7 Alternative Remedies for Canker Sores

7 Alternative Remedies for Canker Sores

Canker or cold sores can range from mildly annoying to very painful. Also known as, Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis (RAS), these outbreaks often present as red-white, circular patches on the under side of the lip, beneath the tongue, inside the cheeks or directly on the gums.

There are many over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to attempt combating these pesky sores however these 7 alternative remedies for canker sores may be just as good, if not better.

Always check with your doctor before using alternative remedies for canker sores.

Salt Sprinkle

Salt is an excellent go-to remedy for mouth sores. It is a natural bacterial killer and can dry up hard to heal wounds by naturally expelling fluid from the wound. Mix half a glass of warm water with about a teaspoon of salt. Swish around your mouth for about thirty to sixty-seconds, spit, rinse, repeat 2 to 3x. It is normal for the wound to slightly burn during this remedy. if it burns too much reduce the amount of salt or discontinue.


B vitamins are often overlooked as a potential remedy for many different ailments. When it comes to healing and preventing canker sores, B12 may be a good start.

In a study by Israeli researchers, published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, it was concluded that,

“The duration of outbreaks, the number of ulcers, and the level of pain were reduced significantly at 5 and 6 months of treatment with vitamin B12, regardless of initial vitamin B12 levels in the blood. During the last month of treatment a significant number of participants in the intervention group reached “no aphthous ulcers status”.”

Check with your doctor before using B12 for canker sores.

Use Your Honey

Sure, a loved one can make you feel better but using actual honey to “Band-aid” canker sores could be an excellent remedy.

In a study by researchers at Saudi Arabia’s Salman bin Abdul Aziz University and published in Quintessence International (9/14) it was concluded that,

“There was a statistically significant difference between the honey group and the other two groups in terms of reduction of ulcer size, days of pain, and degree of erythema…Honey was found to be effective and safe in reducing minor aphthous ulcer pain, size, and erythema in a Saudi cohort.”

Simply wet a sterile cotton ball after you eat, gently wipe the canker sore clean and then, using a cotton swab, dab some raw honey on the sore, that’s it.

The study also reported a whopping 95.5% decrease in pain for study participants. Obviously if you are allergic to bees, honey may not be for you.

Calm it with Chamomile

The dried Chamomile flower has been used for centuries as a calming remedy for sleep and anxiety when slowly sipped as a tea. However, you may not realize its potential for combating canker sores.

In an Iranian study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry (12/14) it was found that,

“…in the chamomilla group the healing process was accelerated, and from the second visit the symptoms were vanished,…Chamomilla is an effective agent in RAS condition, and can be administered whenever appropriate.”

Brew some chamomile tea and let cool. Rinse morning, afternoon and evening. Stop using if allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemum, aster, or feverfew and you have a reaction. Talk to your doctor or naturopathic practitioner about chamomile before using.

Peroxide and Baking Soda

Make a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Dab onto your canker sore about three times per day and let it sit there as long as possible. This combination may kill bacteria and dry up the wound.

Go Coco Loco

Coconut oil is a major healing agent used for all sorts of systemic remedies. For canker sores it can act as an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. Using a cotton swab, generously apply to the sore and try to let it remain there. Rinse and repeat several times per day.

Clove Oil

Clove oil is an essential oil that should be in everyone’s medicine cabinet as it possesses a numbing effect that can be highly effective when attempting to quell dental or canker sore pain. Apply to a cotton swab and gently brush over your canker sore. The pain should immediately diminish. Check with your doctor about clove oil.

These 7 alternative remedies for canker sores could very well get you back in top shape. Eat loads of vegetables and drink lots of water to keep your immune system strong the next time a canker sore comes lurking.