One of the side effects of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis is mouth ulcers. Common mouth ulcers are Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis (RAS) and Recurrent Intra-oral Herpes (RIH). The reason why these extra-intestinal symptoms occur is not clearly known. However, they coincide with flare ups of the disease.
There are many causes for mouth ulcers. They include skin causes like erythema multiforme, liche planus; microbial causes like herpes, chickenpox, infectious mononucleosis; gastrointestinal causes like Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, Coeliac; rheumatoid causes like systemic lupus erthematosus, Reiter’s syndrome, Behcet’s disease; blood causes like neutropenia, leukaemia or due to drugs like Nicorandril, cytotoxic agents, NSAIDs, oral nicotine replacement therapy. Other reasons why ulcers occur include deficiencies in nutrition or sensitive food intake.
Ulcer patients generally take soft, bland food that is rich in nutrients. This is most likely to be a macrobiotic diet. In combination with this diet most ulcer victims are resorting to applying aloe vera topically. Studies have shown that localised application of aloe vera does help in the treatment of ulcers of the mouth. In fact the medicinal capabilities of laoe have exceeded the expectations of medics. Additionally aloe vera helps in oedema control, pain control and fast healing.
Another use of aloe-vera is in controlling inflammation. Its anti-bacterial qualities mean that it finds use in the treatment of chemical burns, traumatized gum tissue, post tooth extraction, periodontal surgery sites etc. Aloe users should keep in mind that treatment of mouth ulcers depends on contact time. The medication should be given at minimum of five minutes to act on the area before rinsing it out. While these are only a few of Aloe vera’s uses there are a lot more effects that aloe vera can cause. Other properties of the products of this plant include anti-fungal, astringent, laxative, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.