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Thumbnail image for Lemon.jpgEvery time I go to my dentist, I ask him if he’s heard any new conventional wisdom on how to get rid of canker sores.  And every time, he responds by giving me a lecture about how research dollars are being spent elsewhere, on more important things, like, you know, real diseases.

Yeah, ok.  I get it.  But after a few days of having what feels like a drop of battery acid whizzing its way through my gum or cheek, I’m ready to independently fund a study if it will just make the misery go away. 

Enter the holistic cure.  Last night, depressed at the prospect of struggling through another painful dinner that’s more about sneaking nourishment past my mouth than enjoying the yummy fruits of my newly-refinished kitchen, I decided to try a blow-out natural cure method and see where it got me.

You know where it got me?  BETTER!  By this morning, the thing is noticeably smaller and less angry, and it didn’t even wake me up last night. 

So here it is–I started with this cure on eHow.com and mildly improvised on it.

Natural Canker Sore Cure

1.  Make a mixture of 1 T salt and 1 oz of warm water.  Stir until the salt has dissolved, and swish vigorously around the canker sore.  It will hurt.  Try to get to 30 seconds.  Spit and repeat.

2.  Ignore the burning feeling on the sore, remembering that salt draws toxins out of things, and toxins can hurt on their way out.

3.  Take a small piece (I used the heel) of lemon and squeeze it so it’s juicy.  Hold it against the sore for 30 seconds.  By now the burning should be significantly less.  Spit and repeat.

4.  Gently rinse your mouth with clear water and spit. 

5.  Relax awhile before eating anything or brushing your teeth.

6.  Wake up feeling like you’re starting to get your mouth back!

This method appealed to me because I’m a big fan of our 15 Hidden Health Secrets of Lemons gallery, and I know that citrus can be magic.  I also know that salt and acid feels like the right weapon to deploy against canker sores.  But if you’re interested in other natural canker cures (because the over-the-counter stuff just doesn’t work, am I right?), I’ve heard people say that everything from zinc lozenges to clove essential oil to baking soda to a tomato is the answer.  Do you have one you swear by?

A final note – you know canker sores are brought on by stress, right?  So if the best medicine is prevention, repeat after me–inhaaaaale, exhaaaaaale.

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