Ive ‘pulled’ about a shelf or so…


Time certainly does FLY when youre gagging over clumpy bit of oily goodness in your mouth having fun, huh?

I cant believe it has been six weeks since I started my love affair with oil pulling (late to the oily fun? some tips, tricks and WHY to pull can be found here.)

And, while the phrase love affair may be a bit of a stretch, Ive stuck with it. 

I am sticking with it.  You may now officially call me Long Haul Oily McGee.

Here’s why.

  • I gots my oil yellow!  Id laugh and say Im crazy, but in a sense this whole venture is a bit whackadoodle.  The first few times I pulled I neither lasted long enough (hardcore folks go TWENTY MINUTES)  nor was my oil yellow upon, uh, release.  The yellow color supposedly indicates youve released all yer toxins (spit! spit! never swallow!).  Needless to say I was pretty damn excited when I spat me some yellow.
  • I’m doing it for long-term gum health/Alzheimers prevention.  Im sticking with it because unlike, say, doing this solely for whiter teeth I may never know if the pulling helped or my gun simply never went off.  Which brings me to….
  •  My teeth are whiter? Yes, that IS phrased as a question.  Quite frankly I cant really tell.  All I know is the Tornado has ceased asking me: MAMA WILL MY TEETH GET YELLOW, TOO, WHEN IM OLD?! so there’s that.
  • I do it my way.  Completely.  This may be the worst “guide” to oil pulling ever.  I dont do it for twenty minutes.  I most certainly do NOT do it first thing/before coffee.  I do what I can & in a way I know I will actually keep doing it.  OIL PULLING is like FITNESS in that way.  It doesnt really MATTER what the “ideal” is. What matters is what I will actually, consistently do!
  • The Tornado knows I find it icky less than lovely.  Each time I pull she insists on singing her theme song. Each time I pull she interrogates me afterward.  Was that gross Mama? (yes) Was it like super yucky and did you want to spit it right out? (yes)  Ew. I dont like the taste of coconut.  Do you Mama? (no)  Im never doing that. Why do you do it Mama? (insert same rambles as they last 50+ times shes asked).  I think it’s GREAT for her to see me doing something I dont love all in the name of HEALTH.


Many of you reached out after my last post to share *your* oil pulling experiences.

Some of our thoughts are the same.

Many are different.

Samantha emailed:

Similar to you I have a considerable concern about Alzheimer’s (although not sure on my genetic predisposition). After reading your post I did some looking up to see what the “world” thought about oil pulling and definitely was surprised to see so many people in support of it. I think what actually compelled me more was the healthy gums potential (hate the dentist).
My sensory experience

I know I did under a full tablespoon and figured that sitting in front of the TV would be the best option. During the experience I didn’t mind too much. There is no way I could have gone 20 minutes without a bit of swallowing because I did 7 minutes and probably got a little into my stomach. I like the taste of coconut oil so that isn’t a big deal. I think it was the sensation in my mouth to be honest. I didn’t expect it to bother me so much. The reason I stopped at 7 minutes that as the oil got warmer and presumably more contaminated everything in me just wanted it gone. So I stopped.

I don’t know how people do it on an empty stomach –the thought of it makes me queasy.

Julie emailed:

I’d read that oil pulling can pull toxins out of your body and is an ancient ayurvedic practice, so it’s probably just good for you in general.  The thing I really didn’t like was the texture of the coconut oil.  Those semi-solid pieces made me feel like I was chewing on lard for the first 30 seconds or so.  Once it dissolved it wasn’t so bad.  I’d just swish and chew during my shower.  It also put me off the taste of coconut for a bit; but, my teeth seemed whiter!  I switched to sunflower oil, which is much milder in flavour and doesn’t require dissolving.

 Tara shared:

I love me some oil pulling. Have done it for years and well I’ll let my mouth speak for itself (pun intended). In the last 30 years I’ve gone to a dentist 3 times to get my teeth “professionally” cleaned. Periodontal disease runs in my family but yet I have healthy gums, healthy teeth. Is it from the oil pulling? Dunno but I still do it! plus I love me anything with coconut!

A number of you chimed in—both seriously and not so—over on Facebook:

Tricia Minnick I’ve been sporadic with it (in and out of town and not traveling with a jar of oil) but-is it weird that I don’t think its gross? I like it. It tastes…nice. And doesn’t feel like normal oil-y grossness. And my teeth feel GOOOD afterwards like I’ve just been to the dentist without the pain. But Dash always asks me to “make a funny face Mommy” when I do it because he watched your video about 8 times. :)


Jack Sh*t I’ve been using it on my back hair; I’m happy to report that it’s never been softer or shinier!


Elle Erixon Okay I tried this Saturday morning BEFORE my coffee and found it kinda pleasant, actually. The taste of the coconut oil is good. I wonder if it set me up for craving it the rest of the day though… had coconut flour crepes at breakfast, a cocoroon at noon and a snack size Almond Joy after dinner! Hmmmmm


Dick Carlson “Pulling”? Shoot — I thought you said “pudding”! I’ve had this awful taste in my mouth all week! Yuck!



Im still pulling. 

I shall keep at the pulling. 

I am, thus far, not messing with the pulling and adding PEPPERMINT or anything to my coconut oil. 

Im staying OLD SCHOOL with a twist of misfit—but Im keeping at it.

And you?

  • Have you tried oil pulling yet? If so–what did you think?
  • If NOT are you sufficiently curious now & ready to cram a spoonful of oil in your coconut-hole?


Never miss a post. Enter your email to get my latest posts delivered to your inbox.


  1. Healthy Mama says

    I tried too, Miz.

    I never made it past 4 minutes and didn’t get the oil yellow.
    Perhaps I need Tornado to sing to me, too?

    My kids think I am crazy but I will keep at it.

  2. Runner Girl says

    My boyfriend and I tried this and had a race to see who could do it the longest.
    It was nasty!!!!

  3. says

    I’m definitely interested in trying this out and sticking with it at least for a few weeks. Since it benefits gum health, I figure organic coconut oil is a far healthier thing to put in my body than those teeth whitening kits full of chemicals.

  4. says

    I completely forgot to respond to this but yes, big fan of the oil pulling here.
    With my dental woes, I found oil pulling to be great for sensitive teeth and getting debris that floss/brushing can miss.

  5. Tia says

    Good point, Carla when you say you are role modeling doing something good for you that you don’t like.

    I may have to try.

  6. says

    From workouts, to life, to Oil Pulling, I’m glad you do everything your own way “I do what I can & in a way I know I will actually keep doing it.” This is a principle we all need to incorporate in our life, just as you masterfully already do!

  7. says

    Wow–I missed the first post on this, but just went back and read/watched it. I want to try it!!! It’s weird, but very intriguing. And I have some extra coconut oil . . . . I think I’ll give it a whirl this weekend!

  8. says

    I think it’s crazy something like swishing oil can prevent Alzheimer’s, but hey, I’m all for crazy! I love your comparison to fitness- what matters most is you do it in a way that works for YOU.

  9. Jess says

    You had me at whiter teeth. I’m going to the store tomorrow to purchase some coconut oil. Hm, I like coconut so maybe I’ll like the taste?

    Do you swish like you …. swish mouth wash? Or is there like a less gross version of swishing…Haha coconut oil discussions. I love it.

    Time to pull some oil :)

  10. says

    So interesting! Whiter teeth too?! That tempts me to wanna try it out. Knowing me though, I’m sure I’d gag with every pull…Hmmm..definitey something to consider me thinks!

  11. says

    I have heard so much about oil pulling and have always wanted to try it. Maybe now that all the cool kids are doing it I will finally jump on board! :-)

  12. says

    Carla – I saw on Twitter that you were going to update this week & I so was looking forward to this & id did not disappoint!!! I love that you do it in a way that works for you & we both feel that way about workouts & all that stuff! :-) I am thinking of trying this now reading others that like coconut – which I do. I doubt the 20 minutes will fly for me but I have had bad teeth for years – I think in the genes cause I do all I am supposed to do & yet have issues every dentist visit. As you know I have been going for 2 years to fix existing issues & hope to be done by year end – hope!!!

    Also Alzheimers prevention – my grandmother on mom side got this so..

    OK – will let you know how it goes! I am scared but I will try it AFTER talking to dentist since he is in the middle of doing stuff right now.

    Thank you for this Carla AND LOVE the Tornado questions!!!!

  13. says

    Hmmm…I’m definitely curious now! I want to give this a go! Somehow I read the last oil pulling post but must not have understood everything correctly…Funny how that happens. 😉 I’ll confess that I do like white teeth but don’t feel great putting chemicals on my teeth/gums so this seems great, especially for the bigger benefits too! 20 minutes…now I won’t be home until later tonight – do you think it’d be okay to do in the evening? I’m ready to start!

    Thanks for this post, Carla! Loved hearing others’ thoughts too, especially the benefit to Ryan’s back hair. #awesome 😉

  14. Sallie says

    Your blog was down for a while this morning BTW.

    I am trying the pulling today and will let you know.
    I have poor oral genetics, too.

  15. Mandi says

    You make such a great case for the pulling with your parallel to fitness.

    I may try and just do what I can.


  16. says

    Congrats on sticking with it Carla! I had so much to say about it when I emailed you, then I basically fell off the pulling wagon…I should really start again! This post reminded me why I should :)

  17. says

    I’m sorry, but this post makes me giggle…
    OK, stopped giggling. I love coconut oil, I use it for everything. A million different ways in cooking and baking, in my toothpaste, on my hair and skin, I stop just short of bathing in the stuff…only because it’s too pricey for that 😉 I should be the poster girl for coconut oil (call me, maybe?).

  18. Marney says

    I am SO glad that you posted a followup. I have been thinking of trying this every day since your last post on it but haven’t quite mustered up the courage. But now I am going to do it! Even though just the thought makes me “gaggy” (I have bad memories of drinking castor oil to induce labor). I think my husband is going to get in on it too! As soon as we are back from vacation. Thanks for sharing such great knowledge.

  19. says

    I’ve been so curious about this since you first mentioned it. I cook with coconut oil ALL THE TIME. like, with anything that needs any kind of oil or butter or what have you… but swishing it around in my mouth… eeep. I shall try. I’ll probably gag lol

  20. says

    Wow!!!! I never have heard of this, but I keep coconut oil on hand for sauteeing kale, asparagus, egg scrambling,etc.

    I’ve got to try it and now I’m glad that I never bought whitening strips. Thanks for posting about this.

  21. says

    we have heard about oil pulling before a few months ago, thought about trying it, but never did. now we are! you inspired us (and reminded us) to give it a try. we are not perfect at it either, we try to do it every morning but does not always happen 😉
    but we are proud of ourselves for keeping up with it the best we can. we use sunflower oil, though thinking of mixing in coconut oil in there too.

  22. says

    I’m glad you posted an update – I can’t believe it’s already been 6 weeks!!! I’m super intrigued and part of me wants to try it but I’m terrified !!! Maybe after the baby is born =)

  23. says

    Well shoot. This makes me want to start it up again. I pretty quickly got up to 20 minutes a night (turns out while washing dishes is EVEN better than in front of the TV) and then I just burned out on doing it nightly. The thought of the benefits however make me want to get back into it. I never did notice mine turning yellow however and I only stuck with it a couple of weeks and didn’t notice a teeth improvement either.

    Thanks for the update!

  24. says

    Apparently I missed your first post, but I may try to start doing this now. Perhaps due it while I’m foam rolling? Two benefits in one!

  25. says

    I eat butter straight so I think I can handle swishing some coconut oil. I also gargle baking soda and brush with that…so maybe I’m not the best example.