10 Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Cold Sores

Contrary to popular belief, cold sores have nothing to do with the flu.

They are unpleasant skin conditions consisting of boils caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV).

This condition has no cure, but its symptoms can be alleviated.

Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Cold Sores

This article will discuss ten of the best natural remedies to get rid of cold sores that you can quickly find in stores or your home pantry.

An over-the-counter alternative like Neosporin can suit you if you are looking for an ultra-quick solution.

Please read this article on Neosporin for cold sores to learn more about it and other ways of treating the herpes simplex virus at home.

1. Lemon Balm

A member of the mint family, lemon balm is one of the most popular natural remedies for the herpes simplex virus. 

A 2008 study showed that it is an effective remedy that combats the unpleasant symptoms of cold sores, such as redness and swelling.

To achieve the soothing effect, use a lip balm that contains at least 1% lemon balm.

2. Aloe Vera

The gel of the aloe vera plant is notorious for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties.

This makes it a worthwhile healing aid in the case of painful cold sores, as it alleviates the discomfort produced by blisters and speeds up the scabbing process.

You can buy this extract over the counter, grow your shrub, and make the gel yourself.

3. Licorice

Licorice is nature’s best remedy against the herpes simplex virus behind cold sores due to the glycyrrhizic acid in it.

This compound’s antibacterial and antimicrobial properties have been demonstrated to inactivate the virus at the skin level.

Mix the powdered root with water or petroleum jelly and apply it to the affected areas.

4. Milk


The amino acid lysine in milk aids cell repair while boosting the immune system, essential in treating cold sores.

These usually come around when the body’s protective barriers are down, so keeping them strong is vital.

Milk is an excellent source of lysine, so why not add it to your diet and reduce the risk of a herpes flare-up?

5. Rhubarb

Rhubarb isn’t just a delicious ingredient in strawberry pie but an excellent natural remedy against the HSV-1 and HSV-2 viruses.

When mixed with sage, it produces an organic ointment that disinfects the eruption and speeds up healing.

The two ingredients can usually be found at any local farmers’ market.

6. Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil has antiviral properties that hinder the growth of both strains of herpes simplex.

Applying it on the breakout will reduce inflammation and pain and accelerate healing.

Remember that essential oils are volatile and irritating; always mix them with a nourishing base.

7. Vanilla

When it comes to treating cold sores, vanilla extract has similar properties to those of peppermint oil.

Take a cotton bud and soak it in the solution, then apply it to the blister as soon as you sense it is forming.

This will nip the infection right in the bud and alleviate some of the pain in the process.

8. Echinacea

As previously mentioned, most herpes flare-ups occur when the immune system is weak.

As you may already know, prevention is the best medicine, so avoid any potential cold sores by boosting your body’s natural defense.

Echinacea tea is an excellent natural remedy for cold sores as it is incredibly calming and widely available.

9. Probiotics

Since we are still on the topic of immune system boosting, it is crucial to mention probiotics. 

Probiotic foods like yogurt, kefir, miso soup, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, tempeh, and kombucha support the health of your gut, which in turn strengthens your body’s protective barriers.

This will prevent the HSV-1 and HSV-2 viruses from thriving.

10. Cold Compress

Cold Compress

What better way to calm pain and reduce inflammation in the area of a cold sore than by applying a comforting cold compress?

The cold will reduce the swelling and the redness while numbing the skin. This helps with the aching, which tends to become reasonably disagreeable after a few days.

Change the ice pack regularly to prevent the infection from spreading.

The Bottom Line

Cold sores are the physical manifestations of the herpes simplex virus (HSV), a condition that more than half of the world’s population struggles with.

While cold sores cannot be treated completely, there are ways to alleviate symptoms and increase the quality of life while fighting a breakout.

Natural remedies are tried and tested, so why not try them?

About The Author:

Mike Jones, a Boston-based health and beauty writer for Sound Body Life, encourages everyone to embrace the healing power of nature for common and not life-threatening diseases. You can follow him on Twitter @mike_jones35.

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