Aloe vera: Natural, home remedy treats canker and cold sores

03/21/05

New reports prove that the aloe vera plant, which has been used to heal skin for more than 2,000 years, can also treat many oral health problems including canker sores, cold sores, herpes simplex viruses, lichen planus and gingivitis according to the January/February issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.

"There is good evidence to support using aloe vera for oral health problems," says AGD spokesperson Kenton A. Ross, DMD, FAGD. "I believe a number of patients will be interested in this inexpensive alternative."

Aloe vera accelerates healing and reduces pain associated with canker sores, which are blisters on the lips or mouth. Aloe vera does not have a bad taste or sting when applied.

The journal article, written by Richard L. Wynn, PhD, mentions a study done on a patient with lichen planus, a disease affecting the skin and oral mucus membranes. The patient drank 2.0 ounces of aloe vera juice daily and topical applied aloe vera lip balm. The oral lesions cleared up in four weeks and complete success was achieved.

Dr. Wynn cited the study as showing that oral health problems can be treated with aloe vera. "Aloe vera can be taken both as the aloe vera juice and aloe vera gel. These are the two modes of delivery recognized by the FDA," says Dr. Wynn.

Those interested in using aloe vera for oral health problems are encouraged to speak with a dentist for proper treatment techniques.

Treatment and use of aloe vera plants

  • Aloe vera plants are available at most plant stores and nurseries.
  • Place near a window.
  • Water when the soil is dry.
  • Do not over water.
  • To get the gel out of the plant, use scissors to snip off an inch of the leaf.
  • Squeeze the leaf that was snipped off. The gel will squeeze out.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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