Mouth ulcers can be quite painful and depending on their specific location in the oral cavity, often interfere with your ability to eat and speak. Often, these ulcers put in an appearance at times of extreme stress and the discomfort they cause only adds to your misery. Sometimes, such an ulcer indicates the deficiency of certain vital nutrients and therefore, taking multivitamin supplements can be useful; however, it can take a few days for the effects to start showing. In such situations, it is possible to find relief faster by using a few of these home remedies.
Remedies to Reduce Pain
If the mouth ulcer is causing a lot of pain, gently rub a small ice cube over the spot or rinse your mouth with ice-cold water. This won’t make the ulcer disappear, but it can help reduce the pain. Similarly, you could also chew on a clove bud (lavang) and direct the juice so generated to the area where the ulcer is located. The mild anaesthetic effect of the clove will reduce the pain you feel. To prevent the ulcerated area from getting infected, make it a point to rinse your mouth with a little salt water.
The leaves of the tulsi plant have amazing medicinal properties and one of the important actions of tulsi is as an adaptogen – a substance that aids the body to adapt to stress. Chew a few leaves of tulsi along with some water about three to four times every day. This will help the ulcers go away faster and also have a preventive action against their recurrence. (Read: Top 10 health benefits of tulsi)
Honey is a natural humectant – that is, it helps to retain moisture and prevent dehydration. It also helps reduce scarring and hastens the process of new tissue growth. This, along with its anti-microbial effect ensures faster healing of the mouth ulcer. You can either dab a little honey onto the mouth ulcer or mix in a little turmeric to make a paste that can be applied to the affected area.
Poppy seeds – khus-khus in Hindi – are said to have a cooling effect on the body. According to Ayurveda, too much heat in the body manifests as mouth ulcers and therefore, poppy seeds are a good remedy to overcome this problem. Read how can you actually use poppy seeds to treat your ulcers.
Dry coconut, coconut oil and coconut water are the three products of the coconut tree that are very useful in treating mouth ulcers. Drinking tender coconut water helps to cool the body down. Applying a little coconut oil directly onto the mouth ulcer or chewing some coconut (fresh or dry) helps to reduce pain and inflammation and this helps the ulcers heal faster. (Read: The coconut controversy – is it really all bad?)
Called Mulethi in Hindi, Yashtimadhu in Sanskrit and Adhimadhuram in Tamil, licorice has several medicinal properties. Scientific studies have found that it contains ingredients with marked anti-inflammatory properties which are responsible for its action against painful mouth ulcers. Mulethi is available as stem pieces as well as in powder form. Rub the stem with a little water on a grinding stone and apply the paste to the ulcerated area. Or, if you buy the licorice powder, disperse it in some honey or medicinal quality glycerin and apply to the mouth ulcer. You can also mix a little licorice powder with turmeric into a glass of warm milk and drink three or four times in a day for good results.
Other Cooling Agents
In keeping with the logic that mouth ulcers are due to excess body heat, other substances with cooling properties can help get rid of them. For example, you could apply a little ghee directly to the ulcerated area, or drink a glass of butter milk two or three times everyday. Castor oil also has wonderful cooling property; apply a little oil to your scalp and the soles of the feet, allow the oil to soak in for a few hours and then wash with warm water using shikakai and reetha paste. Read additional benefits of castor oil for healthy hair.
Mouth ulcers left untreated generally go away in a week or so; with these home remedies, you can expect faster relief. However, if you notice an ulcer in the mouth that is persistently present although it does not cause you any pain, do not neglect it or try to treat it with home remedies beyond a few days. Make it a point to see a doctor soon because often, a painless mouth ulcer is one of the earliest signs of oral cancer. Read more about Oral cancer: Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
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