19 Best Home Remedies for Canker Sore

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Some of the home remedies for canker sore include the intake of garlic, harir, buttermilk, fenugreek, coconut milk, cactus juice, yogurt, tea bag, apple cider vinegar, alum, plum juice, aloe, baking powder, grape juice, papaya, turmeric powder, tea tree oil, and onions in different forms, which will be explained in the following article.

What are Canker Sores?

Canker sores refer to a small white-colored ulcer that occurs in parts of the mouth like the tongue, lips, and the inside of the cheeks. These sores cause pain and difficulty while eating, drinking, and even speaking. These arise due to several reasons, including the consumption of oily and spicy food, trauma, hereditary factors, food allergies, hormonal disorders and a deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals. Several easy and simple to follow home remedies for canker sores are readily available.

Home remedies for canker sores, which are also known as Aphthous Stomatits, are available for treating ulcers that appear on the tongue, the inside of the cheek, or the lining of the lip. As per the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, a recurrence of canker sores affects more then 20 percent of the general population.

It appears as a small spot that is white or yellowish in color and may have a gray center. It is well defined by a red boundary and is 3 to 5 mm in diameter.

They are not contagious, meaning  that they are not transmitted from person to person, as is the case with cold sores. It completes its course in 8-10 days, out of which 3-4 days are crucial as it can be very painful while eating, drinking, or speaking when it’s on the tongue. Sometimes these sores recur frequently and can affect people of all age groups.

Causes for Canker Sores

Canker sores are caused by eating ample amounts of food products that are either acidic or spicy. It can also appear through the biting of the inner portion of the cheek or eating rough food like chips or sugarcane that might injure the soft tissues. Deficiency of vitamin B12, folic acid, and minerals like iron and zinc are responsible for the condition as well. Individuals taking medicines for rheumatoid arthritis are prone to the development of canker sores. Hereditary factors, trauma, hormonal disorders, and allergies to certain food items also play a major role in their occurrence. Some females tend to suffer from cankers during their menstrual cycles.

Home Remedies for Canker Sores

cankersoreThough curable by simple home remedies, if the sores persist for a long time or are very painful, then a doctor should be consulted without exception. The following home remedies for canker sores are considered useful and are explained below:


Eat a clove of garlic each day or consume it in the form of a paste. Consumption of the same amount early in the morning helps you get rid of canker sores.

Harir and Buttermilk

Prepare a decoction of harir, a known herb, by mixing a paste of the same in the same volume of buttermilk. Gargle with this preparation in order to obtain relief very quickly.


Fenugreek leaves are used for making an infusion and this is used for gargling purposes. Using this remedy twice a day is an effective canker sore treatment.

Coconut Milk

Grate some amount of coconut and extract its milk by tightly squeezing it. The milk obtained is to be used for gargling purposes. It gives a soothing effect and heals the sores quickly.

Cactus Juice

Juice obtained from a cactus can help to reduce canker sores. This juice must be kept in your mouth for at least 20 seconds. It exerts a drying effect on the ulcers by dehydrating and shrinking them. The application of cactus juice on canker sores for 2-3 days aids in removing them.


One should include yogurt in the daily food chart. It is good for the treatment of canker sores.

Tea Bag

As per the Doctors Book of Home Remedies, canker sores can be treated with a black tea bag that is wet with warm water. The tea contains a compound named tannin, which helps in relieving pain and inflammation.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Make a solution of apple cider vinegar in warm water, composed of equal volumes of both. This should be used to gargle and is helpful in curing canker sores.


Apply alum twice a day over the sores. This heals the sores quickly and helps you to get rid of pain.

Plum Juice

Gargling with plum juice can also be done in order to obtain relief from canker sores. You can also dip a cotton ball in plum juice and apply it over the sores inside your mouth if they are in bad condition.


Squeeze an aloe leaf to get its viscous juice. This is to be applied over the canker sores to obtain relief.

Baking Powder

Take some powdered baking soda or make a paste of it. This can be applied to the sores and is known to reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth. Otherwise, a mouthwash can be made by mixing a spoonful of baking soda in a cup of lukewarm water and rinsed in the mouth several times.

Grape Juice

Collect seeds of grapes and crush them. Extract these in a certain amount of water. Put 6 to 7 drops of the same compound in a glass of water and use it as mouthwash.


One should eat freshly cut papaya fruits regularly in this condition. Even papaya leaves are effective in obtaining quick relief from canker sores.

Turmeric Powder

Make a solution by mixing 1/4 of a spoon of turmeric powder in a cup of lukewarm water. This is used for rinsing and gargling purposes and heals sores quickly.


Tea Tree Oil

Application of tea tree oil to sores is an excellent home remedy for the treatment of canker sores.


Onions are the simplest home remedies known for curing canker sores. Raw onions can be applied over the sore region.

Beneficial Diet

Diets rich in vitamin B12, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and soft food items should be consumed, as these are good for parts of the mouth and the internal body metabolism while the body is coping with canker sore conditions.

Avoid a Harmful Diet

One should avoid acidic food materials like coffee, chocolate, oranges, lemons, and other sour fruits. These aggravate the soreness even further. Sugarcane, chips, nuts and wafers are harsh for the soft mouth parts and these should not be consumed when suffering from a canker sore. Animal proteins, strawberries, milk products, oily and spicy food items must be avoided as much as possible.

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