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
(DGL) may be useful for speeding the resolution of canker sores.
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.
A product containing vitamins and minerals as well as the herbs paprika,
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.
However, two subsequent studies failed to find any meaningful benefit.
One small double-blind study found benefits with an extract of the bark of the red mangrove tree,
A study performed in Iraq reported benefits through use of a mouthwash containing 5% lactic acid.
Other herbs and supplements sometimes recommended for canker sores but lacking supporting evidence include
One study failed to find that alpha-linolenic acid from perilla oil reduced incidence of canker sores.
In a small randomized trial with 50 people wiht recurrent canker sores, omega-3 fatty acids (1 gram, 3 times per day for 6 months) was associated with improvement in the number of ulcers, pain level of ulcers, and healing time of ulcers by up to 3 months when compared to placebo.9