I've been using alum on canker sores as a cure for 30 years and wouldn't use anything else. My whole family uses it.
I was surprised to find alum missing from your list of remedies. It would be interesting to see what other folks use this for. It's great for treating canker sores. They go away almost instantly. My mother used this for us when we were kids, and her mother used it too. I think it's a pretty ancient substance that was used widely in the Middle East and Africa. We use the powdered kind that is sold in grocery stores. (It's used in pickling, for crispness. )
Anyhow, what we do to treat a cankersore is merely moisten a Q-tip, and dip it in a very small amount of alum mixed with a teaspoon of warm water. After the alum is on for a few minutes, just rinse your mouth because the alum is very bitter. People also use alum as a mouthwash and to treat gum disease or aching teeth. It's used to treat eczema itching, and styes as well. I'm sure the solution would need to be much milder for use on the eyes, or as a mouthwash, or in treating eczema. Anyway, I hope others might want to mention their experiences with using this common household ingredient. Mariana
(Ten Mile, Tn Usa)
(San Francisco, Ca)
Alum DOES work! My mother has an old jar of crystallized Alum that she has used on all our canker sores forever. I take a piece and set it on the canker sore for several minutes. It not only relieves the pain, but shrinks it and makes it disappear within a day or two. I still use it and use it on my kids now. It does not taste great, but it is worth the results it gives you. Hip, Hip Horray for Alum!!
Wow, alum works!
I never get canker sores, but a few days ago, I got itchy red hives on my torso as well as 6 canker sores under my tongue and my cheeks. I've had several surgeries but have never been in such pain in my life! So bizarre that such a little thing can cause so much discomfort.
Anyway, after reading the comments, I tried Alum and so far it's amazing. It has really numbed the canker sores. I can eat!!
My only caution is because it does numb so well, be aware not to bite your cheek accidently. I did that and another canker sore developed; but the overall relief is so worth it.
I've suffered from canker sores since I was six years old and have literally tried EVERYTHING... Over-the-counter, prescriptions. I've even dipped a Q-tip in fingernail polish remover and applied that directly to the sore. (Probably hazardous, I know, but after the insane stinging went away, it actually numbed the sore for quite a while.)
I had a canker sore on my tongue for three days that was hurting so much, I couldn't eat or talk. I stumbled upon this thread in my google search for remedies and this was the first time I'd ever heard of alum.
I went to the grocery store, picked some up (in the spice aisle) and went straight home. I dipped a wet Q-tip in the alum and applied it directly to the sore on my tongue. Yes, it stung, but not horrendously (and certainly not as bad as fingernail polish remover --- cannot believe I admitted I did that). There was some drool and whatnot, and fifteen minute later my tongue was throbbing.
I dissolved an asprin directly onto my tongue and SERIOUSLY? THE PAIN ALMOST COMPLETELY WENT AWAY.
I woke up this morning and while the sore is still there, and even bigger, IT DOESN'T HURT.
After dealing with intensely painful canker sores for almost 30 years, I cannot even begin to tell you how happy this makes me. I feel like alum is going to change my life for the better. I know this sounds ridiculous, but one bad canker sore can seriously ruin your week.
THANK YOU EVERYONE!
Better But With Side Effects
Alum for canker sores - I just applied to 4 cankers in my mouth and the smaller cankers on inside of lips felt a sting and then a little better instantly, achy but a little better---- BUT the almost centimeter size one on tongue- GOD HELP ME THE PAIN IS INTENSE. I couldn't keep the alum on for long for that one, 30 seconds and almost passed out. BUT I will try again~ I drooled like a fool but been doing that all day. I have eaten NOTHING today the pain got so bad and that is with double dose ibuprofen on board for 3 days. Anyone had luck with this stuff and large cankers of the tongue??
I might have to call my doctor for painkillers - this is almost unbearable (yes I have a low threshhold for pain)
(San Francisco, Ca Usa)
I'm really prone to canker sores if I bite the inside of my lip, or if my diet becomes too acidic (too much coffee, caffeine, beer, fruits, chocolate, sweets, etc. )
I used to use a prescription paste which I haven't been able to get out here (Kenalog in Orabase? I think) which worked wonders and would quite literally get rid of my sores overnight. Since I've been unable to get that prescription filled, I needed a different remedy, so I went with alum. My only quip with alum is that it tastes NAAAAASTY. Seriously, if you swallow it, you will probably vomit. Bitter, awful, disgusting taste--BUT it works like a dream on canker sores and dries them out after a few applications. I usually daub a bit on the sore with a wet Q-tip, then let it sit there and dry for about five minutes before rinsing out my mouth and/or brushing my teeth (because the taste just sticks to your tongue). The more stubborn sores still take a few days to go away, but the alum seems to alleviate the pain and bring down the swelling and the size of the sore almost immediately. I highly recommend this remedy -- just remember not to swallow or spit it out before your five minutes are up.
I have always had problems with canker sores. I usually just wait it out or apply some numbing gel. This time I got one on my tongue. It was sooo painful and wouldn't go away. I found this website and tried alum. It really really burned the first time I used it. To the point of tears but after 3-4 applications (48 hours) it was gone! I definitely recommend this.
Alum for fever blister/cold sore/canker sore
Thought I might help those of you who are suffering with cold sores etc. As a child I 'suffered' with this malady on occassion. When ever it happened, I would tell my mom and she would immediately reach into the kitchen spices for the alum. This is the new information which I have not seen on any site thus far. Before using the alum mom would put a small amount on a disposable piece of metal (usually the top removed from a can of vegetables) and heat the alum to the point where all the moisture is driven from the alum powder. At this point the alum will crystallize on the can lid (This is what I learned to call burnt alum). Allow to cool. Once the crystallized alum has cooled, take a spoon and crush the burnt alum and apply as described elsewhere. As mentioned alum is an astringent, and the value of this process is to improve the astingent properties of the alum. As with those who have used this remedy regularly, I also had complete relief within two days.
Better But With Side Effects
I had a canker sore that was at the peak of inflammation and pain and I decided to try putting Alum on it last night as recommended here to stop the pain. I bought the crystallized kind from the spice section of the grocery store and licked my finger, dabbed it it the alum and then dabbed it on the sore and let it sit/dry/sink in for 5 minutes.
OH MY GOD - it hurt like nobody's business which I could tolerate, but then for the next hour it made my entire jaw, neck and ear area throb with terrible pain which I could not tolerate. I ended up taking pain relievers and going to bed several hours early just to stop the pain with sleep. I have not been in such agonizing pain for many years. It felt like a migraine and an earache and a toothache all at once.
However, today my canker sore has been very tender but noticeably less painful (i've also been on pain meds all day because I'm a bit scarred by what happened last night). The sore also seems to be healing. I honestly am not sure if I can recommend the alum or not, given the positive effects today and the horrible effects last night.
Ok! When I'm stressed I bite the inside of my mouth. Yuck!! I know! This can lead to the MOTHER of all canker sores. My dear friend just told me to dab alum into the canker sore, hold the affected area out so it can settle into canker sore and not be washed away by saliva. Let me explain. What I have going is a flipping cluster of sores( 12 in total. SERIOUSLY!!) A few are about 1/4 x 3/8. No I'm not joking. So I apply the alum out of desperation. I'm in constant pain, my lips aren't working. Drool is running down my chin(SEXY right?) AND i CAN'T eat. Ok the alum feels like flipping battery ACID. I want to rip half my face off. Who cares that it tastes viley bitter-it REALLY hurts. It does not sting. Serious PAIN. After about 20 minutes half my lower jaw is numb. Thank God!!! It feels a little swollen. I look in the mirror and honest to God it looks like I've just had half of my mouth pumped up with whatever that crap is that make you look like a freak of nature! I live in newport beach-the land of the plastic fantastic. Please tell me that this will subside and I won't look like a middle aged woman having a midlife crisis and a budget to only cover half the job! Frickin' Y-I-K-E-S !!!!!!!!
(Redondo Beach, Ca, USA)
(Shingle Springs, Ca, U.S.A.)
Yes to Using Alum found at the grocery store in the spices section. I read the comments about canker sores on here. Thank God for nice people! Apply it with a wet Q-tip on Sore. It will sting but the after effects are worth it! Thanksabunch
Alum is a form of aluminum. Oral injestion of aluminum can cause canker sores. Do you really want to do that? The reason it works may be the same reason that the mercuric ointment my mom used to put on my rashes ( I later found out that I was mercury toxic) got rid of my rash. Apparently, it makes it go deeper into your body, thereby getting rid of the eruption on the surface.
EC: More about this here: http://www.ochef.com/1080.htm
(St louis, MO)
(Grand Rapids, MI)
I had started taking apple cider vinegar twice a day, and after two days noticed the beginning of a canker sore. It didn't hurt yet, so I checked this site, then went out and got some Alum in the grocery store. I did as someone else suggested and wetted my finger, then dipped it into the alum, and then held it on the canker sore for about 5 minutes. Because I caught my canker sore so early, it didn't really sting at all.
I did that twice the first day, and again twice on the second day. It never hurt at all, and it got a little larger at first, but then started receding, and now 4 days later, its basically gone! I'm so happy with the Alum cure! I used to spend a whole week in agony thinking there was no way to help it- I love this website!
I am apparently one of those peoplt that are particularly susceptible to canker sores. I have tried many remedies, but the best by far is the alum. It stings a bit of first, but after one application the canker sore pain is gone. After two, the lesion is gone. Having used it dozens of times, I can say that if you don't mind the sting, alum is the only way to go!!