Oil Pulling Drama

At its peak, my original oil pulling article was "earning" me more 30 emails a day--the vast majority of them very angry that I would even dare question the practice. In an effort to appease some of my critics I wrote this followup article:

Oil Swishing Explained 

By now, you’ve probably heard about a new “therapy” called oil pulling or oil swishing. And, if you’re a regular visitor to the site you’ve seen my explanation of why it can’t “detox” you. But judging from the emails I’ve been getting, there are a lot of people out there still holding on to the idea that oil pulling can cure everything from a sore toe to cancer. Why do people find it so easy to believe in such an easily debunked “therapy”?

Why Oil Pulling Works for Dental Health

Despite what you’ll read on some forums, I’ve never tried to “debunk” the effects of oil pulling on dental health. I don’t doubt for a moment that many oil pullers experience better oral health after swishing for a few weeks. After all, pro-OP web sites caution you to “rinse” or “wash” your mouth carefully after swishing to remove all the “toxins”, right? Isn’t it possible that the massaging action of the swishing combined with the increased attention to brushing and flossing really are working together to make gums healthier?

And let’s not forget that many of the oils used in pulling have at least some anti-microbial properties. It’s entirely believable that someone vigorously swishing something around in his or her mouth for 20 minutes would experience better oral health. But to claim that your teeth are healthier because oil pulling is “detoxing” your blood is just silly.

So what about Acne, Rosacea & Eczema?

The oils most commonly recommended for oil pulling just happen to be the same oils high in the essential fatty acids that your skin needs to be healthy. Doesn’t it make a lot more sense to say that oil pulling isn’t “pulling toxins” out of your blood—you’re simply swallowing tiny amounts of EFA-rich oil and your body is putting those nutrients to work?

The Bottom Line On Oil Pulling

After you examine all the evidence I think you’ll agree that there’s no way that oil pulling can “pull” toxins out of your blood. If oil pulling did work there would be studies to prove it and … well, to date, I’ve seen one. And it was a study on dental hygiene—not “toxins”. Further, the study concluded that the positive results seen were the result of better oral hygiene. There was nothing “magical” about swishing oil.

Ultimately, it’s YOUR health. It doesn’t matter what I think and it doesn’t matter what a bunch of anonymous posters with nothing better to do than sit around on message boards all day think. After looking at all the evidence, what do YOU think?


I followed that piece with this Q&A, in an effort to help my readers understand that you don't have to hard-sell someone to scam them:

How Oil Pulling Websites Make Money 

“You called oil pulling a scam but last time I checked nobody ever tried to sell me anything. How can you call it a scam if nobody is selling anything? And do you really expect us to believe that [forums] pay people to sit around and post in chat rooms all day? You’re the quack, lady.”

First, never in any article I’ve ever written on oil pulling did I call it a scam. I said it could not possibly “detox” you the way some people were claiming but I never called it a scam.

But back to your question, this is one of the most common questions I get about my article and the answer is that oil pulling web sites like oilpulling.com, curezone.com and earthclinic.com make money exactly the way this site does—by showing online ads. So even if they’re not actually selling oil pulling supplies directly, they’re making money through every time someone visits and clicks on an advertisement.


After that, I pretty much gave up trying to convince anyone that oil pulling was bogus. I wrote a few minor rebuttals to comments like the one above but by then I understood that some people just need something to be mad at. I'm not sure why my article was that "something". Was it what I said? The way I said it? The fact that I dared question it at all? To this day I don't know why the blowback on my oil pulling article was so . . . disproportionate. But I still stand by that article 100%.

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