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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tea Tree Oil for Mouth Sores

It's antiseptic and helps them heal faster.

I like to use this remedy - just a drop - on mouth sores when I get them. I put the drop on my finger, then rub it on the sore(s). There are warnings against it internally; however, health food stores do sell tea tree oil toothpicks, and many brands of toothpaste and mouthwash they sell contain it.

In my experience, a small amount has done no apparent harm - just be very careful not to swallow it. Tea tree oil is toxic if swallowed. (Expectorate your saliva for a minute or two after using.) You can also add a drop to a small amount of water and use as a mouth rinse. (Use caution, do not swallow!) Oh, and while I'm issuing cautions, be sure to wash your finger well after if you use it to apply the oil, lest you rub your eye later and cause yourself pain and or harm. (Or both!)

Without it, a sore will last me several days. With it, the pain diminishes right away, and the sore seems to heal much faster. Sometimes I don't even notice it again after the first application, other times it takes two or three applications, usually just after brushing my teeth.

It's also useful for cuts and scrapes, but shouldn't be used on an open wound.

Additional properties: antifungal, antiviral. (External use only. Good addition to natural household cleaning solutions.)

More info on this remedy:

Doctors test tea tree oil body wash for MRSA [methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus] article on Reuters website.

Numerous cautions on the NIH website, including cautions against using orally.

Use and precautions on American Cancer Society's website. Also has info on who is more likely to have allergic reactions to this remedy.

Order Tea Tree Oil at


Anonymous said...

Yes! I've used tea tree oil for years on my cold sores, and it seems to be the most reliable, for drying the sores up the fastest. I use it undiluted, straight from the bottle.
The key for me is twofold:

Apply the tea tree oil to the area BEFORE a sore has even erupted, just when I first notice a light pink spot and I suspect a sore will soon appear. I've found that if the sore has already popped out to the surface, the tea tree oil won't heal the sore as fast; it helps, but not as much.

The second important thing to do is to reapply many times throughout the day, even every half hour to an hour, unless you notice an allergic reaction. These two steps helped me to "nip" the sore "in the bud", before it took hold.

Randi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Randi said...

Thanks for your input, Anonymous. As they say, timing is everything, and your every half hour suggestion may be helpful to others.

I also have to admit I recently purchased a bottle of Kanka liquid for mouth pain (made by Blistex). Not the natural type of remedy I usually recommend, but still very helpful, especially if the sore is not caught and treated early on.

It is approved for use inside the mouth, though I usually only apply it on or just inside the lip. The area has to be dry when the liquid is applied.

The active ingredient is benzocaine (20%) for temporary pain relief. More importantly, it coats the sore, protecting it from further irritation. This seems to promote healing in my personal experience.

I usually only have to use it 2 times, several hours apart. I apply it just before a meal to prevent pain while eating. Sometimes just once is enough; sometimes I need it a third time.

Since I only use it occasionally, I don't worry about what else may be in it. I haven't shown any sensitivity or bad reactions to it, and I have no sensitivities or allergies to -caine type anesthetics. (It's not recommended for those who do.)

So if you--and by you I mean anyone reading this, not just Anonymous--have problems with cold sores (aka canker sores) perhaps you will also find this remedy helpful.

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