Natural Remedies to Treat Cold Sores

Cold Sore Preview.We’ve all experienced the annoyance of cold sores, those painful disgusting looking sores that pop up near and around your mouth. Cold sores are caused by the really nasty herpes simplex virus. There are 2 versions of the virus, Type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is what causes the sores that occur near your mouth and Type 2 is what causes sores in the genital area, otherwise known as herpes.

Cold sores usually last 10-14 days, but if you want to speed up the healing process than I have a few natural remedies for you that have been known to be effective in treating cold sores. Just a quick note; if your cold sore doesn’t seem to getting better and 14 days have passed, go directly to your doctor for advice on your course of action.

The Remedies

Lysine -

Our first natural remedy is the amino acid Lysine. We get lysine through the foods we eat since our body cannot create it. Lysine creates proteins for our body which is then used to create things like antibodies to prevent infections like the herpes simplex virus. A few types of foods that contain Lysine are beef, eggs, fish, cheese, and chicken. If looking for foods that have Lysine, remember that most dairy and meat products will contain high levels of it.

A study at the University of Southern California of Health Science showed that putting an ointment with Lysine as an ingredient on a cold sore, helped speed up the healing process in half the amount of time. The physicians and the patients of the study agreed that using Lysine as a cold sore remedy was highly effective.

The best way to use Lysine as a treatment is to put a Lysine ointment on the infected part when you first feel the tingle of a cold sore starting to appear. Doing this will help insure the virus does not spread and get worst.

Lemon Balm -

Our next remedy is the calming herb, Lemon balm. For hundreds of years Lemon balm has been used as a treatment for anxiety, stress, loss of appetite, and indigestion. Lemon balm is still used today to help people relax and to also remedy fever blisters and cold sores.

The University of Maryland states that in a study of 116 people with the herpes simplex virus, those who put lemon balm on their cold sores saw massive improvements in swelling and appearance. In another study done in three German hospitals, those who used lemon balm to treat their sores noticed no reoccurrence of the virus.

Tea Tree Oil -

Tea tree oil is taken from the crushed leaves of the plant Melaleuca alternifolia. The indigenous people, called the Bundjalung, of Australia first used tea tree oil by breathing the oils form the leaves to remedy colds and coughs.

Tea tree oil has also been used to treat acne, athlete’s foot, flu, and yeast infections. The many uses of tea tree oil, makes it a must have in your home. On top of all that tea tree oil is also known to have anti-viral properties, having many positive effects in treating a variety of viruses and microorganisms, including the cold sore virus.

Putting a couple of drops of pure tea tree oil on your cold sores when they first appear can stop the cold sore in its track and keep it from spreading.

Honey -

Last but not least on our list of natural cold sore remedies is one that probably comes as a surprise. Honey is that sweet thick liquid that comes from the nectar of flowers. We mostly use honey as a food and eat it, but for hundreds of years honey has also been used as a natural remedy to many medical ailments.

Just a few examples are the ancient Romans use of honey to treat insomnia, the ancient Egyptians use of honey to heal wounds and burns, and the ancient Greeks use of honey to treat fever blisters and cold stores.

The reason that honey is an effective cold sore remedy is because of its high concentration of sugar, in the form of fructose and glucose. Viruses and microorganisms have no chance of surviving in the environment which leads to a much faster heal time when using honey as a remedy. Honey also has high doses of phenolic and flavonoid acid, which have been both known to inhibit viruses like the herpes simplex virus.

If you are allergic to pollen please do not use honey as a treatment, because it may trigger an allergic reaction.

Now that you are aware of these natural cold sore treatments, you should be better prepared to deal with those pesky cold sores when they come.

About the Author

Carrie Shannon is the editor of the website, a website providing information on safe and effective cold sore treatments.


Topical honey application vs. acyclovir for the treatment of recurrent herpes simplex lesions. Med Sci Monit, 2004; 10(8): MT94-98

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