Most people suffer from canker sores, or mouth ulcers, at some point in their lives. This mild condition is different from cold sores. Where cold sores are contagious, canker sores are not, and are much easier to treat. Canker sores may be triggered by a number of factors, including stress, poor diet, injury, allergies, or infections.
If you suffer from persistent canker sores that come and go too often, then it is advisable that you see a doctor. However, if it is something that only happens to you once in a while, you need not panic. Before reaching for over-the-counter medication, which can potentially do more harm than good, take a look at these simple home remedies. If the condition does not change, do see a doctor.
Top 10 Home Remedies for Canker Sores
Salt Water Solution
This simple do-it-yourself technique can give you relief from a painful canker sore. All you need is non-iodized, or kosher, salt and water. Mix about two tablespoons of the salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water. Do a gargle with this solution every morning and evening before going to bed. The salt has an antiseptic effect and can help prevent infection. It can also help relieve the pain. Beware it might burn, but it is quite effective.
Herbs are most of the time a better option for treatment than chemical medication. For painful canker sores try using lady’s mantle. This common herb has been traditionally used to treat throat and mouth infections, skin ailments and other afflictions for centuries. Studies have shown that lady’s mantle is effective in relieving the pain and speeding up recovery from canker sores. You can get commercially available gels with lady’s mantle. Another option is making an infusion using the herb.
Most people known chamomile for its relaxing and sedating properties. This herb has a lot more to offer, as its popular use in traditional medicinal remedies has proven. Among the several afflictions that chamomile helps with is canker sores. It can be highly effective in giving relief from painful mouth ulcers. The herb’s flowers, especially, have chemicals that aid healing and relaxation. You can make a simple tea of the dried flowers or get it in tea bag form.
Another effective and simple remedy for canker sores or mouth ulcers is myrrh. This beautiful herb helps encourage skin repair and can also help with the pain. It has been traditionally used in treating throat and mouth disorders. You can get myrrh in tincture or tea form. Put a few drops of the tincture on a cottonball and apply it to the canker sore three or four times a day. You can also make a gargle of myrrh and water and do it throughout the day for relief.
One more herbal wonder that can help with your canker sores is goldenseal. Traditionally used by Native Americans in treatment of skin ailments, digestive disorders and menstrual problems, the herb has garnered public faith as an effective remedy for several health issues. Studies have shown that this herb contains strong alkaloid compounds that give it healing properties. Its use for treatment of canker sores stems from its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. You can get goldenseal in the form of tablets, capsules and extracts.
A plant that has multiple medicinal uses, aloe vera offers a treasure trove of healing. This herb has been generously used in traditional and folk remedies for canker sores and mouth ulcers. If you have a plant at home, simply cut open a leaf and apply the liquid gel on the canker sore. You will experience immediate relief because of the gel’s soothing and cooling quality. It also has antifungal and antibacterial properties that can prevent an infection and speed up the healing process. You can also use aloe vera juice as a mouth wash, if you don’t have the plant.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
This is one more herbal home remedy that will help ease your suffering. Get a bottle of grapefruit seed extract from a health food store. Add about ten drops of the extract in an 8-ounce glass of water or juice. Make this drink and have it at least twice a day.
Grapefruit seed contains bioflavonoids that give it healing and immune-system boosting properties. The seed also has antibacterial and antiseptic qualities that can prevent infection. However, the extract has an unpleasant, bitter flavor. So, instead of water, you can add the extract in grape juice.
What makes us cry can also make us smile. This is true of the onion. The sulfur compounds that make our eyes cry when we cut an onion can also help heal canker sores. These compounds are antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. This allows them to not just prevent an infection, but also reduce swelling of the sores.
It is important that you use raw instead of cooked onions, as the sulfur compounds are more potent when the onion is raw. Applying sliced raw onion directly on the sores is an option. However, if this is unappealing, then you can make salads, sandwiches or dressings with chopped raw onions. The more raw onions you have, the better your chance of being canker sore-free.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a tried and tested remedy for canker sores and mouth ulcers. This beneficial essential oil is traditionally used in many skin and mouth ailments to disinfect and reduce swelling. It has antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties that make sure the canker sore does not turn into a severe infection. The anti-inflammatory quality of tea tree oil brings down the swelling and gives you relief. You can make a mouthwash of four to five drops of tea tree oil in a 5-ounce glass of water. However, be careful to not swallow, as tea tree oil is not meant for ingestion.
This is a good reason to stock up on pepper in your kitchen. Cayenne pepper is known for its effectiveness in treatment of canker sores. A key component in cayenne pepper is capsaicin. This gives the pepper the property of desensitizing or numbing nerves, which means instant relief from pain.You can apply the pepper directly on the canker sore for immediate relief. However, this can cause temporary irritation. You can also get canker sore candies that use cayenne pepper as a main ingredient.
Caution: Please use Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.