From Confectionery Treat to Treating Canker Sores
Posted Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Licorice root, one of the main ingredients of candy licorice, has recently been found to be an effective treatment for canker sores. Licorice is a legume, and its roots were originally snacked on by themselves, straight out of the ground. While licorice is generally known for its sweetness, the unaltered roots themselves and have a rather powerful taste, ranging from sweet to salty. The root extract has long been used medicinally, from tooth powders to cough syrup. The March/April issue of General Dentistry has a study testing licorice root's effectiveness for treating recurrent aphthous ulcers, or as they are more commonly known, canker sores. Here is an extract from the study:

"Recurrent aphthous ulcers (RAU) are a common and painful condition. This article describes a randomized, double-blind clinical trial of an over-the-counter medicated intraoral adhesive patch for treatment of RAU. Subjects were randomly assigned to either an active drug (patch with extract of glycyrrhiza root) or placebo patch treatment group (both n = 23) at onset of a lesion. Lesion size and pain report (unstimulated and stimulated) were assessed at intervals. A no-treatment group (n = 23) also was recruited and assessed similarly. By the eighth day, the ulcer size for the active treatment group was significantly lower (p < 0.05), while the lesions in the no-treatment group increased 13% from baseline. By the fourth day, the active treatment group reported significantly less pre-stimulus pain (p < 0.01); at this point, 81% of this group reported no pre-stimulus pain, compared with 63% of the placebo patch group and 40% of the no-treatment group."

Here is a Science Daily brief on the study, and the whole article from General Dentistry can be seen here. Additionally, some praise for Licorice Root Tea from the pebblesfromheaven and cookalmostanything blogs.


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