vitamins and minerals

Stomatitis (Mouth Sores) – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Inflammation of the mouth is known as stomatitis. It can be caused by poor oral hygiene, burns from intake of hot liquids or foods, medications, allergic reactions or infections. Although the cause of recurrent aphthous stomatitis (canker sores) is not known, nutritional deficiencies are thought to play an important role. The management of stomatitis depends on the causative cause of the disease.

Stomatitis is known as “Mukhpak” in Ayurveda. The standard Ayurvedic treatment for stomatitis is as follows. A decoction of Triphala (Three fruits), Patha (Cissampelos pareira), Manuka (raisins) and Jai (Jasminum auriculatum) leaves, combined with honey, is used as a mouthwash. Cold water mixed with honey, or a decoction of Daruharidra (Berberis aristata) and alum is also used as a mouthwash. Jatyadi oil, or Kamdudha mixed with cream is used for local application on wounds. Khadiradi vati is used for sucking. Gentle purging is advised. In patients with recurrent stomatitis, bleeding is advised.

In Ayurveda, stomatitis is divided into five different types, depending on the disturbed Dosha causing the symptoms. A short description of each type with the specific treatment is given below.

In the “Vataja” type of stomatitis, there is severe pain, cracking of the tongue and intolerance to cold food. Panchlavan (five salts) and medicinal oils are used for local application. Medicinal plants useful here are: Arjun (Terminalia arjuna), Erand (Ricinus communis), Khadir (Acacia catechu), Guggulu (Commiphora mukul), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Tagar (Valeriana wallichii), Deodar (Cedrus deodara) and Shilajit (Bitumen).

In the “Pittaja” type, there is severe burning, redness and a bitter taste in the mouth. Induced purging is advised in this type. Sugar cane juice, milk, grape juice and glucose water are used in mouthwash. It is advisable to chew the leaves of Dhatki (Woodfordia fruticosa). The same treatment, accompanied by bleeding, is advised in the “Raktaja” type, where all the symptoms are more pronounced.

In the “Kaphaja” type, there is relatively less pain. Canker sores are not very red and are sticky. There is more salivation, and a slight itch in the affected parts. Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), salts and Kshars (medicinal caustics) are used locally. Decoctions of Palash (Butea monosperma) and Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), mixed with Kshar are used in mouthwash.

In the last type of stomatitis called “Sannipataja”, there is a combination of symptoms of vataja, pittaja and kaphaja types. Treatment is given based on the predominant symptoms. Ayurvedic formulation containing Gorochan, Kasis, Alum, Rasanjan, Mocharasa (Salmalia malabarica) and honey is used for topical application.

With the above treatment, most patients with only local symptoms recover within a few days. For recurrent canker sores or any stomatitis with very severe symptoms, more prolonged treatment is usually required. Additionally, patients may need oral treatment with herbal medicines to correct imbalances in the body.

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