Users claim oil pulling can be natural detox and remedy

It's the latest trend. They aren't oils for the kitchen, but more like for the bathroom (KTRK)
April 28, 2014 8:34:14 PM PDT
Oil pulling is the latest health trend with a growing following. These aren't oils for the kitchen, but more like for the bathroom.

The ancient remedy and so-called natural detox and cure all is a big hit in Hollywood and is now blowing up on social media.

"You use about a tablespoon of oil of your choice. Olive oil, coconut oil and sesame oil as long as it's a natural oil," user Lindsey Nguyen said. "You swish it in your mouth back and forth for about 10 to 15 minutes and then you would spit it out."

Nguyen says it works.

"I've been doing it for about 10 years. Personally, I started for my allergies. I tried everything," she said. "I'm not suffering with my allergies now and there's other things that they say it helps with as well, weight loss."

Houston dentist Dr. Terri Alani says she began researching the practice after inquiries from patients on Facebook.

"Supposedly it can actually help whiten your teeth. They say it helps headaches, allergies, sinuses, insomnia, may heal cuts and helps with gum disease," Alani said.

But so far, there's no substantial research to support the claims.

"The American Dental Association has come out and said that they really don't have enough credible and scientific evidence to prove the effects. What we're saying is that if you want to do it, it won't harm you," Alani said.

Since it's safe, we hit the streets to see if people would be willing to try this bizarre and somewhat gross detox practice. One after another, people were anxious to swish and rinse.

"I think it's pretty interesting."

"My mouth feels, it feels great, refreshed and clean actually."

"I have a coating on my mouth which I expected."

"It's actually a pretty relaxing feeling."

Then we had Judy Watt try it out.

"I had a headache and now it's gone. I guess it works for me, I mean, no more Tylenol," Watt said.

Right now there's no proof oil pulling really works, but what does the future hold?

"If they develop the research and the research comes across and says there is scientific evidence, then I think we'll probably incorporate it into our practices," Alani said.

Some of the conditions natural oils are said to help from WebMd:

Sesame Oil

  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety, nerve and bone disorders
  • Poor circulation
  • Fussy babies
  • Dryness, both externally and internally
  • Constipation
  • Toothaches and gum disease
  • Blurred vision, dizziness, and headaches
  • High cholesterol
  • Slowing down certain types of cancer

Sunflower Oil

  • High cholesterol
  • Arthritis
  • Constipation
  • Skin conditions
  • Wound healing

Coconut Oil

  • Head lice
  • Psoriasis
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Newborn weight gain
  • High cholesterol
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry skin
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Crohn's disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Thyroid conditions

Olive Oil

  • Constipation
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Reducing the risk of heart diseases and heart attack
  • Decreasing the chance of getting breast cancer and colorectal cancer