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Canker Sores & At Home Relief

  /  Canker Sores & At Home Relief

Canker sores (apthous ulcers) usually appear as a red lesion with a white or yellow center on the inside of the cheeks, lips, tongue, and/or base of the gums. Symptoms can include burning sensation, pain, inflammation, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. Canker sores are not contagious and usually go away on their own within 1-2 weeks.

Possible Causes of Canker Sores

Local chemical or physical trauma


Allergies/food sensitivities

Canker sore lesions have been found to contain increased serum antibodies to food antigens which suggest that an allergic reaction is involved. Canker sore lesions also contain higher levels of allergic antibodies (IgE) and white blood cells. Considerable evidence indicates sensitivity to gluten is associated with canker sores. Patients with celiac disease saw a complete remission from withdrawing gluten from their diet.

Non-food allergens

Benzoic acid, cinnamaldehyde, nickel, parabens, dichromate, sorbic acid

Nutrient Deficiency

Studies show that nutrient deficiencies are much more common in canker sore sufferers. Low nutrient status may explain why patients with canker sores have an impaired antioxidant defense system, leading to higher levels of free radicals and damaged fats in the blood. Common nutrient deficiencies include: thiamine, iron, folate, vitamin B12.

Sodium lauryl sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a commonly used ingredient in oral health products that can cause canker sores. Sodium lauryl sulfate may also be a carcinogen, and may cause irritation of the skin and eyes, organ toxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular changes, and possible mutations and cancer.

At Home Care for Canker Sores

Bee propolis

Researchers have identified more than 300 compounds in Propolis, the majority being polyphenols, which are antioxidants that fight disease and damage in the body.  Propolis is thought to have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.  Applied to cold sores 3x/day helps them heal faster and also helps protect against future outbreaks

Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)

200mg powdered DGL dissolved in 200ml of warm water; swish for 1-2 minutes

Alkaline salt water rinse

One teaspoon of baking soda, and one teaspoon salt (Celtic sea salt/ or Himalayan salt) in a glass warm water.

ake a sip and swish it all around the mouth for one minute. Repeat until all of the water is gone. Repeat three times daily.

Acidophilus capsules

Break the capsules and apply directly to canker sores. Although canker sores are not caused by a bacterial infection, they can become infected by bacteria. Acidophilus provides “friendly” bacteria that compete with infectious bacteria.

Black tea bag

Place a wet tea bag directly on canker sore for 5 minutes, repeat as needed. Black tea contains tannic acid, an astringent that helps reduce pain and inflammation and speeds up the healing process.

Goldenseal herbal extract rinse

½ dropper into 4 ounces of water. Take a sip and swish it all around the mouth for one minute. Repeat until gone. Repeat three times daily.

Myrrh herbal extract rinse

5 drops into 1/4 cup of warm water. Take a sip and swish it all around the mouth for one minute. Repeat until all of the water is gone. Repeat three times daily.

**Seek the care of Dr. Kaur if any mouth sore does not resolve within 2 weeks**


  1. The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine Third edition by Michael T. Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, ND
  2. Prescription for Herbal Healing by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC
  3. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/07/13/sodium-lauryl-sulfate.aspx

The information provided is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of a qualified integrative physician. The products listed above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  The information provided above is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular product is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A qualified integrative physician or other medical professional should be consulted before taking any natural product, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.