Does applying a tea bag to a canker sore cause it to diminish or disappear?

Examples of this claim include:

Some doctors suggest putting wet black tea bags on sores. Black tea contains tannin, a substance that can relieve pain. You can also find tannin in some over-the-counter medicines

Have some tea. Several experts, among them dermatologist Jerome Z. Litt, M.D., recommend applying a wet, black tea bag to the ulcer. Black tea contains tannin, an astringent that "may pleasantly surprise you" with its pain-relieving ability, he says. There are over-the-counter medications available that contain tannin, such as Tanac.

Try using a used tea bag on the canker. Press it on the sore like a wad of chewing tobacco and hold it there as long as you can. The tannic acid in the tea is an astringent and will relieve pain and aid healing.

Related: Can vegemite or marmite heal ulcers?

  • chai and tea are the same thing, so chai tea is rather redundant. – picakhu Jul 7 '11 at 2:51
  • @pikachu I apologize for my ignorance. I assume I am referring to the flavoring that wikipedia identifies as masala chai, known to English speakers as "chai". – WAF Jul 7 '11 at 2:59
  • 2
    Do you have a specific source that claims this? I ask because tea (by which I mean Camellia sinensis) has a variety of different active chemical components including caffeine and catechins. I would like to see a proposed mechanism. An interesting sub-question could be "Does applying a tea-bag to the space left by a recently removed tooth help in healing". I was told to do that when I got my wisdom teeth out. – nalgenegirl Jul 7 '11 at 4:09
  • Interesting (and detailed) information about canker sores: nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003059.htm – Randolf Richardson Jul 7 '11 at 9:58
  • Is there a scientific claim of this cure? Without citing a reference, there's no issue of "Skepticism" to this question. If you are questioning the accuracy of a public claim, please reference that claim for consideration; otherwise, this question is better suited to Fitness & Nutrition. – Robert Cartaino Jul 7 '11 at 14:49

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