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Category Archives: Green Health

What’s the Big Deal With Oil Pulling?

Let’s start by noting that this is not intended as medical advice. I’ve included some links so you can get what information you can on oral health and oil pulling, but I’m not a doctor, dentist or anyone else who can tell you what will benefit your health. Get your salt shaker and take it along, one grain of salt as necessary as you read.

Oil pulling has become pretty popular lately. All kinds of health benefits have been claimed by proponents. I do it occasionally, and I have friends who do it. Is oil pulling really that wonderful?

Oil pulling is simple but a bit time consuming. Most sources say you should put some sesame seed oil or coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes for the best benefit, then spit into the trash. This isn’t easy to do, especially if you try in the morning when the kids are up and full of questions. Even five minutes has an effect in my experience, however.

In my experience, it’s pretty good. I don’t know about all the wondrous health claims some people make, but I do think it helps whiten teeth and helps get more stuff out of gums. I don’t believe the bit about pulling toxins from the body. I think any health benefits may come from having a cleaner mouth, which your dentist should agree means better overall health – just take a look at the connection between oral health and heart disease or diabetes.

This does not mean oil pulling will help you with these problems. It only means that you should pay attention to your oral health to benefit your overall health. Don’t neglect brushing, flossing or routine dental care.

Oil pulling looks promising for the reduction of Streptococcus mutans. This may be due more to a saponification and emulisification process rather than anything antibacterial. Studies so far have been small, so there’s a long ways to go in terms of proving any benefit. I also saw a headline on Pubmed about oil pulling being associated with lipoid pneumonia (caused by breathing in small amounts of the oil), but no abstract. Still, it’s good to be aware that it may not be entirely harmless.

This article on it on Jezebel is interesting too, especially the section with opinions from a periodontist.

Please don’t assume that oil pulling will solve all your health problems. There’s a lot being said about it that has not been proven. By the same token, it strikes me as a simple thing to try if it interests you and you don’t expect miracles and understand the risks.

How to Correctly Dispose of Old Medications

ShareMany people have expired or unused over the counter or prescription medications in their homes. They just sit there because you don’t pay attention to them once you don’t need them. With over the counter meds, you may have purchased too much, and it’s pretty common to receive more of a prescription drug than you… Continue Reading

Are Neti Pots Still Safe to Use?

ShareI’m rather fond of nasal irrigation, although I don’t use an actual Neti Pot to do so. But in 2011, two people died due to an infection of Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba which enters through the nose and causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, resulting in death. The infections came from misusing their Neti pots. The mistake… Continue Reading

Is Acetaminophen Safe to Give to Your Children?

ShareI came across an article on Care2 about a possible link between acetaminophen use and asthma in children.  Considering how commonly used acetaminophen is, and how medications such as aspirin are no longer considered safe for children, do parents have something to worry about there? It’s hard to say. As the article notes, the evidence… Continue Reading

Are Genetically Modified Food Crops (GMO) Really That Different From Selectively Bred Crops?

ShareHearing about genetically modified food crops (GMO) makes a lot of people uneasy. It doesn’t sound like a good thing to be messing around with our food supply, not to mention the surrounding environment. GMO crops have been touted as a boon for farmers, but have produced problems for them as well. Are the stated… Continue Reading

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