Advertisement
News

Sauerkraut juice touted as canker-sore remedy

My 37-year-old daughter has battled canker sores her entire life. It's not unusual for her to have more than 10 at a time. She's tried a lot of different treatments through the years with little success.

Recently she had a baby and did not have one sore the entire pregnancy. Six weeks after delivering, the sores came back in full force. Her doctor prescribed oral corticosteroid, which cleared up her mouth sores temporarily. They returned as soon as the steroids wore off. Incidentally, she is a nurse, but she has yet to find any help. She's willing to try a home remedy if you can suggest one.

Advertisement

The medical term for canker sores is aphthous ulcers. Doctors don't know what causes them or why some people are especially susceptible. They can show up after you've bitten your cheek or for no apparent reason. A bad case can make it hard for a person to eat or talk.

If there is no underlying medical problem, sauerkraut juice is a home remedy worth considering. A tablespoon of juice gets swished around the mouth a few times a day and then swallowed. One doctor who, like your daughter, suffered recurrent severe canker sores was skeptical when we suggested this, but found that it worked extremely well. He was so pleased, he and his chemist son are doing some research on its ingredients.

Advertisement

If sauerkraut juice is too weird or unpalatable, there are a few other options. Some readers recommend a pinch of alum on the sore; others prefer tannin or instant iced tea. L-lysine and acidophilus supplements from the health food store also have their supporters.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10019, or e-mail them on their Web site, www.peoplespharmacy.org.


Advertisement