Oil Pulling- Your New Morning Routine

I spoke last week about how I really miss detoxing, so I’ve been folding in ‘everyday detox’ measures into my daily routine to help avoid the buildup of toxins during my pregnancy and help support my health in general. Here’s one you may not have heard of, but you definitely need to give a try!

When I lived in Florida, I spent a brief period of my natural health learning studying Ayurvedic medicine. This is normally associated with Indian/middle eastern culture, and is completely fascinating in how far removed it is from western tradition, yet how completely effective it is! Many common health tricks (such as the Neti Pot and starting the morning with warm lemon water) have their roots in Ayurveda, but there are many Ayurvedic traditions that are not as well know. Oil pulling is one of those- it was on my radar for a few months, then I forgot about it until I got involved with a stellar group of crunchy mommies on Facebook, many of whom are devoted oil pullers!

HERE’S WHAT TO DO:
Swish 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil (or another lighter healthy oil, some like sesame) around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes. Don’t let it get in your throat, though- no gargling!
Spit the oil into the toilet and flush the gross stuff away. Don’t spit in the sink- the oil can clog the drain!
Rinse with warm water.

POSSIBLE BENEFITS OF OIL PULLING:
Remineralizes teeth and prevents cavities and tooth decay
Pulls bacteria, parasites, congestion, and mucus out of your system
Coats teeth with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiviral goodness from the coconut oil
Clears skin on the face
Gently cleanses the system of bacteria and parasites
Relieves congestion in the sinuses and mucus in the throat (similar to kapalabhati in yoga)
Heals chronic skin disorders such an eczema, psoriasis, and tinea versicolor
Gently whitens teeth and strengthens gums
Helps alleviate arthritis
Gently detoxes the liver

I’ve been oil pulling semi-regularly for a few months now, and I really do love it. It takes some getting used to (the texture of oil in your mouth is likely a foreign one haha) but the effects are undeniable! I have struggled with bleeding gums since being pregnant, but much of that has disappeared since I’ve started pulling. My mouth feels cleaner, my skin is very clear, and much of my chronic sinus congestion has been kept at bay. In short, I’m a believer!

Foods You Never Knew You Liked: Kombucha

I am writing this post fully aware that I will not convert many of you to my favorite drink. It took me a very long time to try it, and I didn’t like it at first- and I will get to why later. Put I promise, if you stick with me, you’ll discover a new favorite beverage that is not only a treat for your taste buds, but your whole body as well.

Kombucha is, essentially, fermented sweet tea. There is more to it that that, specific cultures of bacteria and full of amino acids and the like, but that’s really all you need to know. It can be flavored with fresh juices, mixed with spirulina, stirred into cocktails, you name it. With a very slight vinegar taste (which, as an avid opposer to the existence of vinegar, I find easy to ignore), this elixir is naturally carbonated and positively excellent for you to consume. Straight from the #1 blog on the subject, here is a list of the wonderdrink’s supposed health benefits:

Probiotics – healthy bacteria


Alkalize the body – balances internal pH


Detoxify the liver

Increase metabolism

Improve digestion 


Rebuild connective tissue – helps with arthritis, gout, asthma, rheumatism


Cancer prevention

Alleviate constipation


Boost energy – helps with chronic fatigue


Reduce blood pressure

Relieve headaches & migraines

Reduce kidney stones


High in antioxidants – destroy free-radicals that cause cancer


High in polyphenols


Improve eyesight


Heal excema – can be applied topically to soften the skin


Prevent artheriosclerosis


Speed healing of ulcers – kills h.pylori on contact


Help clear up candida & yeast infections


Aid healthy cell regeneration


Reduce gray hair


Lower glucose levels – prevents spiking from eating

Yes, some of these are lofty claims, and none of them are backed up by the FDA, so hear me when I say that THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE and drinking kombucha is not going to cure anything. But I will promise you that you will feel better- maybe in a way that you can’t explain, but you will. If you are a person who suffers from digestive irregularity, this is for you. Tired in the afternoon? This drink has virtually cut out my 2pm sleepies. I get sick less often, have clearer skin, hold less water weight, and have a more balanced appetite!

My favorite brand of store-bought kombucha is GT’s, available at Whole Foods, Wegmans, and many co-ops and health stores. Their Synergy line is very easy to drink and great for ‘whetting the palate’ to kombucha. Personally, I think that the mango flavor is my favorite, followed closely by their Trilogy, a blend of raspberry, lemon, and ginger juices.

It is possible to ‘brew’ your own kombucha at home- in fact, I am in the process right now! More info and pictures when the brew is complete.