The open sores which appear in the mouth are called as mouth ulcers. They are white or yellow in color, and are generally accompanied with a sharp pain, which is felt most when the person is eating. The pain is quite acute when salty or spicy food passes over the ulcer. Mouth ulcers can occur anywhere in the mouth – on the inner surface of the cheeks, lips, tongue, palate and at the base of the gums.
Mouth ulcers are caused due to vitiation of the pitta dosha. The condition is called as Mukha Paaka in Sanskrit. There are several factors that can cause it. Some of them are as follows:-
(1) Useful Herbs in the Treatment of Mouth Ulcers
Banyan (Ficus religiosa)
A decoction of the bark of the banyan tree reduces the pain caused by mouth ulcers.
Chebulic Myrobalan (Terminalia chebula)
The chebulic myrobalan is a component of the Triphala choorna, of which the amalaki is also an essential component. Its bark helps in reducing the pain of the ulcers. It also helps in correcting the constipation problems which causes ulcers.
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum)
Fenugreek leaves help in the treatment of mouth ulcers. An infusion of these leaves is used for gargling. Fenugreek is a strong agent on the ulcers. Hence it is used as a remedy for recurrent ulcers.
Henna (Lawsonium alba)
Henna is a cooling herb. It can provide a soothing effect on the ulcers. It is used with water for gargling.
Indian Gooseberry (Emblica officinalis)
The Indian gooseberry or amalaki has a dual effect on ulcers. Used as a gargling solution, it can relax the pain of the ulcers. Secondly it can deal with constipation, which is generally one of the important factors causing ulcers in the mouth.
Kattha (Acacia catechu)
Kattha is an extract of the Acacia catechu plant, known commonly in the west as the catechu plant. This has astringent properties. It has a special place in Ayurvedic medicine in oral treatment. It is used in many forms for the treatment of ulcers.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Licorice is used for several oral and dental problems. It is a component of several toothpaste brands. Its stem and leaves cleanse the mouth effectively. Apart from controlling the sores, it can refresh the mouth and cleanse the teeth.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric is also a cooling agent. It helps in relieving mouth ulcers. It is mixed in water and the suspension is used for gargling.
(2) Dietary Treatments for Mouth Ulcers
Digestive problems are the leading causes for mouth ulcers. If an oral ulcer occurs suddenly, then it could be due to excessive heat generated in the body due to consuming hot food.
When ulcers occur in the mouth, hot and spicy food must be stopped immediately. These will aggravate the pains of the ulcers. Caffeine and tea must also be stopped.
Consuming more greens in the diet helps to be ever-protected from ulcers. Greens also provide the necessary fiber for the movement of bowels. This prevents constipation.
It is advisable to stop fatty food – especially that which contains oils – till the time the ulcers have healed.
Papaya is a very good fruit to be consumed when you have mouth ulcers. It soothes the mouth ulcers and helps in their quick recovery. Yam is also beneficial for mouth ulcer problems.
(3) Ayurvedic Treatments for Mouth Ulcers
Ayurveda prescribes the Irimedadi tailam for local application over the mouth ulcers. It gives relief from the pains and assists in speedy recovery. Instead of Irimedadi tailam, camphor powder can also be applied on the ulcers.
(4) Home Remedies for Mouth Ulcers
Grind the leaves of the Indian plum (jambula). Exude their paste in water and gargle with this water. It will give immediate relief from the pains of the mouth ulcers.
Gargling with the water of the adulsa (Justicia adhadota) also brings about an immediate relief from the mouth ulcer pains.
Mix the peel of a lemon with white catechu. Grind them into a very fine paste. Apply this directly on the ulcer. The ulcer will get treated almost immediately.
Take two to three leaves of the guava tree and some catechu. Chomp them together. This will cure even the most persistent of ulcers within a few days.
Mix some catechu in water till it gets a pasty consistency. Apply this paste on the ulcers.
Mix a ripe banana in curds that have been prepared from cow’s milk. Eat this as a dessert. It will bring about a permanent solution to the oral ulcer problems.