Canker sores, technically known as aphthous ulcers, are frequently confused with cold sores, though they are not the same thing at all. Cold sores are caused by an outbreak of herpes virus 1. Canker sores are not caused by any virus. Sometimes they just appear mysteriously. At other times, they are the result of an injury to the mouth or tongue, such as when you bite your cheek or eat some sharp chips that abrade the tongue. But how can you make canker sores disappear?
Kiwi Fruit Against Canker Sores:
Q. Thanks to the People’s Pharmacy, I have had wonderful luck with kiwi fruit to treat canker sores. I peel and slice a ripe kiwi, then hold each slice against the sore(s) with my tongue for a minute or so before chewing and swallowing it. Usually, I feel relief within an hour.
In the uncommon event that the canker sore persists, I eat another kiwi the same way, the next day. It has never taken more than two kiwis for me to banish a canker sore, and I must say, I find it much more pleasant than another remedy you write about: sauerkraut juice.
How Might Kiwi Fruit Be Working?
A. Over the years we have heard from numerous readers that eating kiwi fruit as you describe can heal canker sores quickly. We’ve never had an explanation for this terrific remedy.
Kiwi for Bedsores:
We still don’t, but we may be getting a bit closer. We were fascinated to see a randomized clinical trial comparing kiwi fruit extract to normal saline solution for the healing of bedsores (Mohajeri et al, Indian Journal of Surgery, Dec. 2015, Supplement 2). The study was small, with only 40 patients, but the differences between the two groups were significant. Although the skin and the surface of the tongue or cheek are different, both are epithelial tissues.
Kiwi for Burns:
Apparently the protein-dissolving enzyme in kiwi fruit, actinidin, can help speed healing. Kiwi extract has also been found helpful in healing burns (Mohajeri et al, Surgery, Nov. 2010).
You’ll find other options for treating canker sores (including sauerkraut juice) in our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies.