Oil pulling is not Chinese medicine practice but an Ayurvedic medicine one. The procedure is simple –  one tablespoon of oil is swished 10-20 minutes in the mouth. When the oil starts giving a watery-like feeling in the mouth it is ready to be spit out. The mouth should be thoroughly rinsed after – none of the oil residue should be swallowed.


Oil pulling is used to cleanse the oral cavity but it is also suggested that it detoxifies the whole body. This makes sense from the perspective of traditional Chinese, therefore I talk about it here.


In Chinese medicine the tongue is the mirror of our internal body. Every part of the tongue corresponds to a different body organ – the tip of the tongue corresponds to the Heart, right behind it is the spot of the Lung, the center belongs to the Spleen and Stomach, the sides of the tongue correspond to the Liver and Gall Bladder, and the back corresponds to the Kidney and the Urinary Bladder. When making a diagnosis a TCM practitioner mandatory looks at the patients tongue to get the full picture of the patient’s condition. A tongue covered with thick greasy fur among other things indicates a build-up of toxins and vice-versa – a naturally pink tongue with thin white coat reflects a healthy digestive system, a normal gut flora, and overall healthy functioning body organs. Thus when the tongue is “clean” the body is “clean”. Therefore oil pulling, which cleanses the oral cavity, including the tongue, could be considered to cleanse the internal body, which is reflected by the tongue.


Tongue Map


The most commonly oils used for oil pulling are the ones with most abundant health benefits such as coconut oil, sesame oil and olive oil. Today I suggest olive oil to get in the rhythm of the spring and its correspondent green-cleansing color (which is also color of the olive oil).


Olive Oil


Oil pulling couple of times a week during spring season is a nice addition to the other practices and eating suggestions listed in the Kitchen medicine blog and the Project. All of them collectively aim to cleanse the Liver, dissipate anger and/or depression, and vitalize the way we experience life.