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Herbal Treatments for Dry Mouth

By Cathy Conrad ; Updated August 14, 2017

The term "xerostomia" refers to dry mouth. It is a very uncomfortable condition that makes it hard to swallow or eat dry food, and it sometimes creates a burning sensation on the tongue or in the mouth. If left untreated, dry mouth has the possibility of promoting infection, starting in the mouth but possibly spreading. Herbal treatments are available to alleviate it. And in many instances, herbal treatments are a better option, as you may not experience the same side effects as you would with prescription medication.

Prickly Ash

Include 10 to 20 drops of prickly ash tincture in one-quarter cup of water. Consume this amount three to seven times a day to alleviate dry mouth. Prickly ash stimulates the salivary glands, which in turn produces saliva. It seems to work well for those that have had cancer and are undergoing radiation treatments, according to James Duke, PhD.

Slippery Elm

Brew slippery elm and make a tea. Slippery elm is available loose or bagged and can be taken several times a day. Brew the tea according to package directions to alleviate discomfort in the mouth. It is available in lozenges as well. According to the University of Maryland, slippery elm contains mucilage, a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. It coats and soothes the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines; it may also contain antioxidants that can help relieve inflammatory bowel conditions.

Solomon's Seal

According to an herbalist at herbs2000, take 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams of Solomon’s Seal a day for dry mouth brought on by medications. Solomon's seal will slightly numb the mouth and stimulates the salivary glands into producing saliva.


Drink ginger, chamomile or green tea to stimulate saliva. Frequent intervals of any of these herbs will help alleviate dry mouth, according to research from Virginia Tech.


Beyond herbal remedies, it is important to brush regularly and have your teeth cleaned by a dentist regularly. Drink water often to relieve dryness; and avoid salt, sugar, caffeine, tobacco and alcohol. These all contribute to dry mouth. Chew gum if possible; it stimulates the salivary glands.

Dry mouth may continue to be a problem for you, especially if you are on medications, so it is important to try different methods to find which herbal remedy works best for you.

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