Q. Dear Terry, “My sister has been suffering with lichen planus and it causes sores in her mouth that are very uncomfortable. She is in her 60's and the only thing the doctor recommends is steroids, which she does not want to take because of immune and sleep issues. Are there any natural remedies you would suggest for this condition?” – Jill M., Lake Geneva, WI
A. Dear Jill, Lichen planus is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the mucus membranes of the body, including the mouth. Fortunately, there are some natural ingredients that can help protect the mucus membranes.
The nutrient coenzyme Q10, often abbreviated CoQ10, is an incredibly important antioxidant. There is research supporting the beneficial role of CoQ10 in lichen planus and other oral conditions. Even though CoQ10 is found throughout the body and can be obtained from certain foods, CoQ10 deficiencies are common. CoQ10 levels decline with age, stress, chronic illnesses, and statin drug use.
Two forms of supplemental CoQ10 are available, and that may lead to some confusion about which is best. My answer is: they are both good choices. The classic ubiquinone form is technically what we call CoQ10. It has been used in clinical research for over 20 years. Ubiquinone is generally more cost effective, but it requires conversion into the active form and may not work for everyone.
The ubiquinol form is referred to as reduced or bioactive CoQ10. This form of CoQ10 is a good option for people who are older, may have liver issues, or other health conditions. CoQ10 can also be found in a chewable form, which would be helpful for the mucus membranes in the mouth.
I would take CoQ10 twice per day.
When there is damaged tissue inside the mouth, this can set up the conditions for a variety of infections. I think propolis could be beneficial because it is an excellent antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, and more. Make sure you use propolis that is purified to remove inactive resins and beeswax. I would take propolis twice per day.
Lastly, vitamin D is important to help with immune system function and regulation. Personally, I think 2,000-5,000 IU of vitamin D per day is an appropriate dose for the maintenance of good health. I prefer to use vitamin D3, as cholecalciferol, because it is in the human form. I would take vitamin D once per day.
Terry . . . Naturally
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