A mucous cyst, also called a mucocele, is a small, fluid-filled sac inside your mouth. It may be due to a blocked or ruptured salivary duct or a sinus infection. If you suck on your lips, or have tongue or lip piercings, you may be at risk for a mucocele. They are not harmful, but they can be annoying. Herbs may help shrink mucous cysts naturally. Consult your health care provider for a diagnosis before starting herbal treatment.
Herbal cures for mucous cysts can act in several ways. Astringent herbs will help draw out the fluid and dry up the sac. Antimicrobial herbs will help prevent any infection in the tissue and resolve a sinus infection if that is the cause. Anti-inflammatory herbs will help with pain and inflammation. Check with an experienced practitioner for advice about dosage and preparation of herbs for mucous cysts.
Myrrh, or Commiphora molmol, is a thorny shrub native to eastern Africa. Herbalists use the resin from the bark to treat ulcers and infections in the mouth, gums and throat. The active ingredients include polysaccharides, triterpenoids and essential oil, and myrrh has potent astringent action. Myrrh may speed the drying of your mucous cyst. In his 2003 book “Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine,” clinical herbalist David Hoffmann, FNIMH, AHG, recommends a diluted tincture as a rinse for this condition. It also has antimicrobial properties and can be useful if sinusitis is causing your mucous cyst. Do not ingest myrrh if you have diabetes, since it has hypoglycemic action.
Sage, or Salvia officinalis, is a fragrant cooking and medicinal herb native to the Mediterranean. Traditional healers use the leaves for oral mucosal inflammations, diabetes and sweating. Sage is rich in essential oil, phenolic acids and flavonoids and has anti-inflammatory and astringent actions. A sage mouth rinse will help absorb the fluid in your cyst and dry it up. In their 2001 book “Herbal Remedies,” naturopathic doctors Asa Hershoff and Andrea Rotelli note that sage will also soothe any inflammation in the lining of your mouth, heal bacterial and fungal infections and tighten oral tissue. Do not ingest sage extract in large amounts for long periods.
Bistort, or Persicaria bistorta, is a small perennial found in marshy regions of North America, Europe and Asia. The rhizomes are a traditional remedy for upper respiratory tract infections and inflamed mouth mucosa. In their 2009 book “Medicinal Plants of the World,” botanist Ben-Erik van Wyk and biologist Michael Wink state that bistort is rich in tannins that shrink tissue and reduce secretions. The tannins also have antibacterial effects, which may help if your mucous cyst is due to an infection. Do not use bistort internally if you are constipated.
- “Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine”; David Hoffmann; 2003
- “Herbal Remedies”; Asa Hershoff, N.D., and Andrea Rotelli, N.D.; 2001
- “Medicinal Plants of the World”; Ben-Erik van Wyk and Michael Wink; 2009
Janet Contursi has been a writer and editor for more than 23 years. She has written for professional journals and newspapers, and has experience editing educational, cultural, and business articles and books. Her clients include Gale Publishers, Anaxos, Vielife and Twin Cities Wellness. Contursi earned her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, where she studied cultural anthropology, South Asian languages and culture, and art history.