Licorice extract helps treat canker sores

May 23, 2008 at 5:42 PM
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SEATTLE, May 23 (UPI) -- "Canker sores," or recurrent aphthous ulcers, can be treated with a licorice root extract, U.S researchers say.

Lead author Michael Martin of the University of Washington in Seattle and colleagues examined the effects of an over-the-counter medicated adhesive patch -- with extract from the licorice root -- for treatment of canker sores versus no treatment.

The study, published in General Dentistry, found that after seven days of treatment, ulcer size in the group who received the adhesive patch with licorice extract was significantly lower, while ulcer size in the no-treatment group had increased 13 percent.

The most serious side effect of canker sores is sharp pain in the mouth, which can interfere with an individual's quality of life and affect their eating, drinking or speech, Martin said.

"In addition to speeding healing of the canker sores, the adhesive patch helped to reduce pain after just three days of treatment," Martin said in a statement.

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