Wild Oregano Oil (Origanum vulgare) is my go-to remedy for all sort of ailments, including canker sores. It’s a potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic and antioxidant with many uses. Due to its antioxidant characteristics, it may also help reduce inflammation, which is key when you are suffering from a mouth sore.
Derived from a perennial herb that grows wild in the Mediterranean area oregano contains the active ingredient carvacrol as well as thymol, vitamins, phytonutrients and flavonoids. The best oil will contain at least 62-75% carvacrol (the higher the better) and should preferably be organic.
Its healing properties make this oil a must-have for your home medicine cabinet. Medical applications include skin conditions, mouth infections, cold sores, sinus infections, colds and flu, urinary tract infections, digestive problems, fungal infections and nail fungus, dandruff and more.
Some people are reluctant to use it because it has a very strong odor and taste and creates a powerful heat or burning sensation when applied to sensitive areas such as the nose or mouth. The heat dissipates in a couple of minutes, and oregano oil is so effective at reducing pain and speeding the healing of conditions such as canker sores that it is worth a few minutes of discomfort. As the saying goes, short term pain for long term gain.
How to Use It on Mouth Sores
is that you need to leave it on your ulcer for as long as possible. Place a drop of oil on your finger, on a cotton swab or on a piece of gauze and apply it to your sore. Hold it in place for at least 10 minutes. The longer it stays in contact with your ulcer the more effective and the faster the results. It will probably burn for a good couple of minutes, but hang in there and remember that the heating sensation will go away very shortly. Most people experience a reduction in canker sore pain after only one application. Continue with the treatment a couple more times and you should find that your symptoms have dramatically improved.
If full strength is too strong for you, try diluting the wild oregano with olive oil. Note that commercial oils are already emulsified with olive oil; you will be diluting it further at a ratio of about 4 drops of olive oil for every drop of oregano oil. Then use the diluted oil in the same way as above. It should reduce the heat sensation.
Another alternative, although not quite as effective, is to make a mouth rinse with wild oregano and water. Add four to five drops to about 1/4 cup of water and swirl it around your mouth for at least two minutes, longer if you can tolerate it. Yes, it tastes kind of yucky but if it can help your canker sore, it will be worth it. Repeat several times per day until your sore is gone. This method is great if you have sore throat.
You can find wild oregano oil on line, at health food stores and some pharmacies as well. My favorite brand is Oreganol from North American Herb and Spice. Be careful: there is a big difference between wild oregano oil and essential oil of oregano. You should never apply an undiluted essential oil to the skin. Pregnant women should avoid using oregano oil because it may cause complications.
Although you canker sore is likely to heal much faster with the above treatment, while you have an ulcer present you should avoid highly acidic foods such as tomatoes, citrus, and coffee and foods with sharp edges like toast or crackers, as they may exacerbate your condition.