Expert Guidance From Louise O’Connor - The Thyroid Naturopath { Discover More! }

Could Oil Pulling Naturally Improve Thyroid Health?

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

Oil Pulling Naturally Improve Thyroid HealthIs oil pulling just a health fad? Or could the traditional Ayurvedic therapy of oil pulling naturally improve thyroid health?

So what is oil pulling?

Oil pulling involves swishing oil around the mouth, and ‘pulling’ it between the teeth.

This Ayurvedic oral hygiene technique is used extensively in India to strengthen the teeth, gums and jaws, and to prevent tooth decay, bad breath, cracked lips, and a dry mouth.

Could Oil Pulling Naturally Improve Thyroid Health?

Nowadays, oil pulling is a popular preventative health practice. It’s reputed to aid whole body detoxification, and general health.

And as we know, the body is a complex, integrated system so anything that’s good for overall well-being is often beneficial for thyroid health.

The Surprising Link Between Oral Health and General Well-Being

‘All disease begins in the gut.’ – Hippocrates (460 -370 BC)

As I see it Hippocrates was right when you consider the gut is the entire digestive tract – from mouth through to colon. And just like your gut, your mouth has a complex microbiome.

What is the oral microbiome?

The human mouth harbors one of the most diverse mini-ecosystems in the human body. It’s termed the oral microbiome, and it refers to the collection of microorganisms living together within the oral cavity. This includes viruses, fungi, protozoa, archaea, and bacteria.

The oral microbiome is finely tuned to protect the body from disease, and an imbalance is detrimental to WHOLE body health. In fact, powerful sequencing technologies are unraveling the complexities of the oral microbiome which is providing new insights into the important role the oral microbiome has on health and disease.

Turns out there’s convincing research to show the health of the oral microbiome mirrors the health of the body.

Think of your mouth as the gatekeeper to your body. When your oral microbiome is thriving, you are thriving.

Given what we now know, the ancient healing technique of oil pulling may be a simple, cost-effective remedy to naturally optimize thyroid function.

Instructions On Oil Pulling (And Why Coconut Oil is My Go To Oil)

Oil pulling may sound a bit hippy, even woo woo. But devotees are convinced of the benefits.

If you are curious about oil pulling it’s certainly worth trying to see if it will work for you.

Ready to make oil pulling part of your morning routine?

Here’s how you do it!

To be the most effective, oil pulling is done first thing in the morning before you have anything to eat or drink.

It’s also important not to brush your teeth before you start.

1. Firstly, choose your oil.

A good quality sesame oil is traditionally used. Nowadays unrefined, cold-pressed, organic oils such as extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, or coconut oil are also used.

Personally I have been oil pulling with unrefined coconut oil on and off for a number of years. It’s ideal as it has a pleasant taste, and I love the clean mouth feel I get with coconut oil.

Beyond being a natural thyroid remedy, coconut oil is the supreme choice for oil pulling as it has proven anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties.

Most notably, research shows coconut oil is effective at eliminating overgrowth of Streptococcus mutans within the mouth. Studies confirm this bacterial species is the main cause of dental decay, and gum disease.

Interestingly, studies also show this cavity causing bacteria emerges as the dominant microorganism when we eat sugary food.

2. Place 1 tablespoon of oil in your mouth.

If you are using coconut oil and its solid let it melt in your mouth before you start swishing. This won’t take long.

Just starting out? You may opt to use 1 teaspoon, and then gradually build up to using 1 tablespoon.

3. Swish the oil around your mouth allowing it to flow over your teeth, tongue and gums.

Be sure to gently pull the oil through your teeth so it gets in between all your teeth.

Do this for at least 5 minutes. The recommended time is 20 minutes. I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a little time consuming but think of it as time to prepare breakfast, or sit and plan my day.

Here’s some important advice;

  • Don’t leave the oil in your mouth any longer than 20 minutes.
  • Don’t swallow the oil as you don’t want to swallow bacterial toxins that are being been pulled out.
  • Once you are done, spit the oil into your garden, or bin so that it doesn’t clog your plumbing system.

4. To finish, lightly brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush, and rinse your mouth out.

You’ve done it! It’s really that easy.

Toxin Free Oral Health Care

I believe oil pulling is a worthwhile health strategy.

You may even discover oil pulling is an effective alternative to using a harsh antibacterial mouthwash.

It should also be said it’s wise to look after your teeth by regularly brushing, and flossing to help prevent dental problems. I recommend using a natural fluoride-free toothpaste, and a soft toothbrush. The softer bristles are gentle on your gums, and help safeguard your tooth enamel. (If your game, you could also try using a tongue scraper!). For a proper clean it’s also good idea to schedule professional cleaning with a trained dental hygienist.

If you have specific dental concerns you should consult your dentist as oil pulling won’t reverse a cavity, or resolve dental issues that require professional treatment.

Lastly, I encourage you to seek out a holistic dentist who combines natural health philosophies with traditional dentistry techniques. Holistic dentists are trained to look for the three key indicators of systemic illness within the mouth which are pain, inflammation and infection.

If you try oil pulling please tell me about it in the comments section below!


Ahmed U, Tanwir F. Association of periodontal pathogenesis and cardiovascular diseases: a literature review. Oral Health Prev Dent. 2015;13(1):21-7. Link

Asokan S, Rathan J, Muthu MS, et al. Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. Link

Kilian M, Chapple IL, Hannig M, et al. The oral microbiome – an update for oral healthcare professionals. Br Dent J. 2016 Nov 18;221(10):657-666. Link

Loesche WJ. Microbiology of Dental Decay and Periodontal Disease. In: Baron S, editor. Medical Microbiology. 4th edition. Galveston (TX): University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston; 1996. Chapter 99. Link

National Institutes of Health. Human Microbiome Project (HMP). Link

Shanbhag VKL. Oil pulling for maintaining oral hygiene – A review. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. 2017;7(1):106-109. Link

Wade, WG. The oral microbiome in health and disease. Pharmacol Res. 2013 Mar;69(1):137-43. Link


  1. Hi, happy autumn . I’d like to know if I can do oil pulling right after I take my thyroid meds (levothroxine and liothyrinone)? I’m having mouth issues and I used to oil pull, but now I should not put food in my mouth until after my meds. (It’s not really food but still checking)

    • Louise O'Connor says:

      Hi Michelle, it should be fine to keep going with oil pulling as you are not swallowing the coconut oil. Absorption of levothyroxine is lower in the gut when taken with food. Best wishes, Louise O’Connor, The Thyroid Naturopath.

Write a reply

I would love to hear from you so please share a short comment. Please keep in mind that all comments on The Natural Thyroid Diet blog are moderated according to my official comment policy.

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Pin It Share 0 0 Flares ×