PEOPLE’S PHARMACY: Sauerkraut juice helps heal canker sores?

Q: I have had dry mouth for years because of medication. Recently, with my diabetes diagnosis, it has gotten much worse. It is hard to talk and hard to swallow.

In the past week, I have had painful sores inside my mouth and on my tongue. My doctors were no help, but my mom referred me to the People’s Pharmacy, and I read about sauerkraut juice. I purchased a can and took it home, not really thinking it would help. Within a minute, the pain was gone! The relief lasted hours.

A: We heard about sauerkraut juice for canker sores more than a decade ago. A listener to our syndicated radio show shared his mother’s remedy. She worked as a dental assistant during the Depression and learned this remedy from the dentist, who recommended swishing the mouth with sauerkraut juice several times during the day. Swallowing about a tablespoon of juice each time may help.

We are not aware of a scientific explanation for why sauerkraut juice would help heal canker sores. We have heard from many readers who have found it helpful, however.

Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition. They can be reached at peoplespharmacy

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