Getting Rid of Cold Sores and Canker Sores

Episode 35 30m


While there is a difference between cold sores and canker sores, they are similar in that common occurrence of either is an indication that something is out of balance in the body. Most of us have had canker sores at one time or another. They usually occur at the side of your mouth, by your cheek, inside of your cheek, or underneath your tongue, and they can be quite painful. As opposed to cold sores, canker sores are not infections. Cold sores, however, are contagious, often forming inside your mouth, near your teeth, or on the lips; they result from herpes simplex virus.

In this episode, Dr. Hyman sits down with Dr. Elizabeth Boham to discuss what frequent recurrence of cold sore or canker sores might be indicating, and how they treat patients experiencing these issues. Elizabeth Boham is a physician and nutritionist who practices functional medicine at The UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Through her practice and lecturing she has helped thousands of people achieve their goals of optimum health and wellness. She witnesses the power of nutrition every day in her practice and is committed to training other physicians to utilize nutrition in healing.

Dr. Boham has contributed to many articles and wrote the latest chapter on Obesity for the Rankel Textbook of Family Medicine. She is part of the faculty of the Institute for Functional Medicine and has been featured on the Dr. Oz show and in a variety of publications and media including Huffington Post, The Chalkboard Magazine, and Experience Life. Her DVD Breast Wellness: Tools to Prevent and Heal from Breast Cancer explores the functional medicine approach to keeping your breasts and whole body well.

In this conversation, Dr. Hyman and Dr. Boham discuss:

  • The difference between canker sores and cold sores
  • Reasons for recurring canker sores, ranging from celiacs disease to immune dysfunction to food reactions, nutritional deficiencies, and more
  • The relationship between digestion and canker sores
  • The prevalence of herpes simplex virus I
  • Common cold sore triggers, including stress, nutritional deficiency, and more
  • The relationship between recurrent cold sores and the health of your immune system


This episode is brought to you by Thrive Market, and Apeel. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

Resources Mentioned

Host & Guests


Automatically generated. Please forgive any typos or errors in the following transcript. It was generated by a third party and has not been subsequently reviewed by our team.

Dr. Elizabeth Boham: One of the most common reasons, when we have people who have a lot of canker sores, whether they test positive for coeliac or just we think it's gluten sensitivity, or we don't have a full positive coeliac test, but when they take away gluten, they often will clear up. Dr. Mark Hyman: Welcome to The Doctor's Farmacy. I'm Dr. Mark Hyman, that's Farmacy with an F, F-A-R-M-A-C-Y. Welcome to this special episode called House Call, where we talk about some tough issues that affect so many people that are really not well dealt with with traditional medicine. And today we're going to talk about the mouth. Cold sores and canker sores, which are annoying, but not life-threatening, but they can make you miserable. And they're not..

Want to read the full transcript for free?

Enter your name and email to sign up for our newsletter and unlock the transcript

Back to Content Library
Ep. 35 - Getting Rid of Cold Sores and Canker Sores