8 Natural Remedies that May Help Treat Canker Sores

· January 18, 2018
Although applying baking soda to canker sores can hurt a bit, it may help them heal faster. Discover other natural remedies for them here!

Canker sores, or mouth ulcers, are blisters that have a defined red border and a white or yellow center. They usually appear on the inside of the lips or on the cheeks or tongue and can be painful and annoying when we try to speak or chew.

In this article, we share a few natural remedies that may help them heal faster.

Why do canker sores form?

Before you read about possible homemade treatments for mouth sores, it’s important to understand why they form. This way, you can reduce your chances of getting them or help cure them much more quickly.

These are the main reasons why they form:

  • Chafing or biting.
  • Infections and weak immune system.
  • Hormonal changes.
  • Stress and anxiety.
  • Nutritional deficiencies, allergies, or heartburn.

If you develop canker sores frequently, it may be due to an unbalanced or poor diet. For example, we recommend you stop consuming spicy or heavily seasoned foods because they irritate the mucous membranes.

Also, don’t forget to drink 2 liters of water per day in order to keep your mouth hydrated. You should also add more vitamin B to your meals. 

The following foods contain a lot of vitamin B:

  • Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, flax, and sesame).
  • Nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts).
  • Whole-grain cereals (rice, wheat germ, millet, and oats).
  • Legumes (lentils, chickpeas, and beans).
  • Fruits (apples, raspberries, and oranges).
  • Vegetables (potatoes, onions, spinach, and garlic).

We recommend: Get Relief from Mouth Ulcers with These 6 Natural Remedies

Home remedies that may help relieve canker sores

You can find relief and help heal your mouth sores with the following natural recipes:

1. Medicinal plants

Chamomile tea.

You can find them at an herbalist’s shop. Buy plants that have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, or digestive properties. Here are a few examples:

  • Chamomile
  • Licorice root
  • Calendula (common marigold)
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage

The preparation is the same for all the herbs we mentioned above.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of the chosen herb (10 g)
  • 1 cup of water (250 ml)

Instructions

  • Place the leaves and water in a saucepan.
  • Place the saucepan on the stove and heat until the water boils.
  • Cook for 15 minutes and then turn off the heat.
  • Let steep for 10 minutes and then filter out the leaves.
  • Drink it before it reaches room temperature.
  • You may sweeten it with a spoonful of honey (25 g) if you like.

2. Coconut milk

Although you can buy coconut milk in whole foods stores, we recommend harvesting the milk from a coconut.

  • Gargle the liquid found inside the coconuts three or four times per day. 

3. Tea tree oil

Tree oil.

Tea tree oil is an essential oil with great antiseptic properties. It can help eliminate fungus, bacteria, and other microorganisms that are found in the mouth.

Since it tends to have a strong taste, we recommend that you dilute it with equal parts water or an herbal infusion

  • Use it as a mouthwash, making sure to reach your sores.
  • Wait 20 minutes before consuming any food or drink since it will keep working even though the liquid is no longer in your mouth.
  • Repeat 2 or 3 times per day.

4. Aloe vera

This is a powerful antiseptic that also has anti-inflammatory, regenerative, and moisturizing properties. 

It’s one of the home remedies that you must have at home to help treat mouth ulcers or other skin infections such as burns, cuts, and rashes. The best part is that it’s easy to use!

  • Cut an aloe stalk in half and remove the gel.
  • Apply it generously to your canker sore and let it dry (don’t rinse).
  • You can also mix it with water to make an excellent mouthwash.

5. Yogurt

Yogurt.

You must choose sugar-free and flavorless yogurt (for example, Greek yogurt). The beneficial bacteria and acid from the milk in the yogurt will work together to help control the mouth’s pH and help treat the canker sores.

  • If you tend to get canker sores frequently, we suggest that you eat one serving of yogurt per day.
  • If you want to help heal your sore, you can apply the yogurt directly to it using a cotton swab and let it absorb.

6. Baking soda

This remedy is very painful. However, a few seconds of pain may translate into faster healing. There are two ways to take advantage of baking soda’s healing power:

  • Create a paste by mixing it with equal parts water and baking soda.
  • Dilute it in a glass to use as a mouthwash.

If you don’t have baking soda, salt is a great alternative.

Check out this article: 5 Natural Baking Soda Remedies You Need to Know

7. Ice

Woman applying ice on a canker sore.

When canker sores first appear, they’re normally very inflamed and red.

  • Placing an ice cube over the wound is a great way to help soothe canker sore pain.
  • We recommend wrapping the ice in a cloth or plastic bag first to avoid damaging the skin.
  • Keep the cold ice on the sore for as long as you can.

8. Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another useful home remedy for canker sores. It has antiseptic qualities and may help the sores heal.

  • You can apply hydrogen peroxide directly to the blister with a cotton swab or you can dilute it in water to make a mouthwash.
  • Subiksha, P. S. (2014). Various remedies for recurrent aphthous ulcer-a review. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research.
  • Abascal, K., & Yarnell, E. (2010). Treatments for Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis. Alternative and Complementary Therapies. https://doi.org/10.1089/act.2010.16205
  • Babaee N, Zabihi E, Mohseni S, M. A. (2012). Evaluation of the therapeutic effects of Aloe vera gel on minor recurrent aphthous stomatitis. Dent Res J (Isfahan). https://doi.org/10.4103/1735-3327.102758