Canker sores, also known as mouth ulcers or aphthous ulcers, are caused by poor diet, weak immune system, vitamin deficiencies, food allergies, and stress, among other things. They differ from cold sores in that they occur inside the mouth, cheek, or throat. Usually yellow-gray with a red border, canker sores cause burning and tingling and can sometimes be accompanied by fever and swollen lymph glands. Canker sores are not contagious, but they are painful, and they can last up to 10 days without treatment.
There are plenty of commercial canker sore treatments available over the counter, but why over-pay for medicines that will cause unwanted side effects.
Home Remedies for Canker Sores:
You could treat canker sores safely and quickly using the simple home remedies outlined in this article? Ready to find out what they are? Let’s get started!
1. Turmeric and Honey
Turmeric is a natural antiseptic which will fight the germs that cause canker sores. t soothes and heals damaged skin. This process reduces the pain & inflammation caused by canker sores.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of honey with ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder to make a paste.
- Apply to canker sore and leave on 5 minutes.
- Rinse with water.
- Repeat 2 times a day until the sore is gone.
The glycyrrhizin in licorice root has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the affected area. Apply licorice root extract directly to your canker sore 2 times daily, drink licorice root tea, and follow the process below.
- Crush 1 teaspoon of licorice root.
- Soak it in 2 cups of water for 3 hours.
- Use this solution as a mouth wash every day until your sores heal.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. It will kill the germs that cause canker sores and relieve pain, swelling, and redness.
- Slice open a fresh aloe vera leaf.
- Squeeze out the gel.
- Apply it to your sore 3 times daily to prevent cancer sores.
- You can also use aloe vera juice as a mouth wash 3 – 4 times a day.
Coriander has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antifungal properties. It helps to reduce redness, pain, and swelling. Drink fresh coriander leaf juice and follow the process below.
- Boil 1 cup of water.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds or few fresh coriander leaves.
- Reduce heat and let simmer 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let steep 10 minutes.
- Strain the solution and use it as a mouth wash 3 times daily.
5. Tea Bags
The tannic acid in tea is a natural astringent that relieves pain and inflammation. Make a cup of tea and drink it slowly, and follow the process below.
- Refrigerate the wet tea bag for 5 minutes.
- Apply it to your sore, using gentle pressure, and leave on 20 minutes.
- Repeat 3 times daily to get rid of mouth ulcer.
- Note: You can also apply without refrigerating it.
6. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is antiseptic and antibacterial, so it kills the germs that cause canker sores and reduces the pain.
- Mix 5-10 drops of tea tree oil into a glass of water.
- Use this as a mouth wash 3 times a day.
Sage has calming properties that relieve pain and sooth damaged skin.
- Boil 2 glasses of water.
- Stir in 3 teaspoons of sage leaves.
- Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain and use as mouth wash several times a day.
- Alternately apply powdered sage directly to your sore several times a day.
8. Baking Soda
Baking soda neutralizes acid to relieve the pain of a canker sore.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with enough water to make a paste.
- Apply the paste to your sore.
- Leave it on 5 minutes.
- Rinse with water.
- OR Mix baking soda and warm water. Use this solution to rinse your mouth frequently.
- Mix equal quantities baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and salt.
- Use the solution as a mouth wash 5 times a day.
- Rinse your mouth with aloe vera juice.
- Apply baking soda directly to the sore and leave it on until it dissolves.
- Repeat 2 times daily.
The sulfur in onion dulls the pain of a canker sore and helps heal broken skin.
- Slice a raw, organic onion.
- Apply a slice directly to the sore and leave it on 3 minutes.
- Allow the juice to absorb into the skin.
- Repeat 3 times daily.
10. Cayenne Pepper
The capsaicin in cayenne pepper helps numb nerves to dull the pain of a canker sore.
- Apply a pinch directly to your sore and let it absorb into the skin.
- It will cause irritation at first, but this will subside.
- You can eat cayenne pepper candy to get relief from the pain.
11. Ice Pack
Ice numbs pain and reduces swelling.
- Apply an ice cube directly to the sore for 30 seconds, then remove.
- Repeat as many times as necessary.
- You can rinse your mouth with cooling water to numb the pain.
12. Salt Water
Salt water speeds the healing process by drawing excess fluids and toxins from the skin.
- Stir 2 teaspoons of salt into a cup of warm water.
- Use this solution as a rinse, then apply a pinch of salt directly to the sore.
- Repeat this process 3 times daily to heal aphthous ulcer.
13. Milk of Magnesia and Benadryl
Milk of magnesia coats and soothes the tissues inside your mouth while Benadryl acts as an anesthetic.
- Mix equal quantities of the two ingredients and apply them directly to your sore.
- Be careful not to swallow.
- After 2 minutes, rinse with water and spit.
14. Slippery Elm
The bark of the slippery elm contains mucilage, which forms a thick gel-like substance when mixed with water. It coats the mucus membranes of your mouth, relieving pain and inflammation.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of slippery elm powder with enough water to make a paste.
- Apply it to your sore and leave on 5 minutes.
- Rinse with water.
- You can suck slippery elm lozenges, rinse mouth slippery elm tea.
15. Alum Powder
Alum powder accelerates the healing process by drawing fluids and toxins from the sore.
- Apply a pinch directly to the sore, leave it on a few minutes, then rinse. It will burn initially.
16. Clove Oil
Clove oil helps to numb the pain of a canker sore.
- Apply a few drops directly to the sore.
- Leave it on a few minutes and then rinse with water.
17. Plum Juice
Plum Juice reduces pain, redness, and swelling.
- Use 1-2 tablespoon of plum juice to rinse mouth for 2 minutes daily.
- OR soak a cotton ball in it and hold it against the canker sore for 5 minutes daily.
18. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide kills the bacteria that cause canker sores.
- Mix 3 percent of hydrogen peroxide and water in equal quantities.
- Use it as a mouth wash 2 times daily.
- OR apply plain hydrogen peroxide to your sore, be sure not to swallow.
The alcohol in Listerine helps to kill the bacteria that cause canker sores.
- Rinse with it twice a day to heal canker sores and prevent new ones from forming.
20. Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract contains powerful bioflavonoids and has antibacterial properties. It helps your immune system to prevent infection and it kills the germs that cause canker sores.
- Mix 1 teaspoon grapefruit seed extract into a glass of water.
- Use it as a mouth rinse 3 times a day.
Goldenseal helps the immune system prevent infection while accelerating the healing process.
- Pour a few drops of Goldenseal tincture on a cotton ball.
- Apply it directly to the sore and leave on 25 minutes.
- Rinse with water.
- Repeat 2 times daily.
Other Tips for Treating and Preventing Canker Sores
- Use toothpaste that doesn’t contain Sodium Lauryl sulfate (SLS), a foaming agent that may contribute to the re-occurrence of canker sores.
- Consume probiotics to ensure your body has enough good bacteria.
- Avoid acidic, salty, and spicy foods and others food like chocolates, nuts, potato chips, pretzels, certain spices, nuts, shellfish, tomatoes, lemon, citric fruits, etc., which causes the irritation.
- Consume vitamins C, B, B12, B-6, B-Complex, zinc, and folate (Folic acid).
- Be careful not to irritate a canker sore while brushing your teeth.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Get regular exercise, yoga and meditation to reduce stress.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day.
- Don’t chew gum while suffering from a canker sore.
- Cut open a vitamin E capsule and apply the oil directly to your sore to get rid of the pain.
- Eat fresh papaya and take papaya supplements.
- Apply lemon balm to the sore to relieve pain.
- Try over the counter medicines & antiseptic creams, lozenges to get instant relief from the pain.
Have you tried any of those home remedies for canker sores? Tell us which ones worked best for you!
Hi everyone, this is Rajee!
I live the beautiful city of Baltimore, where my husband works.
I’m from India. I have been visiting India on and off for past few years and my mom was an inspiration for me to start this site. She has a wealth of knowledge on home remedies for a large number of health problems, and we grew up in an environment where frequent visits to the doctor just wasn’t logistically or financially feasible.
Despite this, she managed to raise a family of healthy kids, and my goal here at Home Remedies for Life is to pass on some of her knowledge of natural remedies.