Kiwi fruit sliced segments, canker sores

Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, can be a painful problem. Very often it isn’t completely clear what brings them on, since they are not infectious in origin. People who have recurrent canker sores may be right to blame the microbes in their mouths (BMC Microbiology, April 1, 2016). Psychological stress appears to be a contributor, since students are most susceptible right around exam times.  Having a way to treat them so they disappear more quickly is a definite plus. Many readers report that kiwi fruit can do just that:

Kiwi Fruit for Canker Sores:

Q. I have suffered with canker sores all my life. I’ve read in your column about sauerkraut but I’ve found kiwi fruit works better.

If you eat at least two kiwi fruit a day, the next morning the canker sore will be much smaller and less painful. It works best if you chew the fruit and swish it around in your mouth for as long as you can. The fruit needs to be very ripe to work. I hope this helps anyone that reads it.

A. We appreciate your experience. Other readers have also had success using kiwi fruit to fight canker sores. Some people eat kiwi weekly to prevent outbreaks of these sores, which may occur after scratching or inadvertently biting the inside of the cheek or lip.

One visitor reminded us that some people are allergic to kiwi:

“My grandson had his mouth and lips swell painfully large from eating kiwi. His doctor said he should never again eat even the smallest piece of kiwi.”

Kiwi fruit allergy is not rare, so readers should keep the possibility of a reaction in mind (European Annals of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Nov., 2015).

Other Remedies Can Also Help:

Other remedies for canker sores include sauerkraut juice, instant iced tea powder or powdered alum on the sore spot.

Many readers report that taking l-lysine acts to prevent canker sores; several endorse an old-fashioned remedy of swishing buttermilk around in the mouth to help heal canker sores quickly.

Several visitors also noted that canker sores could be a symptom of an underlying health problem, especially celiac disease. In this auto-immune disorder, gluten from wheat, barley or rye triggers the body to attack the digestive tract. AMJ suggested:

“Canker sores are one of the lesser known, non gastric, symptoms of celiac disease. This individual might consider asking her doctor for a screening panel, just to check this out.”

That advice is supported by a letter from French doctors published in Pediatric Dermatology (March, 2016), suggesting that recurrent canker sores could be a marker for celiac disease in children.

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  1. Mary

    I find that if I do not get enough zinc I frequently get a canker sore on my tongue.
    Now, it happens very rarely.

  2. Des

    For internal mouth sores I recommend chewing Nasturtium leaves. Tropaeolum majus – L. This simple remedy works wonders and it is nutritious too.

  3. msp

    I have a simple remedy for canker sores from the wife of a physician. Hold a mouthfull of peroxide in your mouth for 10 minutes every day and you’ll never have another canker sore. I had them on a regular basis until I got this simple remedy. It’s also an easy way to travel and still have the means to stop regular outbreaks.

  4. F. N. Hall

    Hello Friends,
    I worked in the Medical Field for 31 years, and learned a full proof remedy for cold sores or cankers. When you first get that feeling of a cold sore coming on, hold and ice cube on the area as often as you can. Cold sores are a Virus, and you can freeze a Virus, but not bacteria. Until we picked this up in our continuing education units we had a saying. Treat a cold sore and it takes 7 days to go away, leave it alone and it takes 7 days to go away. Believe me freezing the Virus works a lot better.
    F. Hall

  5. Valerie G

    I have never heard of using kiwi to help alleviate canker sores, Very interesting and natural, too. I like to use aloe vera gel, fresh from a plant, preferably, as it soothing and will help reduce the inflammation and aid in healing. Another popular treatment is rather unusual but a lot of people say it works – mix a little milk of magnesia with an equal part of liquid Beneddryl allergy medicine and dab a little on the sore. The Benedryl will act as a topical antihistimine and help reduce the swelling while the milk of magnesia is soothing.

  6. LG

    I used to have a lot of problems with canker sores until I heard a suggestion on The People’s Pharmacy several years ago to switch to a toothpaste that didn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which is added to make toothpaste foam in your mouth. Since the switch, I rarely get canker sores.

  7. CM

    I’ve had canker sores lately and bought sauerkraut to remedy the problem. But about a week later, it came back and I had no saurkraut. I just dabbed vodka with a Q tip on it a couple of times during the day. That seemed to work better because the sore didn’t come back.

  8. Chris

    Are canker sores different from COld Sores ?
    Cold sores and/or fever blisters usually affect the lips or areas around the mouth and are caused by the herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1) virus. They can be treated with antiviral medications such as acyclovir, valacyclovir or famciclovir.
    Canker sores occur inside the mouth. They are also called aphthous ulcers (doctorspeak). No one knows the cause of canker sores. They come and go mysteriously and do not respond to antiviral medication. If you bite your cheek or eat something rough and sharp like a pretzel or chip, you can sometimes trigger an ulcer or lesion on the delicate mucosa of the cheek.
    You will find lots of remedies for canker sores if you search either canker or aphthous in our search engine on the home page. People often report success with buttermilk or sauerkraut juice, but there are no magic bullets (though there is something called “magic mouthwash”). People report varied success with this prescription-strength mouthwash.

  9. HB

    I use a styptic pencil which is a very old-fashioned remedy for it. Just wet the tip and place it over the canker sore. It will be gone the next day!

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