Photo: woods wheatcroft photography

Help Combat Flu and Germs with Oil Pulling

D?u d?aCold weather, bundled up bodies, and closed up houses with the heat on can begin to harbor plenty of germs. This is the time for flu, colds, bronchitis, asthma flare-ups, and other health discomforts. It becomes harder for our immune system to rid itself of an overabundance of germs, viruses, bacteria, and molds we find ourselves more exposed to during cold months.

All types of germs enter our bodies through the air we breathe, the food and water we consume that may be tainted, from exposures to environmental toxins such as heavy metals, and from open sores we may have. Personal hygiene is of primary importance this time of year to remain healthy.

Oil pulling is an extremely effective method of oral hygiene care that begins to lighten the load of toxins entering our bodies, especially through the mouth. Years of research have proven that poor care of our mouths opens the door for these myriad germs to continue down into our stomach and intestines and venture out, as germs are very clever and adaptive, often settling in tissues, organs, joints, and muscles causing an increase in inflammation. Research abounds now about the connection to chronic inflammation and many diseases and discomforts.

Oil pulling works because many germs are attracted to fats and can be carried out of the body as fats are expelled. How this works is this: take about a large teaspoonful or tablespoonful of an oil and swish it in your mouth for about 15-20 minutes. Now don’t get grossed out! I prefer coconut oil as it has a mild taste and has all those anti-properties: antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral when ingested. With oil pulling, however, you don’t swallow it or you would be putting back into your system what the oil is collecting for you.

Coconut oil dissolves quickly in the mouth. You swish and swish to insure the oil is getting to those hard to reach places between gums and teeth. I oil pull in the shower as it keeps me busy while swishing. When you have completed your time, spit the oil into a container and not down the drain as it will eventually clog as it coagulates again. I keep a small plastic tub in the bathroom for this purpose and then toss it when it is full. That is when I get grossed out! That smelly residue represents tons of germs I have not let get into my body, so it is all worth it.

Rinse your mouth well after you oil pull. It is recommended to oil pull before you eat as that is when there is more of an abundance of germs in the mouth. After meal, many germs to downward with our swallowed foods.

There is much more I could share about oil pulling, but trying it out at least once daily will help support your entire body from toxin overload coming from the mouth, and another benefit is oil pulling can begin to whiten your teeth! We all want that!

Give oil pulling a try. Any oil will do, but I prefer the coconut oil. I feel positive that oil pulling will help prevent many wintertime illnesses if practiced regularly. Have fun with it!

Krystle Shapiro, MSHN owns NewTritionally Yours! offering nutrition education classes called Food 4 Life. Next classes begin in February. She can be reached at 208/290-6760 for more information and to register.

 

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