aloe vera prevents oral mucositis, or mouth sores, in children on chemotherapy

Mouth sores are one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. They are painful and make it hard to eat and can seriously affect quality of life. When kids get them, it is especially unfair. Herbal help is here.

Ulcerative lesions, or oral mucositis, is a very common side effect of chemotherapy and radiation. It significantly affects quality of life by causing pain, causing nutritional deficiencies because of difficulty eating, increasing the risk of infection and making swallowing and talking difficult.

Relief for kids could be here. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common cancer in kids. But when 26 children between the ages of just 3 and 6 were given aloe vera or a placebo during their chemotherapy treatment, the aloe accomplished important prevention.

The kids in the aloe group applied aloe with spongey sticks to their lips, cheeks, tongue, floor of the mouth and roof of the mouth. The aloe made to significant differences. Children using aloe went significantly longer before they started developing mouth sores (which could allow them to stay on their chemo longer). Perhaps even more importantly, mouth sores in the kids using aloe were less severe and occurred significantly less frequently.

This encouraging study provides hope for kids on chemotherapy by showing that topical aloe vera effectively prevents mouth sores.

Compr Child Adolesc Nurs 2021 Mar;44(1):49-62

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For much more on the healing properties of aloe vera, see Linda and Ted's book Healthy Herbs: Your Everyday Guide to Medicinal Herbs and Their Use

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