PROBLEM: Canker sores

SOLUTION: Licorice

THE SCOOP: Canker sores may be small, but don't let their size fool you--these mouth ulcers can be incredibly painful. Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) may ease pain and shorten recovery time. The root of the herb has been used as a medicine since ancient times.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Tablets you allow to dissolve in your mouth; or self-adhesive, time-release dissolving discs that contain licorice root extract. Since Glycyrrhiza glabra contains glycyrrhizin, which in high enough amounts can cause fluid retention, increased blood pressure, and potassium loss, choose tablets made with deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL). Two to four 380-milligram DGL tablets before meals and at bedtime are recommended.

TRY: Enzymatic Therapy DGL, $12.95/100 tablets (shown,; Nature's Life Chewable DGL Licorice, $13.49/100 tablets (; Orahealth CankerMelts, $15.99/24 discs (


By Megan Mattes

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