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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
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
Last reviewedAugust 2013by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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