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Principal Proposed Natural Treatments
Other Proposed Natural Treatments
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.
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.1And, 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 seedhas 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.2However, 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
One study failed to find that alpha-linolenic acid from perilla oil reduced incidence of canker sores.6
Last reviewedAugust 2013by EBSCO CAM Review Board
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.