Cold Sores
Natural Remedies

Cold Sore Relief: Top Natural Remedies

| Modified on Nov 09, 2023
Posted by earth is a pancake (chiraq, illinois.) on 09/09/2023

When I read about cold sores and acetone - I thought these people had lost their minds!! ... but this last time I had a bad case sold sore, two locations on lower lip about 5-6 bumps / bulbs, 3-4 of them were getting oversized, I looked horrible - and hurt like a mofo.

I used a q-tip to dip in a home depot purchased acetone container and applied throughout the day starting in the afternoon. Without any exaggeration, and with outmost sincerity, it worked for me. By the end of the day 10 pm or so - the size of the bumps/bulbs decreased to about 25% from the large size of that same morning. I could not believe it. I asked my roommate, just to make sure I was not losing my mind and going blind...

By the next morning, the bumps decreased more in size, and a small scabs started to appear - signaling the healing process has begun... I only applied once or twice the second day.

Don't ingest the powerful acetone, careful breathing in the fumes - I held my breath as much as possible, sealed my lips / mouth while applying with q tip soaked. Acetone evaporates very quickly, so application time is short.. Think I applied about 10 times from afternoon til midnight the first day.

Hope this helps!

Posted by Whathadhappendedwas (Florida) on 08/28/2023

Acetone is the best remedy I've tried. I get the big swollen lip. Others have said to keep it on for five minutes. However, I kept it on for a min or so at a time. I did it about 20 times the first day.

My lip went down after a couple hours. I then poked the blister with a needle and got the fluid out. Next day it crusted over. Did the acetone all day again but maybe fewer times. Third day was just a scab. Did the acetone a few more times just in case. Now I'm just waiting for the scab to come off. I'm on the fourth day. It usually takes a week before it scabs over. I guess I'll be doing this from now on.

Posted by famcoll (TN) on 08/05/2023

Bingpensan for Cold Sores on the Lips

Many years ago in China, a local doctor gave me a vial of Bingpengsan (borneolum and borax), which is a white or pink powder. She told me to rinse my mouth three times a day with diluted hydrogen peroxide (4 parts water, 1 part hydrogen peroxide). After rinsing, I was to use the equivalent of a Q-tip to spread the Bingpengsan lightly on the cold sore. This must be done immediately when the cold sore just emerges.

Within a day the cold sore will dry up, but keep using the treatment. About day three, the cold sore will have turned into a scab and will fall off. I've kept the vial for more than 25 years and use it whenever I feel/see a cold sore emerge. It has never failed to eliminate the cold sore immediately. I'm not sure where or how to get this type of powder in the U.S., but my acupuncture doctor has provided to me a powdered preparation in capsules called Tianqi, which has the same effect on open wounds (like blisters, burns, scrapes, bed sores). Just take the the powder out of the capsule and sprinkle or spread it on the open sore (if it's a blister, just put the powder on it). The wound will dry up and scab over very, very quickly. I've never tried the Tianqi for cold sores, but it seems to have the same action as the Bingpengsan.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Suzanne (INDIANA) on 05/01/2023

Lecithin taken daily will keep you from ever having another herpes outbreak again. I tried everything and lecithin is the only thing that works.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Nan (Canada) on 04/30/2023

My multi - protocol:

1. The minute I feel tingling, I dab it with OREGANO, GARLIC, or GOLDEN SEAL essential oil, (or, if necessary, ACETONE/nail polish remover - I spit out any that goes into my mouth). I dab one of the above herbs on my lip every hour or two - I use only one herb a time, but you can rotate them from hour to hour. Use Acetone only 3 times a day or less.

Another remedy that you can also use WITH the above or use alone:

Dab on a little mixture of cayenne pepper and coconut, olive, or any edible oil. I sometimes cover it with a bandaid for a while to hold it in place while it dries. This works very well on skin shingles -- as well as taking lots of Vitamin C/lysine. It might sting a little at first.

2. Take plenty of Vitamin C and lysine at least 3 - 6 times a day. (If you experience loose stools, back off, but don 't stop taking it altogether for a week or so.) Drink lots of water with the C.


These remedies won't eliminate the cold sore completely if it's already formed a pea-sized bump, but it will stop it from growing into a larger bubbly marble as the sore will flatten and stop tingling or feeling painful. (By the second or third day, your lip might still have a reddish, flattened dried-out light bump, but it should pass as looking merely chapped.)

**** When the tingling first starts and your lips are dry, do the protocol immediately. If you aren't at home, if necessary, rub on a bit of salt, tabasco sauce and/or vinegar. Carry apple cider vinegar and vitamin C and lysine capsules in your purse or car to take in an emergency. Do NOT wait! For me, consuming excessive sugar (and occasionally too many nuts, which contain arginine, and for some, excessive pop or alcohol) is the major culprit and the bitter vinegar, pickle juice/sauerkraut, lysine, and vitamin C supplements seem to counteract that.

Posted by Sam (Miami ) on 03/25/2023

It does work, just add vitamin C.

Posted by Another Mom (San Diego, CA) on 03/23/2023

L-lysine for cold sores WORKS! All my siblings get cold sores and around 10 years ago one of us discovered that L-Lysine 1000mg 3 x day as soon as you feel that tingle/pain and even AFTER one has erupted. Then reduce to 500 mg 3 x d for a few more days. By that time all should be well.

If one sore has emerged, then it goes away quickly - if it hasn't then the L-Lysine makes it go away fast.

I keep a bottle of it in my vehicle, as we know those suckers can strike at any time & don't wait until you have some on hand.

Reading through the posts, some take it daily. I heard you should ONLY take it when needed and prolonged use is not good for you, other posts say it can affect the liver-so be careful out there, do your research, and if confirmed, only take for a few days to a week.

Posted by Kristi LMT (Moore, OK) on 03/03/2023

2 drops of 99.9% DMSO with 2 drops of reverse osmosis water on a q-tip. Apply to cold sore area. With 1 application, mine was completely gone in 4-6 hours. It was applied within hours of the start of it.

Tea Tree Oil
Posted by LaNae (Connecticut) on 11/26/2022

Hi debra what is h202 and TTO? Not all of us are acronyn

EC: Hydrogen Peroxide and Tea Tree Oil.

Ear Wax
Posted by Sandy (Chapel Hill, NJ) on 11/23/2022

Ear wax 100% works and I'm so glad I found this remedy. The key is to get to it early and it will stop it from every getting visible. But even if you miss the early stages and wake up with one, ear wax still drastically cuts down how long its around. I find, now that I know this, the max a cold sore will be around for me is 48-72 hours and usually they aren't noticeable at all. The only unfortunate thing with this remedy is you're likely to not have/produce enough ear wax to apply ear wax multiple times.

L-Lysine and Vitamin C
Posted by Aviva (Tel Aviv (Gosh Dan)) on 11/16/2022

I came up with the tingling feeling of a cold sore. There it was. on my upper lip. I took 4 grams Lysine per day + natural vitamin C 4000 mg per day and put some coconut oil on the blister. It stopped growing and tingling immediately and the blister began drying quickly. Now it is the 3rd day and only a wound remained.

Posted by Sweetpeasal (Duarte, CA) on 10/25/2022

I have suffered with cold sores my whole life. After spending a day out in the sun, I could feel my lip starting to swell (you know the feeling). I frantically looked online to see if there was some new remedy out there. I discovered this site and saw so many good reviews about acetone I figured I'd give it a try. (I used to use BHT and lysine but that ceased to work for me.)

Miracle of miracles, the acetone worked! Several times of the day, I would press a q-tip dipped in 100% acetone onto the area until it stung and then removed it. The cold sore never even got to the tingle phase. By day two my lip was slightly swollen but only about a third of what it normally would have been. By day three it was 10% swollen with a simple scab that could be covered with lipstick. No blisters even. Unbelievable. A week later, the small scab is still there, but the sore is clearly receding to nothing.

Where has this been my whole life?! The acetone must just kill the virus! Thank you all for sharing your experience with this amazing remedy! So helpful.

Black Tea
Posted by Trista (Sydney, Australia ) on 09/13/2022

Recently found that black tea gets rid of my coldsores.

I usually drink coffee but like to have tea sometimes.

I had a cold sore a few weeks ago and didn't have lemongrass that I usually use on them.

After having a few sips of black tea I realised the swelling feeling was gone.. so I put some directly on the sore. It basically stopped the progression of the coldsore and started healing.

I tried it again today after having another one pop up, it didn't disappoint and is healing.

Apparently the tannins in the tea kill off the coldsore virus.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Salt
Posted by Nature Boi (Atl) on 08/31/2022

You can use apple cider vinegar and salts. Like put it in a cup, add salt, take a cotton swab and dip it. Put it on your cold sore will disappear in days.

Posted by naturalremedies101 (orlando, fl ) on 08/11/2022

My bottom lip was tingling all day. At the end of the day around 6pm, I looked in a zoom-in mirror and could see the horrendous 3 bumps forming. I immediately began applying acetone. I did this for 30 seconds-1 min at a time up every 20-30 minutes up until I went to bed around 10pm. I worked the next day and could still see the bumps, but they did not pop or grow. I went ahead and applied and applied nail polish remover in the morning before going to work and once in the afternoon. When I got home, I applied it again until I went to sleep multiple times. I kept a cotton pad with acetone on until it burned too much. On day 3, there was no longer a coldsore forming! I can't believe this actually worked :)

Dietary Recommendations
Posted by Christy (Pennsylvania, United States ) on 07/27/2022

It doesn't matter if raw chocolate and almonds are healthy to eat or not, they are still high in L-Arginine, which is why eating them leads to a breakout. I don't usually get a cold sore just from eating these foods, but if I have a breakout, it gets bigger and lasts longer if I have them. That includes nut butters as well. Eating foods higher in L-Lysine and taking a Lysine supplement is the only thing that works for me.

Posted by Gemma (Lancashire) on 07/17/2022

Last summer I had a beast of a cold sore. It was 6 in one!! I hadn't had one in about 15 years so it was very weird. Probably from vaccine shedding from other people.
For some reason I didn't think to check on here until about day 5. I tried acetone but the skin was already broken and it made it 10 times worse and left a scar too.

I think acetone must be used at the first signs and would be very effective but not once the skin has broken.

Posted by Lynn4 (maryland) on 07/11/2022

Cold Sores:

When one of these appears in the mouth - what has worked for me is eating a good quality raw kale greens - or take Lysine tablets. it works.

Posted by GILLIAN (CA) on 07/10/2022

I haven't gotten cold sore breakouts very often but have had them since I was a child. I've even gone years without an outbreak. When I would get one it would be mild and I'd combat it with Lysine and oil of oregenal both orally and topically. Usually they wouldn't even get to a blister with this treatment. However, I recently had a really large one come out on my bottom lip and it took forever to come down and heal. What a pain! The area is still slightly raw and sensitive. Over the long weekend of the 4th of July I got a lot of sun and didn't drink enough water, drank alcohol and got totally dehydrated. I felt my lip burning. I woke up with 3 huge ones on my bottom lip coming up into blisters!!!

Panicking I scoured the internet and saw Cheri's post from 2021. I tried it and put acetone on each one with a q-tip for about 20 seconds each and 1 DAY LATER they had all scabbed over!!

This would have been at least a week or more without this remedy! Thank you!!

Posted by Whathadhappendedwas (Florida) on 07/07/2022

I usually get the big cold sores that make your lip look like a balloon. It sucks. I was eating spaghetti and noticed the sauce made my lip fill better. Did a search about tomato sauce and herpes to see if there was others who tried or used it. Came across a video that said to use ketchup. It was a boring video but decided to try it...Ole family recipe or something. Anyways grabbed some ketchup and put it on my lips. Guess I know what lipstick feels like. I don't know. I put a lot of ketchup on and just started watching a movie. It tingled a little, more uncomfortable I guess. But I left it on and after about 44 minutes I could feel a cluster in the back of my jaw get zapped. Not really sure how else to explain it. Provided relied though. Provided relief for the swollen lip too. Felt like it was working and decided to put a fresh batch and leave it on all night.

Woke up the next morning and it wasn't swollen anymore. Already formed scabs and started healing. Few days later my lip was back to normal. For the healing, I put Abreva on. I typically get blisters from the sun. Haven't had any in a couple months. Might be my new go to as Apple Cider Vinegar sucks. Ketchup is everywhere! Won't hurt to try. Says to use it at the tingle stage to prevent them too.

Hydrogen Peroxide and DMSO
Posted by Thea (US) on 06/14/2022

What exactly is the protocol? Do I apply HP then DMSO topically or are they to be taken internally? Thanks

Lysine, Vitamin C and Coconut Oil
Posted by martiele (FL) on 06/09/2022

I heard magnesium oil spray does the trick But I have not had one to try it. When I have I have used aloe, aloe by cutting a square off and placing on lip sit 15 minutes and it will Usually stick for the rest of the day until it's gone. It will take me three days with aloe. Also lysine. I was drinking a lot of black tea and I heard black tea blocks lysine in our bodies and so I would get them more often or more easily prone to getting them.

Posted by Maria (NJ ) on 05/04/2022

ME TOO! What is it with the RETIN-A!!

Hydrogen Peroxide and DMSO
Posted by Elton (Lucas do Rio Verde, MT) on 04/24/2022

Hello, my name is Elton from, Lucas do Rio Verde - MT, Brazil I also use hydrogen peroxide with DMSO, I didn't get a cure, mine is genital herpes, but I won't give up the treatment because I know I need to have more discipline to achieve the result.