British Invasion (of mouth ulcer medicine)
I’m about to say something I never thought I’d say…
I’m sort-of looking forward to getting a canker sore.
I live in the U.S., and along with that, I can only use mouth ulcer medicine that’s available in the U.S. But, it turns out that I am also a bit of a mouth ulcer medicine researcher, so in my research, I have learned about canker sore medicines that are not available in the U.S., but in many cases, are very popular overseas (and in other cases, are available without a prescription, unlike here).
Which is why I danced a little gig when I found out about mouthulcers.co.uk, the UK-based online store that sells dozens of mouth ulcer medicines that you just can’t find here. This is the same place that I got my hands on Oralmedic, the over-the-counter version of Debacterol that I wrote about previously.
So, in the process of scouring the internets, especially searching on Twitter, I’ve heard a lot about Bonjela. In fact, a British celebrity once tweeted that he loved the taste of Bonjela and for a day or so, canker sores actually trended a little bit.
(Side note: I’ve noticed that British people tend to call them “mouth ulcers” while people in the States more often say “canker sores”. Why that is, I don’t know. Don’t get me started on “aluminum”.)
Curious about these strange and unusual concoctions, I contacted Dom, the owner of mouthulcers.co.uk and asked some questions about them. And here’s how awesome this guy is…
A week or so later, I get this in the mail:
Can someone say “Jackpot”?
Dom very generously sent a package of sample products for me to try out for the website, including 2 different formulations of the famous Bonjela, a product called Frador, and Gingival Gel.
Bonjela mouth ulcer medicine
Bonjela, as I said, is a very popular canker sore product in Great Britain that uses Choline Salicylate (8.714%) and Cetalkonium Chloride (.01%) as active ingredients. It’s claim is that it helps to reduce inflammation (always important with canker sores) and fight infection.
I know fairly recently, they began labeling Bonjela as only for people 16 years and older due to a connection between salicylates and Reyes Syndrome in developing children.
From what I’ve heard, Bonjela doesn’t significantly reduce the length of canker sores, but does help make them more bearable. I don’t know if it numbs the area like Oragel or not, but I guess I’ll find out soon enough.
I did take a quick taste of Bonjela (mostly to see what that British celebrity was raving about) and it has a sharp, tingling effect with a distinct taste of licorice. Consequently, licorice is made from the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant, which is a known treatment for canker sores and is included in a lot of natural products. I didn’t see it listed in the ingredients, but it definitely had the taste, so I’d be surprised if it’s not in there.
Dom sent me regular Bonjela and Bonjela Cool, a minty version of the original.
The ingredients listed on the package of this product were Propolis, (which I’ve written about previously) Vitamin C and E, and “Herb Extract”.
The package says, “This gel is absorbed into the gingival cellular level and maintained with a nanobioactive film.”
I have absolutely no idea what that means, but – again – tingling…
There’s a lot more written on the package, but I have no idea what it says because it’s in Korean. That’s not me saying it’s in such technical jargon that it might as well be in Korean. This is completely non-metaphorical. It is written in the Korean language.
A quick taste gives me a warm, tingling sensation (seriously, how many times can a guy write the word “tingling” in one post?), with a slightly sweet, honey-ish taste. Propolis does come from bees, after all.
We’ll see what happens when I use it on a sore…
The first most impressive thing you notice is the packaging. It comes in a tiny bottle and they provide what looks like about 6-7 cotton swabs in a small plastic tray that you use to stand the bottle up in so it doesn’t fall over when you use it. Very handy and well-thought out. This is how Apple would do it if they created a mouth ulcer medicine (The iSore? It works on so many levels…)
Even more impressive – the little bottle is actually glass. How often do you see glass in medical products anymore? It’s kind-of awesome. It feels strangely old-school and new at the same time.
A quick taste comes off with a sort-of cinnamon flavor. Like Big Red gum on anabolics. It’s not listed in the ingredients, they list menthol as an inert ingredient, but it tasted like cinnamon to me.
So that’s the British Invasion that’s hit my house recently, I’m really interested to give these a try and see what we’re missing out on over here in the states. These on top of Robin Barr’s new Canker Sores Begone formula (that will be in the form of a balm stick, which is a new application as far as I know), and I’ve got a lot of testing and experimenting to do.
And this is why I find myself in the strange position of actually wanting to get a canker sore.
Which means that I’ll probably never get one. I may have found a sure-fire cure for canker sores – wanting one.