Note: This week, I will be sharing stories of my physical journey. All of these are intended to tell what happened to me, not to tell you what to do. They are anecdotes NOT advice. You have your own journey and have to do your own research. Feel free to share your stories in the comments or in an email. I would love to read them!
The popular hygiene and nutrition dogma during my high school years was to avoid oil. Low-fat cooking does not allow for much oil. The treatment for the bane of adolescence, acne, was to strip the oils from one’s face and to avoid greasy foods. Oil was for cars, but we largely avoided it in every other area of life.
The Biblical lifestyle was very different. Oil was widely used and had many practical and symbolic uses in the Bible. They used it to clean wounds, purify things, and to anoint their kings. Oil was a symbol of richness and greatly to be desired in one’s diet and for one’s personal care. The wise men brought oils alongside gold as the best gifts they had worthy for a King. Oil was also a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
In today’s world, oil is beginning to come back into favor as we rediscover it’s benefits. Processed vegetable and canola oils are being traded for olive and coconut oils. And has anyone heard of the essential oil craze? (More about that another time.)
I must admit that my skeptical mind resisted the use of oils for quite a while. Then, I began to use olive oil in my cooking and salad dressings and discovered how delicious it is. I began using coconut oil for high heat cooking and baking. Then, I tentatively stepped to the weird side.
I learned that one of the purifying benefits of oil is its ability to pull out bacteria and toxins. Yes, I know. Mention the word “toxins” and people begin to roll their eyes. “Here she goes with the crazy stuff. She’ll probably drop the word “organic” next.” Exactly my thoughts not too long ago.
However, I regularly got unexplained, painful sores in my mouth. I wondered if they were a reaction to foods I was eating. When someone told me about oil pulling, I thought, “Hey, it’s worth a try!” I had a jar of coconut oil already.
Oil pulling is basically using oil as a mouthwash. Yes, I know it sounds disgusting. If you use mouthwash, go read the label and then come back. I’ll wait. Do you know what those ingredients mean and where they get them? Me either. But, I know coconut oil comes from a coconut which is created by God, not a lab.
I began with five minutes and refined coconut oil, the kind with no taste or smell. It was not particularly pleasant. I did it rather sporadically. When my mouth sores seemed to get worse, I decided to try virgin coconut oil, the kind that tastes and smells like a tropical vacation. It actually tasted good, so it didn’t bother me and I moved gradually up to the 20 minutes recommended.
Now, I do it while I’m exercising in the morning so it doesn’t take away any more of my time. My mouth sores are rare, and if I feel sinus problems coming on, they are noticeably improved or gone after my morning oil pulling. If I miss a day or two, I often find my mouth starts to feel sore again or I feel sinus issues bothering me.
If your interest is piqued, you can learn more in this excellent post:
I began to wonder if oil did such a good job in oral hygiene, how else would it help? I heard about the oil cleansing method for the face. This one really caused me to be skeptical. Then, I noticed that despite my occasional patches of acne, I had dry skin in patches as well. So, cleansers that stripped oils from my face dried out my skin and cleansers that moisturized my skin aggravated my acne. It was frustrating.
Again, I thought it was worth a try, so I began using the oil cleansing method. While I wasn’t surprised that the oil took away my dry skin, I was amazed me that putting oil on my face improved my acne! All those years of using benzoyl peroxide as a teenager and oil would have done the trick?!
Here’s the post that explains the method I use:
I know this post will put my name higher on the weird list, but it has been so helpful for me that it is part of my story. Now, I’m sharing it with you. Of course, you can continue washing your face with whatever you choose and using the neon mouthwash. If it’s working for you, great.
For myself, I feel more comfortable using God’s cosmetics whenever possible.