Cursed with canker sores? A little licorice might help.
In a recent study from General Dentistry, researchers gave licorice-laced adhesive patches to 23 adults suffering from canker sores. Seven days after application, sores grew significantly smaller and less painful, while study members who'd received no treatment saw their sores increase by 13 percent.
Stress and hormonal changes often cause canker sores, and "licorice helps to knit the tissue back together and heal the sore," says Jennifer Phillips, N.D.
To cure your own canker sores, Phillips suggests using a deglycyrrhizinated-licorice-based mouthwash or gel four times daily. If you can't find either product at your local natural foods store, steep a tablespoon of dried licorice root in a cup of simmering water for 15 minutes. Strain, let cool to room temperature, then rinse your mouth with the tea.