Flashback Friday: Topical Honey for Canker Sores

Flashback Friday: Topical Honey for Canker Sores
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What works better against aphthous ulcers? Honey applied with a cotton swab three times a day after meals was compared head-to-head against an over-the-counter soothing pain-relieving paste and a prescription steroid cream.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

We’ve known about painful aphthous ulcers—canker sores—for thousands of years: “the most common lesion” of the lining of our mouths, named, perhaps, by Hippocrates himself. Well, what did he prescribe for it? Well, he was a big fan of honey, for healing a bunch of sore body parts, though beat to the punch by a few millennia by the ancient Egyptians on that score. Also known by the ancient Chinese; perhaps “the oldest wound dressing…known to [humankind].” Well, how about a few thousand-year update?

Evidently, honey has been successfully used as a treatment for a number of types of wounds, including chronic ulcers. The evidence is apparently strongest for burns. Yeah, but okay; compared to what? Compared to a “boiled potato peel”? I’m not making that up. Apparently, honey works like twice as well as “boiled potato peel dressings,” perhaps because of an “antibacterial effect,” whereas the potato peels only seem to kind of cover things up, like slapping on cadaver skin. Ew! Maybe, I’ll stick to the potatoes. But, what else are you going to do in a resource-poor country?

Here, we have antibiotics to fight infections. So, quality of healing is often more defined as the aesthetic look of the resulting scar. So, plastic surgery patients had half of their surgical scar covered with conventional dressings, and the other half of the same scar covered in a honey dressing. And, the halves of the scars covered in honey healed about a third narrower than those covered conventionally, suggesting an improvement in the healing process.

Okay, but what about canker sores? Here, they report 19 cases. Started out with severe pain, but evidently, one day after rubbing honey on the sore, the pain was reduced drastically—in fact, gone, in “92% of patients,” and in most cases, the ulcer was gone completely by day three or four. Okay, but, there was no control group. Maybe they would have gotten better anyway; maybe there was a placebo effect.

Yeah, “modern medicine has neglected honey as a therapeutic agent,” because the science was poor—essentially a series of published anecdotes. But look, one could argue that there’s never been any significant side effects associated with the topical application of honey. So, what’s to lose? I sympathize with that logic, but would really like to see it put to the test. But, there hadn’t been any good studies, until…this one. A randomized, controlled trial: honey tested head-to-head against a steroid gel, against canker sores.

There’s all sorts of things doctors can prescribe for canker sores: topical agents like steroids and antibiotics, systemic medications—even laser therapy. But look, why not seek out “the least toxic…agent” first? May not be the most profitable, but why not start with the safest?

So, they randomized folks with canker sores into one of three groups, where they applied—with a Q-tip “three times a day (after meals)”—either an over-the-counter soothing pain-relieving paste, or a prescription steroid cream, or just plain “commercial honey,” directly onto the canker sore. Here’s what happened. Here are the pain scores. On the over-the-counter stuff, the pain was cut in half by day four and gone by day eight. On the prescription steroids, half by just two days, and gone by four. What about the honey group? Remember that series of cases that claimed total pain relief in one day? Well, it was put to the test, and…total pain relief within one day. That’s crazy! Pain for a week, or just pain for a day—and honey’s like 500 times cheaper.

What about ulcer size? Mostly gone by eight days, seven days, or…three days. And, cut in half in just one day, as opposed to three or four days. Here’s a before and after. Day one: massive canker sore, but dab a little honey on three times a day, and day one, two, and gone—day three.

So, a significant acceleration of healing and resolution of pain, all without “systemic side effects”—or local side effects for that matter, whereas the topical antibiotics that are sometimes used can have a variety of side effects. And, the nice thing about honey is that it doesn’t “lead to the development of” antibiotic resistance.

Now, this was a single-blind study, meaning the person evaluating the lesions didn’t know which group someone was in, but the patient surely knew, as honey would have had a very different taste and texture. And evidently, the Prophet Mohammad was a big fan of honey, and this study was done in Saudi Arabia. And so, it’s possible there was some bias. But, given the extraordinary results, one might want to give it a try.

Now, the benefits of honey may be due in part to the phytonutrients from the flowers the bee is making the honey from. So, why not try the flowers directly? A chamomile extract appeared to cut pain in half within ten minutes of application, but they didn’t follow them out in terms of healing. But, a 2% lavender oil in glycerin solution—two drops, three times a day—also had an immediate effect on pain, and, more importantly, seemed to accelerate healing—wiping out the ulcers by day four, with pain diminishing in a day or two, compared to over a week in the placebo group.

However you choose to treat your canker sores, if you keep getting them, you should see a medical professional to make sure it’s not some sign of an underlying disease. There are a number of conditions that can manifest with chronic canker sore-type lesions, like inflammatory bowel diseases, or acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis.

Uh, I think I’d rather have something like “Sweet syndrome”, or, even better, “MAGIC syndrome”. Who wouldn’t want to have “MAGIC syndrome”?! Anyone, I guess, who doesn’t want “genital ulcers.” I think I’ll stay a muggle.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Made by Made, Juraj Sedlak, and joeartcon from The Noun Project

Image credit: PracticalCures.com. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

We’ve known about painful aphthous ulcers—canker sores—for thousands of years: “the most common lesion” of the lining of our mouths, named, perhaps, by Hippocrates himself. Well, what did he prescribe for it? Well, he was a big fan of honey, for healing a bunch of sore body parts, though beat to the punch by a few millennia by the ancient Egyptians on that score. Also known by the ancient Chinese; perhaps “the oldest wound dressing…known to [humankind].” Well, how about a few thousand-year update?

Evidently, honey has been successfully used as a treatment for a number of types of wounds, including chronic ulcers. The evidence is apparently strongest for burns. Yeah, but okay; compared to what? Compared to a “boiled potato peel”? I’m not making that up. Apparently, honey works like twice as well as “boiled potato peel dressings,” perhaps because of an “antibacterial effect,” whereas the potato peels only seem to kind of cover things up, like slapping on cadaver skin. Ew! Maybe, I’ll stick to the potatoes. But, what else are you going to do in a resource-poor country?

Here, we have antibiotics to fight infections. So, quality of healing is often more defined as the aesthetic look of the resulting scar. So, plastic surgery patients had half of their surgical scar covered with conventional dressings, and the other half of the same scar covered in a honey dressing. And, the halves of the scars covered in honey healed about a third narrower than those covered conventionally, suggesting an improvement in the healing process.

Okay, but what about canker sores? Here, they report 19 cases. Started out with severe pain, but evidently, one day after rubbing honey on the sore, the pain was reduced drastically—in fact, gone, in “92% of patients,” and in most cases, the ulcer was gone completely by day three or four. Okay, but, there was no control group. Maybe they would have gotten better anyway; maybe there was a placebo effect.

Yeah, “modern medicine has neglected honey as a therapeutic agent,” because the science was poor—essentially a series of published anecdotes. But look, one could argue that there’s never been any significant side effects associated with the topical application of honey. So, what’s to lose? I sympathize with that logic, but would really like to see it put to the test. But, there hadn’t been any good studies, until…this one. A randomized, controlled trial: honey tested head-to-head against a steroid gel, against canker sores.

There’s all sorts of things doctors can prescribe for canker sores: topical agents like steroids and antibiotics, systemic medications—even laser therapy. But look, why not seek out “the least toxic…agent” first? May not be the most profitable, but why not start with the safest?

So, they randomized folks with canker sores into one of three groups, where they applied—with a Q-tip “three times a day (after meals)”—either an over-the-counter soothing pain-relieving paste, or a prescription steroid cream, or just plain “commercial honey,” directly onto the canker sore. Here’s what happened. Here are the pain scores. On the over-the-counter stuff, the pain was cut in half by day four and gone by day eight. On the prescription steroids, half by just two days, and gone by four. What about the honey group? Remember that series of cases that claimed total pain relief in one day? Well, it was put to the test, and…total pain relief within one day. That’s crazy! Pain for a week, or just pain for a day—and honey’s like 500 times cheaper.

What about ulcer size? Mostly gone by eight days, seven days, or…three days. And, cut in half in just one day, as opposed to three or four days. Here’s a before and after. Day one: massive canker sore, but dab a little honey on three times a day, and day one, two, and gone—day three.

So, a significant acceleration of healing and resolution of pain, all without “systemic side effects”—or local side effects for that matter, whereas the topical antibiotics that are sometimes used can have a variety of side effects. And, the nice thing about honey is that it doesn’t “lead to the development of” antibiotic resistance.

Now, this was a single-blind study, meaning the person evaluating the lesions didn’t know which group someone was in, but the patient surely knew, as honey would have had a very different taste and texture. And evidently, the Prophet Mohammad was a big fan of honey, and this study was done in Saudi Arabia. And so, it’s possible there was some bias. But, given the extraordinary results, one might want to give it a try.

Now, the benefits of honey may be due in part to the phytonutrients from the flowers the bee is making the honey from. So, why not try the flowers directly? A chamomile extract appeared to cut pain in half within ten minutes of application, but they didn’t follow them out in terms of healing. But, a 2% lavender oil in glycerin solution—two drops, three times a day—also had an immediate effect on pain, and, more importantly, seemed to accelerate healing—wiping out the ulcers by day four, with pain diminishing in a day or two, compared to over a week in the placebo group.

However you choose to treat your canker sores, if you keep getting them, you should see a medical professional to make sure it’s not some sign of an underlying disease. There are a number of conditions that can manifest with chronic canker sore-type lesions, like inflammatory bowel diseases, or acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis.

Uh, I think I’d rather have something like “Sweet syndrome”, or, even better, “MAGIC syndrome”. Who wouldn’t want to have “MAGIC syndrome”?! Anyone, I guess, who doesn’t want “genital ulcers.” I think I’ll stay a muggle.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Made by Made, Juraj Sedlak, and joeartcon from The Noun Project

Image credit: PracticalCures.com. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

What about preventing canker sores in the first place? In some people, diet may be the culprit. See my videos Apthous Ulcer Mystery Solved and The Role of Dairy and Gluten in Canker Sores. You may also want to check out Best Supplement for Canker Sores.

For more flower power, check out these videos:

Did you know broccoli florets are just clusters of flower buds? You may also be interested in:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

The original video aired on November 29th 2017.

90 responses to “Flashback Friday: Topical Honey for Canker Sores

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  1. Years ago my Father had the screen door hit and injure his achilles tendon area on the back of his leg when he was walking into his home. It became infected and the infection traveled into the tendon itself over time. He went through numerous courses of antibiotics both external and systemic trying to treat the infection. The situation progressed to the point where the Docs were discussing amputation of his foot to try to get rid of the progressing infection. Over time the wound would heal over but the skin was always delicate and would burst open again for no apparent reason. Walking was beyond difficult and his recliner chair became his best friend for the next 15 years. Eventually, and finally, we found a wound clinic which used medical-grade honey bandages. You can only guess what happened – the wound finally healed.
    Another option for wound healing is infra red therapy. Watch here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q-CC3kdSc0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWHMLhE0tm8&feature=emb_rel_end
    I can’t help but wonder if honey and infrared therapy used together might be effective. The FDA has cleared infrared therapy for clinicians to use in their practices so this is not woowoo medicine.

    Also, a just released study on the use of infrared light in the eyes (retina) improved aging eyesight. Read about it here:
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200629120241.htm#:~:text=Staring%20at%20a%20deep%20red,of%20its%20kind%20in%20humans.

    Not everything gets solved by a pharmaceutical and surgery.

    Also, . . did you know that the AMA (American Medical Association) has officially stated that meat and dairy in the diet are optional? When did we hear THAT on the news? I sure didn’t. But you can read their statement here:
    https://policysearch.ama-assn.org/policyfinder/detail/D-440.978?uri=%252FAMADoc%252Fdirectives.xml-0-1522.xml
    “(b) recommend that the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services clearly indicate in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and other federal nutrition guidelines that meat and dairy products are optional, based on an individual’s dietary needs.”

    The Science is making headway . . .

    1. Ruth,
      Regarding your comment on the infrared treatment for the eyes (retina), here is a link that was posted the other day in this comments section where on can use your computer screen to generate the red light.

      Disclaimer: I have no idea whether this treatment works, nor whether the computer screen is the right infrared wavelength … let each person decide for themselves whether this treatment works for them :-)

      https://670nm.net/redlight.html

    2. Thanks for sharing the story about your father, Ruth. He suffered for 15 years? Ouch.

      So, the moral of the story is: Don’t be a Honey-Muggle!”

      (I had to look that word up.)

    3. Remarkable and fascinating about the light therapy.

      I think we should exercise some caution regarding infrared radiation as a self-treatment. Some frequencies might be harmless, but others, like Near-IR, are known to be harmful to eyes, including the retina. Cf. https://ehs.lbl.gov/resource/documents/radiation-protection/non-ionizing-radiation/light-and-infrared-radiation/

      Otherwise, I am impressed by what I saw Dr. Burke accomplish. (In this age of mandatory ‘doubt-until-verify,’ I remain cautiously skeptical that there might be some smoke and mirrors used here, but it did look impressive.) Thanks for sharing.

        1. Reality Bites – I clearly explained how my Father obtained his injury.

          What is interesting to me is how much you enjoy portraying yourself so stupidly. You must have a tremendously boring life.

        1. Wavesurfer – Yes, that video does have a bit of an infomercial quality to it. But it also details Dr. Burke’s professional education and experience. Easy to check out. So the point of my posting the videos was to share some basic information – not to satisfy every little question you may have about the therapy. And since this is a science-based site, it is incumbent upon you to satisfy your questions yourself. You can continue to research the topic to your satisfaction or you can just be critical and suspicious. Your choice.

          1. My cousin just got another “your foot is slowly healing” doctor report.

            The third since he started the infrared / PEMF.

            They had been talking amputation for weeks before he started using it.

            He has a ways to go, but the gangrene and wound images Dr Burke showed did take time and he has only used it for maybe two and a half weeks.

          2. You sound a little defensive, Ruth. Did you see my previous post? There I stated that I was impressed by Dr. Burke’s work, but still cautious, “Trust-but-Verify” is a smart way to approach medical “miracles.” I’m, sure you agree.

            All I meant by my second post (perhaps a bit indelicate) was that it would have been better for Dr. Burke’s credibility if he had not chosen a moderator who lead him step by step, in commercial-like fashion, from one shining aspect of his work to the next. It sounded too… directed, too artificial.

            The first video was much better, made Dr. Burke should more authoritative. (Except for the near-IR part… I’m still cautious about that.)

            1. Wavesurfer –
              My reply, again – You can continue to research the topic to your satisfaction or you can just be critical and suspicious. Your choice.

              I’ve no time to waste on whatever your feelings might be.

              1. ***I’ve no time to waste on whatever your feelings might be.***

                I have to say it, Ruth, your answers to me seem harsher than warranted.

                I suspect you might have more in common with RB than you think.

                I won’t comment on one of your posts again.

        1. WaveSurfer,

          All I can say is that my cousin hasn’t had to have his toes cut off yet and that I have had improvement in floaters and vision and I think I may have had some improvement in blood sugar.

          I did eat some potatoes and not crave sugar a few hours later. I did still get hungry, but it was an improvement from all previous potato-eating experiments.

          I am watching to see if there is long-term appetite improvement from managing blood sugar and insulin better or any improvement from infrared affecting fat cells.

          I have also been using it on my brain. From my experience with technologies, that will take a while.

          1. WaveSurfer,

            Also, during one of the “infomercial” interviews, Dr. Burke expresses the excitement that he has working with the company that is doing the interviewing. They were working collaboratively together with him and he was helping them back through his reputation.

            That is slightly different.

    4. Ruth,

      I have been having my cousin use ICES PEMF and Infrared for gangrene with a wound that wasn’t healing.

      I learned that with wound healing lowering the bacterial count helps speed the healing.
      They said that for a wound to heal, it needed blood flow, nutrition, low bacterial counts, and Nitric Oxide.
      Just the PEMF and Infrared alone already speed healing by 500% is what one site said.

      The combination of PEMF and Infrared dropped the bacterial count from 100,000 to 100 fairly quickly. I will look up honey studies to see about that, but the infrared and PEMF rid of the biofilm. I wonder if honey gets rid of the biofilm, too?

      But honey would be one of the dressings that also sped it. There were other good things to dress wounds with, but honey was one.

      Your concept of using honey with it is a sound one.

      1. One test with honey showed loss of bacterial viability within 8–24 days.

        The PEMF and infrared study lasted 24 days, so I don’t know if those are faster or not. They just gave the measurement at the end.

        The infrared or PEMF or the combination bring down inflammation and increase circulation and increase NO and remove biofilm and lipid layers so that antibiotics work better.

        Thirty (30) Type 2 diabetics with foot ulcers were randomly assigned to either the combination of PEMF and laser or PEMFs alone. The PEMF used was two Gauss (0.2 mT) at 20 Hz applied for 10 minutes for 12 treatment sessions, every other day. The PEMF group receiving infrared laser received 10 minutes of laser at the same time for the same number of sessions. In addition, all patients received standard diabetic medications and nursing care. Wound surface area was measured at the beginning and after one month of treatment. Also, the researchers measured the bacterial count in the wounds before and after treatment.

        PEMF therapy alone dramatically reduced the bacterial count by 99% [from 100,000 colony units to 1000) and the combination treatment reduced the bacterial counts by 99.9% [from 100,000 colony units to 100).

        1. There are studies that certain types of microorganisms and certain levels of bacterial load cause a delay wound healing

          They listed things like S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, and beta-hemolytic streptococci have been most frequently cited as the cause of delayed wound healing and infection.

  2. My 93-yr old mother had a non-healing ulceration on her lower leg for over a year without healing with smaller wounds opening up in the same area over time. We finally got a referral to the wound clinic and they began treating it with manuka honey. It has taken 5 months of reapplication 3 times a week by her home health nurses with compression bandaging up her lower leg and her wound is finally healing to the point of no depression, no pain and a dry scab. Had I seen this article two years ago when this sore first developed I could have curtailed all her pain and multiple trips to the wound clinic.

    1. Joan,

      Thanks for sharing. That is exciting.

      And it fits so well with the conversation on the page, and fits with the honey topic.

      Reality bites has a pet peeve that people get off-topic, but honey in wound healing is in the text.

      “Evidently, honey has been successfully used as a treatment for a number of types of wounds….”

    1. Reality Bites – To quote Dr. Greger, from this video: “honey has been successfully used for healing a multitude of wounds including burns, surgical sites, infected surgical sites, chronic ulcers, malignant wounds, and neonatal wounds among others.” He also mentions plastic surgery wounds well healed with honey. As well as chamomile, lavender in glycerin, inflammatory bowel disease, acute necrotizing gingivitis, Sweet and Magic syndromes.
      A plethora of topics well beyond chanker sores ………………….

      Your immature little child temper tantrum is showing. Perhaps some psychotherapy might help you to feel better.
      No one on this site is going to pay attention to your bullying behavior.

    2. ‘REALITY CHECK: canker sores occur IN THE MOUTH not the lower extremities’

      That’s the modern common usage of the term. However, it can also refer to any painful small ulcer, abcess or sore. In horses they are most common on the feet.

      Ultimately it is the same word as ‘cancer’

        1. Well, it’s from the Latin ‘cancer’ (meaning crab) – possibly originally pronounced canker or kanker

          The Latin likely came from or is connected to the Ancient Greek …. karkinos I think

  3. It’s great that honey is great for topical healing and removal of related pain. If honey is good on top, is it good inside? The healing properties are derived from the flower nectar the honey is made from. It seems that more interest in healing could be focused on flower power, hibiscus tea, chamomile tea, lavender oil and such.

  4. I like the honey idea. But…a better comparison would be an acyclovir tablet used as a troche over the canker sore until dissolved. hold it there with the tongue.

  5. I have used honey successfully on athlete’s foot. It gets rid of it in one or two nights – you need to use an old sock and a plastic bag because it’s kinda’ sticky. I understand honey contains a powerful anti-fungal which is why you will never find mold on honey.

    1. I use chlorine dioxide on a thing fungal.

      Mostly because my dog had gotten ring worm.

      My vet used antifungals and online was filled with natural things to try but it was months of nightmares.

      My vet said, “I have been trying to get rid of it in my dog for the past year to no avail.”

      On-line, they were giving advice like to throw out my vacuum cleaner and all of his bedding and grooming equipment.

      Then, I read that it could live for a while in a swimming pool, but the man who was a scientist who wrote the article said, that chlorine wasn’t as powerful against it as chlorine dioxide.

      I found a site called JKar and they sold shampoo with it and room fogged and they showed Petri dishes where zero ringworm grew on it and I shampooed him once and fogged the rooms and my car and sprayed his bedding and my vacuum and it was gone.

      With the expensive antifungals, i was shampooing him and spraying spots every single day and new spots were developing every day.

      I was so sick of giving him baths and leaving the antifungals shampoo on for 15 Or 20 minutes before rinsing And my water company wrote me a letter that they thought my toilet might be leaking.

      Plus, it had become colder weather and there was no way I wanted to bathe him in my tub.

      I couldn’t even believe I bathed him once and it was pretty much gone.

    1. George,

      Thank you for bringing honey up as a topic.

      Though, even if beekeepers stopped having hives, most of the factors of why we have hive collapse are unrelated to them.

      Pesticides, pathogens, poor nutrition because countries are doing mono-crops, less places for wild insects to live, other insects Varroa mites, beetles, Wax moths, Murder hornets, etc.

      None of those are things that beekeepers are doing. If anything, the bee-keepers may be trying to keep them alive in a world that is doing everything possible to kill them.

      I am not sure how I feel about it right now. I do know that people in houses and businesses will generally kill all of the bees that try to move wildly in.

      The problem is more that by having the beekeepers keep so many honey bees alive, they outcompete for food with wild bees and the honey bees are worse pollenators and that is a very valid argument. Though, if all the hives collapsed tomorrow, the wild bees would still be in serious trouble because we build cities and spray pesticides and bring murder hornets into the country. That is the USA.

      Anyway, I am troubled by hive collapse and by losing bees.

      But the beekeepers say that they are not driving bees to perform better and they are not abusing them.

      Some accidentally lose their wings during certain processes, but again, beekeepers are invested in keeping them alive and healthy.

      I am clearly not an expert about it but I am not someone who wouldn’t use honey because it is “stealing from bees” which is one of the reasons listed on a vegan site. And I would need evidence to understand if they build the bees uncomfortable, cramped quarters. And, when it comes to the logic of not using honey because humans profit. Well, most people want jobs and I am not happy with exploitation, but bees seem to be able to come and go from the hive and things like that and they seem to come back.

      Nope, I haven’t sorted it out.

      I don’t use honey often, in fact I use it so seldom that I could easily become a vegan in that area, except that mentally, I would have to not say what I am saying now. I don’t use much sweetener of any type and only really used honey in tea when I was sick and that hasn’t happened much in decades. However, I have used Manuka honey wound dressings a few years ago.

  6. Hello, I’m sure this is not the best place to post my question, but here it comes :

    I am currently on the whole plant foods diet and I’m liking it a lot – it’s effective for my weight loss, but I seem to experience a problem from time to time where I feel weak and dizzy a bit. I have to say, I’m not diligent with taking my Vit.B12 like I’m supposed to. Would that be what’s causing it?

    Please advise and thank you for your help!!

    1. Danica,

      It can also be caused by a B-12 deficiency, if you have that.

      If you are low in magnesium, you could get vertigo.

      So many of the people around me have had it and in just about every case it resolved with magnesium.

      Do you eat regularly? I used to get it if I went too long between meals.

      1. Hi Deb, Thanks for the insight! I don’t think I go on too long without eating to be honest, but of course with fruits and veggies, I feel hungry 2 hours later (after I eat) or it seems like I’m semi-hungry all the time….
        At this point, I’ve been 2 months on the diet, and it’s about the timeframe that it happens…
        Last year, when I first got introduced go the diet, same thing happened here and there…

        1. Danica, Regarding your comment: “I feel hungry 2 hours later (after I eat) or it seems like I’m semi-hungry all the time….”.

          The same thing happened to me when I first went WFPB. Then I saw this video on NF.org: “Beans and the Second Meal Effect”.

          https://nutritionfacts.org/video/beans-and-the-second-meal-effect/

          Now I eat a few spoonfuls of beans with every meal & snack and no longer get the hunger pangs. The science is a little complex, but it seems to work for me.

          1. Interesting, Darwin. I still am ‘hungry’ all the time , or at the very least within an hour or two of eating, and it’s been over 10 years for me. Beans still cause me some distress, though some kinds are better than others.. there are a few varieties I avoid totally still.

            In experimenting, I do find that higher protein is the satiating factor for me. A small piece of fish can hold me in good stead for hours, whereas veg has me scanning the fridge within an hour.

            1. Yes, Barb, I guess we all have a little bit different innate metabolism. If I eat only fruit, I get hungry again very quickly. Then vegetables comes next.

              Beans and grains are the most filling for me, but also things like sweet potatoes, but to a lesser extent.

            2. * not that I habitually eat fish – I don’t. Very rarely in fact… like less than once per year. But I do struggle with the hunger aspect of wfpb. For a man who is active/athletic, it might not be a problem pounding back the veg, beans, starchy foods, nuts, all day. But for a post menopausal woman trying to avoid gaining weight it can be difficult eating even wfpb. Small portions, avoiding many calorie dense foods totally, exercising daily vigorously can leave a person hungry.

        2. Danica,

          I will also ask which kind of Whole Food Plant Based diet.

          There is so much variety.

          The Daily Dozen?

          The Starch Solution?

          Nutritarian?

          Esselstyne with greens 6 times per day?

          Fruitarian?

          Sometimes, small shifts in dietary focus can help.

    2. Ms. Ballinger:

      A first guess – and it is nothing more than that – is that you might want to look up the search term “orthostatic hypotension” and consider if it might apply to yourself.

      If you are currently on blood pressure medication – or any other medication – you might wish to contact your physician for possible adjustment.

      In this era of widespread dietary changes – eating at home, not from restaurants – switching to healthier diets – getting away from processed foods – one can find oneself inadvertently ingesting far less sodium that one would on the typical American diet.

      Which, overall, may be a very good thing.

      If yours is a situation of decreasing blood pressure responses associated with decreased sodium intake, possibly exacerbated by medications – the treatment for the condition is NOT necessarily more dietary sodium – not unless you are falling below 500 mg daily – and even then, reasonable people may disagree. And it depends on your individual physiology.

      Other possibilities include hypoglycemia.

      Anemia.

      And there are the et cetras.

      Your physician is in a much better position to evaluate your individual situation, pursue a few likely possibilities, and come to a conclusion and a reasonable path to resolution – than even well-meaning distant voices on the Internet.

      Or yourself, for that matter.

      I would look into this promptly and not just let it slide. Falls secondary to hypotensive episodes, whatever the cause, have lead to a lot of fractures nationawide, particularly in the elderly. Hip fractures are particularly problematic.

      Concussions secondary to falls – or other head injuries – can lead to unfortunate chains of events – including intracranial hemorrhages – particularly if the patient is on anticoagulants. Even on daily aspirin.

      Best bet – as Monsieur Fumblefingers has so sagely suggested – is to contact your locally licensed physician for his depth of knowledge and experience in these matters and his thoughtful guidance.

      That is what I would do.

      Yours in health –

      Vivamus

      1. Thank you Vivamus!  Frankly, I normally have low blood pressure and it could be that this diet (being clean and healthy as it is) lowers it even more! Just a haunch! I’m normally pretty heathy, and take care of my health (physical and mental)  Anyway, I have already reached out to my physician and will see what she says…

    3. While several others have given you good advice, esp.Mr. Fumblefingers, as a nurse I would just add that occasional dizziness can be caused by so many conditions, including common ones like dehydration and skipping meals, as well as low B12(rarely with taking it even inconsistently). I’d encourage you to monitor your symptoms and see a doctor if despite taking your B12 regularly and avoid long periods of not eating or drinking the dizziness continues.
      BTW you might consider taking your B12 sublingually once a week–easier to remember.

  7. You should consult your doctor.

    Those symptoms could be caused by anything from covid-19 infection to dehydration. It’s also possible that your new diet has lowered your blood pressure to the extent that you occasionally feel weak and dizzy, or you are experiencing a calorie deficit.

    The only sensible advice here is eat a WFPB diet, follow Dr G’s optimum nutrition recommendations
    https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

    and

    if symptoms persist, consult a licensed medical practitioner.

    1. Just to elaborate a bit further, if you have a calorie deficit (ie you aren’t eating enough food/calories to maintain your weight), your blood sugar levels may drop too low and you may consequently experience dizziness and fatigue.

  8. Questions on the appropriate form of honey.

    Pasteurized or non-pasteurized? (I know, I know. But our local beekeeeper hobbyists are un-pasteurized honey evangelists – quite convincing in person – it is difficult to dismiss their depth of knowledge out-of-hand – they seem to know their stuff)

    Recommended brands and sources?

    (Always gathering information . . . )

    ———————————————————

    I have a jar of honey from our local hobbiest producer via the local farmer’s market. I have found that – you ask a beekeeper hobbiest questions on a non-busy day, and you will get answers!

    As per this source – none of their honey is “organic” – the beekeepers have to use miticides and such within their hives to keep their bees alive. Think of beehives as little cruise ships or little schoolrooms . . . no little bee masks, no social distancing.

    And bees will wonder off – even to the fields of farmer’s who are using all sorts of chemical cocktails.

    Any honey you buy in stores will likely be subject to these very same issues.

    The local beekeepers did steer me to their Starthistle honey – made in Michigan – stating that their hives there are in the midst of a forest. I think they mentioned 2-4 miles from any farms, but the memory of that conversation has faded. Whatever the specifics, I do recollect that it was the best that they felt they could do.

    Perfect is the enemy of good. I bought a jar.

    Expiration date: lifetime.

    Honey keeps forever.

    ——————

    I have heard good about honey’s antiseptic properties over the years, but I have never used it in that capacity to treat specific issues.

    Current peer reviewed published study specifying a treatment regimen for aphthous ulcers? Most interesting.

    Thank you, Dr. Greger.

    ——————

    Oh – a note.

    As far as cruelty to bees is concerned – for those of you with sensitive natures – you may wish to stop reading, here.

    Thank you.

    ——————

    Respectful pause. A moment of silence.

    ——————

    The local beekepers – when asked – indicated that their hives die off every winter, no matter what they have tried. And they have tried. They appear to me to be competent and devoted to what they are doing.

    Still – queens must be repurchased every winter and hives repopulated.

    Doesn’t sound particularly natural to me.

    Nor as kind as I would wish that it were.

    ———————–

    If anyone has insights as to the efficacy and wisdom of pasteurized vs. non-pasteuirized honey in the context of treating aphthous ulcers – I would appreciate your thoughts.

    Or any information about “organic” honey.

    And just how to pasteurize my unpasteurized honey, if recommended – might be useful to know.

    Thank you,

    Vivamus

    1. Vivamus,

      The beekeepers aren’t letting the bees have enough honey. They need enough to not freeze to death and to have enough nutrition to survive without flowers. I wonder if they could build a greenhouse to improve the warmth and extend the flower season or something.

      I don’t know if that is a good idea or not. But if the queen is dying, they are stealing too much honey from the bees.

      As far as pasteurizing goes, in honey, it is about yeast, not like when you pasteurize milk. It isn’t to prevent people from getting sick.

        1. And, that would be something I would ask if I was buying honey.

          If their queen is dying every winter, I would suddenly need to be helping them figure out why and, if they genuinely were greed oriented versus having a passion for beekeeping, I wouldn’t buy from them.

          If I loved honey and they were the only ones locally, I would be donating pollen packets and would be making sure they were preparing for Winter properly.

          1. I am going to keep research bees and bee-keeping.

            The wild bees issue would give me pause. If I ever do buy honey, going local and maybe planting a variety of flowers so the Wild bees get some is more how my mind thinks.

            1. Maybe there needs to be a movement like the carbon footprint movement that people who eat honey can do to help the bees.

              For instance, there are all sorts of fighting against pesticides.

              Or planting flowers.

          2. Deb,

            I know that the beekeepers were trying different things. But the details of that conversation are forgotten.

            I think they already tried the obvious things – they have been beekeepers for quite a few years.

            I will ask again – tactfully – taking too much honey and/or pollen patties – next time I encounter them.

            But I think that they may already have those things covered.

            They had a mess of concerns – colony collapse disorder, various pesticides, fellow beekeepers who are running into problems left and right. I think that beekeepers are having so many problems right now that it is hard to figure out any one problem – none of their problems can rally be dealt with in isolation. Its more like fending off repeat tidal waves in between tornadoes.

            But they still keep pluggin’ away.

            Me making suggestions? Kinda like me looking over a very experienced garage mechanic’s shoulder and offering him advice – when he has already long forgotten more about auto mechanics that I will ever know.

            I think these guys already know what they are doing.

            They just can’t get it to come together.

            As for sweeteners – I seem to have lost my sweet tooth along with adopting a whole foods plant based diet, anyway.

            The cookies and pastries and candies and such of prior eras are largley gone (months? years?).

            The desire for them is largely gone.

            I seem to have lost my sweet tooth. Replaced by a “health tooth.”

            A craving for fruits and vegetables.

            So I haven’t used any honey in over a year, anyway.

            It’s kinda like how your salt sensitivity increases after you cut out restaurant food and processed food.

            And when you finally do eat in a restaurant again – everything is way too salty.

            Now – 90% chocolate tastes sweet. Corn tastes sweet. Carrots taste sweet. Grapes are candy. Cantaloupe is way too sweet – I am tempted to squeeze lemon on it to make it edible.

            Even cashews taste a little sweet – that was weird, the first time I noticed it.

            So – no longer much use for added sweeteners.

            If I did use any – I would probably look into date sugar now – thanks to information unearthed by Good Dr. Greger.

            Or some honey if I needed something that would dissolve well in water.

            As to pasteurizing honey – I am wondering about fungal spores.

            They might be pretty hardy.

            I dunno what might be needed.

            Deb.

            See ya around and about –

            Vivamus

            1. Vivamus,

              I have the same thing where melons are too sweet and adding carrots or corn to recipes can add too much sweetness if it isn’t a spicy dish.

              I get sick of sweet potato, too.

              But if I make a lentil loaf, I do end up liking the sauce with the maple syrup and I do like the 5 bean casserole with brown sugar, and if I eat some foods, I crave sugar, but I mostly just have a box of Lara bars that are reserved for those situations. I do the 3-ingredient ones.

  9. Watching about South Africa, it really is a shame that more of the “money-oriented” people weren’t globally humanity protective.

    They have rat-infested hospitals with human waste all over the floor and there are literal fights over oxygen because they don’t have enough oxygen for all of the patients. They don’t even have blankets or ventilation or staff who wants to work.

    I do know that church missionaries will probably take it up as a cause, so I can put my own money where my mouth is, but the missionaries I have supported are in a different part of Africa. So much global disparity. Devastating that there is so much wealth, but not enough people who have wealth who would invest in those types of things.

    I listen to the sports talk radio because of my co-worker and they are talking one person making 45 million or something like that. Could any of those people end up being people who care about solving global issues.

  10. The USA had over 77,000 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday.

    Globally, we crossed 602,000 deaths, and most likely we will be at 700,000 before Labor Day.

    And, Florida is another state where the young people believe COVID-19 is a hoax and they are throwing COVID parties trying to infect each other while 25% of the people who have been tested in Miami are testing positive. Many of them Latinos who are in the high risk of dying group.

    When did this become such a crazy country?

    1. Deb, Regarding your comment: “When did this become such a crazy country?”

      I’ve been watching the news on the rioting, which has been going on in Portland for the last 8 weeks! There are a few of the rioters that are wearing masks so they can’t be identified, but most are not wearing them. I guess it’s hard to throw a molotov cocktail at a police car while wearing a mask ;-) I don’t hear anyone complaining about these young college age people not wearing a mask. I wonder if anyone is keeping statistics on how many get infected with Covid-19 and spread it to others?

      1. Darwin,

        I would lump that into the concept of a confused and crazy country.

        I am someone who cares about things from both sides and sometimes gets misunderstood for that reason.

        Regarding the protests, I was surprised there didn’t seem to be as much of a spike, but now we have a country with one great big spike and, in Australia, it is believed their spike might have come from a Black Lives Matter protest is what I heard and they said that there was political pressure not to say it.

        The thing is, now the young people are doing outside parties because they feel so safe and now Miami has 25% of people testing positive and I would agree that the news on both sides has gotten so political and that has caused so many problems.

        There are already 20 and 30 year olds who have died because of the politicizing of this pandemic.

        And I can back up and understand that the economy couldn’t handle being shut down for much longer and if we could have backed away from the politics and talked honestly about that, we might not have young people thinking viruses are all a hoax.

    2. Deb,
      There may be a unique cultural dynamic at work here in the states. Maybe it is next to impossible to quarantine Americans for more than a few weeks. When there is not quick, decisive leadership from the get-go, what can you really expect to follow. From the TimeGhost history series, on the history of quarantines, contageious diseases have a way of running their courses. These diseases have been consistent throughout history and are a shaping force of who we are today.

      1. Dan C.,

        I agree with you. I read an article today where they think a concept of intermittent social distancing might work better for the USA.

        As far as leadership goes, I don’t believe leadership will make much difference because of how divided the hearts and minds of the people are and because it was all spun politically and nobody trusts the politics or the businesses or the pharma or the medical.

        People have beaten people up and killed people for telling them to wear a mask. Governors have taken excessive stands in both directions. Governors are hiding numbers and nursing homes his numbers and hospitals inflated numbers and numbers aren’t counted for some cases like cancer because of who has to foot the big bills.

        We could have come up with so many creative solutions by now, and we won’t even do that because we would have to admit that the other political party or race has a point.

        1. Deb, Regarding you last comment: “We could have come up with so many creative solutions by now, and we won’t even do that because we would have to admit that the other political party or race has a point.”

          I used to think like that when I was in college … “If we all thought alike, society could accomplish so much more.” But history has proven that to be a false belief. When one thinks about it, that is essentially a “monopoly” of thought … basically equivalent to a dictatorship! And history has shown that a “free-market” system which includes a diversity of thought always comes up with better solutions. That is basically the foundation of free-market capitalism, the only flaw of which is that it can devolve into large monopolistic corporations and put small businesses out of business. The US has laws to prevent that (called anti-trust laws), but when politicians collude with big corporations, those laws are not enforced.

          But the answer is not to do away with free-market capitalism, but to hold all politicians accountable! Any other system quickly migrates to one giant monopoly, which is essentially a dictatorship with only one way of “approved” thinking. Bad idea :-(

          Sorry for the diversion here, but it seems they no longer teach this in universities. It’s much better to learn this in an intellectual setting rather than by experience. Just ask one of the non-elite citizens in Venezuela or Cuba.

  11. I will use the vented masks as an example.

    None of the studies tested them to actually see if what comes out the vent is just as bad as not wearing a mask.

    People say it, but it hasn’t been tested and if it is closer to a one layer cloth mask for what comes out but is almost as protective as a N95 mask, then, the logic to me would be to use them because people feel like they can’t breathe and they don’t want to wear masks at all and the parents don’t want their children spending all day in school with masks and they don’t want their elderly relative wearing them.

    I want masks that are designed better and the free market is designing them but them not testing the vented masks when those were more plentiful would be an example of not using every resource possible.

  12. I know that the logic is complicated and that is part of the problem.

    My thing with the vented mask is that the better masks were so much more effective in the cloth mask study.

    If the intake causes the ones wearing vented masks to be 70-something percent less likely to get it, but if their exhale is similar to a 1-layer cotton mask, the total number of cases may be way less.

    1. if people are more compliant and are 70-something percent less likely to get it plus, they said that the moisture of any mask stops the….. what was the word…. the form of droplets that are the biggest problem.

      If the exhale only goes out the same 3.5 feet of the 1 layer cloth mask, then go with the vented ones.

      But there is a filter in that part, too, and if the vented ones only whale droplets 1 foot, then we already wasted opportunities to improve this.

      I think I am frustrated because I am a brain-damaged non-science, non-math, non-healthier medicine oriented person and I feel like they missed some logic processes on purpose and I don’t understand that.

  13. When people aren’t comfortable enough in a mask, they constantly pull it down under their nostrils and all of that handling of the outside of the mask makes them more likely to have viruses on their hands and their noses run with the mask and that becomes where the anti-mask people have a point.

    1. I found a sentence from Dr. Osterholm where he said that he did a “review” of photos of mask-wearing in public and in them, 25% of the people were not wearing the masks properly. He said that they were pulling them down to expose the nostrils.

  14. Apologies for harking back to the previous video but people do seem very interested in this particular topic.

    I just came across this from the 14 July 2020 NEJM; It seems relevant to what has been discussed.

    ‘A trio of studies takes a closer look at face mask use in the U.S.

    Use of cloth face masks around the country increased significantly from April — when the CDC first recommended their use to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 — to May, according to an MMWR study.

    Researchers surveyed 400 U.S. adults in April and another 400 in May about whether they used cloth face coverings when they left the house in the past week. The prevalence of face mask–wearing increased from 62% to 76% overall, with increases reported in all socioeconomic groups. Lower rates of mask-wearing in May were seen in the following groups: people in their 40s (68%), people with lower incomes, and people living with others at no cost (57%).

    A separate study in MMWR describes the lack of SARS-CoV-2 transmission at a Missouri hair salon where face masks were required by city ordinance. Two stylists tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Before their results came back, they saw 139 customers while symptomatic. Of the 100 clients who were interviewed, 98% were also wearing face coverings. No clients developed symptoms. Four household contacts of one stylist tested positive.

    And finally, in JAMA, researchers report a reduction in SARS-CoV-2 positivity rates among healthcare workers at Mass General Brigham after universal masking was put into place, from 14.7% to 11.5%.

    CDC Director Robert Redfield and other agency officials conclude in a JAMA editorial: “At this critical juncture when COVID-19 is resurging, broad adoption of cloth face coverings is a civic duty, a small sacrifice reliant on a highly effective low-tech solution that can help turn the tide favorably in national and global efforts against COVID-19.”

    1. Yes, but they were too slow to prove that and, in the meantime, people like Dr Popper and Dr Gundry and others were using the cloth mask versus medical mask studies To say people were more likely to get infected.

      And now, it is almost 100 degrees F outside and nobody developed cool mask versions except 3M and those are impossible to buy.

      I am going to order a cooling towel one minute from now.

  15. Canker sores are caused by a virus, why are we talking about antibiotics? The single best significant treatment the common cold sore is a topical antiviral cream (zovirax). Back in the 90’s, I had one on my lip, triggered by too much sun, while at my GP’s office for my scheduled checkup. He prescribed zovirax, acyclovir cream, and it worked like magic. The severity and healing time was cut by more than half! I told everyone I know. Since then insurance companies have been gouging prices for the old inexpensive cream, and it’s no longer covered, nor can you buy it without paying big bucks.

    1. When I was listening and got to the Vitamin D, Dr. Greger was saying that they can randomize Vitamin D in the midst of infection and improve disease outcomes.

      That is encouraging to me.

      That means doctors could give it after people test positive.

    2. Also, to Reality Bites, Dr. Greger was working professionally in public health and was attending the public health professional reindeer games.

  16. And, to Dr. Greger, I am going to give you honest feedback. You love your treadmill, but you are 10,000 times better in interviews when you are seated and talking with someone who is a good listener. A million times better even.

    I don’t know what you will do with that sentence, but I am putting it out there.

    1. And, yes, that might be some sort of logarhythmic scale or something like that.

      But I mean it.

      When you are seated, talking passionately with someone you are comfortable with, you do communicate so much more information and you just become a natural version of yourself. It is as if you lose awareness of the audience and lose awareness of performing and just focus on the information.

      We get more information when you get into that zone.

  17. I struggled with cancer sores for the beginning of my life and worsened when I got braces when I was 30. I found reducing tomatoes in my diet and avoiding oral products with SLS helped immensely. Also, if I could catch it in the earliest stage, putting a vitamin C tablet on it for a few minutes made it go away quickly, but didn’t work if I caught it when it was larger. Haven’t tried honey yet, I’m 52 and have hardly had any sores in the last few decades, only if I get cut in my mouth. I will try the honey next time.

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