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Christian P. Marriott

Hey there, I’m Christian. I’m the founder of The Big Fruit and live in Somerset, England. I am passionate about helping people to get their bodies back to working in a natural state. I am a fan of fitness, yoga, and coffee. I’m also interested in design, innovation and food.

Home » Blog » Which is the Best Oil for Oil Pulling?

Which is the Best Oil for Oil Pulling?

by Christian P. Marriott
Last updated 18 March, 2017

Oil Pulling has become a common oral health boosting practice and is rapidly achieving household name status. The growing popularity is due to its chemical free, non-abrasive detox effect, not to mention the recent trend in teeth whitening.

Oil pulling works to reduce bacteria, toxins, and fungi. But, it also stimulates the lymphatic system, drawing up toxins where they are expelled when the oil is discarded. The results for the mouth are very positive, but, the overall results for the entire body may be even greater.

The art of oil pulling involves keeping a small amount of oil (about half a tablespoon) in your mouth and swishing from cheek to cheek, pushing and pulling it between the teeth and gums and into the far corners of your mouth. After swishing for between 5 and 20 minutes, the oil is expelled into the bin. For further reference and additional tips, have a look at New to Oil Pulling and Advanced Oil Pulling Techniques.

Whether you have been oil pulling for years or are just considering starting, you’ll want to get the best results by using the right oils.

Leaping in with the first oil available can slow down evidence of positive results, or worse, discourage you from sticking to this simple, natural, and highly effective oral detox

What are We Looking for in a Good Oil for Oil Pulling?

We are looking for three things.

  1. What the oil removes: The range and volume of bacteria, toxins, and fungi that can be absorbed by the oil.
  2. What the oil provides: the nutrients, anti-bacterial agents that are absorbed by the tissues in the mouth
  3. How pleasant the oil is to use: not to be underestimated

The pulling oil must be capable of absorbing a range of bacteria, toxins, and fungi, and for this, we need high-quality fatty acids. The wider the spectrum of undesirables that can be absorbed, the better, as is the oil’s absorption capacity.

Aside from the cleansing capability, a good pulling oil should possess cell-nurturing nutrients and antioxidants that are not readily available in our usual routines. This is crucial because not only will these traits improve oral health, they will be absorbed sublingually to support whole health.

Finally, we want a pulling oil that is pleasant to use. Taste and texture count, since oil pulling is a habit that we intend to carry out daily. Don’t let one run-in with a substandard oil put you off of your swishing for good.

The Two Top Candidate Oils

Just about every oil has been attempted, but the two that stand out from the crowd, coconut and sesame, loom large in terms of known properties and long-term recorded results in oil pulling.

They have both been established as effective oral detox oils, cleaning beyond the reach of your toothbrush while being kind to your tongue, gums, lips and other soft tissues in your mouth.

Both coconut and sesame oil are rich in history, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. Still, there are differences between the two that can’t be seen or tasted. One such example would be the different way each works to remove biofilm and influential bacteria from the mouth.

While some do opt for sunflower or olive oils, these are not as popular as the two we’re looking at today. If you’d like to pose questions as to why in the comments, I’d be happy to elaborate.

Sesame Oil – The Queen of Oils Otherwise Known as The Golden Serumbentonite_clay

Sesame oil, pressed from sesame seeds, enjoys an exalted position within Ayurveda. It’s referenced in ancient Hindu scripture as “the golden serum”, and is used in many traditional medicinal and grooming preparations. Unrefined, cold-pressed sesame oil is a silky, light golden oil with a subtle, nutty flavour. Varieties that are labeled ‘roasted’ or ‘toasted’ are not for oil pulling – they are darker, more pungent in flavour, and have had some of their most potent antibacterial benefits processed out.

Old-school devotees laud sesame’s smooth and consistent liquid texture over coconut’s solidity.

The majority of sesame oil’s renown is for its use in Ayurvedic massage, or abhyanga. It’s thought that because of its viscosity, the antioxidants and vitamins E and K can penetrate the skin and work its way underneath, repairing cells and delaying aging. One extraordinary antioxidant featured within is sesamol, and not only does it block free radical damage, it lengthens the shelf life of the oil itself. Sesame oil is equally beneficial to the cells in the soft membrane tissues in your mouth.

Sesame oil is also a very good source of phytosterols, plant-exclusive sterols that are believed to ward off heart disease. In addition, it boasts a particular lignan, proudly known as sesamin, that serves as excellent support for the liver. It is fortunate that the soft tissues of the mouth soak up all of the supportive nutrients high-quality oils have to offer us, but before you buy into all-sesame-everything, know that some users are concerned about its very high omega-6 content.

Sole reliance on a multipurpose oil with so much (41%) omega-6 fatty acid would mean that your omega-3 intake should increase, all to facilitate the anti-inflammatory benefits that are vital to detox. This can be difficult, because omega-6 fatty acids are much more prevalent in our diets. If omega intake is important to you, you can strike a successful balance by switching out or mixing your pulling oils, or eating and cooking with a different oil if sesame is your primary pulling oil.

Coconut Oil – A Necessity of Life

Coconut oil might be regarded as a modern panacea, but it had a wonderful reputation thousands of years ago, too. In Sanskrit, the coconut palm is called the kalpavriksha, meaning “the tree that provides all the necessities of life”, and a great deal of us wouldn’t argue.

coconutPure, unrefined coconut oil is a soft solid below 24 degrees Celsius, but melts in your mouth in no time. The initial solidity of coconut oil is actually a tidy way to scoop out a specific portion and pop it in your mouth with no dripping or spillage. It should go without saying that a quality coconut oil does taste and smell like clean, wholesome coconut; the pleasant familiarity of its flavor attracts large numbers of new oil pullers who are concerned about taste.

The quality of your coconut oil absolutely matters. Refined, bleached, and deodorized coconut oils made from dried copra have lost too many of their best properties. Recently, there’s even been an uptick in the availability of fractionated coconut oil, or MCT oil, which stays liquid all of the time. It does so because all of the lauric acid has been processed out, and you do not want to miss out on that.

Try to buy only coconut oil that is clearly labeled as virgin, raw, and preferably organic.

Coconut oil is proven effective against plaque and halitosis, but more than antibacterial, it’s antimicrobial. Lauric acid treats and prevents viruses and fungi, which is great news for your average or overtaxed immune system. Research suggests that on top of controlling infections and common viruses, superfoods containing high amounts of lauric acid – and the monolaurin it is converted to – are a real contender against superbugs that have developed due to overuse of antibiotics. Approximately 52% of coconut oil’s fat content is lauric acid, making it one of the richest sources of healthy fat on the planet, and giving its miracle status solid merit.

Which Oil Should You Use?

Both coconut and sesame merit use in oil pulling. Both provide amazing benefits, but each has a different means of attracting bacteria and the nutrition it provides to the cells in the mouth.

If you are specifically interested in upping your oral hygiene routine then the the lauric acid alone gives coconut oil the edge, making it a great daily oral cleanse. In our experience, both oils have exhibited similar results for teeth whitening.

However, because oil pulling can be about so much more than your mouth, the holistic benefits of sesame oil cannot be overlooked.

Sesame oil has amino acids and antioxidants that are difficult to find elsewhere. Coconut oil has a special fatty acid that wards off fungi and viruses. Both are spectacular anti-inflammatory oils full of good things our bodies cannot make themselves, so it’s a shame to miss out on any of these for the sake of making a choice.

So, there is an argument that you should not commit to either exclusively. Blending coconut and sesame oil can maximise and balance your oil pulling benefits.

A blend of coconut and sesame oils will remain in a semi-liquid state at room temperature and retain much of the pleasant coconut taste. Experiment wth the ratios of the two oils to find your ideal consistency and taste. But, if blending your own pulling oil isn’t for you, alternating the two oils every other day will accomplish the same goals.


Coconut Oil has the tools to provide the best oral hygiene. Sesame oil presents a strong argument for holistic benefits suiting those looking for wellbeing and slowing the ageing process.

But, by choosing to incorporate both of these oils into your routine, you can elevate your detox with a wider array of antioxidants and achieve greater total body balance.


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Boosted Oil Pulling XTREME

125ml / 37 fl oz / 2 wks+

Price: £22.00 – or subscribe and get 15% off

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Our most powerful oil pulling blend. With black cumin oil. A stronger mint flavour, packed with the anti-microbial power of black cumin oil, a richer oil pulling blend for the most demanding.
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About the Author

Christian P. Marriott

Hey there, I’m Christian. I’m the founder of The Big Fruit and live in Somerset, England. I am passionate about helping people to get their bodies back to working in a natural state. I am a fan of fitness, yoga, and coffee. I’m also interested in design, innovation and food.

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