New Health Craze: Miracle Cure-All? - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

New Health Craze: Miracle Cure-All?

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Want a brighter smile, cleaner complexion and a healthier body?

You may want to try a little oil in your mouth. It's the latest health and beauty treatment. Celebrities swear by it. It's called Oil Pulling, an ancient folk remedy that originated in India thousands of years ago. It's a technique that involves oils like olive, sesame or coconut.

People swish the oil in their mouth every day for about 20 minutes.It's supposed to pull out toxins from the body. Oil pulling claims to cure everything from headaches, acne, bad breath, plaque, tooth-decay, heart disease, arthritis, you name it and it's on the list. Such claims have stars like Gwyneth Paltrow using the ancient technique. Gwyneth says it is part of her daily health routine, which has gotten other people to give it a try. But does oil pulling really work? Dr. Michael Hirt, an internist says, "There haven't been any studies to show it does anything other than help cleanse the mouth." Dr. Hirt also warns there is a potential problem with oil pulling. He says, "Oil pulling is not without it's risk because you're holding in your mouth oil for about 10-15 minutes but you still have to keep breathing. If you accidentally inhale some of the oil into your lungs, it can cause a very dangerous, potentially life threatening form of pneumonia that could be very difficult to treat and may end up landing you in the hospital." Still, those who've been oil pulling, say it's the best thing they've done for their health. Dale Ungar, a dental hygienist has been oil pulling for years. She says her teeth are whiter and her overall health has improved. But she admits she didn't like the taste of regular oil so she created a line of natural oils with mint, bubble gum and other flavors. She says, "They don't leave an aftertaste and I believe a cleaner mouth is a cleaner body."

If you would like to check it out, here's a link to her website


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