on this journey with you all & see/hear your results. #OilPullingChallenge

    • Margaret says:

      I’m very concerned about gagging on it. The very idea makes me gag. What exactly does it feel like? It’s not a taste thing I’m worried about but a texture thing.

      • I personally never feel a need to gag, only to swallow. The not swallowing part is hard for me. But the oil, especially coconut, doesn’t taste bad to me at all. I think olive oil would. Well, you are welcome to try it with us and report back what it’s like!

    • Wow, Georgia! Thanks for sharing your story! I might share it with everyone because it is very encouraging and compelling. Thanks for all the details!

    • I have been brushing my teeth with a mixture of cold pressed coconut oil (1/4 cup) and baking soda (1/2 tsp) mixed together into a paste for the last 6 mo. I use it after I floss and rinse my mouth out well with water. Since toothbrushes tend to be full of germs ,I dip my clean finger into my container of paste and spread some on my toothbrush, this way my paste will keep indefinitely in any jar with good lid.
      The main benefits I noticed are whiter teeth, and a lot less tooth sensitivity , works better that toothpaste for sensitive teeth. And I notice my teeth maintain that smooth clean surface feeling most of the day, just like when you get a dental cleaning. It’s like the grime and plaque don’t seem to accumulate on the surface of your teeth which makes me a fan of coconut oil toothpaste.

  8. Emily Cargile says:

    I think I might try this. Sounds cool, and since I am doing the Paleo diet, I have a lot of coconut oil 🙂

  9. I actually started doing this yesterday! I am looking forward to seeing some results!

  10. Count me in!

  11. Wow, thanks so much!! I am running track, but my asthma slows me down a lot. I will definitely be trying this!!
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  12. I’m on it!

  13. Love you and your website! I’m in and have extended the challenge to some family members. I tried it before and didn’t stick with it so I’ve thought about adding a bit of peppermint oil to my coconut oil. Looking forward to hearing about everyone’s progress (along with my own). Let the challenge begin!

  14. I have never heard of this, but am game to give it a try. I’m glad to see some of the comments, because it does sound icky!!! I look forward to what it brings me and seeing what it does for others. Thanks for doing this challenge. I love doing things in groups.
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  15. I started this just this morning, before I read this! I’m in. I plan to use essential oils in it to add to it’s ability to detox and when and repair my teeth. I guess I should get a before picture or two so I can compare.

  16. Stephanie says:

    Great idea! I love your blog! I am up for the challenge! Time to “spring clean” my body!

  17. Count me in

  18. Jennifer says:

    I want to do this and will. My one concern is that I believe I read that you shouldn’t do oil pulling if you have broken teeth?? Can’t remember where I read this or if this was what I read it for, but it concerned me. I have a crown that has broken, and i’m afraid it will cause it more damage. Otherwise, I SO want to do this!

    Please let me know if this info. is true or what the heck I’m thinking of…but I do believe this is true. Anyway, I will do some research and comment back if I find anything.

    • Hi Jennifer! I don’t know about broken teeth or crowns – I will have to do research on that. In all the reading I’ve done on oil pulling, I haven’t come across that yet. I’d be shocked if it harmed broken teeth, but that’s just my opinion. I’ll look into it!

      • Jennifer says:

        Thanks so much! I’m glad to know that in your searching around, you haven’t seen it. I wish I could remember where I did see it to know if it was a reputable site! Thanks for the response. 🙂

  19. I’ve been doing this for a month or so now……not positive if it is working, but I will continue to do so because I figure it can’t hurt! And, I have allergies, celiac, and eczema so I try anything!!! 🙂

  20. Anne perry says:

    I am in.

  21. Patricia Pitsenbarger says:

    I’m willing to try this! I haven’t got any coconut oil, but can probably get some at the grocery store. Tomorrow, when I go out a little bit.

  22. Kathy Pender says:

    I’ve been wondering what oil-pulling is. Sounds interesting. I might just have to try this. 🙂

  23. I’m in.

  24. I’m in too. I went ahead and started tonight. Can’t wait to see how it helps with my recently diagnosis of periodontal disease.
    Love your blog.

  25. I have been wanting to do this. I did start once and continued for maybe a week but stopped and don’t remember why I stopped. It is really not bad…tasting or feeling the oil in my mouth. Coconut oil is the kind I used.
    Hopefully, doing this along with a group, I will continue for indefinitely.

  26. Dominique says:

    I’ve been hesitant to try this for at least two years because I know coconut oil is the best and I cannot stand the taste but I’m going to try Jarrow Formula’s flavorless coconut oil (http://www.jarrow.com/product/211/Coconut_Oil). Does anyone know if this is just as good as regular coconut oil? It’s organic and cold-pressed I believe. Anyway, I’m going to go for it tomorrow morning!

    • Hi Dominique! I’ve never heard of that brand but I think it’s going to be in liquid form, not solid, because it’s expeller pressed. However, it should still work well, especially since it’s organic. Go for it!

      • Dominique says:

        It is a softish solid but melts pretty quick in your mouth. It still kind of grosses me out at first though, I’m very sensitive to textures. But it’s easier to handle once it’s a liquid. I would recommend it to anyone who doesn’t like the taste of coconut.

    • Wondering if the flavorless coconut oil also doesn’t smell like coconut. I’ve had a negative digestive reaction to coconut solids since I was little & have since developed a gag-reaction to the smell. Tried oil pulling for the first time today with Olive Oil – not too bad since I added some peppermint oil. My saliva kicked in right away which thinned down the oil.

  27. Elaine Isken-Humcke says:

    I am going to try it. I have been having a lot of problems with my teeth. I have a couple of questions. Should one use the solid coconut oil or a liquid? I don’t know if I have seen a liquid one, at least not organic and cold pressed. The one I got awhile back is solid. Which leads to my second question. I have an expired bottle ( I was bad and didn’t use it ) but it has never been opened. Do you think it would still be safe to use ?

    • Hi Elaine! I think the expired bottle is fine to use if when you open it, it looks and smells normal. Coconut oil has a very nice coconut scent and shouldn’t smell foul at all. The liquid one should work as well, I think, but I honestly don’t know. The only one I know for sure works is the solid, cold-pressed one. So, in my opinion, it can’t hurt to try, but you might not get results in a weeks’ time.

  28. Elizabeth Williams says:

    I’ve been oil pulling for months. I recommend to my coaching clients.

  29. I did this yesterday, March 8, and plan to continue. This morning, I noticed that my mouth felt fresher. After I did the FULL 20 minute swish, I rinsed right away with warm peppermint water. I brushed with baking soda and peppermint oil, and my mouth felt amazing for the rest of the day, and carried over to the next day. Thank you for sharing this!! Can’t wait to see what my dentist has to say!!

  30. Laurel Swanson says:

    I will try – I think either Peppermint or Lemon oil may make it more palatable! I had already started today before I read this, and the first minute or two were the worst, but then the time went quickly.

  31. Missie Thompson says:

    Day 1 I sneezed after 15 minutes and I was in the shower. Now I get to look forward to a clogged drain. On the bright side my teeth already look whiter! Day 2 I didn’t sneeze and spit in the trash at 20 minutes. Success! The coconut oil is not hard to keep in my mouth. I might even like it!

  32. I am going to try this starting today March 10, 2014
    Been seeing oil pulling but I didn’t know what it was

  33. Ok, I’m in. I’m on a little bit of a detox kick and I’m also really lazy so every little bit helps 🙂 I agree that the solid to liquid process in my mouth is gross and next time I will be melting it down beforehand. My mouth does feel very clean and I’m going to recommending to a friend with chronic gingivitis.

    • Great, Joleen! Glad you decided to take the plunge. I think we’re all a little lazy so that’s why we’re doing this together. Nothing like a little motivation, is there?! Would love to hear back from you if your friend decides to start using it.

  34. Do you need a whole spoonful or will just tiny but do the trick? It just seems like a whole spoonful a day would be working through my coconut oil pretty quickly and it could get expensive.
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  35. I am getting started as soon as my coconut oil arrives! I did a lot of research on the subject, and my wife and I decided to give it a try. I just ordered some coconut oil on eBay this morning. It’s Organic and Unrefined, which I hear is best. Wish us Luck! 😀

  36. I used oil pulling with coconut oil about a year ago when I had a terrible toothache, and that combined with a bentonite clay and tea tree oil poultice completely took the problem away within a day and a half.

    Two nights ago I went to bed with a terrible sore throat and woke up with it feeling worse so during my morning shower I used coconut oil pulling and by the end of 20 minutes the soreness was a mere memory which has not returned.

    I’ve been meaning to commit to an extended time of doing it, so no time like the present!

  37. I’ve tried it off and on for a few weeks. But I melt the coconut oil in microwave for 30 sec. Do you know if you can do it at night or does it have to be first thing in the morning on an empty stomach? I do think my teeth are whiter but I’m hoping my teeth and gums are better. I’ve had several gum surgeries. I go next week.

    • Hi Carol! It’s important to do it when your stomach is empty – so right in the morning before you eat or drink or another time of day several hours after you eat.

      • Thanks. I went to the dentist. They always have to root plane, but this time there was less plaque so she said keep doing what you’re doing (oil pulling?) I still have gum issues but I’m trying to avoid anymore gum surgery. I never seem to be able to do it on weekends, but all week days I will keep it up. I go again in 3 months. She told me to rinse with warm salt water.

  38. When I bought my coconut oil at a health food store, the lady said not to do the oil pulling every day. Is this true? How often do you recommend this?

  39. I am going to start oil pulling tonight. I am expecting so I’m curious if I’ll be able to do it without gagging. The “morning sickness” has been fun to say the least but I want to experience the health benifits of pulling. Love your blog by the way!

  40. I’m sorry Sara, but putting oil in my mouth and swishing it around would make me gag. I can’t stand it if I have any time fat in my mouth and I remove from my mouth quick as it went in! Doesn’t it make your teeth feel dirty ?

    I would like to hear from other ones that has done the oil pulling and the results of doing this. I have coconut but it is a solid in a jar. I use to put on my feet as the balls of my feet are very tender and ohe coconut oil seems to to heal my dry feet. I didn’t buy the oil in a health food store, just our local grocerie store, so I don’t know if this kind of oil is healing my feet, I also put socks on when I go to bed and my feet are getting softer so with the combination of oil and socks is the answer to my sore and tender, feet, then I will keep doing. I also rub my greasy hands on my legs and my hands seem to be moisture by doing this. Yay for coconut oil!

    • I know, Cathrin, it sounds gross! I understand :). I thought the same thing when I read about it about a year ago – I thought it sounded ridiculous. But after doing a lot more reading on it and trying it myself, I’m a believer! Don’t knock it till ya try it sorta thing. It doesn’t feel like animal fat to me in my mouth. Many have written during this challenge that they melt the oil (just 10-15 sec in the microwave or on the stove) so that they start oil pulling with liquid oil You could try that instead! There are lots of success stories written each day during the challenge – just click through and you’ll find them there!

  41. Can’t wait… excited about this.

  42. I am doing oil pulling with sesame oil for the past 1 year and it is reducing my gynecomastia

    • I have the same experience. My gyno is shrinking too since I started oil pulling. I’m even considering now not to have surgery done

  43. Lydia Ndezwa says:

    I have neva heard of oil pulling, but an adventurous and am actually doing it now, it feels okay though my hubby keeps on talking to meand my mouth is busy.hahaha he has to try to shut up. Cant wait to see the results .am in !

  44. misty d childress says:

    Just heard of this today. I’m very excited to try it! Not too sure I can keep my mouth closed the whole 20 minutes. I usually can’t breathe through my nose because of my sinuses. Wish me luck!

    • Good luck, Misty! Well, then, you are the perfect person to try it since you have sinus issues. Do your best – I have found that even when I “mess” up and accidentally swallow, I am still seeing amazing results from oil pulling. So doing it sorda right is still WAY better than not doing it at all. In other words, give yourself grace and just do the best you can!

  45. Jennifer Wood says:

    I’ve been oil-pulling for about 3 weeks now and have seen some great results… fewer sinus problems, clearer skin, brighter teeth, fresher breath and no migraines! Plus, I have a candida overgrowth and it’s helping tremendously with that too! I had to go out of town for a few days though and found that it doesn’t travel well because it’s so temperature-sensitive. Any suggestions? I hate doing without it even for a weekend now.

    • Awesome, Jennifer, I always love reading another testimonial. Well, I don’t know about you, but I use coconut oil both when it’s a liquid (when it’s warm in the house) and when it’s solid (when it’s cold in the house). It works great both ways for me, in other words, the temperature doesn’t matter!

  46. So do you need to nuke the coconut oil in the microwave wave before swishing, or does it melt once it’s in your mouth?

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