Coconut Oil for Dental Health and Neurodegenerative Disorders

Teeth X-Ray

A recent journey into the book Stop Alzheimer’s Now, by Dr. Bruce Fife, ND, led me to start telling everyone, everywhere: please read this book! There’s almost too much wonderful information to describe, so I won’t even try except to recommend that you read it and take it to heart. But for now, I want to amplify on a small portion of Fife’s work: the effect of coconut oil on dental health and neurodegenerative disorders.

Even though I reviewed Dr. Fife’s book for the Weston A. Price Foundation, I didn’t connect the issue of dental health with brain and neurodegenerative disorders until I read it again. Now I want to reach as many of you as I can through this blog post in order to share Dr. Fife’s understanding that many of these devastating neurodegenerative disorders may arise, in good part, from what’s in your mouth!

Dr. Fife points to research showing that different bacteria and viruses thought to primarily reside in our mouth have also been found in the brains of Alzheimer patients. The microorganisms associated with this disorder include spirochetes, herpes, simplex virus type I, and Chlamydia pneumonia, among others. Dr. Fife further cites many cases where dental problems were found to be the origin of these disorders. To paraphrase just one account:

Wayne, age 54, was admitted to the hospital after suffering from sudden weakness on one side of his body, accompanied by a series of epileptic fits. After many tests, it was determined that the cause was a cerebral abscess—an infection in his brain. Radiograph images of his mouth revealed the presence of periodontal disease and multiple dental cavities. Treatment involved the removal of his decayed and diseased teeth along with antibiotic therapy. The patient in this case made a complete recovery over a 2½ year period. (I should note, however, that not everyone has access to specialists who understand the dental connection between brain and neurodegenerative disorders.)

A dental experience that I personally endured, and still deal with to some extent, was work to have a bridge placed between two of my lower left molars. During the procedure, the dentist made some serious inroads that adversely affected a nerve in one of my lower left molars. Later that same night, the pain was enough to send me to the hospital for some very powerful medication. Over the next few weeks, with the pain literally keeping me in bed, I was forced to visit yet another dentist and have the bridge removed. After this ordeal I slowly recovered with various natural remedies and treatments.

Unfortunately, a serious infection followed. At the time I was providentially reading Dr. Fife’s book Oil Pulling Therapy, in which he discusses the efficacy of coconut oil for infections in the mouth. As Dr. Fife notes, bacteria collects in our mouth even though we brush our teeth daily. Wanting to avoid a long period of antibiotics, I began the oil pulling procedure he describes, but with a little twist. To address the nerve damage, I combined 4–5 drops of St. John’s Wort medical-grade essential oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil, gently swished that in my mouth, and spit it out after 10 minutes.

As a certified medical aroma therapist, I was able to get highly effective therapeutic-grade essential oils. I’d studied under Dr. Raphael D’Angelo, MD, since retired. His wife is also a medical aroma therapist who sells her own fine oils at Julia Rose Botanicals. She specializes in premium-grade, organic medical-use essential oils, floral waters, carrier oils, electro-mechanical diffusers, and a variety of other items.

The daily combination of coconut oil and St. John’s Wort essential oil, which enters the bloodstream immediately, directly nourished and repaired the damaged nerve. After about a week, the infection resolved itself, and the painful sensation of the damaged nerve decreased substantially. Now I use 2–3 tablespoons of coconut oil internally on a daily basis. I also use various other essential oils added to a teaspoon of coconut oil after I brush my teeth. You can see my recipe below.

In addition, I’ve started consuming Standard Process St. John’s Wort with Inositol, a brain nutrient, to assist my overall depression during this time and address the nerve damage that still exists to some extent. Looking back, I have no doubt that I circumvented a much more serious outcome.

Coconut oil, according to Dr. Fife, crosses the brain barrier. It’s essential that we have this high lauric acid product bathing our brains and bodies on a daily basis. You can learn more about the many benefits of coconut oil at the Coconut Research Center and sign up for a free email subscription to Dr. Fife’s “Ask Doctor Coconut” newsletter. There’s also the article “How Coconut Oil May Rescue the Brain from Alzheimer’s Disease,” which sheds light on a promising study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. As the author notes, the researchers involved in the study were able to offer fresh experimental evidence supporting the use of coconut oil for neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr. Fife’s book includes many recipes that make it easy to get the right amount of coconut oil to help prevent—and possibly even reverse—neurodegenerative disorders, regardless of their origin. I’d also like to share my simple tooth-brushing routine, which was sanctioned by Vicky Flint, RDH. Flint is one of the very best hygienists I know, and she also uses Standard Process products extensively. Along with coconut oil, a few essential oils from Julia Rose Botanicals, and Standard Process whole food supplements, you should have all your teeth, or all those that remain to you now, when you reach the pearly gates.

Baking Soda and Essential Oil Tooth Powder
—Personal recipe from The Traditional Cook

I recommend storing your toothbrush in a solution of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide at night and rinsing it under fast-running water before brushing. Also remember to change out your toothbrush frequently, especially after you use it during a cold, an infection, or a recent illness.

1 cup Arm & Hammer Aluminum-Free Baking Soda
10–15 drops food-grade peppermint or tea tree oil
1 teaspoon coconut oil


  1. Mix or shake soda and oil in a pint-sized canning jar. Cap after each use.
  2. Slightly dip your rinsed toothbrush into the baking soda-essential oil mix.
  3. Brush gently in a circular motion. Rinse with water. (You won’t miss the foam after a while.)
  4. Next, combine a teaspoon of coconut oil with 2 drops of essential oil. Swish gently a few times and either swallow or spit it out. Done!

Sally’s Pep Drink

There are many drinks with coconut oil, and this peppy version from Sally Fallon Morrell is just one great way to increase your coconut oil consumption. I make it when I feel sleepy, instead of having coffee, about twice a week.


2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon molasses
¼ teaspoon ginger

Combine ingredients in a mug with hot water and enjoy.

Recipes for Maximum Brain Health

The following low-carb recipes are adapted from Stop Alzheimer’s Now. Dr. Fife recommends 1–3 tablespoons of coconut oil as the best daily maintenance dosage.

However, for those with Alzheimer’s or other serious health problems, he recommends 5 tablespoons on a daily basis. Many people cannot consume that amount, but it’s possible to begin with ½ teaspoon daily and slowly build up.

Each mini soup makes 6–10 small individual servings. Add 2 or more tablespoons of coconut oil to each serving to easily consume the recommended amount.

Beef Mini Soup
Makes 6 (¼-cup) servings.

¼ pound ground beef
½ cup chopped vegetables such as onion, carrot, mushroom, celery, green beans, bell peppers, okra, or asparagus (choose two or more)
1¼ cups water or homemade beef broth (see recipe in Nourishing Broth)
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon marjoram
Salt and pepper to taste
1–2 tablespoons coconut oil


  1. Place ground beef, vegetables, and water or broth in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, breaking ground beef into small pieces as it cooks.
  2. Add onion powder, paprika, and marjoram. Cook for 1 minute and remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Before consuming, add 1–2 tablespoons coconut oil to each serving.

Chicken Soup
Make 6 (¼-cup) servings.

1 cup chicken, chopped
½ cup chopped vegetables such as onion, carrot, mushroom, celery, green beans, bell peppers, okra, or asparagus (choose two or more)
1¼ cup water or homemade beef broth (see recipe in Nourishing Broth)
⅛ teaspoon celery salt
¼ teaspoon ground sage
¼ teaspoon ground thyme
¼ teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1–2 tablespoons coconut oil


  1. Place chicken, vegetables, and water or broth in a quart saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and summer for about 15 minutes.
  2. Add spices and cook for 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Before consuming, add 1–2 tablespoons coconut oil to each serving.

Clam Chowder
Makes about 10 servings.

1 (10-oz.) can minced clams with juice, or substitute with oysters
¼ cup onion, chopped
⅛ teaspoon celery seed
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup heavy cream, raw if available
2 teaspoons fish sauce (I recommended Red Boat Fish Sauce)
1–2 tablespoons coconut oil


  1. Drain juice from clams into saucepan. Set clams aside. Add onion, celery seed, and pepper to the juice.
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until onions are tender.
  3. Add cream, fish sauce, and clams. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Add 1–2 tablespoons coconut oil to each portion before serving.


To choose your organically grown and fresh ingredients wisely, use the following criteria:

  • chemical- and hormone-free meat
  • wild-caught fish
  • pasture-raised, organic eggs
  • whole, unrefined grains
  • virgin, unrefined, first-press organic oils
  • whole-food, unrefined sweeteners
  • pure, clean, spring water
  • sea salt
  • raw and/or cultured milk and cream products


An afterthought from The Traditional Cook...
My granddad has funny teeth
he keeps them in some water they lay there underneath
then he takes them out and gives them a little shake
he tells me they are real but I know they are fake
he puts them in his mouth whenever he goes out
he never gets a toothache of that there is no doubt
but I will keep my own and brush them every day
the thought of wearing false teeth so very far away.
—William Worthless, 


(Photo credit: Justin Mclean – Teeth Xray)

Maria Atwood, CNHP

Maria Atwood is a semiretired Certified Natural Health Professional and Weston A. Price Chapter Leader in Colorado Springs, CO. Visit her website at Also check out Maria’s Cook Your Way to Wellness DVD (also available as an e-learning course) and be sure to follow her Tips from the Traditional Cook blog.
Products by Maria Atwood

9 thoughts on “Coconut Oil for Dental Health and Neurodegenerative Disorders

  1. KJones says:

    Thank you, this is wonderful validating information. One quick point about the coconut oil and essential oil gargle or oil pull, do not swallow. You will ingest the bacteria that has been ‘pulled’ from your mouth. Always spit it out. Thanks again. I’m so grateful.

  2. DLittle says:

    Isn’t it true that if you have amalgam fillings and/or crowns, you should not do any oil pulling? I know it would greatly benefit me to have them removed, but finances prevent me from doing so.

  3. genia says:

    why does it say you can swallow when spitting out is healthier because after oil pulling you don’t want to swallow the bacteria

  4. Maria Atwood, CNHP says:

    When doing the oil pulling, you do not swallow, you merely spit it out into a cheap plastic baggie and dispose of it in your garbage. Oils in you sink or toilet could cause plumbing issues. I am glad that you were helped with this article.

    Maria Atwood, CNHP

  5. Maria Atwood, CNHP says:

    I think this question is better addressed by a biological dentist. I have a friend that is having them removed one tooth at a time and the dentist has allowed her to make payments. This link will take you to the main website where you can find the kind of dentist in your area that knows how to SAFELY remove amalgam.

    My best
    Maria Atwood, CNHP

  6. Suzibeth says:

    If your stomach acid is in good order, it will kill the bacteria, but you will still get the benefits of the ingested oil.

  7. Karey says:

    I’ve been doing the oil pull with coconut oil for some time now – several times a week. I’ve been spitting out in sink, but with hot water rinsing it down drain. I like the idea of swallowing it for it’s added body benefit and might do it AFTER brushing teeth like you suggest. My last 2 dentist visits were awesome – both hygenist and dentist are amazed at gum and teeth health (rejuvination) and teeth whitening. I like the molasses drink idea of Sally’s and will try it. I also want to try your toothbrushing mix – so no other toothpaste?

  8. Maria Atwood, CNHP says:

    Hi Karey:
    Please do not even consider swallowing the oil and EO if
    your oil pulling. You would just swallow down the pathogens! – Just
    spit it out in an inexpensive baggie, seal it and dispose of it in your
    weekly garbage. The one I swallow is the 1 tsp with a few drops of food
    grade peppermint or tea tree oil that I use after I brush my teeth, and
    which I don’t necessary swish but allow it to just coat the inside of my
    mouth, and then swallow it., By the way for any any of you that would
    like to have oils so pure, and that are ECOCERT you can buy them this
    overseas website in addition to Julia Rose Botanicals:

    They are over-seas but this where many
    US clinical aromatherapist buy from but obviously they are more pricing
    due to the shipping costs. This is just one of the great companies that
    I know that Dr. Raphael D’angelo purchased from and then makes them
    available in small amounts for us. This link will explain those oils
    that have passed the ECOCERT standards:

    Maria Atwood, CNHP

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