You know what doesn’t sound like any fun at all? Rinsing my mouth with oil. For 20 minutes. First thing in the morning before I can have coffee.
A reader sent me a link to a website advocating “oil pulling”. This one was a new one for me, so I thought I’d share the skeptic’s goldmine that is oil pulling. What’s that? I haven’t told you what it is yet? It’s essentially rinsing one’s mouth with oil as part of a regular oral hygiene routine. The oil helps “pull” out toxins from your body, ya know?
One pro-oil pulling website claims that these symptoms can be helped by oil pulling:
- Mouth & Gum Disease
- Stiff Joints
- High Blood Sugar
- Lung Diseases
- Menopause (hormonal issues)
- Chronic Infections
- Varicose Veins
- High Blood Pressure
- Cracked Heels
- PMS Symptoms
What? Wut? Wat?
AIDS? Cancer? Meningitis? Polio? Leukemia?
Mike Rothschild did a review of oil pulling over at Skeptoid.com, including some of the history of where oil pulling comes from, why it’s currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity among altmed fans, and why the proposed mechanisms of action are complete hooey. He described these blatantly baseless claims as “glowing anecdotes from people who ‘don’t know how it works, but it just does’”. Exactly. Why bother thinking about how the hell swishing oil around in your mouth might help address your AIDS, cancer, meningitis or polio symptoms when you can just tell people that it works because Ayurveda, ancient remedies, toxins? Blinded clinical trials are for people with way too much money and free time on their hands and not nearly enough faith in the healing powers of nature, amiright?
Oil swishing does work for oral health, of course. Just swish oil for 20 minutes in conjunction with routine oral hygiene and you very well might reduce or prevent the formation and buildup of plaque and tartar, prevent cavities, gum disease and halitosis. Thank you, wisdom of the ancients!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go buy some coconut oil.
Mmmm…gimme a mouth full of that.