First, I must say that I am very disappointed with the reasoning involved in this thread, on both sides of the issue. So many assumptions!
Regarding kebod's personal experience: This is interesting, and worth noting, but only anecdotally, as it proves nothing. Personal experience is just that -- personal. You cannot, and should not, impose that on others and expect acceptance, regardless of whether you are convinced of your experience's authenticity. This is an agreement we must follow out of a mutual respect and objectivity.
Regarding ShellyD99's grass experiment: This is based entirely on hearsay, and, also, proves nothing. It hinges entirely on your mother being told by a third party that the spent oil killed grass; this poses several flaws. One: How is this third party to be believed? This person could've been exaggerating or outright fibbing, which leads to the second problem: What if oil pulling is, in fact, effective at somehow removing toxins from the mouth, yet those toxins are not harmful vegetation? Etcetera, etcetera.
Reading this post, I see a general air of out-of-hand dismissal, which is infinitely dangerous, as much as blind acceptance, if not more so. Gullibility goes both ways: your perception is just as susceptible to cynicism and prejudices as it is over-optimism and straw-grasping. If one is to stay objective, these are pitfalls which must be avoided at all costs, whether you're seeking to vindicate, or debunk (and, since we are remaining so objective, should we ever seek to do one instead of the other?
). I quote the forum's credo: promoting science and critical thinking. Well, this kind of scoffing rejection is far out of line with that standard. The scientific method demands we suspend our disbelief when investigating a hypothesis, just as critical thinking demands we suspend our ego.
Case in point, in my research of oil pulling, my first thought was the obvious: How could oil possibly "pull" toxins from the mouth? From what I've read, the basic explanation is, the oil's acid binds to these "toxins" and leaches them from the gums; nowhere have I seen mention of veins beneath the tongue until reading kebod's post. As several have pointed out, there are flaws in this model, and I agree with this, as far as my uneducated understanding of the mouth will allow. However, simultaneously, I've read a multitude of subjective (though unsolicited) reports involving tangible results that cannot be immediately dismissed as placebo or circumstance. One subjective case report is, in itself, dismissible; many, however, demands further investigation. Which begs the question: Could there be some other, unknown mechanism at play in oil pulling?
From what has been stated here, that's impossible, but this too is flawed logic, as it assumes that all is known in regards to oil pulling, which is simply not true -- have there been any studies of oil pulling? And furthermore, any reliable
ones? As far as I know, there have been none; my research has turned up only speculation and assumptions, again, on both sides of the issue. No, there is a big, gaping unknown in regards to this remedy, and the wise skeptic will always consider the unknown, and draw conclusions accordingly.
So, in light of what has been said here and what I've encountered in my research on the issue, I would suspend judgment on oil pulling's validity until a sound scientific study can be done. While the purported mechanism of action is certainly questionable, there remain too many unknowns, as well as too many interesting case-reports, to draw a reliably objective conclusion.
Silly me. I only read the first page of this thread, unaware of the other five. Apparently, there have been studies done, as evinced by the later posts, but still, I stand by my conclusion: there is currently not enough evidence to make judgment either way.