How To Use Honey To Heal Canker Sores?

Honey is not only tasty, but its therapeutic properties can help you heal mouth infections.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Saba, BHMS, MD
Written by Kushneet Kukreja, MS (Biotechnology)
Edited by Arshiya Syeda, BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Dip
Fact-checked by Dipti Sharma, MA (English)  • 

While the exact cause of canker sores is unknown, a straightforward remedy for these unsightly and often painful sores is honey! Yes, the sweet, sticky liquid can help you heal canker sores. Honey has many therapeutic properties and has been used widely in homeopathic and traditional medicine to remedy various ailments. So it is not surprising that this nutritious kitchen staple can also work its magic on canker sores.

Stress, a weakened immune system, or even repeated lip-biting may be a reason for the development of canker sores. Regardless, you can use honey as an alternative treatment to heal it. Read on to know in detail about the right way to use honey for healing these sores. Also, find more insight into what a canker sore is and why it develops.

What Is A Canker Sore?

The scientific name of canker sore is Apthous stomatitis. In plain English, canker sore is a painful spot inside your mouth. A canker sore is a mouth ulcer. They start small but grow into large and extremely painful patches. A study revealed that 1 out of 10 people suffer from canker sores. Out of that, nearly 85% of the population suffers from a minor form of canker sore. This is followed by 10% who have major canker sores and the remaining 5% who have herpetiform canker sore, which is an uncommon pinhead-sized mouth ulcer that appears in clusters.

Why Honey In Canker Sores?

Honey is known to have beneficial healing qualities (1). If your skin suffers from mild burns, applying honey on the affected area reduces the pain in no less than 10 minutes. When it comes to relieving you of mouth ulcers, honey works well because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

It is said that honey also has antibacterial qualities that help in the suppression of canker sores in your mouth. Honey also helps in the growth of tissues which play a vital role in the healing process of the wounds.


protip_icon Quick Tip
Always use unprocessed or Manuka honey. It is superior to regular honey in all aspects and has more therapeutic benefits.

Study On Honey As A Canker Sore Healer

A couple of years ago, researchers conducted a study on the efficacy of honey as a canker sore treatment. They divided a batch of 94 people who had canker sores into three groups. To the first group of people, researchers gave commercial honey as a medicine to relieve mouth ulcers. To the second group, they gave an oral cream. The last and the third group got a medicinal paste to cure mouth ulcer.

Each one had to use their medicine three times a day.

Interestingly, those who used honey were pleasantly surprised to note the ulcer being healed. The healing signs were visible in just four days. The other two groups didn’t report any progress. Their wounds didn’t seem to heal even a bit.

It was then that the healing properties of honey in the case of canker sores were made clear.

Raine Pal, a blogger, shared that she developed a canker sore that prevented her from eating properly and how she treated it. She writes, “One of the easiest ways to get rid of canker sores is to put a teaspoon of honey and run it all around each and every corner and crevice of your mouth. Honey is an extremely soothing substance; especially for skin that has become sore. It also has healing properties that can actually help you out (i).” Pal decided to try the remedy and later shared a picture of the sore to show that it was getting better.

How To Use Honey To Heal Canker Sores

Apply organic and raw honey to the sore and leave it on. Repeat the process two to three times a day. Ensure that you also apply raw honey to the sore before bed. Applying honey at night works more effectively because you don’t disturb the medicine by eating or drinking something.

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Alternatively, you can apply a blend of organic honey and coconut oil or aloe vera. Place a cotton ball on the sore to prevent the remedy from mixing with saliva.

Foods You Should Avoid Eating When You Have Canker Sores

It is suggested that you avoid consuming acidic food. It may slow down the healing process of the sores.

Infographic: All You Need To Know About Using Honey On Canker Sores

Canker sores can be painful and uncomfortable, and this is where honey can help. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and can support tissue growth and accelerate the recovery process. However, using it properly and taking relevant precautions for optimal results are important. Check out the infographic below for more information!

all you need to know about using honey on canker sores (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Canker sores are a kind of mouth ulcer that may progress from a small spot to large patches and can be caused due to weakened immunity, stress, or lip biting. These sores can be extremely painful and make daily tasks like eating and talking quite challenging. For a natural remedy, you can use honey to heal canker sores. Honey has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that aid in soothing the sores and facilitating their healing. In addition, honey supports the growth of new tissue and hence can speed up recovery. However, if the pain persists even after using honey for a few days, seek medical attention.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the white stuff in a canker sore?

The white substance you see in a canker sore is made up of bacteria, white blood cells, and debris from dead tissue.

How long does it take for a canker sore to heal?

The majority of canker sores fade away on their own within a few days to a week. Consult a doctor if the canker sore is painful and especially large or if it persists for more than two weeks.

Can a doctor do anything for a canker sore?

Yes. A doctor may recommend a topical medicine, such as a gel or a cream, or a specific mouthwash to help heal the canker sore.

Is canker sore contagious?

No, canker sores are not contagious.

Can you put Manuka honey on mouth ulcers?

Yes, you can apply Manuka honey on mouth ulcers.

Key Takeaways

  • Canker sores are a type of extremely painful mouth ulcer that may be caused by weakened immunity, stress, or lip biting.
  • Honey has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities that may help in healing and reducing pain caused by canker sores in your mouth.
  • Applying organic and raw honey to the sore two to three times a day and before you go to bed may help heal them.
  • You should avoid consuming acidic foods as they may slow down the healing process of the sores.

Say goodbye to the discomfort of canker sores with this invaluable video. Learn practical tips and effective remedies to swiftly heal those pesky mouth ulcers. Check it out!

Personal Experience: Source

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