Heal Canker Sores Naturally

By Beth Swanson

Even life’s loveliest pleasures, like eating and kissing, lose their appeal when you’ve got a canker sore. No need to swallow your pain, however. New research in General Dentistry reports that licorice-root extract can heal these sores naturally. Unlike cold sores that appear on your lips (contagious, fluid-filled blisters caused by the herpes-simplex virus), canker sores show up on the inside of your cheeks, lips, gums, or even under your tongue— and they aren’t contagious. They have a white or yellow center and a red border, and they’re usually brought on by stress, hormonal changes, or certain food sensitivities, such as wheat and dairy. “Licorice-root extract stimulates the mucus-secreting cells necessary for mending the lining of your mouth,” says Steven D’Antonio, ND. Look for powdered licorice root labeled deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), and dissolve 200 mg of it in 3/4 cup of warm water; swish the mixture around in your mouth every morning and evening for one week or until the canker sore improves.