Before you apply a mystery gel to your mouth to treat a canker sore, you might want to consider a simple natural alternative—one you may already have in your home. Aloe vera, known to help burns and skin irritations, has recently been shown to help relieve pain and speed up the healing process for oral problems such as canker sores, herpes simplex viruses, and gingivitis. Researchers found that aloe vera is an effective moisturizer, wound healer, and anti-inflammatory internally (General Dentistry, 2005, vol. 53, no. 1). Aloe vera can be applied topically to lesions and taken orally.