What is oil pulling (and should you try it?)


Words: Emma Vidgen // @emma_vee


You may have heard yogis and other enlightened folk mention oil pulling is a part of their regular morning routine. Chey Birch, founder of Black Chicken Remedies is one such person. Chey developed her own formula using a magical blend of organic Coconut, Sesame, Hemp, Castor and Avocado oil. “I wanted to come up with something that would not only clean my mouth and balance my mouth bacteria, but also something that would deliver nutrients to specifically build a healthy mouth micro biome – meaning a happy and healthy mouth,” Chey tells The Wayward. “Myrrh is what really makes our Oral Swishing Oil special. It is used to soothe toothaches, gingivitis, and mouth ulcers, while also freshening breath. It has relaxing affects on the mind and body, which are down to the chemical compounds that stimulate the pituitary gland. This is why it’s often used for meditative purposes.” And all before your morning coffee? Sounds glorious, non? But if you’re  nodding along politely but thinking, “what the hell is oil pulling?” fear not. We asked Chey to answer all your most burning questions about this ancient practice.


“Oil pulling is the practice of swishing then expelling oil from the mouth to draw out oil-soluble toxins from your body,” says Chey. “It’s a natural way to neutralise harmful bacteria and restores balance in the mouth.” Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic tradition originating in Indian between 3000 – 5000 years ago. “Ayurvedic wisdom is becoming more wide-spread and for good reason. It focuses on achieving balance in the mind and body through a holistic approach using diet, herbs, breathing and mindfulness,” says Chey.

What are the health benefits of oil pulling?

Almost too many to list! Regular oil pulling can assist with all kinds of health issues. “It improves oral hygiene, reduces plaque and tooth decay, reduces the risk of cavities, eliminates bad breath, improves tooth sensitivity, helps with whitening teeth,” says Chey. In addition it can help with detoxing. “Drawing toxins from the skin, blood and organs; boosts the lymphatic system, immune system and digestion,increases energy levels and focus and decreases inflammation and headaches!” Chey explains.

How do you do it?

“On an empty stomach and before brushing, place one tablespoon of oil in the mouth, swish for up to 20 minutes then spit out into the toilet not the sink,” says Chey. Ideally you should pull every morning however you can start a few times a week until you gt used to it. “The same goes with swishing for 20 minutes, if this is too long the first few tries, start at 5 and work your way up,” explains Chey.

What about tongue scraping?

Tongue cleaning or scraping is a well-known Ayurvedic self-care practice used to remove oral bacteria and debris found on
the back of the tongue that appears as a coating,” says Chey. “The back of the tongue has little movement and is more oxygen deprived resulting in bacteria buildup.” You should tongue scrape daily, before oil pulling.

How do I tongue scrape?

“Scrape first thing in the morning
. Relax the tongue and use scraper to scrape from the back of the tongue to front,” says Chey. “
Reach as far back as you feel comfortable. 
Repeat 5 times, rinsing the scraper in between
. Oil pull with Oral Swishing Oil, brush and floss.”

Are all tongue scrapers created equal?

“A tongue cleaner made from copper is best, tongue scrapers have been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years and the ancients understood the healing properties of copper,” says Chey. “Medical research related to infection control also shows the benefits of copper containing-rooms in hospitals for its ability to resist bacteria.”


To learn more about oil-pulling check out Black Chicken Remedies