I've tried some pretty weird treatments all in the name of beauty, but one of the most outrageous things had to be oil pulling. After watching an episode of "The Doctors" which featured the coconut oil mouthwash method, I swished around the good stuff in my mouth for 15 minutes to test the profound claims behind this ancient Ayurvedic practice.
While dermatologist and author Dr. Debra Jaliman concurs that oil pulling is probably most helpful for the gums, as it stops the growth of strep bacteria, we shouldn't be quick to assume that it's a cure-all for other disease processes. However, nutritionist and naturopathic doctor Bruce Fife believes there are beauty benefits to oil gargling. Here are three:
It whitens teeth. Coconut oil possesses natural antibiotic and anti-viral properties that brighten dull or yellowed teeth and enhance the cleansing action of oil pulling, according to Dr. Bruce Fife. It also improves gum health, eliminates bad breath and makes for a prettier smile.
It clears up acne. The detoxifying effect oil pulling has on the body can also reduce the appearance of skin rashes and other blemishes. "Removing bacteria and toxins from the body eliminates a great deal of stress that results in improved energy levels," said Dr. Fife. And we all know how stress can lead to embarrassing skin problems.
It can lead to a healthy, glowing complexion. Because oil pulling involves "pulling" germs and toxins in the mouth that often leak into the bloodstream, affecting the entire body, Dr. Fife believes that it can improve skin health and appearance. But don't be mislead by random myths that the oil activates some unknown enzymes in the mouth that magically detox the body. The health benefits of coconut oil coupled with the cleansing action will have your skin glowing from the inside out.
Have you ever tried oil pulling? Share your experiences in the comments section.
More from the bizarre world of beauty:
Want more HuffPost Style beauty content? Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram. (For everything else check out our main HuffPost Style Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram @HuffPostStyle.)
Do you have a beauty story idea or tip? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. (PR pitches sent to this address will be ignored.)