Oil Pulling + Chemo = No Mouth Sores?

MOUTH SORES...they are like a portal to Chemo HELL. What if they could not only be treated but PREVENTED? Oil Pulling is the magical answer, plus its cheap and easy. 

My final chemo treatment was April 11, 2015, and this has been the one tip I share the most. Oil Pulling has made me one of those overly excited people pushing unsolicited holistic remedies onto unsuspecting cancer patients (I know...ugh), but this one actually works and made it possible for me to eat during chemo. Plus, it isn't connected to a mid-level marketing product.

Prior to chemo, I couldn't justify the hassle of oil pulling. My random attempts couldn't “proved” that it accomplished more than slowly whitening my teeth, but during chemo it became my secret weapon against dreaded mouth sores.

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that involves putting oil in your mouth for 20 minutes every day in order to draw out toxins from the body.

Sounds like a party, right? 

Christmas morning, 2014, my first mouth sore broke open one week after my first chemo treatment--what a gift! My internet chemo-comrades informed me that I could get my doctor to prescribe “Magic Mouthwash”, but they warned that it tasted like crap and and would make my mouth numb. Out of simple laziness to avoid another trip to the pharmacy, I decided to try oil pulling again. By the next day my mouth was HEALED.

From that moment on, every morning, the first thing I would do--after peeing, of course-- was put a spoonful of coconut oil in mouth. A year later, I am still doing it. With four months of intense chemo, the first mouth sore was my ONLY mouth sore. Oil pulling also saved me THOUSANDS of dollars in dental work after chemo. Something no one mentions during treatment is that all of those sores wreak havoc on your mouth, causing damage that could result in gum disease, cavities, and tooth loss. I only needed two preventative fillings. Thank you, Oil Pulling!


what I use:

  • 3-4 drops Organic Clove Oil
  • 3-4 drops Organic Peppermint Oil
  • 1/2 cup warm salt water (for rinsing)

I prefer coconut oil but you can also use sesame or sunflower. Amazon sells “pure, unrefined, cold pressed, 100% organic extra virgin coconut oil” (with that many adjectives it must be good) in a 54oz jug for about $17.

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Dr. Mehta, my integrative medicine doctor at UM Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, suggested I add several drops of clove oil to my oil pulling. Clove oil and coconut oil both have antiseptic properties and the clove oil has a huge list of added benefits. Now, I also add a few drops of organic peppermint oil to give me extra fresh breath. 

Why does oil pulling work? I came to find out it's not magic. Dr. Mehta explained that during chemo the cells are exploding and leaving their toxic waste floating in your body. By drinking water you flush the water soluble parts out but the fat soluble bits are stuck. By oil pulling, you give a place for those fat soluble toxins to go and then you spit them out. Abracadabra, the magic of our bodies. 

First thing in the morning, before drinking water or brushing your teeth, put a teaspoon of coconut oil with a few drops of clove and peppermint oil in your mouth and gently swish for 20 minutes. If you are finding that your mouth is cramping or you are gagging, start with less oil and less time. Then do your morning ritual; use the bathroom, make the bed, shower, feed the cats, meditate, etc. 20 minutes is the optimum time to get the full benefits. It's long enough to break through the mucus membrane and short enough so the toxins don't seep back in. Spit the oil into the TRASH (you don’t want to clog your drains). Then rinse with salt water as an added antiseptic while in chemo. DONE. 

As an added bonus, you will have a bright white smile to go with your shiny bald head. 

Aniela and her husband, Jordan, at an event during her chemo.

What It Will NOT Do:

  • CURE cancer (Go to the doctor)
  • Heal pre-existing cavities and decay
  • Magically make all of your problems go away (Cancer Sucks)

Benefits I felt:

  • Whitens Teeth
  • Freshens Breath
  • Reduces Stiff Joints
  • Reduces Sinus Problems
  • Clears Skin
  • Detoxifies the Body
  • Increase Energy Level
  • Prevents Mouth Sores before they start

Game of Oil Pulling

By the end of Chemo, it was an all out battle between oil pulling and the chemo drugs. My mouth felt fuzzy, food tasted funny, and I could feel that the mouth sores were clawing to come out. Chemo compounds and oil pulling can only do so much, but if you are diligent with oil pulling you can hold them back as long as possible. 


Did you try oil pulling during your chemo? what was your experience?

Comment below.


This is something that worked for me, but please talk to your doctor. Also, check to see if your cancer facility has an integrative medicine doctor. They are a wonderful resource for adding holistic medicines to your standard medicine. *DO NOT discontinue your actual medicine because of what you read here.