Regardless of whether you suffer from cold sores, canker sores or both, you know how irritating they can be. From the annoying appearance of cold sores to the pain caused by canker sores, mouth ailments can greatly affect your lifestyle.
Although there is no true cure, there is an herbal remedy that can relieve your discomfort and help you recover from cold or canker sores in less time. Cold and canker sore sufferers are finding out that licorice is more than just a sweet treat.
Found in Europe and Asia, the licorice plant is well-known for its sweet taste and contribution to the candy industry. The idea of using licorice to heal cold and canker sores may be news to most people, but to scientists, it's no surprise that licorice has medicinal properties.
Used as a healing agent for thousands of years, licorice was once a staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Throughout the years, licorice root extract has been used to treat ulcers, sore throats, coughs, arthritis, diabetes and viral infections.
The active ingredient of the licorice root is glycyrrhiza extract, or GX, which has anti-inflammatory properties used to calm and soothe the affected area. Licorice root not only provides relief, but it has been clinically proven to speed up healing during a canker sore outbreak.
Canker Sore Sufferers
Canker sores are round, white lesions found inside the oral cavity. Although not contagious, canker sores are extremely sensitive to the touch and can cause great pain. Not only does it make it hard to eat, drink or even talk, but a canker sore often lasts up to two weeks.
Most topical remedies are bitter tasting and only provide temporary relief, but a new product containing licorice root extract is changing the way we treat canker sores.
CankerMelts® is a recently developed product designed specifically for canker sore sufferers. CankerMelts are patented discs containing licorice root that are applied directly to the canker sore. Patients wear the patch for several hours during the day, providing long-term relief and blocking the sore from irritants. Studies have shown that patients who used these canker sore patches experienced less pain and smaller ulcers than those who went untreated. Clinical research has also suggested that CankerMelts patches may significantly reduce healing time, enabling sufferers to resume their daily activities without being bothered by canker sore pain.
Cold Sore Sufferers
Found on the lips and surrounding areas of the face, cold sores are caused by a virus and are extremely contagious. Some topical ointments containing GX reduce the pain and healing time of cold sores. Research also suggests that licorice strengthens the immune system and may even fight off the herpes virus that causes cold sores. Capsules containing licorice root extract taken on a daily basis could reduce the possibility of a cold sore outbreak.
No Matter What …
Regardless of what type of remedy you use to treat your cold or canker sores, speak with your dentist or doctor first before trying a new medication. Making your medical professionals aware of all your medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter, can help you avoid drug interactions or other complications.
The possibilities of using licorice root extract to cure our ailments seem endless. Scientists are continuing to research the benefits of licorice and other herbal remedies in modern medicine. Licorice is even being considered in the fight against cancer, as it has antioxidants similar to those of green tea. In the meantime, if you're looking to relieve a cold or canker sore, try a licorice root extract product -- you may be in for a sweet surprise!
If you're looking for a great dentist in your area, we can help you find one!