10 Best Home Remedies For Cold Sores

Cold sores, otherwise known as fever blisters appear as a profusion of tiny, red, swollen blisters. They appear around the lips and on the lips as well. They also appear on other parts of the face in some instances. They usually last for a few days and may extend up to several weeks, depending on the intensity of the infection.

They are caused by viral infection through the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2 viruses), and there is no definite cure for this infection as yet. However, there are several effective home remedies for cold sores that give quick relief.

Causes & Symptoms

Cold sores can be painful and are an embarrassment as they appear on the face. They can cause a lot of discomfort and need to be treated immediately. There are several good home remedies for cold sores, and here are the 10 best:

10. Vanilla Extract

how to get rid of a cold sore

  • Take 2-3 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract and a few balls of surgical cotton.
  • Clean the cold sore with warm water and dab dry. Dip a cotton ball in the Vanilla extract.
  • Apply on the cold sores and allow it to sit for a couple of hours. Repeat the process 2 to 3 times daily for a week or so.

Vanilla extract is a natural remedy for cold sores as it is alcohol based and helps in destroying the virus causing the infection. It is important to get organic Vanilla extract as artificial one may have the smell but do not have the same properties. It contains Venillin, which is a phenolic aldehyde (an organic compound) that helps in getting rid of the Herpes Simplex Virus and hastens the healing process. Vanilla extract is one of the best home remedies for Cold sores.

While Vanilla extract does not cause any adverse side effects it may cause skin irritation. It is also known to cause headache and insomnia.

9. Garlic Juice

  • Peel, wash and crush 3-4 pods of fresh garlic.
  • Apply the juice on the Cold sores. Let it sit for a couple of hours.
  • Wash with warm water and mild soap and dab dry.
  • Repeat process twice daily for a week.

Garlic is a natural herb with some amazing medicinal properties. It has been used as a remedy for various ills in folk medicine and in the Ayurvedic system of medicine as well. In addition to being an excellent digestive agent, it helps boost the immune system and fight against the onslaught of infections. There are several natural enzymes present in garlic that help maintain the pH levels at optimum levels in the body. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of garlic make it one of the best home remedies for Cold sores.

While Garlic juice does not cause any adverse side effects when applied on Cold sores, it can cause a burning sensation when applied on open Cold sores or on sensitive skin.

8. Licorice Powder

natural cold sore treatment

  • Mix 2-3 teaspoons of Licorice root powder with water to make a paste.
  • Mix 1 teaspoon of petroleum jelly. Use a cotton swab to dab the paste on the affected areas. Continue the process two to three times daily for a week.

Licorice root powder is one of the best home remedies for Cold sores. An important ingredient in Licorice powder is a substance known as Glycyrhizic acid, which has the power to combat the virus causing the Cold sores and halt its progress. It has natural antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. You can also make Licorice tea and drink it daily as it helps boost the immune system. Licorice root powder is one of the best ways to get rid of a cold sore.

While applying Licorice powder as paste topically on Cold sores does not cause any side effects, consuming it may affect the blood pressure; hence people with hypertension need to be cautious.

7. Peppermint Essential Oil

  • Drop 2-3 teaspoons of Peppermint Essential Oil on a cotton ball.
  • Wash the affected areas in warm water and dab dry.
  • Apply the Peppermint oil and let it sit for a couple of hours.
  • Continue the process two to three times daily for a week.

Peppermint essential oil has the power to kill viruses causing Cold sores and helps in hastening the healing process. The Herpes Simplex Virus settles under the skin and causes the Cold sore to erupt on the surface of the skin. Peppermint essential oil penetrates below the skin and destroys the virus. Applying peppermint essential oil gives the perfect answer to the question “how to get rid of Cold sores?”

While Peppermint essential oil does not cause any adverse side effects, it may cause a bit of irritation and a burning sensation when applied on raw sores.

6. Echinacea Tea

 home remedies for cold sores

  • Boil 2 teaspoons of dried Echinacea Powder in a glass of water.
  • Steep for 10 minutes. Strain and add a teaspoon of pure honey. Drink this tea twice daily for a week or so.

Echinacea tea is loaded with antioxidants and is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent as well. It helps in boosting the immune system and helps fight the dangerous Herpes Simplex virus that causes Cold sores. Moreover, Echinacea tea has been recommended for treating colds and flu and it also helps in controlling hay fever and other allergies. It boosts the production of antibodies and assists in T-cell renewal. Echinacea tea is one of the best home remedies for natural treatment for Cold sores.

While Echinacea tea does not cause any major side effects, it is known to cause nausea, vomiting, stomach upsets and diarrhea when the dosage is exceeded.

5. Aloe Vera Gel

  • Extract the gel from a fresh Aloe Vera leaf. Apply the gel on the Cold sores.
  • Cover it with surgical cotton and leave it overnight.
  • Wash off the gel in the morning and dab dry.
  • Repeat process twice daily for a week.

Aloe Vera is one of the most useful medicinal herbs and is used to treat a plethora of infliction. It is also taken orally for boosting the immune system and giving the body the much needed strength to ward off illnesses. Applying Aloe Vera gel on Cold sores has a soothing effect and helps get relief from the itching and irritation. Aloe Vera also has antiseptic qualities that help with the healing process. Aloe Vera is one of the best home remedies for Cold sores.

Aloe Vera gel does not cause any adverse side effects while applied topically, and is quite safe to use on adults and children.

4. Cornstarch Poultice

home remedies for cold sore

  • Mix 1-2 tablespoons of Cornstarch with water and make a paste. Apply the Cornstarch paste on the Cold Sores overnight.
  • Wash with warm water and mild soap in the morning.
  • Continue the process daily for week or so.

Cornstarch is applied on Cold sores as it has a soothing effect and helps get relief from the itching and pain. Cornstarch poultice helps in neutralizing the pH level of the sore, which is not conducive for the Herpes Simplex Virus to thrive and multiply. Cornstarch poultice helps to effectively destroy the virus and hasten the healing process. Cornstarch poultice is one of the best home remedies that gives the answer to the question how to get rid of cold sores?

Cornstarch poultice does not cause any adverse side effects and is safe to use.

3. Turmeric Powder

  • Mix 2 teaspoons of Turmeric powder with water to make a thick paste.
  • Apply on the Cold Sores. Cover it with some of surgical cotton and tape.
  • Let it sit overnight. Remove the cotton in the morning and wash with warm water.
  • Repeat the process for a week or so.

Turmeric is a magic spice that has been used in many cultures as food and as a curative agent as well. It is used extensively in the Ayurvedic system of medicine and is a great natural antiseptic agent that helps get relief from the itching and irritation caused by Cold sores. The Curcumin present in Turmeric is the substance that helps hasten the healing process. Turmeric is one of the best home remedies for a Cold sore.

Turmeric is a natural curative that does not cause any adverse side effects and is quite safe to use on children and adults.

2. Witch Hazel

essential herbs for cold sores

  • Take 1 teaspoon of Witch Hazel bark extract and a few balls of surgical cotton. Dip a cotton ball in Witch Hazel extract. Apply it on the Cold sores.
  • Let it sit for a couple of hours. Repeated the process twice daily for a week or so

Witch Hazel extract is an excellent medicine that was used as folk medicine and by the Native Americans for treating various illnesses, wounds and burns. It has strong astringent properties and is an excellent antioxidant. It is loaded with polyphenols and tannins that help with the healing process. Applying Witch Hazel extract on Cold sores has a soothing effect and helps get relief from the itching and burning sensation. Witch Hazel extract is one of the best home remedies for Cold sores.

While Witch Hazel can cause a stomach upset when taken orally, it does not cause any major side effects when applied topically as a poultice.

1. Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)

  • Mix 2 teaspoons of baking soda with water to make a paste.
  • Apply the paste on the Cold sores. Let it sit for a couple of hours.
  • Wash with warm water and mild soap and dab dry.
  • Repeat the process daily for a week.

Baking soda has some good antiseptic properties that help cure the Cold sores caused by Herpes Simplex Virus.  Moreover, the strong anti-inflammatory properties of baking soda help reduce the swelling and the itching caused by this infection. Baking soda creates a hostile atmosphere in which the virus will not be able to survive and thrive. Baking soda can also be dusted on the Cold sores or can be mixed with coconut oil or castor oil to make a paste, which can be applied on the affected portions. Baking soda makes one of the best home remedies for Cold sores.

Baking soda does not cause any adverse side effects. However, it may cause some irritation when applied on raw Cold sores or if the skin is very sensitive.

See a doctor immediately if:

  • The sores become severe and star oozing liquid.
  • There is fever associated with the Cold sores.

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    • Although canker sores and cold sores may appear the same at first glance, there are distinctive differences. Canker sores are caused by damage to the mouth, foods, or an underlying disease, while cold sores are caused by the herpes virus

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