Oral ulcers are common complaints to the dental clinic. Among these, Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis/Ulcer (RAS) is frequently reported lesions of which recurrent minor aphthous ulcers are most prevalent. Though these mucosal lesions are self-limiting, painful ulcerative and inflamed mucosa could affect the patient’s daily routine such as food intake, speaking and swallowing. Since precise etiology is unknown, various treatment options are tailor made to each individual patient’s condition. Topical steroids are the widely prescribed medication as local therapy. In spite of a dearth in evidence based data on the effectiveness of plant based topical therapies for oral aphthous ulcers, these are used as primary medications which aids in natural cure of such lesions. These alternative medications are also useful to patients who refuse to take allopathic medicines, having history of drug allergies, history of multiple drug therapy, when allopathic medication is not recommended and in refractory cases. Hence the aim of this paper is to review the clinical efficacy of potential herbal medications for the topical management of recurrent aphthous ulcers. An electronic data search was performed using different search engines and the relevant articles were reviewed. All the placebo controlled studies have shown clinically significant results in the treated group in various outcome measures without noticeable side effects. Generally, topical herbal treatment were effective on RAS as palliative therapy, however more scientific evidence is needed for clinical recommendation in repeated cases.
Key words: Aphthous stomatitis /ulcer, Alternative medications, Topical herbs, Topical treatment, Recurrent oral ulcer,Herbal medications.