How to Naturally Treat Canker Sores

They're uncomfortable, painful and difficult to heal. Discover how to treat canker sores naturally in this article. Read it now!
How to Naturally Treat Canker Sores

Last update: 26 May, 2022

They’re uncomfortable, painful and can take forever to heal. These small sores that appear on the inside of the lips, cheeks and roof of the mouth, as well as the tongue, can be treated with home remedies. Find out how to treat canker sores and mouth ulcers naturally in this article.

What You Need to Know about Canker Sores

Canker sores can be white or yellow and form a “crater” surrounded by a red ring. They’re pretty painful, but not infectious. They form on the inside of the mouth (in the mucous membranes) alone or in groups.

Canker sores and mouth ulcers are more common in women than men and can occur at any age. They last between 7 and 20 days and often regrow.

Mouth ulcers are characterized by:

  • Pain
  • Itching
  • Crater-like sores
  • Burning

The main causes of these sores are:

  • Lowered immune defenses caused by illness or food problems.
  • Injury to the mouth caused by wearing dentures, brushing too hard, biting, flossing, etc.
  • Hormonal changes (common in women during their menstrual cycle).
  • Allergic reactions to foods like acids, citrus or condiments.
  • Gluten intolerance.
  • Stress.

Canker sores often improve on their own, although you can help them heal and disappear with home remedies.

If there’s no improvement after three weeks, you should consult your doctor for treatment.

Natural Remedies to Treat Canker Sores

First, you will need to determine that it is a canker sore and not a cold sore or fungal infection.

Then, you can take advantage of these natural remedies to relieve the symptoms and treat canker sores and mouth ulcers:


Treat Canker Sores
  1. The only thing you need to do for this treatment is dry the affected area with a cloth or paper towel and apply a few drops of honey.
  2. Keep the honey in contact with the sore for as long as possible.
  3. Repeat as many times as necessary.

Its effectiveness is due to honey’s antimicrobial properties. It’s better if the honey is crystallized and not liquid to use as an ointment.

Want to learn more?
Read: 6 Healing Benefits of Honey


Treat Canker Sores

This plant is often used in natural medicine on all types of sores and wounds on the skin. You can also use it as an infusion to treat canker sores:



  1. Boil the water with the sage for a few minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain, and while still warm, use as a mouth rinse, but don’t drink it.
  4. Repeat several times daily.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Treat Canker Sores
  1. Dilute one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water (it can also be half and half).
  2. Rinse your mouth with the mixture three times a day. This remedy can be uncomfortable, but it works.

Some people choose to use a swab to apply the mixture directly on the sore. It may burn a little, but it’s really effective.


Treat Canker Sores

This remedy can cause some irritation, but it works.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 handful coarse salt


  1. Boil the water with the salt until dissolved.
  2. Allow to cool and use it to rinse your mouth at least 3 times a day.

Aloe Vera

Treat Canker Sores

Both safe and effective, the many properties of aloe vera make it a useful plant to keep at home. This remedy soothes and reduces pain instantly. It also helps control infection.

  1. In this case, to treat canker sores, you’ll need a stalk of aloe vera cut in half along the long edge.
  2. Apply directly to the ulcer and let it work for a few minutes.

Brewer’s Yeast

Treat Canker Sores

This is an excellent remedy to treat canker sores as it reduces the amount of bacteria in the mouth.

  • 1 tablespoon brewer’s yeast
  • A little water


  1. Mix both ingredients to form a paste.
  2. Dry the affected area and apply.
  3. Let work for as long as possible, then rinse with warm water.

Grapefruit seeds

Treat Canker Sores

Grapefruit is a fruit with great antiseptic properties that are effective against sores. You can find the extract in health food stores or you can use the seeds directly.


  • A handful of grapefruit seeds
  • 1 cup water


  1. Make an infusion with both ingredients and let cool, then strain and drink.
  2. Repeat several times daily.

If you chose the extract, the dosage is 6 drops per ½ cup warm water.

Baking Soda

Treat Canker Sores

Baking soda has been used as a remedy for thousands of years due to its many beneficial properties, above all its ability to fight viruses and bacteria.

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup warm water


  1. Dissolve the baking soda in the water and use as a mouth rinse, keeping the solution in your mouth for as long as possible.
  2. Repeat several times a day.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Treat Canker Sores

With similar properties to baking soda, it can help heal canker sores fast. However, you’ll have to deal with a little burning.


  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup warm water

Learn more about apple cider vinegar: 
Amazing Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar


  1. Mix the ingredients and use them on the sore.
  2. Repeat the treatment 2-3 times daily until the ulcers disappear.

Some Final Advice

When you’re experiencing a canker sore or ulcer, try to eat more raw onions and garlic. They contain potent antibacterial properties.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Tuft, L., Girsh, L. S., & Ettelson, L. N. (1961). Canker Sores. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association.
  • Scully, C., & Porter, S. (2008). Oral mucosal disease: Recurrent aphthous stomatitis. British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
  • LAWRENCE C. SCHNEIDER AND ADINA E. SCHNEIDER. (1998). Diagnosis of Oral Ulcers. The Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine, New York.
  • Eisbruch, A., & Sapir, E. (2015). Supportive Care Editorial Touch MEdical MEdia Reducing Mucositis by Antiviral/Antibacterial/ Mucosal Coating Agents Mucositis—Supportive Care During Radiotherapy or Chemoradiotherapy of Head and Neck Cancer. Citation: Oncology & Hematology Review.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.