Oil Pulling Reduces Stress on Kidneys?

Coconut oil on a wooden spoon. Coconut oil in a glass jar.
Oil Pulling has been gaining a reputation for providing all kinds of health benefits.  But, oil pulling reduces stress on kidneys?

I will provide you the references and the science (if it exists) to convince you of the answer.

I will provide my research that shows who is saying this about oil pulling.  Also, who saying oil pulling doesn’t help with kidney function.  And, I’ll show my research results about what scientific studies exist that back this oil pulling claim.

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This article is part of a multi-post series about the claims that people have made for how Oil Pulling improves your health.

Who Says Oil Pulling Reduces Stress on Kidneys?

heart and kidneys

“heart and kidneys” by winnifredxoxo (CC BY 2.0), via Flickr.com

During my research into Oil Pulling, I found many different websites that make claims about what health benefits oil pulling can provide.

Below I reference a few and I have pulled out some of the most direct quotes from these sources regarding claims that oil pulling reduces stress on kidneys.

The Ayurveda

There are parts of Indian culture in Asia that cultivated the alternative medicine called Ayurveda.  The roots of Ayurveda date back as far as 5000 BC.

Generation after generation taught Ayurveda and as time passed, it advanced and became more documented and defined.

Ayurveda is quoted as claiming:

Ayurveda advises oil gargling to purify the entire 
system; as it holds that each section of the tongue is connected to
different organ such as to the kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, 
small intestines, stomach, colon, and spine, similarly to reflexology and TCM.

If you want to see how Oil Pulling actually fairs with the Liver, we’ve covered that as well.

Live, Love, Fruit

Carly at Live, Love, Fruit has created a website that focuses on eating advice that can result in weight loss.  The website is also a kind of self help site that offers tips and advice for re-building your relationship with yourself and with food.

Part of the healthy eating advice is promoting the ingestion of raw foods.  In an article titled 10 Health Benefits of Oil Pulling, Carly talks about the relationship between Oil Pulling and kidney health:

By removing toxins from their initial site (the mouth), oil pulling
helps alleviate the stress on the liver and kidneys to help filter
these toxins if they were to further enter the body.


Dr. Mercola received his doctorate degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a state licensed Physician and Surgeon.

In his article titled What is Oil Pulling?, Dr. Mercola states:

In another study, scientists found a link between periodontal disease and
an increased risk of chronic kidney disease.21 Individuals with gum disease developed chronic kidney disease at four times the rate of those without gum disease.

Who Says Oil Pulling Does NOT Reduce Stress on Kidneys?

Now that we’ve seen who thinks Oil Pulling does help with kidney function, let’s check out the detractors.

Here are several people that are saying the opposite.  They don’t believe Oil Pulling helps provide the kidneys any stress relief or benefits.

The Atlantic

The Atlantic is a magazine style website that publishes articles on all type of topics.

In their Health section, they published an article titled Swishing With Oil for Oral Health: Not Recommended where they discount most of the benefits of Oil Pulling.

In this article they talk specifically about kidneys when they say:

A good rule to live by, I think, is not to trust anything that claims to
get rid of “toxins,” especially if it does not specify what these toxins are. “We have these magic organs called kidneys and livers and [detoxifying] is what they do,” Collins says. “We don’t necessarily need to be swishing things around in our mouth.”

Baseline of Health Foundation

Jon Barron is the director of the Baseline of Health Foundation and is a World-leading nutraceutical researcher (a researcher about nutrients for the body).  He also provides official recommendations for formulas of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that he describes as cutting edge.

Jon and the Foundation published an article title Oil Pulling For Detoxing? No, But Helps With Gum Disease & Immunity.  In this article, Jon describes how to perform Oil Pulling, provides some history about it, and talks about the benefits.

Regarding kidney function the article states:

On the other hand, everything I knew about detoxing (which is quite a
bit) had a problem with the concept of oil pulling as a detoxing technique.
Detoxing tends to be specialized. That is to say, it takes different techniques
to detox different organs. … I just couldn’t accept the fact that oil
pulling actually worked by detoxifying the body.

The article eventually goes on to say that while there is not very scientific proof about many of the claimed Oil Pulling benefits, that the effectiveness of Oil Pulling on oral health issues does appear to be clear.  And, it goes on to say that given the low cost that adding Oil Pulling to your arsenal of oral health weapons makes sense.


The website Seeker is another multi-purpose site that publishes articles on various topics like Space (planets, astronomy, astrophysics), Technology (robotics, artificial intelligence, and other tech areas), Earth (green issues), and Health (medical, mental, and bio-tech).

Seeker published an article called Can ‘Oil Pulling’ Improve Your Health?  where the article starts off with calling Oil Pulling a “health fad”.

Later in the article, when addressing Oil Pulling and its relationship with internal organs including the kidneys, it states:

The fact is that the human body does a pretty good job of eliminating toxins on
its own, using all-natural organs like the liver and kidneys. Virtually all products
claiming to cleanse and detoxify the body are worthless and unnecessary.

The article then goes on to state that there aren’t any studies the prove any Oil Pulling benefits.  The article concludes with:

But there’s nothing unique or particularly healthy about swishing oils in your mouth.

Proof That Oil Pulling Reduces Stress on Kidneys

Kidney Disease (Oil Pulling Reduces Stress on Kidneys?)

“Kidney Disease” by Steve Davis (CC BY 2.0), via Flickr.com

Now that we’ve seen the claims on both sides of the aisle, let’s now focus on actual scientific studies that have been performed that deduce findings in the relationship between Oil Pulling and its effectiveness with reducing stress on kidneys.

What’s the real story::

During our research, we found that there does appear to be is some evidence of a relationship between oral health and kidney function.

NCBI Board of Scientific Counselors

In this article, titled “Systemic consequences of poor oral health in chronic kidney disease patients” (reference: Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2011 Jan;6(1):218-26. doi: 10.2215/CJN.05470610. Epub 2010 Nov 29), a case is made citing additional sources, that poor dental health often results in patients with poor kidney function.

What’s the catch?

There are several articles like this (here’s another).  But,  none of these really take a look at whether the lack of oral hygiene is a root cause.  Or, whether it is a side effect.

What does this all mean?

Even though there appears to be a relationship between gingivitis and kidney disease, and there does appear to be a relationship between Oil Pulling and gingivitis (see earlier discussion), there does not appear to be any strong evidence in these studies that Oil Pulling can affect kidney disease in human’s one way or another.

Nagoya University, Japan

Map of Japan on Japanese flag (Japan Research) Red

Japanese Research

Another study in Japan at the University of Nagoya, finds that Sesamolin inhibits lipid peroxidation in rat liver and kidney.

Why is this important?

Well, it’s not clear yet that it is. But, Sesamolin is a minor component of Sesame Oil which is one of the more popular oils that is used in Oil Pulling.

A second article did similar testing using Seseme Oil.  And, here is another one related to Sesame Oil and it’s affects on kidney injury.

And, lipid peroxidation is a chemical process whereby damage occurs to the cells in your body from free radicals “stealing” electrons from the lipids in you cell membranes.

Some problem with this study and how it relates to Oil Pulling are that the rats used in the study were injected with Sesamolin (whereas with Oil Pulling you’re supposed to spit out the toxins).  Sesamolin is a minor component to Sesame Oil.  And, rats are not humans.

So, while this again implies a relationship between Oil Pulling (using Sesame Oil), it doesn’t really conclusively prove much with regard to Oil Pulling and kidney stress in humans.

Which are the Best Oils for Kidney Benefits?

Kidney, excellent modle.

“Kidney, excellent modle.” by John Campbell (CC BY 2.0), via Flickr.com

We usually list the oils that we found were mentioned the most in relation to oil pulling an the claim in question in this section.

Since this claim isn’t really panning out to be a valid claim (lack of scientific evidence), we’ll just mention the one thing we noticed with regard to how Oil Pulling Reduces Stress on Kidneys.

Sesame Oil

Sesame Oil does show up in several studies where testing uses Sesame Oil, or components of Sesame Oil. The results were positive affects regarding kidney function.

What’s the catch?

Well, the catch is that the testing was performed on laboratory rats.  The testing was for injecting the rats and not for having them swish the oil around in their mouth and then spit it out.

So, if you are looking to get positive kidney function results from Oil Pulling, use Sesame Oil.  And, if you don’t see results over a few months, you might try to ingest some of the Sesame Oil before you Oil Pull.

And, if that doesn’t work, you might apply for the job of lab rat (just seeing if you are paying attention).

Wrap Up: Oil Pulling Reduces Stress on Kidneys

During our research, we were not able to easily find any studies that really specifically test for a relationship between Oil Pulling and kidney health.

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So, our conclusions are that the current scientific evidence does not support the claim that Oil Pulling Reduces Stress on Kidneys.


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