12 Natural Home Remedies to Get Rid of Canker Sores

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

Canker sores, known to your doctor and dentist as aphthous stomatitis, are mysterious sores inside the mouth that give almost everyone problems at one time or another. Why are they mysterious? Because scientists and doctors don’t really know exactly what causes painful sores inside your mouth, although it appears that biting your cheek or the inside of your lip, genetics, a malfunctioning immune system, stress, even braces rubbing on the inside of your mouth, all seem to be contributing factors.

Canker sores start as a red patch of skin and become increasingly inflamed and painful. They usually develop a yellow-ish or white spot on the middle. Usually there isn’t much you can do about them. If you ask your doctor, they generally just tell you to wait them out, they will go away on their own in 7 to 10 days. Wait just a minute! 7 to 10 days?! These hurt too much to wait that long!

Well, there are a few home remedies that can help you to ease some of the pain while you wait. Take a look at our top 12 all natural remedies to deal with canker sores.


1. Onion Remedy

This sounds super strange, but this remedy really works well. It might feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but this onion remedy will not only help stop the pain, but it helps the sore heal more quickly.

Place a slice of onion on your canker sore and let it sit there for about 15 minutes. You might feel some stinging, but this is normal and will pass in a minute. Spit out the onion and rinse your mouth with cool water. Do this every day until the sore heals.

Greek Yogurt

Photo credit: bigstock

2. Snack on yogurt

OK, this one sounds more pleasant than the onion solution, right?

Yogurt is made from fermented milk. It can help restore your gut bacteria back to healthy levels. This also means you can restore the healthy bacteria in your mouth, which, if it was out of balance, might have contributed to your canker sore.

Many people believe that eating yogurt every day will keep you from every getting a canker sore ever again.

Eucalyptus Still Life

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3. Make Your Own Numbing Spray

When you think you can’t stand the pain of that canker sore another minute, or you have a big presentation to give and you don’t want to talk with a lisp, make this spray to help immediately numb the pain.

In a small spray bottle, mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil or grapeseed oil along with 8 drops of eucalyptus essential oil and 10 drops of peppermint essential oil. Shake very well and then spray directly on the canker sore as needed for instant pain relief. Shake well before every use.

Aloe vera plant

Photo credit: bigstock

4. Aloe Vera Rinse

Aloe vera is super soothing to your tummy and those nasty canker sores. You can buy aloe vera gel at your local health food store, or just cut a leaf off your own plant. If you use your own leaf, be sure you are using only the clear gel part, not the green part.

Mix up 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel with one teaspoon of water and swish it gently in your mouth, especially around your canker sore, 3 times per day to speed healing and relieve the pain.

Get well card, chamomile tea and fresh lemon

Photo credit: bigstock

5. Chamomile Tea Remedy

Chamomile is more than just a soothing tea; it also has compounds that can reduce inflammation. It also has very powerful antiseptic properties.

Make yourself a cup of chamomile tea the way you normally would, but leave the teabag in the water for only 1 minute. As soon as it cools a bit, place the teabag directly against your canker sore for about 5 to 10 minutes twice per day to encourage healing and stop the pain.

herbs and essential oils on science sheet

Photo credit: bigstock

6. Swish a bit of Sage

Sage is an herb that is related to the mint family. Native Americans have used sage for hundreds of years to help clean the mouth and heal mouth sores.

You can use either fresh or dried sage leaves. Take a handful of fresh sage leaves or 2 teaspoons of dried sage leaves and mix them with about 8 ounces (one cup) of water. If you are using dried sage leaves, boil the water and allow the herb to steep for about 10 minutes. Once the water cools, swish some of the water, along with the leaves, in your mouth for about 1 minute before spitting it out. You can also do this with fresh leaves but if you are looking for a stronger rinse, follow this method:

Place your sage leaves and water in an airtight glass jar and let it sit in a dark place about 24 hours. Strain the leaves but don’t’ throw them away. First swish the liquid in your mouth for one minute, then lightly pound the wet leaves into a pulp and place this directly on the sore for 5 minutes. Rinse your mouth with cold water. Repeat as necessary.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

7. Clove Oil

Clove oil is a potent painkiller and has been used by dentists for centuries to stop mouth pain. Clove oil is great for relieving mouth pain, whether it be toothaches, teething, or canker sores.

First rinse your mouth with warm water to be sure the mouth is clean. Mix ½ a teaspoon of olive oil with 4 to 5 drops of clove essential oil. Dab a cotton ball into this mix and then place the cotton ball right on the sore for 5 to 10 minutes. This really works to stop the pain fast.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

8. Cap it With Wax

If your canker sore keeps rubbing against your tooth or your braces, putting a little wax over the tooth can help stop the friction.

Melt down 1 tablespoon of beeswax and 2 teaspoons of coconut oil. Mix these together over low heat, and once fully melted and mixed, allow to cool just enough so that you can pick it up. Mold this directly over the tooth, denture, or the part of your braces that is rubbing against the tooth, to stop the irritation to the sore.

Close-up Of Coconut Oil On

Photo credit: bigstock

9. Coconut Oil

If you can’t make up your mind which one of these remedies to use, try coconut oil. It tastes good, and it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties so it’s almost guaranteed to work on your canker sore.

Simply dab a liberal amount of coconut oil directly onto your sore. Try to use a thick clump of oil as coconut oil melts quickly in your mouth. If it simply won’t stick, try melting a bit of beeswax and mixing it with the coconut oil, then apply that mixture.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

10. Rub It in Honey

Raw organic honey makes a great coating on canker sores. Honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that make it perfect for healing canker sores.

Apply a thick blob of raw organic honey directly to the sore. Reapply 3 or more times per day. Always apply it at bedtime as it will have longer to work when it isn’t rubbed off by talking or eating.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

11. Cayenne Cream

The active compound in cayenne pepper is called capsaicin. This compound is what makes it hot. It also has something called substance P, which kills the pain response in the body. Cayenne makes a great remedy for canker sores, even though your mind is probably saying “No! No!” Trust us, it really works.

Mix a bit of warm water with powdered cayenne pepper so that it makes a paste. Use a cotton swab and apply it directly to the canker sore. It might sting but only for a minute, and then, there will be sweet relief.

Photo credit: marketsofnewyork

Photo credit: marketsofnewyork

12. Plum Terrific

This is another one of those remedies that sounds painful but actually works quite well.

Simply place two or three tablespoons of organic plum juice (use fresh plums and squeeze them yourself for best results) in your mouth and swish it around for a minute, then spit it out. Repeat this at least twice a day, preferably 3 times a day until the sore is healed.

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One Comment

  1. Estraven

    Nov 19, 2014 at 4:41 am

    When I stopped using conventional toothpaste, and only used health-food store toothpaste, I stopped having canker sores. They are caused by the toxic chemicals in the conventional toothpastes.