Canker Sores

Apthous stomatitis, commonly known as canker sores, are ulcers that affect both men and women around the world. It is one of the most common inflammatory conditions of the mouth that affects about 20% of the population. However, canker sores should not be confused with fever blisters and cold sores.

Additionally, they are not contagious. Canker sores are ulcers that form on the mucous membrane inside the mouth. Some common symptoms of canker sores include inflammation, pain, swollen lymph nodes and a burning sensation.
Canker Sores

10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Canker Sores

To ease your pain, we have compiled a list of home remedies you should check out. While you can always use off the counter medicines, home remedies are always a great option as they have minimal side effects.

1.      Honey

Honey is a naturally soothing substance that contains antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Carefully apply about one teaspoon of the honey over the canker sore. It might hurt for a few seconds but it will eventually help soothe the inflammation and ease the pain. Repeat this remedy several times a day until you feel better. You can also mix some honey with one quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder to create a fine paste. Now, apply the paste over the affected area for a few minutes. Use lukewarm water to rinse your mouth. It is advised you repeat the process twice a day.

2.      Baking Soda

Baking soda is another common kitchen ingredient which can help you get rid of a canker sore. The base substance neutralizes the acidity, soothing the pain and inflammation. Use a teaspoon of baking soda and a little water to create a paste. Use your fingers to apply the paste over the affected area and let it rest for a couple of minutes.

Use lukewarm water to rinse your mouth. Repeat this process about 3-4 times a day. Additionally, if you do not want to create a paste, you can also mix two teaspoons of baking soda mix in lukewarm water and use the solution to rinse your mouth. Repeat this remedy around 4-5 times a day and you will see noticeable results.

Jar and spoonful of baking soda for multiple holistic usages

3.      Aloe Vera

When dealing with canker sores, some aloe vera could be your solution. Aloe vera gel is highly known for its curative, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that eases inflammation and relieves pain. Additionally, aloe vera gel will also speed up the healing process. To get rid of canker sores, you must first extract the gel from a fresh aloe vera leaf and directly apply it on to the sore. Repeat this remedy several times a day. Alternatively, you may also use fresh aloe vera juice to rinse your mouth. Fresh aloe vera gels and juices can be bought from the market. Repeat this step about 3-4 times a week.

Skin Rash

Aloe Vera Leaves

4.      Yogurt

Suffering from canker sores? Perhaps you should consider eating a cup of yogurt. As you may know, yogurt is produced by bacterial fermentation i.e. when yeast or other bacteria are used to convert carbohydrates into organic acids. Eating yogurt can restore healthy balance of gut flora making it one of the best canker sore remedies.

However, ensure the yogurt you are about to eat contains live cultures. You must eat a minimum of 1 tablespoon 3 times a day. If you frequently suffer from canker sores, eating yogurt everyday can certainly change your fate. You can also add a little bit of honey for additional healing powers and better taste.

5.      Coconut Oil

When in doubt, one can always use coconut oil. The fantastic substance is not only great for cooking delicious curries but also contains anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it one of the safest best for getting rid of canker sores. All you need is a cotton swab and a little amount of coconut oil. Dab the cotton over the affected area until a thick layer of oil has formed over it (coconut oil has the tendency to melt rapidly). For better texture, you can add some beeswax to thick the oil. Leave the oil on the affected area for a few minutes and then wipe it off.

coconut oil

6.      Milk of Magnesia

Sip a little milk of magnesia and use it to rinse you mouth, making sure the liquid makes contact with the canker sore itself. Milk of magnesia has antacid properties that neutralize the acids in your mouth that in turn causes the canker sore to sting. Alternatively, you can directly apply milk of magnesia on to the affected area with a cotton swab 3-4 times a day. Another variation of this remedy is to use milk of magnesia along with a teaspoon of Benadryl.

7.      Salt Water

Use salt water to rinse your mouth for 30 seconds about 3-4 times a day to the help the canker sore heal. The high salt concentration draws out water from the surrounding tissues through the process of osmosis which in turns heals open wounds and abscesses, such as canker sores.

8.      Teabag

Because of its alkaline nature, teabags effectively neutralize acids that aggravate the sore. Additionally, they also contain several compounds that help relieve pain. Apply a damp teabag on the affected area and allow it to rest for a couple of minutes until you feel some relief.

Tea bags

9.      Sage

Sage is an evergreen shrub that belongs to the mint family. Sage is widely used in the culinary world and in homeopathic medicines for years. Native Americans have been using sage before the introduction of modern medicine to help clean the mouth. Throughout the years, sage has also been widely used in healing painful ulcers which are now commonly referred to as canker sores. For this remedy, you will simply need a handful of fresh sage and some water. Alternatively, you may also use dried sage.


If you opting for dried sage, allow the herbs to infuse in the water and then swish the water in your mouth for about a minute before spitting it out. If using fresh sage, transfer the leaves into an airtight container filled with water and store it in a cool, dark place. Swish the water in your mouth in the same way as above. You can softly pound on the leaves to create a pulp and apply it directly on the canker sore. Leave it on for 5 minutes and then rinse it using plain cold water.

10. Vitamin E

Want to get rid of canker sores? Well, do you have vitamin E capsules lying around at home? If the answer is yes, you better get to work. The moisture and oil content of vitamin E coats the sore, protecting it from an infection and allowing it to heal much easily. Simply cut open a vitamin E capsule and squeeze some of the liquid on to the sore. You are likely to experience instant relief. Continue this remedy for a couple of days until you get the desired results. Other good sources of vitamin E are safflower oil, spinach, almonds and sunflower seeds, so add them to your daily diet.

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