Canker sores are small ulcers in the mouth caused by an assortment of viruses. A susceptibility to canker sores tends to run in families. No successful conventional treatment is available.


Proposed Natural Treatments for Canker Sores

A highly preliminary study suggests that a chemically altered form of the herb licorice known as deglycyrrhizinated licorice]]> (DGL) may be useful for speeding the resolution of canker sores. ]]>1]]> And, in a second, better designed trial employing a dissolving adhesive patch with glycyrrhiza root extract, researchers noted an improvement in ulcer size and pain compared to the use of a placebo patch. ]]>8]]>

A product containing vitamins and minerals as well as the herbs paprika, ]]>rosemary]]> , ]]>peppermint]]> , milfoil, ]]>hawthorn]]> , and ]]>pumpkin seed]]> has been used in Scandinavia for many years as a treatment for various mouth-related conditions. A small 6-month study reported that use of this product could reduce frequency of canker sores. ]]>2]]> However, two subsequent studies failed to find any meaningful benefit. ]]>3-4]]>

One small double-blind study found benefits with an extract of the bark of the red mangrove tree, Rhizophora mangle . ]]>5]]>

A study performed in Iraq reported benefits through use of a mouthwash containing 5% lactic acid. ]]>7]]>

Other herbs and supplements sometimes recommended for canker sores but lacking supporting evidence include ]]>caraway]]> , ]]>oak bark]]> , ]]>witch hazel]]> , ]]>acidophilus]]> , ]]>calendula]]> , ]]>slippery elm]]> , and ]]> vitamin B 1]]> .

One study failed to find that alpha-linolenic acid from perilla oil reduced incidence of canker sores. ]]>6]]>