Eating a kiwi helps reader get rid of canker sores

Q. I’ve always been susceptible to getting canker sores in my mouth, so when I heard that kiwi fruit could make them go away quickly, I had to try. Wow! My canker sore was gone in two days.

I had another one about a week later and ate a kiwi. Again, it was gone in two days. Now I don’t wait for the canker sore to show up. I just eat a kiwi every few days. I’m 58 and had suffered with canker sores since college.

A. Although we could find no scientific evidence that kiwi fruit helps heal canker sores, you are not the first to report this effect. Eight years ago, a reader wrote: “I have suffered with mouth ulcers all my life. I have tried many home remedies, over-the-counter cures and a few prescriptions. Eating one kiwi cures my canker sores as fast as the prescription steroid cream, and the kiwi doesn’t come with warnings about the danger of putting it in your mouth. It has helped a few of my friends also.”

Other canker-sore remedies include sauerkraut juice, powdered instant tea (or a wet tea bag), L-lysine, acidophilus and goldenseal.

Q. A friend found a mention of nettle leaf for allergy relief in your book and passed it along. It works wonderfully.

It has also worked for others. A student in one of my college classes told me that he was unable to sleep the night before because of allergies. He took a dose of my nettle leaf extract. An hour later, he interrupted the class to say his symptoms were gone.

On your Web pages you discuss nettle root for prostate health. Are the uses of the leaf and the root different?

A. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a common herb in Europe, where the leaves also may be eaten as a vegetable. In this country, few people know about it.

You are correct that the nettle root extract is used to treat symptoms of enlarged prostate. The above-ground parts are used to treat symptoms of allergy (Alternative Medicine Review, September 2007).

We discuss this and many other natural approaches to allergy control in our book “Best Choices From The People’s Pharmacy.” It is available from libraries and bookstores or online (

X In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of The Vindicator or e-mail them via their Web site:

© 2008 King Features Syndicate Inc.

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