Friday, February 26, 2010

Mouth ulcers: Homoeopathy and Dietary Management

What are mouth ulcers?

Mouth ulcers or canker sores are single or clustered, shallow, painful ulcers that develop anywhere in the oral cavity.
These ulcers usually resolve in 7 to 21 days, but they have a tendency to recur in many people.

Clinical features of mouth ulcers
  • Mouth ulcers or apthae are single or clustered ulcers in the oral cavity.
  • They measure up to 1 centimeter in size.
  • The mouth ulcers are extremely painful, and occasionally bleed.
Etiological factors responsible for mouth ulcers
  • Recurrent trauma to the buccal mucosa (lining of the mouth) is a prominent causative factor for mouth sores.
  • Food sensitivities are also important causes leading to ulcers.
  • A nutrient deficiency, especially, that of vitamin B complex.
  • Inadequate bowel movement.
  • Stress poses as a significant precipitating cause.
Homoeopathic management of mouth ulcers

Nux Vomica
  • Nux vomica is a potent remedy which cures small, aphthous ulcers, that are present on the sides of the tongue, and the mucous lining of the cheek.
  • The ulcers are usually small, round, and bleed easily.
  • Nux vomica treats inflammation of the gums, which occurs in association with mouth sores, very effectively.
  • The remedy is particularly indicated when there are errors in the diet, dietary deficiencies, and lifestyle irregularities.
  • The gastro-intestinal system is deranged. Digestive disturbances such as dyspepsia (indigestion), unsatisfactory bowel movement, and excessive flatulence (gas formation) occur.
  • Stress wreaks havoc on the nervous and the gastro-intestinal systems resulting in the formation of canker sores. Nux vomica works best on psycho-somatic disorders, i.e. disorders which start due to a psychological or emotional cause, and then trigger off a physical manifestation (like aphthae). 
  • A repeated dosage, frequent times a day is recommended to hasten cure.
  • The medicine is completely natural and does not produce any adverse side effects.
Food prescriptions / dietary management for mouth ulcers
  • Predominantly, a deficiency of vitamin B6, vitamin B 12, thiamine, iron, and folic acid is a contributing factor to the development of apthae. Thus, stepping up the intake of foods, which are rich sources of these nutrients, helps in the effective treatment of the aphthous ulcers. Brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, and sunflower seeds are excellent sources of vitamin B 6. Organ meat, oysters, trout, sardines, eggs, whey, and cheese are packed with vitamin B 12. (Caution: individuals suffering from hypercholesterolemia, cardiovascular disorders or gout should avoid consuming these foods. A vitamin B 12 supplement is recommended for them.) Brewer’s yeast, soy, wheat germ, peanuts, and pine nuts are exceptional sources of thiamine. Dates, tomatoes, beet, and raisins are loaded with iron. Excellent sources of folic acid are brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, wheat bran, soy, kidney beans, and dark green leafy vegetables. Complete remission is seen, once the intake of these foods is enhanced. 
  • It is essential to identify and completely eliminate from the diet, certain foods which have a tendency to cause ulcerations. A trial and error method will help you recognize the offending food. Common foods that cause canker sores are milk and its products, gluten, and pungent foods.
Home remedies to treat mouth ulcers
Honey is an efficient home remedy to manage mouth sores. Apply a spoonful of honey over the ulcers, 2 to 3 times a day. In addition, consume 1 tablespoonful of honey after every meal. Honey soothes the buccal mucosa and the mucus membrane lining the stomach. It tones up the gastro-intestinal track and even improves bowel movement.

Health tip
Ensuring a daily intake of all the required vital minerals and vitamins, cures and prevents the recurrence of mouth ulcers. Supplements are advocated in cases of severe deficiencies, but gradually, opt of natural food sources of the nutrients. More over, these nutrients also help combat the deleterious effects of stress.

No comments:

Post a Comment