Oil pulling is the ancient Ayurvedic practice of taking a tablespoon of sunflower or sesame oil, (coconut oil is OK, but does not have as strong of an affect apparently), into your mouth every morning and swishing it around for 15-20 minutes, and then spitting it out. It was encouraged as a dental hygiene practice, but also as a way of cleansing the body of toxins. It has even been purported as curing dental rot, gum issues, cancer, allergies, and many, many other ailments. Many people claim the practice has whitened their teeth as well.
Because it is a whole body cleansing practice, and the toxins are exiting your body through your mouth, people who try it commonly experience small discomforts during the first week such as swollen gums, teeth that feel a little loose, minor sore throat etc. What I've read also strongly cautions those who follow this practice to never spit spent oil in a place where others will come into contact with it, since it will contain toxins. Ideally wash it down the sink. And try your hardest not to swallow what you are swishing.
Yesterday while I was reading up on it I thought I might as well swish some coconut oil, since I had it handy. I am being completely honest when I say, my mouth felt like I'd just been to the dentist for a thorough cleaning. My teeth felt so smooth, and I did notice my throat felt a little raw for a while after. I had to fudge a little, and try it in the afternoon while my sons were napping -- I don't know how to do it in the morning with a toddler running around :) Attractive, no?
I don't know very much about Ayurvedic medicine, but what I do know appeals to me as it emphasizes a strong connection between body and spirit. The information I've read on this practice mentions repeatedly that a person who performs this practice will be strong physically and mentally, and a hard worker.
I'll have to continually alter the practice a little and do it while my babes are sleeping in the afternoon, but whose up for trying this with me?