Latest Trend: Oil Pulling

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KNWA) - "It's an ancient tradition coming out of India, but it's all the rage right now," Naturopathic Dr. Laurell Matthews said.

Dr. Matthews with NWA Natural Health in Fayetteville, started oil pulling after her mother in law recommended it.

"As a dental hygienist, she was cleaning someone's teeth and noticed that her gums were way healthier than everyone elses and asked her what she was doing," Dr. Matthews said.

But word of mouth wasn't enough, she did her research.

"Studies showed that it improved bad breath, that it reduced plaque on the teeth, it's also been shown to fight the bacteria that can lead to tooth decay," she said.

Some of which Dr. Matthews experienced personally.

What you do is swish a teaspoon of oil in your mouth for 20 minutes like regular mouth wash, and spit it out.

"The coconut oil maybe provides the most benefit, fights the broadest range of organisms."

But some users claim bigger benefits. Some of which Dr. Matthews can back.

"All sorts of conditions from acne to allergies to even heart disease are driven by inflammation. And when we reduce the overall inflammation in the body by cutting out this really common source of inflammation in our lives [like in our mouths], those things get easier to treat."

But Dr. Matthews said Oil Pulling is not a substitution for brushing and flossing, just another way to improve your overall health.

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