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Eating Watermelon Soothed the Pain of Canker Sores

Eating Watermelon Soothed the Pain of Canker Sores

Q. I have suffered with canker sores my whole life despite trying numerous remedies including rinsing my mouth with peroxide, salt and water or a benzocaine solution.

Eating is excruciating when they are present. In trying to stay hydrated and satiated recently, I bought a watermelon. At first, like all other foods, it burned. By the time I ate half a melon in a few hours, though, the pain in my mouth was greatly relieved, and the burning was gone.

It wasn’t the water because I drink at least six glasses of water a day. Have you ever heard of watermelon being good for canker sores?

A. This is news to us, and a quick check of the medical literature suggests most doctors haven’t heard of it either. Although we could find no research supporting this approach, we did see a few anecdotal reports suggesting that others have also found watermelon helpful for canker sores.

You will find many other remedies to help treat occasional canker sores in our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies. In it, we also offer simple remedies for a wide range of other minor health problems.

Chronic canker sores could be a signal of a more serious condition. Ask your doctor to test for celiac disease. A blood test for tTG (tissue transglutaminase) antibody is a good place to start.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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