Health Tips: Recurring Mouth Ulcers

I received the following enquiry from a reader seeking health advice on recurrent mouth ulcers a while back. Here is his question:

Mouth Ulcers

“I have been suffering from recurrent mouth ulcers continuously for the last 8 months. When the old ones die off; new ones pops (sic) out. It has been a total agony. After seeing more than 4 doctors, they are all clueless as to how it can come up. Some doctors say it’s a kind of immune disease and cannot be cured, which makes me very depressed. But now i (sic) am actively seeking for natural remedies or change of lifestyle to try and heal my body. Was wondering if you may have any advice or suggestions? Many thanks! “

Here is my response:

Thank you for your email.  Since I do not have any information on your health condition, I shall write to you in general regarding mouth ulcers and some nutritional and dietary approach that can be helpful.

Allergy food

Food allergy can be a cause of mouth ulcers

The medical term for recurring mouth ulcers is Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis (RAS). There can be many potential causes for RAS, which includes:

  • Food allergy
  • Overactive immune system
  • Deficiency of certain nutrients, such as zinc and B vitamins
  • Wounds caused by physical or chemical agents
  • Side effects of medication
  • Secondary symptoms of other underlying conditions

There is also no effective medical treatment for RAS. Current medical treatment only focuses on symptom relief, i.e. reduces pain (using pain killer) and improve wound healing (with topical corticosteroids). Therefore, your doctors are not wrong in saying that they do not know what cause it and there is no cure.

However, the body has the amazing ability to heal itself if it is given the right materials and conditions. Therefore, diet and lifestyle are important. Here are some suggestions that can help to improve the healing of the mouth ulcers and prevent its recurrence, assuming that there are no underlying conditions:

Opened garlic bulb with garlic clove

Garlic is can be used to treat mouth ulcers. Allicin, the active ingredient of garlic, acts as an antiseptic and contains antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Dietary Advice

  • Eat a diet that is high in whole grain (brown rice, wholemeal bread, quinoa, millet, rye, oats, etc.) and lots of vegetables and fruits
  • Avoid foods that are deep fried, highly acidic, very spicy, too cold, or too hot.
  • Ensure regular intake of nuts (especially almonds, walnuts, and Brazil nuts) and seeds (pumpkin and sunflower)
  • Increase intake of garlic, if possible, raw garlic.
  • Take unsweetened natural yogurt and yeast extract (e.g. Marmite)
  • Reduce consumption of meat, increase intake of fish
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Reduce sugar as much as possible – use honey or molasses as sweetener.
  • Drink more than 2 litres of water daily
  • Do not skip meals

Nutritional supplements than can be potentially helpful

  • Vitamin B complex (especially B6, B9, and B12)
  • Zinc
  • Omega 3 oil, e.g. fish oil or flaxseed oil
  • Probiotics
  • Herbs: Echinacea for modulating the immune system, Gotu Kola for wound healing.
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) (中文:雷公根、崩大碗、蚶壳草) is a common herb used for wound healing.

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) (中文:雷公根、崩大碗、蚶壳草) is a common herb used for wound healing.

Topical application

  • High quality pure honey (especially Manuka Honey) can be useful for topical application to prevent infection and improve healing
  • Frequent use of mouthwash ( if you have access of high quality essential oil from Young Living, then use drops of Myrrh in filtered water as a mouthwash) Young Living Myrrh Essential Oil

Lifestyle

  • Reduce stress, anxiety and anger – these are emotional triggers for mouth ulcers
  • Ensure proper sleep hygiene – go to bed before 10am and make sure to have a good night’s sleep.
  • Frequent exercise

I hope these suggestions can help.

Regards,

Soo Liang

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