Jenessa

Hi, I'm Jenessa!

Hello!

I'm Jenessa--the newest writer on Swanson's Web Content team. I've always known Swanson had great products and an interesting history, so I'm more than excited to be a part of this company. While I don't have a huge background or knowledge in natural health, I'm looking forward to learning more about the topic, and hopefully bringing some of that knowledge to you along the way.

Some of my favorite ways to spend time are crafting, hanging out with family and friends, tweeting and extreme couponing. On that note, if you've got any neat craft ideas or couponing sites, feel free to let me know!

"The body heals with play, the mind heals with laughter, and the spirit heals with joy."

40 Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Monday, April 28, 2014 by Jenessa McAllister

Apple cider vinegar: weight loss booster, all-purpose cleaner, upset stomach-fixer. A popular kitchen staple, apple cider vinegar (ACV) dates back to ancient times. It’s said to have been used by Hippocrates as a health tonic and by American soldiers to combat indigestion, pneumonia and scurvy.

Apple Cider Vinegar all purpose cleaner recipeWhile times may have changed just a bit, ACV is still a versatile, well-known item in many homes. One of the most popular and highest-rated varieties is from Bragg. Or, you can even make your own variety at home with this recipe for Home Made Apple Cider Vinegar.

There are tons of ways to incorporate ACV into your daily routine, as you’ll see below and in the comments from Facebook fans (near the end of the post). One of the most popular ways to add ACV to your diet, specifically, is by making a tea or other drink. For example, check out this recipe for homemade Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar Ginger Spice Drink or look below for the perfect drink recipe for new users of apple cider vinegar.

Check out all of the awesome and creative ways to add more ACV to your life, and let us know if you have any other creative uses!

  

Top 20 Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar:

Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar

1. Use ACV in place of balsamic vinegar in salad dressing. (See below for an awesome salad dressing recipe!)

2. Add to your morning smoothie, but be careful—it has a pretty strong taste, so add a little to begin.

3. Use it as a facial toner.

4. DIY Apple Cider Vinegar All-Purpose Cleaner: 1 part water, 1 part ACV, 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil. Mix in a spray bottle.

5. Helps with upset stomach—holds antibiotic properties and pectin which soothe the stomach. Try this “Digestion Mocktail” with ACV and ginger. (Ginger is also known for its stomach-soothing properties. Learn more here.)

6. Stop cats from biting cords around the house—rub a bit on a cotton ball and onto the cord every 4-5 days.

7. Use ACV in your bath. Add ½- 1 cup to your bath water along with Epsom salts and lavender essential oil for a relaxing and detoxifying bath.

8. I like using apple cider vinegar to get rid of hiccups—the sour taste of a straight teaspoon can stop hiccups.

9. Clear a stuffy nose by mixing a teaspoon in a glass of water and drinking.

10. Make a fruit fly trap—Put a thin layer of ACV in a cup with a drop of dish soap. Set it out on the counter and the fruit flies will (hopefully) fly in and get stuck.

11. Get rid of cat urine smell—add it to the laundry when you wash the clothing, blanket, etc.

12. Get rid of bad breath—add ½ Tablespoon to a cup of water, and gargle for 10 seconds at a time until the cup is empty.

13. Use apple cider vinegar to soothe a sore throat. Mix 1/4 cup ACV with 1/4 cup of warm water and gargle every hour.

14. Beat exercise exhaustion—lactic acid buildup in the body causes fatigue, while the amino acids in ACV act as an antidote. Add a tablespoon to a glass of water after a workout.

15. Fight yeast infections—add 1 ½ cup to a bathtub of water and soak for 20 minutes.

16. Create shiny, untangled and dandruff-free hair by adding 1/3 cup ACV to 4 cups of water and pour over your hair after shampooing. Leave on for a few seconds and rinse with cold water.

Soothe sunburn with ACV

17. Use it as a teeth whitener by gargling with it every morning. The vinegar helps remove stains and kill bacteria in the mouth and gums.

18. Soothe sunburn with apple cider vinegar by massaging into the affected area.

19. Get rid of acne—mix one part ACV to 3-4 parts water. Apply to skin with a cotton pad, let it sit for about 10 minutes, then rinse. Repeat three times a day.

20. Wart removal—place a cotton pad soaked in ACV on top, and secure it with a bandage. Leave on overnight, repeating for a week.

   
 

Apple Cider Vinegar Recipes

 

Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar Drink Recipe

Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a product with a wide range of health benefits... but there are only a select few who can handle drinking it straight. Being an acidic product with no sweeteners, it can be very hard for anyone’s palate to handle, but there are recipes and home-made solutions that people make to help either mask the flavor or to work with the flavor to make a drink that is more appealing to the taste buds. The problem is that no two palates are the same, so which apple cider vinegar recipe concoction will taste the best is difficult to say with any certainty.

Some like to mix it with other acidic juices like orange juice or other flavors that are similarly acidic, while some just drink a shot of the ACV and follow it with something to mask the taste, like bread. It often takes some trial and error to see what works best for your palate, but there are some good drink recipes that tend to be popular with a variety of people that you can try starting with:

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons ACV in 8 oz glass purified water...stop there or:
  • Add 1-2 tsps organic honey
  • Add a few drops of liquid stevia
  • Add 1-2 tsps of organic maple syrup
  • You can also add 1-2 tablespoons of ACV to your favorite juiced veggies/fruits and smoothie recipes

 

Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing Recipe

I found this awesome recipe for Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Vinaigrette Dressing, and decided to give it a try. Really, any combination of these ingredients would make a great salad, so feel free to adjust the recipe to your taste!

 

Dressing Ingredients

  • Apple Cider Vinegar dressing

    3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
     

Salad toppings

  • Spinach
  • Apple
  • Walnuts
  • Raisins
  • Cheese of your choice

Directions

  1. Combine vinegar, water, honey, salt and pepper in a blender.
  2. Drizzle olive oil into blender until combined.
  3. Combine dressing & toppings; serve.


ACV salad dressing


20 More Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar...

 
When we asked our Facebook fans how they like to use apple cider vinegar, we got tons of comments! Many of them were about drinking it in the morning with a glass of water. Our fans simply loved all the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. Highlights of the top uses include:

  1. A Tblsp each morning along with a Tblsp of blackstrap molasses in some warm water. seems to help with my allergies and I am hoping lowering my cholesteral. The molasses is for the iron and other good stuff. Also helps with the taste ~ Jeanne Giesen L.
  2. I love to make "buttermilk" by souring my rice milk to make yummy stuff like Cornbread or biscuits (Gluten Free and Dairy Free). ~ Amy O.H.
  3. Mixed with sparking water; very refreshing and good for the liver ~ Louise F.
  4. I have a multitude of uses for this product. I use it to fight fleas on my doggie, using it diluted with water as a final leave in rinse. I put a few drops in her water, fleas hate it. I add a few drops to my bottled water that I take to the gym as a fat burner and it also seems to enhance the taste of the water, encouraging me to drink more. I sprinkle it over my foods, to get rid of the chicken smell of chicken and enhance the flavors of other foods. I use the regular distilled vinegar as a toner, it is a little less expensive. ~ Carol Z.
  5. I use it to rinse my dreads. It works great to clean your scalp and remove build up ~ Alysha C.
  6. I take mine twice a day with distilled water honey and cayenne pepper. I use it my salad dressings. I use it for a hair rinse and a facial toner. ~ Robin B.
  7. Two tablespoons every morning and evening when I feel an UTI coming on. ~ Angie C.
  8. Marinate my steak with it. ~ Rick B.
  9. This makes my home made tomato juice really tangy every morning! YUM ~ Kay B.
  10. Cook I use it with my cucumbers and onions (with some mayo)...makes a great cucumber salad! ~ Audra P.
  11. In water with a packet of stevia each day and a T to a cup of chamomile tea water as a rinse for my hair following a rinse of 1 T baking soda to 1 cup of water. No need of shampoo... ~ Jaime L.
  12. I use it in my smoothies.... ~ Jo Ann G.
  13. I mix it with honey for a sore throat ~ Georgia L.
  14. I LOVE this stuff!! I put a cap ful into my raw rice before cooking and its nice and fluffy. No vinegar taste!! ~ Jody W.
  15. Allergies, sinus infection & woman issues! ~ Sarah M.
  16. To stop hiccups.... One capful usually works ~ Carroll S.
  17. Anywhere it calls for vinegar ~ Patricia F.
  18. On sunburns to help them heal faster and as a hair/ scalp rinse to make it shinier and more manageable and control dandruff. It also helps with indigestion and just tastes delicious on salads and in soups. My mom started us using it as the home-remefy treatment choice for nearly every ailment. ~ Diane C.
  19. It is a great hair detangler, facial toner, internal cleanser, fruit and vege wash, salad spritz.....I love this stuff! ~ Mandy E.
  20. When I am coming down with a cold or when I have leg cramps I rub it straight on my legs and within a few m ins the cramping has calmed down. ~ Marleen I.

40 Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar
 

Sources

http://www.healyrealfoodvegetarian.com/apple-cider-vinegar/
http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/09/28-health-and-beauty-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar.html
http://www.rd.com/slideshows/8-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar/#slideshow=slide1
http://www.food.com/recipe/apple-cider-vinegar-and-honey-vinaigrette-dressing-396343

Which of the Apple Cider Vinegar Uses above were the most surprising to you?

How do you Use Apple Cider Vinegar?

Sweet Surprise: Nutrition Facts May Soon Show You How Much Sugar is REALLY In Your Processed Food

Friday, February 7, 2014 by Jenessa McAllister

Sugar facts labelNutrition label guidelines have been the same since 1990, when they were first required. Now, after 20+ years, the FDA says they’ll be getting a makeover. While the Food and Drug Administration’s unofficial announcement has no published date of these changes, the nutritional community and health experts are offering a few suggestions... and praise.

The biggest change has to do with sugar and how it’s represented on the label. Specifically, the changes being considered would essentially unhide the sugar content in your food by showing ALL added sugars together. Right now, it’s relatively easy to mask the actual sugar content in processed foods, and here’s how...

  • Currently, ingredients are listed in order from most to least, meaning the main ingredient is listed first, followed by the second, third, fourth, etc... so we’ve been trained to assume ingredients listed last represent only a tiny portion of the whole food in question.
     
  • For foods that get added sugar, a company can choose to use one kind of sugar... OR, use up 10 different kinds of sugar in much smaller amounts so they end up getting listed last or near the end of the label.
     
  • A consumer sees the sugar listed last, assumes it’s not much... and bingo, you’ve just hidden the fact that this food is, in all reality, loaded with added sugar in multiple forms.

Another big focus is the clarity of how serving sizes are defined. One of the biggest suggestions, though, is how sugar and artificial sweeteners are represented on labels.

This Nutra Ingredients article pointed out this trend and put it this way: Ingredient lists can contain upwards of 10 different sweeteners (honey, corn syrup, dextrose, etc.), each used in small amounts to downplay the prominence of sweeteners in the product. “If ‘added sweeteners’ became one category, we’d see them as the first ingredient in many products, a clear indication that they are high in sugar,” the article says.

There is also some confusion when it comes to naturally occurring and added sweeteners. “Nutrition advocates are hoping the agency adds a line for sugars and syrups that are not naturally occurring in foods and drinks and are added when they are processed or prepared,” according to an Associated Press article. “Right now, some sugars are listed separately among the ingredients and some are not. It may be difficult for the FDA to figure out how to calculate added sugars, however. Food manufacturers are adding naturally occurring sugars to their products so they can label them as natural — but the nutrition content is no different.”

Are food companies trying to hide sugar content, or present it in ways that make their products more appealing and “healthy” to consumers?
 

Sweet Perks of Cinnamon Spice (The "Sweet Spice")

Thursday, December 19, 2013 by Jenessa McAllister

Cinnamon rolls, snickerdoodle cookies, Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Those are the first things I thought of when I began researching this cinnamon-focused blog post. I thought to myself, “What a delicious assignment!” Little did I know, cinnamon is one of the most widely used and highly beneficial spices out there. It can be sprinkled, simmered, baked with or taken as a supplement. It’s full of nutrients and has long been known as a blood sugar regulator, not to mention countless other health benefits.

Similar to my recent post on ginger, I went on a cinnamon investigation. I came across tips, recipes and fun facts that I hope you’ll enjoy. Let me know if you’ve got a unique recipe or use for cinnamon; I’d love to hear from you!


About Cinnamon: "The Sweet Spice"

There are more than 250 species of Cinnamon, which leads to information overload. Here’s what you need to know: Cinnamomum verum (or Ceylon Cinnamon) is known as “true cinnamon.” Cinnamomum cassia is less expensive, and is the most common use of the word “cinnamon.” Most of the research for diabetes and blood sugar management involves C. cassia. Cassia has a stronger flavor, but C. verum is generally considered to have a more delicate flavor suitable for desserts.

different types of cinnamon

 

Fast Facts About Cinnamon:

  • Cinnamon is the third most popular spice, only behind pepper and mustard
  • Full of nutrients—calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 and C, and more
  • Should not be used in large amounts during pregnancy
  • Can be used to add flavor to almost any food or beverage
  • Made from the bark of the tree
  • Has been used since ancient times
  • Acts as a natural food preservative
  • China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam together produce about 98% of the world’s cinnamon
  • Available in multiple forms, including cinnamon oil, which is steam distilled from the leaves and twigs
  • Ground cinnamon lasts about 6 months; cinnamon sticks last about 1 year

 

What are the Health Benefits of Cinnamon?

Being one of the most versatile spices out there, the ways to use cinnamon are endless. Most of the benefits come from consuming it, but it also is shown to deliver an energizing scent that increases alertness. People also say that it helps keep bugs away in homes, which is always a good thing! Here are several ways that consuming cinnamon is beneficial:

- Relieves diarrhea and nauseacinnamon health benefits

- Counteracts congestion

- Aids circulation

- Warms the body

- Fights fungal infection

- Shown to lower blood sugar

- Fights bad breath

- Effective for menstrual pain and infertility

- Reduces pain linked to arthritis

- Useful for weight loss, yeast infection and uterine hemorrhaging

 

ways to use cinnamon

 

Cinnamon Recipes (and How They Turned Out)

When it comes to using cinnamon in my everyday life, I must admit that I have only tried it in sweet recipes. For the sake of this post—and for the sake of trying something new—I decided to try one sweet recipe and one savory. Enjoy!


cinnamon sugar pita chip recipeCinnamon Sugar Pita Chips

First off, I made pita bread according to the Pita Bread recipe we recently featured on the Swanson Recipes page. Then, I modified this recipe for Garlic & Herb Pita Chips. Here are the easy-to-follow steps:

1. Position oven racks in middle and lower third of oven; preheat to 350° F.  Coat two large baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray.
 
2. Cut pitas into 8 wedges each and separate each wedge at the fold.  Place the pita wedges rough-side up, in an even layer on the prepared baking sheets.  Brush with oil and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
 
3. Bake the pita wedges, switching the baking sheets halfway through, until golden and crispy, 6 to 10 minutes (depending on the thickness).

Note: I found it helpful to switch my oven to broil at the end of the 6 to 10 minutes, for extra crispiness.
 

Savory Cinnamon Chicken

Who doesn’t love a good slow cooker meal? I found a great recipe from this fun blog called Life With 4 Boys. The recipe recommends combining all of the ingredients and then freezing them in a zip-top bag until you’re ready to use, but I decided to make mine the next day, so I just refrigerated it over night.

Ingredients:

2 lb. chicken breasts (you can use legs or thighs if you prefer)
2 bell Peppers, sliced
1 onion, diced
2 tsp paprika
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cinnamon
1 c. chicken broth
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a gallon zip-top freezer bag. Make sure all the air is out before sealing shut.

Step 2: Remove the meal from the freezer the night before serving and defrost in the fridge.

Step 3: Pour contents of the bag into your slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4.

cinnamon chicken recipe

 

Other Fun Finds

In my research for this post, I came across a couple of interesting uses for cinnamon, besides the traditional ones.  Enjoy!
 

cinnamon hair dye experimentCinnamon—a natural hair dye?

Just when I thought I had seen everything cinnamon-related that the Internet had to offer, I found a bunch of blog posts that said that cinnamon would lighten hair. Naturally, I had to give it a try. I didn’t follow any one recipe; I just came up with my own, and tried it on a small section of my hair.


The first time I tried it, I put conditioner on my wet hair first, then added the water/cinnamon paste. I left it on all night, covered in plastic wrap, and washed my hair in the morning. Nothing. I tried it a few more times, each with a different ratio of cinnamon to water, and even included lemon juice a couple times. Still no results! Sadly, I think this might be a bust.
 

Cinnamon Crafts!

I've always loved the idea of decorating with cinnamon sticks. Especially around the fall/winter months, they deliver a glorious smell to your entire house. I saw a few ideas online, and sort of combined them all to make up my own. Here's what I came up with:

1. Select a glass piece to decorate. I went to the thrift store and bought a 75-cent candle holder. Keep in mind the larger the piece, the more cinnamon sticks you'll need.

2. Glue cinnamon sticks in place with a hot glue gun.

3. Decorate! I wrapped twine around my candle holder several times, until I liked the look of it. Then I hot glued a flower on the front, where the seam of the twine was. The flower works as a way to keep everything in place, all while making it look great!

cinnamon stick diy craft glue gun  cinnamon stick vase candle diy project

 What You Had to Say--Facebook Fan Tips:

I coat my chicken with a cinnamon/salt/pepper blend and fry it in coconut out [oil]. ~ Terry S.

I blend frozen bananas and cinnamon to make some tasty ice cream ~  Matthew

Honey, water, organic apple cider vinegar, ginger, cinnamon. Make a hot drink or serve cold ~ Elizabeth S.  (look here for more apple cider vinegar uses)

cinnamon baking soda carpet freshener

Cinnamon toast, of course! I buy a sprouted flourless bread from Trader Joe's, toast it, sprinkle lots of cinnamon on it, then drip some organic honey over the top, spread it around, and enjoy a wonderful, healthy desert! ~ Leslye R.

Dump one ooling tea bag, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger, dash of cayenne pepper in a measuring cup. Pour 8 oz boiling water over the mess, steep until it cools a bit. Remove the tea bag, then pour the rest into a 16 oz insulated mug filled with ice. Top it off with water. Drink. Repeat. ~ Joellen F.

We use it in oatmeal, pumpkin. Pancakes, banana smoothies, over baked apples, in coffee and on chicken. It's such a versatile spice. ~ Janet G. 

cinnamon in sand box

Mix with xylitol or truvia and sprinkle on sliced bananas. That is my 2 year old's favorite. ~ Katie H.

On my oatmeal, on sweet potatoes, and with a little butter and brown sugar on butternut squash. ~ Evelyn V.

I put it in my coffee filter before I put the coffee in & run the water thru...it is wonderful!! ~ Dawn H.

Our favorite way is to sprinkle cinnamon and olive oil on sweet potato slices, bake them in the oven for some heathy and tasty "fries." ~ Cymry M.

Cinnamon, Ginger, Turmeric and a little cumin in a spice jar all together. Sprinkle it on hot/cold cereal, waffles, French toast, tea, and cocoa. Also for sore throat, cinnamon, lemon, honey and hot water. ~ Vanessa B.

French toast, toast, in hot tea with some honey, oatmeal, and almost all my baked stuff (banana bread, cookies, apple walnut bread, cakes) ~ Bonnie C.

cinnamon infused water

Cinnamon is my secret ingredient in chicken salad. I sprinkle it on the mayo before stirring it all together. Yum. ~ Jackie W.

In my coffee every morning. Everyone at work says it smells so good! ~ Cheryll M.

Peanut butter, honey, and cinnamon on whole grain toast. Sooooo good! ~ Cheryl G.

 

Sources

  1. http://eol.org/pages/490672/overview
  2. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/cinnamon-benefits-explained
  3. Prescription for Nutritional Healing
  4. http://www.lifewith4boys.com/2013/01/paleo-savory-cinnamon-slow-cooker.html

 

This post was written by .

 

 

Oil Pulling: All Hype Or Is There Something to It?

Thursday, August 8, 2013 by Jenessa McAllister

My First Experience with Oil Pulling

Is the secret to better health hiding in the ancient tradition of oil pulling? Could swishing oil around in your mouth really deliver the plethora of promised benefits? I was determined to find out.

I was intrigued, confused and a little bit grossed out by the concept of oil pulling, so I decided to give it a try. Trust me; the experience was one I’ll never forget.

 

It can do what for my health?

Oil Pulling Health Benefits:

Oil pulling, by Wikipedia definition, is a traditional Indian folk remedy that involves swishing oil in the mouth. Ayurvedic literature describes oil pulling as capable of both improving oral health and treating various ailments. While no medical research can solidify these claims, the amount of information available online definitely supports it. Here are a few of the numerous claimed benefits of oil pulling:

oil pulling health benefits

  • Strengthening of teeth, gums and jaw
  • Whitening of teeth
  • Oral problem prevention—cavities and gingivitis
  • Prevention of bad breath
  • Relief of migraines and headaches
  • Reduction of inflammation of arthritis
  • Normal kidney function support
  • Potential improved vision
  • Relief from sinus congestion
  • Increase in energy
  • Clear skin
  • Regulated menstrual cycles
  • Helps detoxify the body of harmful metals and organisms
  • Reduced hangover symptoms
  • Helps with better sleep quality/reducing insomnia

 

 

You want me to do what with that oil?

Oil Pulling Instructions:

In my research, I found very few conflicting recommendations. There are definitely recurring tips from different blogs, and various other Internet digging I did. With that, here is my three-step guide to oil pulling:

oil pulling instructions

1. Choose an oil. Coconut oil is very popular, because of its sweet, tolerable taste. However, lots of people suggest that sunflower and sesame have been shown to be the most effective. Make sure the oil is liquid; some people suggest putting solid coconut oil in your mouth and letting it melt, while I found it much easier to just begin with liquid. One tablespoon of oil is recommended, however I suggest starting with a teaspoon and working your way up to a tablespoon.

beneficial oils for oil pulling

2. Swish the oil. Slosh it around your mouth, through your teeth, aiming to reach all areas. One thing I found helpful was to floss my teeth beforehand. This made it easier to “suck” the oil between my teeth. You’ll find that this is quite a jaw/neck workout, and it takes some getting used to. Swish for up to 20 minutes, but again, building up time is almost necessary. I found that I could only last for 3-5 minutes for the first few times I tried it.

3. Spit. It’s important that you spit the oil into the toilet or trash, as it can clog drains in the shower or sink. I like to spit mine into a small cup and dump it in the trash. I found it most comfortable to rinse my mouth out with warm water afterwards, and then brush my teeth shortly after.

 

 

Oil Pulling Tips:

-Research suggests that oil pulling be done in the morning, on an empty stomach. This creates a more thorough detox.

-Some people suggest oil pulling while you’re in the shower. This is when I found it to be easiest, as it fits into my schedule.  You could also do it while watching TV, making breakfast or really any time you see fit.

-If the taste is what’s keeping you from oil pulling, try adding some mint extract to the oil. I put 2-3 drops of peppermint extract in ½ tablespoon, and it was a much more pleasant experience.

 

Does it actually work?

My Oil Pulling results:

oil pulling before and after results

I’ve always practiced pretty great oral hygiene, so I (not-so-humbly) must say that I didn’t have a lot of problems to begin with. I do think my teeth got a bit whiter, and with continued use, I think they’d continue to improve. My experiment ran for about two weeks, and I don’t think that was long enough to notice any other benefits throughout my body.

When I first tried it, I honestly didn’t know if I’d be able to continue. The flavor, consistency and overall experience made me never want to do it again. But, as I tried it a second, third and fourth time, it got much more bearable. I first tried it with coconut oil, then olive oil. They were similar in consistency, but coconut oil definitely has a better taste. Olive oil is quite disgusting at first, but after a minute or so, it doesn’t really have a flavor. (Side note: If you love coconut oil, check out this post on 50 ways to use it!)

After I tried those two oils, I followed one of our Facebook user's tips (see below) and added a few drops of peppermint extract to the coconut oil. That made a huge difference. I highly recommend getting some (Hint: we sell peppermint extract!).

I then tried sesame seed oil, because a lot of research suggests it’s the most effective. Sesame seed oil, by far, had the least terrible taste of all that I tried. If I were to continue—I haven’t decided if I will—I think I’ll use sesame seed oil going forward.

Overall, I’d say that this was a unique process, but I’m not sure it was effective enough for me to want to continue on a regular basis.

 

And the crowd says …?

Oil Pulling Reviews - Facebook Fan Input:

swanson vitamins oil pullingI posted the topic on Facebook, and it turns out, a lot more people were familiar with the process than I would have imagined. Here are a few of the most interesting, useful or unique posts:

I have been "pulling" for about 5 years. I take weekends off and instead I brush with Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda on those days. I do both first thing in the morning prior to eating or drinking anything. I "pull" for about 15 minutes while I fix tea and other small projects. It has cut way down on plaque and NO cavities. My mouth feels so clean. I know I have not been sick more than 2 or 3 times in the 5 years I've been doing it. I plan to stick with it for the rest of my life. Love it! ~ Janet S.

I've used different oils (always cold-pressed) - coconut oil seems to do the best for teeth whitening, sunflower oil tastes the best especially when you rinse with salt water, and sesame seems to have the best overall health benefits for me. Sometimes I rinse with Himalayan salt and a pinch of edible bentonite clay, I could hardly believe it, but it somehow made two tiny cavities disappear. YES I definitely recommend it. ~ Choral A.

We (kids too) oil pull w/ coconut oil for 15-20 min (the longer the better) on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Haven't had oral issues since. In fact, energy increased & brain fog has eased up. My ADD son also could concentrate a whole lot better! ~ Sarah L.

I've tried it with both coconut (melted) and food grade almond... usually for about 20 minutes while in the shower. Coconut seems to work best for me. My teeth seem whiter, and my tooth sensitivity is nearly non-existent. ~ Jenee P.

Coconut oil- tastes nice. I swish for about 10 minutes in the morning while I choose my clothes, wash my face and start getting ready for work. ~ Karin E.B.

Unrefined sesame is the suggested, I like sesame taste, so it works for me. I put a little bottle in the bathroom and swish as long as I'm in the shower. Whiter, less sensitivity - very happy with the results. (don't drink straight from the bottle though, you can contaminate it... Ick... Use a little medicine cup). ~ Tracy N.

guide to healthy cooking oilsI use coconut oil and pull for 20 minutes 1st thing in the morning while I am juicing. For a portion of time I was having sensitivity with one of my teeth, and mixed clove oil with the coconut oil and after a couple weeks the sensitivity went away! ~ Kari W.

I prefer sesame oil......it resolved problems I had with some sensitive teeth following dental procedures. ~ Wanda C.R.

I like to add a drop of organic peppermint essential oil to the pulling oil. I have some flax seed oil I've been trying to use up so I just use that for now - coconut and olive oil seem to be the most common though. I have found that using a small amount, about a teaspoon, reduces the gagging and is still effective. ~ Brandy E.

I LOVE oil pulling! I use olive oil and usually 10-15min. I sit and watch a hockey game, browse pinterest, or edit films (I film birth stories/weddings) I love it, and wish I would remember to do it more often.  When I first started I too tried coconut oil and gagged as well. The texture and I weren't a match. Olive oil has an "off" taste for about 10-15sec and then it is just fluid in your mouth that you swish around. My gums and teeth feel amazing afterwards. ~ KatieandBrad J.

 

Sources

http://thefitnista.com/what-is-oil-pulling/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_pulling

This post was written by .

I’d love to hear any tips you have on oil pulling, or any other unique health practices that you think I should try!