Canker Sores
Natural Remedies

Natural Canker Sore Remedies: Quick Relief & Healing

| Modified on Jan 18, 2024
Alum, H2O2, Aspirin
Posted by BC Boy (Smithers, Canada) on 05/17/2008

Remedy Side Effects for Canker Sores: I found Earth Clinic while googling for a canker sore remedy. I was relieved to find so many positive responses to these remedies. So I went and picked up several of the remedies hoping at least one would work as good as stated. I started with Alum. I dabbed a wet finger into the powder and applied it to the 4cm canker sore inside my bottom left gum. At first it stung like salt on an open wound. Then it subsided to the feeling of a butcher knife cutting into my gum. After a half an hour of this I rinsed my mouth out with water and spend 15min in front of the bathroom mirror applying H202 with a q-tip. The pain of applying the H202 eventually subsided to a pounding throb. My mouth was watering so bad I had to stuff kleenex inside my gums to dam the flood. The H202 eventually stopped sizzling so I rinsed and tolerated the dull throbbing ache for 1/2 hr. Finally I applied crushed aspirin to the sore. the aspirin burned but not as much as the alum. My mouth was now feeling like I'd been punched in the face.... twice. My bottom lip was puffy and my gums were numb everywhere except for the sore. I tolerated that for another 15min and finally rinsed the aspirin out with a cold budweiser. It's now been 2hrs later and I'm on my 7th beer and the pain has almost completedly subsided in the past 10min. So far the side affects of the treatment has been tolerable. Hopefully my head won't hurt as bad as my mouth in the morning....

Alum, H2O2, Aspirin
Posted by Tricia (Ireland) on 07/02/2009

I can't stop laughing. Next time try hitting 7 beers before you start your remedies.

Posted by Uc Mom916 (Kent, Wa) on 12/24/2016

Canker sores - I started getting them when I was 5 yrs. old. I was eating alot of chocolate. I had a mouth and throat full of canker sores. This progressed as I got older. Early twenties, I would eat hot dogs and bologna....and more canker sores came. I started noticing the connection. I also started doing alot of research on this and many other health related things. What I came across was a book on Amino Acids and how they work and what symptoms you may have if you are depleted. Aha, when you have too much Arginine and not enough Lysine...they will come.

At the tiniest of inklings that I'm getting a canker sore, I take L-Lysine 2 grams (4 - 500mg) capsules on an empty stomach, 3 times a day. I have had a bit of runny stool, but it goes away. The next day, the canker sore has disappeared. I am so grateful for Lysine.

Activated Charcoal
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee, Usa) on 11/12/2013

A few weeks ago my daugther bit her cheek when chewing. You know how that end up biting the same spot over and over and it is uncomfortable. I know when that used to happen to me, I always ended up with a canker sore. I realized the reason it kept happening is because the mild trauma of having been bitten causes some swelling, so it is easy to keep on biting the same spot. I had my daugther place a charcoal tablet against the spot until the charcoal dissolved. (This actually can take 10 minutes or so.) By the time the charcoal had dissolved, her problem had resolved.

Yesterday, I did the same thing! I bit my cheek and it was irritated. I could feel a little bubble. I put a charcoal tablet on it and let it dissolve. By the time it dissolved, I no longer felt irritation and the bubble was smaller. Within an hour or two, I realized the little bubble was completely gone.

Charcoal is anti-inflammatory, so I think that is why this worked. Charcoal tablets are also good for canker sores, the earlier caught, the better. I suspect this treatment would keep a canker sore from forming where the mouth has had trauma. Too bad I didn't know this long ago, but better late than never!

Have a great day!

~Mama to Many~

Baking Soda
Posted by Darlene (Kewaskum, Usa) on 12/12/2011

My husband has suffered from Canker sores for many years. They would pop up almost immediately with certain tomato products and raw red high acid tomatoes. When we learned about baking soda for balancing pH, the logical conclusion was to use it to fight the canker sores. I can testify that if he knows one is on the way, the baking soda water will stop it in its tracks.

Camphor Spirit
Posted by Riker (Cortez Co. ) on 03/15/2022 3 posts

Camphor Spirit for Canker Sores

Camphor spirit (not campho phenique) will remove them. Dip a Q tip in the solution & hold against the stings but after a couple of treatments it should disappear.

Slippery Elm Lozenges
Posted by Mama to Many (TN) on 01/26/2022

I bit my cheek and ended up with a terrible mouth sore on the inside of my cheek. The inflammation made it so I kept biting it, too. Even the lymph node on that side of my neck was swelling.

I found a recipe for Slippery Elm Lozenges and modified it. (They are typically used for coughing or sore throats.)

  • 1/2 cup slippery elm bark powder (I get mine from Frontier or Mountain Rose Herbs - it is a wonderful herb to keep on hand.)
  • 4-6 Tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground clove powder

I mixed the slippery elm bark powder and the clove powder together. Then I added in the honey until and mixed until it made a dough. It reminded me a lot of gingerbread dough.

I used a dough scraper to divide it up into about 4 dozen little pieces. I rolled each on and put it on wax paper in a small container. Should be good for a week or so. (Could be frozen if need be to keep them longer.)

These would be great to suck on for cough or sore throat. The slippery elm is soothing to mucous membranes. The clove is antiseptic and relieves pain by numbing the area. The honey is also antiseptic.

For mouth sore, I placed the little ball/lozenge against it. It sort of softened and molded to my teeth somewhat. (I suspect this would be a good remedy for tooth pain, too.) If I left it alone it stayed for hours. I even kept it in overnight.

My one concern has been holding a sugar in my mouth that long. Interestingly, even though I have done this all day and have not brushed my teeth in hours, my teeth don't feel like I have been eating sugar. (If I eat sugar my teeth start to feel fuzzy after a while.)

My mouth sore is much less painful today. I will be making these again for different things in the future.

~Mama to Many~

Lavender Oil
Posted by Jean J. (Wheeling, Il) on 10/18/2018

When I feel a canker or cold sore starting, I liberally apply Lavender essential oil 3 or 4 times a day and it's gone in no time. Stops it in its tracks.

Avoid SLS Toothpaste
Posted by Homero (New York) on 04/25/2016

I had suffered for more than 20 years with moth sores or canker sores. I talked to so many doctors. Some of them talked to me about drinking more water or taking some vitamins. I tried everything. Nothing worked until one day I read somewhere about SLS (sodium laureth sulphate) which is a chemical that makes the toothpaste more foamy. I switched to sls free toothpaste, and guess what? I have never got them again.

Posted by judith (USA) on 12/30/2023

Lysine for canker sores works wonders! My son had a mouthful after having his wisdom teeth out and they healed up quickly. Recently I had plantar facitis and found 5 star reviews for lysine and tried it and it worked in 24 hours! Amazing stuff. I don't know what the chemistry behind it is, but I am grateful!

Camphor Spirit
Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 01/17/2023

Campho-Phenique Antiseptic Liquid is my 24hour treatment for mouth ulcers. Dab on a canker sore with q-tip soaked in campho-phenique. Put the Q-tip against the mouth ulcer for one minute. Then remove Q-tip and rinse mouth out with water. This has worked for me every time since the 1970's when it was shown to me.

Active Ingredients: per container: Camphorated Phenol (Camphor 10.8%, Phenol 4.7%) (Pain reliever/antiseptic) Inactive Ingredients: Colloidal Silicon Dioxide, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus), Glycerin, Light Mineral Oil.

Coconut Oil
Posted by Maya (Munich) on 08/27/2017

My 6 year old son got a canker sore a few days ago. The pain was getting progressively worse. I tried rubbing some coconut oil on the sore at bedtime... it was gone by morning. Would use it again as he gets canker sores frequently.

Posted by Buzz (Las Vegas, Nevada) on 12/27/2016

I always take lysine for canker sores. Recommended by my Dr 40 years ago. Also use peroxide. Usually goes away within 5-7 days.

Magnesium Citrate
Posted by Robert (Vermont, Usa) on 02/08/2016

Regarding mouth & tongue ulcers, the round white ones that hurt and take some time to resolve:

I am not used to having such ulcers but a change in diet, and an unforeseen minor setback in health status, and I experienced mouth pain bad enough from one of these ulcers to cause me complete physical discomfort including headache. I tried numerous remedies that have worked for others, got minor temporary relief-- but the ulcers remained unscathed, and the pain came back intense as before. Then I held a QTip coated with magnesium citrate powder directly onto the ulcer for about 2 or 3 minutes. Ulcer went away within 24 hours.

A month later, on the other side of my mouth, another ulcer, smaller, and with the exact same result when I dipped my finger in the Mg citrate and then rubbed it on the ulcer: No pain within a day.

This may be useful for others.

Posted by Zark (Australia) on 09/02/2014

BHT is what worked for me. I tried the usual antibacterial modes (iodine, salt, baking soda) and nothing would help one little bit. Any time my mouth had a little scratch it would inevitably result in a mouth ulcer that would take weeks to heal (you guys call them 'canker sores').

I eventually tried BHT thinking it might help some other immune problems (I have an inflammatory autoimmune disease). Well, only one thing changed noticeably - no more mouth ulcers. Ever since trying BHT I have been clear of this issue, and it has been a stark change. Now if I bite my lip there is no problem, yet before I would be absolutely guaranteed to have a very nasty canker sore.

Now I can't guarantee this will help anyone else, I never expected that my mouth ulcers could be caused by a virus!! (ehh sorry I mean 'canker sores) But there you go.. learned something new. I suspect the majority of folk are still caused by bacteria, but hey if iodine, ACV, baking soda and salt don't help then maybe you should try this!

You can read more about BHT here:

Most important - make sure it is food grade.

Posted by Daniel X (Houston, TX) on 08/31/2014

I had horrible canker sores in my mouth; tongue, inner lips, cheeks. Ridiculous pain, could barely eat or speak and they came in groups; 2-4 at a time, and a new crop in different spots would pop up just as the others were about to be healed, which took 3-4 weeks. I never had these before in my life and I'm 56. Anyway, this went on for months and I was praying for help. I tried a list of things like oil pulling, various supplements etc. Bottom line; after doing my own research including reading all the posts on this site, and a few others, I realized that my tongue was coated white in the morning and took that as an indication of systemic candida.

I took the roughly 1/8 teaspoon of 20 Mule Team borax powder dissolved in water and noticed dramatic results starting in about 12 hours. There were two sores at the time, one just beginning, it went away fast, the other healed fairly quickly and now, 2 weeks later, no new ones have popped up and my tongue is nice and pink again. I didn't notice much of a "die off" reaction, only a minor headache in the temple area one day which might've been something else. I have been on a raw food diet for over 2 years so I know my body is fairly clean at this point. I also noticed remarkable clarity of mind and easy concentration within 12 hours of taking borax, along with a feeling that I was vibrating like a purring cat or a well tuned car, actually quietly vibrating. That seems to have gone away somewhat although I still feel mentally clear. So thank you Ted and all and hopefully someone else suffering from canker sores can benefit from my experience.

Constipation Link to Canker Sores
Posted by Lars (Nyc, Ny) on 12/07/2011

I have proven over the years that when I have been "irregular" (constipated) - within a day or two non-mouth-bite related canker sores will surface. I believe this is due to build-up of toxins in the body from inability to eliminate them due to the reason I wrote above.

The toxins seem to breakout in one of the softest tissues in the body - inside the mouth.

Next time you have a break-out of canker sores, take a stool-softener or some other method to induce bowel movements... I have never heard anyone else state that constipation=canker sores, but if my advice helps you, please post your experience.

I hope this helps everyone.

Oral Care
Posted by Mike (Sofia, Bulgaria) on 01/25/2009

It's been many months since I posted this and I still have nearly no problems now. In addition to the above I switched to Jason Healthy Mouth toothpaste which has no sodium lauryl sulphate. I rinse out thoroughly 3 times with water after brushing, and that's all I ever have to do.

These days I get the occasional beginnings of an ulcer but it quickly disappears - usually within a day and causes me no pain. I would say I am cured.

P.S. for earth Clinic - why don't you follow all suggestions up with the original posters to see how they worked out in the long term? Most people post something here in a moment of excitement, but never come back to report their progress. An automated email with a form to fill in is so easy to do.

Alum, H2O2, Aspirin
Posted by Lorik (Blacksburg, Va, USA) on 11/22/2008

WOW talk about an overachiever.. I'm not sure why one would do all three remedies at once.. good grief Charlie Brown!!!