Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Feel free to add your questions in the comments section below.

What is the best time to practice oil pulling?

Ayurveda advised oil pulling in the morning after brushing teeth and cleaning tongue on empty stomach. Dr Karach advised oil pulling before breakfast on empty stomach. One hour after drinking water or tea or coffee or liquids in the morning but before breakfast. The best time is when you do not feel well for any health problem do oil pulling on empty stomach.

Who can practice oil pulling?

Everybody above the age of five years can practice. For children of five years and above use only a teaspoon (five ml) of oil for oil pulling. People with dentures should remove them and practice. Woman can practice oil pulling during periods and also pregnancy. 

How much time gap is required to eat or drink after oil pulling?

After doing oil pulling, wash your mouth and then you can eat or drink and no time gap is required.

What other oils can be used for oil pulling?

Dr Karach had suggested Sunflower Oil. Sesame Oil was prescribed in Ayurveda texts for oil pulling. Both oils worked well in curing health problems. Some found sesame oil better. Other oils have been used by some practitioners on their own and they did not report desirable results to enable me to recommend. Some other oils may be suitable for particular problems but I do not recommend for daily practice.

The recommended oils to use are Sunflower Oil or Sesame Oil. Our experience with thousands of people across the globe says use cold pressed Sunflower or Sesame oil as first choice, if it is not available use refined Sunflower or Sesame Oil. We have observed that any oil other than Sunflower or Sesame may not be as effective.

The quantity of 10 ml of oil is too little for oil pulling. Can we do with 20 ml of oil?

When we do oil pulling the entire oil should become thin, like water and no oily feeling should be left. When that happens we would have utilized the entire oil for the purpose of oil pulling. This happens within 15 to 20 minutes for most of the people. If the quantity is increased it takes more time to become watery and white and many would not like to spend more time on pulling. Spitting when it is still oily is waste of oil and a feeling of freshness does not come which is not desirable. If you feel a few ml of more oil is required try, there is no harm. This is also the reason for suggesting only five ml of oil for children.

Can we do any other work while doing oil pulling?

No. It is advised to do oil pulling slowly, chin up preferably in sitting position, to see that oil pulled through teeth and touches all portions of mucous membrane in the oral cavity.

Is there any difference in the practice of oil pulling for Acute and Chronic diseases?

Acute diseases will be cured in two to four days by practicing oil pulling three times a day on empty stomach, before breakfast, lunch and dinner. Chronic diseases need more time may be up to one year or more depending on the condition of disease, age, habits, state of general health of the person, etc.

Open BookWhat problems arise during oil pulling? (a) Oil does not become watery or thin even after 30 minutes and it appears the oil is being absorbed and it reduces in quantity (b) Nose block due to accumulation of mucus (c) Sneezing and coughing (d) Phlegm in the throat gets loose and comes into the mouth (e) Urge to pass urine or stools.

(a) Oil does not become watery because there is inadequate salivation and mouth is dry. In most cases, it happens in the morning and in some cases evening also. Under normal circumstances oil will not get absorbed in the mouth. Main reason is lack of adequate salivation due to lack fluids in body. In all such cases you must drink two or three glasses of water, go for a walk of 30 to 45 minutes and do oil pulling after returning.

(b) To avoid nose block during oil pulling wash, clean and blow your nose before starting oil pulling. Slowly blow out nose to clear while holding the oil in the mouth. Repeat if necessary as you continue oil pulling.

(c) Sensation/irritation may cause sneezing or coughing while doing oil pulling. Do oil pulling slowly in a relaxed state to avoid such irritation. Stop pulling and relax as irritation or sensation to sneeze is felt. It will subside. You can sneeze or cough while holding oil in mouth. If you have to sneeze or cough through mouth do it in the sink or some such place to avoid oil driblets spray all over or cover mouth with tissue paper.

(d) If phlegm comes into the mouth, making pulling inconvenient, spit and do pulling with fresh oil again.

(e) Urge to urinate or pass stools will arise only if you have not gone through nature’s calls before oil pulling. In all cases of urge to pass stools or urinate during oil pulling, the best is to relax on the commode and do oil pulling.

How long will it take to cure a particular disease?

How long it takes to cure a particular disease is difficult to specify because it depends on the age, state of health and disease, food and other habits etc of each person. Dr Karach however said “that chronic diseases may take a year whereas acute diseases can be cured in 2 to 4 days. Practice until the original strength, freshness, calm sleep, good appetite and good remembrance is back again”. 

Are there any side effects of Oil Pulling?

Diseases get aggravated due to climate, food, water, air or mental state. Be aware and conscious of such causes so that you do not mistake them to be side effects. In some chronic cases there may be a reaction- an apparent aggravation before cure and it is not a side effect. It is the stage when the body is regaining the normal healthy state from a diseased condition-some what similar to healing crisis in naturopathy or homeopathic aggravation.

Are there restrictions on the use of medicine or treatment during Oil Pulling?

There is no restriction on the use of medicine or treatment. During chronic diseases and medication, Oil Pulling reduces the side effects of drugs. As you improve, based on your own symptoms reduce medicines over a period and stop completely. This will ensure that the disease is eliminated from the body and the body repairs itself to a perfectly healthy and normal state.

  1. Jean Busara
    January 31st, 2010 at 03:53 | #1

    will it help chronic bad breath, what suggestions do you have?

  2. January 31st, 2010 at 20:16 | #2

    Oil Pulling will definitely help with bad breath. You can start by doing OP twice a day in the morning and evening for a week and then adjust the frequency afterwards.

  3. sunshine
    February 16th, 2010 at 13:14 | #3

    trying it out, I’m skeptical but I will try this, if its as good as it sounds I will let you know.

  4. February 23rd, 2010 at 14:56 | #4

    How to wash mouth after oil pulling?
    Shall I use Ayurvedic tooth powder after oil pulling?
    oil pulling Before brushing or after brushing?

  5. February 28th, 2010 at 15:54 | #5

    You can use any toothpaste / powder that you normally use for washing your mouth after OP.

    Brushing your teeth before oil pulling is up to you but definitely brush your teeth after oil pulling.

  6. February 28th, 2010 at 16:34 | #6

    Thank U very much.

  7. February 28th, 2010 at 16:34 | #7

    Thanks a lot @tkrao

  8. mani
    March 2nd, 2010 at 19:01 | #8

    Every morning i will do pranayama and yoga.I like to do oil pulling in morning.
    I want to do oil pulling before doing (pranayama&yoga) or after finishing (pranayama& yoga)?which is good?

  9. K. Sankar
    March 2nd, 2010 at 19:17 | #9

    K. Sankar 2 MARCH, 2010

    Dear sir,

    I have been suffering from knee pain and shoulder joint pain for the past three months.

    I am 65 –non-alchoholic—non-smoker. I have no sugar or BP.

    Would you please guide me whether oil pulling would cure my above ailments . Which oil would be useful for OP –seasame oil-coconut oil or sun flower oil ?

    Please help me with your prompt reply.

    God bless. With kind regards


  10. caroline
    March 4th, 2010 at 10:41 | #10

    when i pull, i get the need to swallow periodically, i try to fight it but i have to, is that normal/ okay?

  11. caroline
    March 4th, 2010 at 10:50 | #11

    Hi there,
    i have tried to pull a few times but it is very hard for me to go for 15-20 mins, i usually make it for 10-12. the oil is whitish-yellow, am i getting any benefits from this, or does it have to be pure white when you are done for it to really work?

  12. March 9th, 2010 at 09:09 | #12

    I started oil pulling on Sunday and pull for 20 minutes but when I spit it out it is still yellow not white. What am I doing wrong?

  13. March 14th, 2010 at 11:19 | #13

    Depending on the time available and your convenience, you can do OP either before or after your pranayama & yoga. The only condition I can say is that your stomach must be empty

  14. March 14th, 2010 at 11:21 | #14

    Dear caroline,
    When oil is in the mouth for oil pulling, the phlegm sticking around the throat gets loose and falls into the throat and you swallow. This must be happening to you and you must be under the impression that it is the oil that you are swallowing. I am sure it is not the oil. Please observe carefully. The phlegm in the throat will be in very small quantities and you just automatically swallow without any effort. Try to observe and see that you are not swallowing oil which is in the mouth.

    Best Wishes,
    Col. T.K.Rao

  15. March 14th, 2010 at 11:24 | #15

    If the quantity of oil is 10 ml, 10-12 minutes is good enough if you can’t continue for longer. The only test is that the spit out should be white, which means the entire oil has been use for pulling. Even if it is not fully white, the effect will be there, you dont have to worry.

    Best wishes,
    Col. T.K. Rao

  16. March 14th, 2010 at 11:26 | #16

    If you are doing OP for 20 minutes, normally it will become white. In case the oil is more than 10 ml, it may not turn white. Please check if you are using the right quantity of oil and also ensure that you are pulling and not keeping the oil in the mouth.

    Best Wishes,
    Col. T.K. Rao

  17. March 14th, 2010 at 11:29 | #17

    @K. Sankar

    Dear Sankar

    Oil Pulling has relieved all types of pains including arthritis. I have no hesitation in recommending it to you both to try Oil Pulling to start of atleast once a day in the morning. I am sure you will feel the effect within one to two weeks. In addition I have seen magneto therapy for knee pain working well. If you have a good homeopath, the small pills will also work well to reduce the pain.

    With Best Wishes
    Col. T.K. Rao

  18. periya
    March 31st, 2010 at 12:25 | #18

    will it reduce hair fall[oil pulling]

  19. Rebecca
    March 31st, 2010 at 22:52 | #19

    Does it help with whitening teeth, receding gums and gum sensitivity due to crowns? Thanx in advance.

  20. Raj
    April 6th, 2010 at 14:32 | #20

    What is the best time in the evening to do oil pulling ? I have a snack by 4.30 and have dinner by 8.00, Can i fit anytime within this ?

  21. April 9th, 2010 at 17:50 | #21

    Yes. You can do OP in the evening between 6 – 7 p.m

  22. April 9th, 2010 at 17:51 | #22

    Op will solve all the three problems of teeth,receding gums and gum sensivity.

  23. April 9th, 2010 at 17:52 | #23

    Hair fall is based on your state of health /deficiencies.You can do OP for a couple of months before you can see results.

  24. Suzanne Golden
    April 20th, 2010 at 07:22 | #24

    I just started doing OP for help with constant bacterial sinus infections. Most of what I’ve been
    reading refers to teeth problems. Can OP actually help stop my sinus infections???? I’m “pulling” twice a day (morning and before bed) and for 20 minutes each time using Sesame Oil.

  25. April 28th, 2010 at 17:23 | #25

    @Suzanne Golden
    OP will help in curing any type of infection including sinus infections. You should do OP on empty stomach ie 4 hours after eating . So your practice in the night before going to bed may not have a gap of 4hours after dinner . Also OP increases metabolic rate in the body so you may be alert and awake after OP.So I suggest you do OP in the evening before dinner.You can continue to do in the morning on waking up before brekfast.

  26. July 29th, 2010 at 19:09 | #26

    Dear Sir,

    1. After 7 to 10 min pulling, the oil (10-15ml) has already turned white & watery.
    1.1 Why ? (Just started pulling)
    1.2 Should i keep pulling as is for the all 20min, or should i spit it out after these first 10min & re-pull with clean oil for another 10 min ?

    2. How stringent is the empty stomach requirement with regard to 1-2 glasses of clean & fresh water consumed in the morning just before pulling ? & Why ?

    3. Some people recommend adding 1-2 drops of essential oils such as wild oregano (oreganum compactum) to the sesame oil. Is there any benefit to it ? What do your think of this practice ?

    Thanking you for all your effort & dedication,
    With best wishes,

  27. Shelby
    September 15th, 2010 at 00:12 | #27

    I have been OP full years. I love it. My husband does it too. We begin pulling while we are getting ready for work, I do skin brushing then shower etc. 20 minutes goes by so fast. YOu do NOT want to swallow. There is bacteria in the oil which is why you are doing it, to pull the bacteria and viruses and impurities out of your blood. Spit it out only in the toilet. Rinse with peroxide quicly then brush with baking soda and toothpast for taste. My teeth look like I have them bleached. My breath is so fresh. Skin brushing also helps the body a great deal. If I have a cold or sinus congestion and can breath a little, I still oil pull, and it makes my nose drain! its wild! I highly reccommend it. I use sunflower oil, not as tasty as sesame. Best wishes.

  28. September 17th, 2010 at 23:06 | #28

    1. After 7 to 10 min pulling, the oil (10-15ml) has already turned white & watery.
    1.1 Why ? (Just started pulling)

    >>The oil turns white during OP. The pilling is complete only by 15 -20 minutes.
    1.2 Should i keep pulling as is for the all 20min, or should i spit it out after these first 10min & re-pull with clean oil for another 10 min ?
    >>You can continue to do OP as is till 20 minutes unless you are not able to hold it if the mouth gets full. In that case you can spit it and continue again.
    2. How stringent is the empty stomach requirement with regard to 1-2 glasses of clean & fresh water consumed in the morning just before pulling ? & Why ?
    >>OP should be done on empty stomach for it to be effective. In case you drink water it is adviced to do OP after 30-45 minutes.
    3. Some people recommend adding 1-2 drops of essential oils such as wild oregano (oreganum compactum) to the sesame oil. Is there any benefit to it ? What do your think of this practice ?
    >>It is not necessary to add any essential oils.

  29. Sydney
    December 15th, 2010 at 07:13 | #29

    I’m doing OP with unrefined sesame oil. I’ve read it should be refined. How important is it in having the oil refined?

    [TK Rao]
    I feel it should be better with unrefined oil. Your experience with the unrefined oil should give you the solution.

  30. Sheri
    December 21st, 2010 at 11:52 | #30

    I have metal fillings in my teeth. Is it safe to do oil pulling?

    [TK Rao]
    If the metal filling is not properly done it will come off.

  31. dennis murphy
    January 19th, 2011 at 01:14 | #31

    Is oil pulling something that needs to be done indefinitely or can it be tapered to 2-3x/week after an initial daily period?

    [TK Rao]
    Oil Pulling is to be practiced daily as it is not only curative but preventive.

  32. Barb Stoneman
    January 26th, 2011 at 17:22 | #32

    I have to take my armour thyroid before breakfast and wait about 45 minutes before I eat. Will oil pulling interfere with the effects of my meds AND will the meds interfere with the effectiveness of the oil pulling?

    Oil Pulling will enhance the effect of the medicine if you first do Oil Pulling and then take your medicines. In course of time you may not require to take medication.

  33. Teager
    February 17th, 2011 at 02:11 | #33

    I was on a website and it said you can only pull oil for 2 months and you must stop. Is this true? No other site has stated this fact. I am confused. I have been pulling for 2 months and have had great results. Corpal Tunnel is not bothering me at all and I can open a jar. My floaters are gone from my eye and I have lost 13 lbs without dieting. I love it.

    I have also read that you should change oils. I am using raw sesame seed oil. Is this true?

    [TK Rao]
    Please continue doing OP with the same oil. OP is done as a daily morning oral hygiene routine.

  34. mommie94
    February 21st, 2011 at 19:55 | #34

    I have been oil pulling for about 5 days I have been getting a soar throat. Am I pulling to hard or is this something that happens when you first start OP?? and can I take pain relief med for it? Also I work the graveyard shift 11pm-7am. I also have problems with insomnia and usually take something for my nerves or able to help me to go to sleep. Can I still take one or the other after oil pulling to sleep?

    [TK Rao]
    Sore throat problem will fade away in course of time. You can take any medication on the doctors advice and it wouldn’t have any adverse effect

  35. March 5th, 2011 at 20:34 | #35

    Will the oil stain my teeth?

    [TK Rao]
    OP has been found to make the teeth shine white

  36. March 8th, 2011 at 05:12 | #36

    I have been oil pulling for about a month now due to some gum bleeding which I believe has improved some. Not quite cured but better. What I am experiencing now is soreness on the bridge of my nose. It has just begun so I am wondering if I am not pulling correctly.

    [TK Rao]
    Please continue doing OP and the gum bleeding will get cured. Also, if you are following what has been advised on the method of doing OP I don’t see any reason for the soreness on your nose

  37. B
    March 9th, 2011 at 23:09 | #37

    Hi there, I have metal crowns and porcelain crowns in my mouth. Will Oil Pulling remove the crowns? Also, is it safe to do if you have root canals or if you have fractured teeth?

    [TK Rao]
    Please take the advise of your dentist in this regard

  38. SP Gan
    March 10th, 2011 at 08:22 | #38

    Can oil pulling help in uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts problems?

    [TK Rao]
    Uterine fibroids have been reported to have been cured by OP

  39. Jay R
    March 14th, 2011 at 23:19 | #39

    The question was asked : I have metal fillings in my teeth. Is it safe to do oil pulling?

    [TK Rao] answered:
    If the metal filling is not properly done it will come off.

    My question to follow up with TK Rao’s answer is: how do I know if the metal filling was done properly before I oil pull?

    And what could happen if the metal and white fillings come off as a result of oil pulling?

    [TK Rao]
    I suggest you to ask your dentist if doing OP would cause any problems to the fillings.

  40. William
    March 16th, 2011 at 01:05 | #40

    I just started OP the other day with cold pressed sesame oil and today I read I should not OP since I have some metal fillings. I read above where a person was advised that if the metal filling was not properly done it will come off. I assume years ago my then dentist inserted the metal fillings properly so would the OP be safe then? What about the toxins that would be released into the mouth that would come from OP on the metal fillings? Safe or not to continue the OP?

    [TK Rao]
    You can continue OP. The toxins in the mouth would go away with the spit out and once you have brushed your teeth. Also, with regard to your question on the metal fillings I would say it is advisable to ask your dentist if the filling would come off if you did OP.

  41. lydia
    April 14th, 2011 at 21:13 | #41

    I am so excited to try this. I used organic olive oil. Why is this wonderful oil not suggested, like the others mentioned?

    [TK Rao]
    Long term practice of OP with olive oil has neither been tried nor suggested by any practitioner.

  42. Cathy
    April 16th, 2011 at 01:14 | #42


    Will the OP help in rebuilding the enamel on my teeth? Does it help prevent cavities?

    Will greatly appreciate any feedback.

    [TK Rao]
    OP prevents cavities. I’m not sure on whether OP would rebuild enamel on teeth.

  43. kt
    April 21st, 2011 at 12:59 | #43

    wouldnt this be fattening? and highly caloric? i am worried about increase in weight if i begin trying OP. but maybe the benefits of OP are better than worrying about digesting extra fat? i am just curious as to anything anyone has noticed during the treatment. thanks in advance!

    [TK Rao]
    OP is not fattening but it is found to reduce cholesterol in blood and improve circulation.

  44. swati
    May 10th, 2011 at 11:47 | #44

    I would like to know
    (i) whether OP can be done by my niece who is 22 yrs and is pregnant with twins of 5 months. The niece also have been under treatment for stones (14-15) in gall blader and been advised not to take any fermented food, tur dal, curd, sour things. and
    (ii) what is cold pressed oil where can we get it ?

    [TK Rao]
    your niece can do OP.Let her use refined sunflower oil.

  45. puneet
    May 12th, 2011 at 20:15 | #45

    I have a habit of drinking water as soon as i get up.
    Can i practice OP 10-15 mins after that?

    [TK Rao]
    Do OP giving a gap of 30 minutes after drinking water.

  46. swati
    May 16th, 2011 at 14:07 | #46

    I have started oil-pulling, after i get up in the morning i wash my face and mouth with plain water and then start OP for 15-20 minutes. After that I brush my teeth. Do you see any change is need in this ?

    [TK Rao]
    It is ok.After OP and washing mouth you can drink one or two glasses of water.

    May 21st, 2011 at 07:17 | #47

    I Had A Bad Case Of Asthma And Copd,After Oil Pulling For 6 Months I Do Not Suffer
    Anymore Unless I Neglect To Oil Pull But Iam Now Not On The Six Medications And I Have A Few Other Medical Problems Such As Osteoarthritis And Iam Still Oil Pulling And Do Not Have To Take Pain Pills,Eat Right,Excercise And Pray.I Thank God For A Friend Telling Me About Oil Pulling.It Really Works.

    [TK Rao]
    Wish you all the best.

  48. lalita
    July 27th, 2011 at 15:06 | #48

    I am told by a healer that if water is taken on an empty stomach before oil pulling, we would be drinking the toxins accumulated in the mouth during night! Is it true? What is best –drinking water first 3 to 4 glasses and then oil pulling or the other way round?

    [TK Rao]
    It is recommended that you do Oil Pulling first and then drink water.

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