Tuesday, May 4, 2010

And now for something completely different....Oil Pulling

I'm in the middle of an experiment that is turning out to be verrrry interesting, so I thought I'd better start keeping a record of it. A while back, I was online looking for natural treatments for gum disease, and I found a site about natural remedies called Earth Clinic. I was fascinated to read about a simple therapy called oil pulling, which supposedly cured a whole range of ailments. My interest was piqued at the time, but not enough to actually try it. Instead I ended up ordering a product called OraMD, which worked miracles on my gums. But, it's expensive and I ran out, and I ended up going back to brushing with plain old toothpaste, and all my problems returned. At my last visit to the periodontist, the predictions were dire: I am in danger of losing one of my front teeth and a couple back molars due to bone loss, and they want to either yank out the tooth and replace it with an implant now (to the tune of $4000!!), or do some kind of iffy bone graft procedure on the root. I can't afford either one of those options right now, so I was in wait-and-see mode, trying to decide if I really want to go into further debt over this.

In the midst of all my dithering, this past weekend I developed an abscess behind my bad front tooth. I've had these before, and they usually require a trip to the dentist and a course of antibiotics. But, it was the weekend, and I was in pain, and something made me remember the oil pulling. One of the things it's supposed to heal is gum infections. I also remembered that the miraculous OraMD stuff was made completely out of natural oils. Soooo, on Sunday morning, as per the instructions on the Earth Clinic site, I swished a tablespoon of olive oil (mixed with a drop of peppermint oil) around in my mouth before eating breakfast. You're supposed to do it for twenty minutes, until the oil turns thin and white in your mouth, but I felt like I was going to gag and so I spit it out after ten. But still, there was a noticeable reduction in the pain and swelling of the abscess. Hmmm....

Yesterday morning, I did it again, and lasted the entire twenty minutes. By the end of the day, my abscess was completely gone. Totally healed. But there were a few other interesting things. The first is I had awakened earlier than usual feeling very refreshed. This is one of the things they say will happen. Another is that immediately after doing it, I felt really, really good. Kind of buzzed, actually. Before I even had any coffee! And the third thing is that yesterday afternoon, I started coughing up mucus--another one of the promised effects of the therapy. Okay, now I was getting really excited. I went back online and did some more research. Google "oil pulling" and you'll find hundreds of testimonials by people who swear it has completely cured them of all of the medical complaints. At the very least, people say it reversed their gum disease and made their teeth whiter. 

But the thing I am now most hopeful about is that many, many people say that it improved their arthritis. I have degenerative osteoarthritis and can barely move after a busy waitress shift. My hands, knees, feet and shoulders have some degree of pain and stiffness pretty much all the time. My rheumatologist wants me to take 4000 mg of Tylenol a day. Yeah, that's not happening, so I pretty much just live with it. But if I could get some relief with a simply, natural therapy like oil pulling? And get whiter, healthy teeth to boot? Well now, that might be pretty miraculous indeed.

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