Admittedly this sinus series has taken longer than I had hoped to get out there, but life with CF, and just plain life, has it’s twists and turns so I do my own twisting and turning and get what I have to share out there as I can. Ho hum diddly um.
So here we go, Sinus Health post 3! Da ta da!
Sinus Health Chapter three:
Oil pulling- This is also sometimes called the coconut oil swish and spit.
Coconut oil is great because of it’s antibacterial and viral properties, but if you have a sensitivity to coconut or would like to try a different oil sesame and olive oil can also be good choices.
Oil pulling is an ayurvedic technique that’s been around for a long time, but has gotten more recent publicity in the last few years because it helps with gum health, freshening breath, and making your pearly whites more pearly white.
Why do I love it for sinus health? (total ear, nose, and throat health actually)
It pulls toxins from the mouth. This helps reduce the bacterial and viral load of what the ear, nose, and throat cavities have to deal with. Soooo, If you’re someone who deals with chronic sinus issues, this can be a significant health helper ;)!
The technique can take a bit of getting used to, but once you get the hang of it it’s a super easy addition to your morning or evening that can help keep your whole body healthier.
Oil pulling can be used just when you feel like you need it or if you feel the start of something coming on, but I do think it’s best as a longer term part of your daily routine.
I used to oil pull daily, but then had gotten away from it for a while. I don’t know why exactly, I just did. BUT, I have started it back up again after having a bout with a cold, and because I am now also on additional inhaled antibiotics and steroids, and I can already feel the difference in my mouth. (I have found that oil pulling is also helpful for preventing thrush and other mouth yuck that can come from inhaled meds.)
So are you ready to give it a go?
Here’s how you do it:
- Put about a tablespoon of coconut oil into your mouth, or maybe start with just a teaspoon until you get used to it. I find it’s easier if the coconut oil is closer to solid to start and it can just start the dissolve and swish process once in the heat of my mouth, but I guess it doesn’t really matter.
You will want to work up to swishing it around in there for 20 minutes. I know, sounds like a long time, but it’s one of those things that you can do while doing other things (yay for multitasking) as long as the other things don’t require you to talk. (I’m actually doing it while I’m typing.)
If the 20 minutes feels like a stretch it’s definitely ok to let yourself start gradually though. Maybe try for 5 minutes your first time, or even 3 if that’s difficult. Then build the time from there. (This will also be awesome practice for developing the skill of breathing through your nose which I will talk about in another sinus health entry.)
The one caveat I would offer here is that, especially when you are first starting, it might be a smart idea to keep a dixie cup or something that you’re ok doing an emergency spit in to. This is especially helpful if your body is in a place where you’re coughing a lot. Trust me, you’ll thank me if you have to use it and you can avoid having the mess of coconut oil going flying all over your car, or kitchen, or living room.
- Once your swishing time is up, spit into a dixie cup and discard in the garbage. Or just spit straight into a plastic lined garbage. Do not spit down the drain unless you have super hot water running and even then I wouldn’t recommend doing that regularly. You don’t want to clog your drains with oil.
- Either go about your day if you are doing this at some random time in the middle of your day, like after lunch. Or, if you’re doing it first thing in the morning (like, after nebs and before breakfast) or as a part of your before bedtime teeth brushing routine, then the recommendation is to rinse your mouth with water and follow up with brushing your teeth.
What not to do:
Don’t swallow the oil after swishing. The idea is that the oil helps pull the toxins from the mouth so you don’t want to swallow everything that you’ve just pulled. (That said, it’s not going to kill you if you accidentally swallow a little, just don’t make a practice out of it.)
Do not spit the oil down the sink drain or in your toilet or at your neighbor, unless you really don’t like your neighbor, in which case there’s other issues that need addressing.
Anyway, I highly recommend giving oil pulling a try.
Your mouth and sinuses will thank you.
If you’re feelin the need for a “how to video” from Dr Axe click here.
Dr Axe mentions the possibility of using an essential oil with the oil when you swish. I have not done this myself, but can see how that might be an interesting and helpful addition. My tendency and two cents would be to try the clove (although be careful here because some people react strongly to clove) or tea tree if trying this.