Cold Sores
Natural Remedies

Natural Cold Sore Cures

Aspirin, St. John's Wart, Tea Tree Oil

Posted by K (New York, New York) on 12/27/2007
5 out of 5 stars

This Works on Contact. Remove the top skin from the cold sore/herpes simplex. Ground Aspirin with 2 drops or tea tree oil (organic) and 2 drops of St. John's Wart liquid form (organic). If your a baby and you can't take pain you can numb it with Ambersol. It will kill the virus on site. It will form a scab immediately, stops the oozing, itching and swelling.

Astringent Toner

Posted by Juliana (Calgary, Canada) on 08/22/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I got Cold Sore while camping this summer. I have no clue how I got it, could be from sharing cups or from the grass. I felt the tingle on my upper lip while returning home. I went to see the doctor immediately. The doctor recommended acyclovoir cream, but I don't find it very effective. However, the nurse told me to wet a cotton ball with alcohol and rub around the lips for 5 minutes. I didn't have alcohol at home by then, so I used my toner instead, because there are alcohol in my toner. I felt comfortable using toner since I used then after washing my face everyday anyways. I wet the cotton part of bandage with Astringent Toner and stick the bandage on the bump. I repeated this about 3-4 times daily for two days, and my cold sore disappeared! The toner I used is called Garnier Pure - Astringent Toner - Tighten Pores. You can get it almost anywhere.

Replied by Joyce
Joelton, Tn
512 posts

Hi Juliana, For future reference for your herpes simplex (cold sore), when you first notice that tingling feeling that heralds a budding cold sore, start taking L-lysine 2 grams (200 mgms) 4 times a day and you will find it drying up by the next day. I have found L-lysine effective against all viruses that I have tried it for to date.

Replied by Joyce
Joelton, Tn
512 posts

To correct error in L-lysine for Herpes Simplex or cold sore. Should read 2 grams or (2000mgm) four times per day.

Replied by Surfcity
Orange County, Ca
1 out of 5 stars


When rubbing anything on a coldsore NEVER break it open. I made the mistake of my life in thinking I could break open a very small cold sore with a Qtip and rubbing alcohol thinking it would kill everything and dry it up. WRONG! It spread across my lip and up to the bottom of my nose, with my lip swelling to at least twice it's normal size. It was extremely painful and embarrassing.

Avoid Arginine

Posted by Barbiec1953 (Vienna, Virginia) on 10/05/2011

An imbalanced ratio of arginine: lysine will cause Herpes Simplex/Cold Sore/Fever Blister breakouts. Try to eat your arginine foods as little as possible... And stop them altogether as soon as you feel the tingling.

Avoid Caffeine

Posted by Lou-lou (Adelaide, Sa) on 04/01/2010
4 out of 5 stars

Hi, I have posted here before but not for oral herpes which I also suffer from. Mine occur on the inside or outside of my nose, sometimes extending towards my mouth. Needless to say, not a pretty site :( and I have battled for years to try and improve the sores asap. What I hadn't looked into much before though was how to avoid getting them in the first place. There are always triggers for things and our bodies try to tell us this by giving us a rash, or a sore or spots etc. I too have also found a link with artificial sweeteners but what I have discovered through my own testings is CAFFEINE! It's a huge NO NO, well at least for me. I have cut out all caffeine products such as coffee, chocolate, coke etc. I loved all 3 but the alternative (a sore) is not worth it. I have found a coffee substitute called Caro and there is also one called Ecco. They are a cereal beverage and are sold in supermarkets right next to coffee. I usually mix that with decaf coffee. There is still caffeine in decaf but a very low percentage. I used to get outbreaks just about every month. I have been sore-free for 3 months now and counting :) Also as most of you would know, both Lysine and Arginine are amino acids. Most, if not all foods have each of these in them. Lysine is good for us herpes sufferers but arginine is very bad. Nuts, especially peanuts are at the top of the list for arginine properties. I printed a list from the web of foods high in arginine. The key is to ensure your diet has far more lysine. Plain yogurt and cheese top the list there. Also important is to know that the ratio of lysine in a food far out weighs the arginine content. If you don't think you are getting enough lysine, then you can always take a supplement. If any of you out there are staph carriers and suffer from severe infections around the nose towards the mouth area, I have an idea about that too so let me know if you are interested.

Replied by Julie
Boston, Ma
5 out of 5 stars

I agree, I gave up caffeine for a few months for other reasons and noticed I didn't have any cold sore breakouts.

Replied by Stephanie
Bendigo, Australia

I have suffered coldsores since I was 2 months old. I have found that I can greatly reduce the frequency of them if I totally avoid Oranges. I recently discovered that if I eat even the smallest hint of orange I WILL the next day have 1 to 6 coldsores around my mouth.

When I spoke to my doctor about this he told me it was a food allergy. Like how some people have anaphylaxis over nuts, I have coldsores from oranges. I don't only have cold sores from oranges but I also get them before I get sick, when I am sick, when I am tired and when I am stressed. I find overdosing on lysine can help as well as applying peppermint oil or this foreign cream called Yeao Paya Brand Balm that my uncle brought over from Thailand (I think). (it contains camphor, cinnamon oil, menthol, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil and olive oil. ) I find this cream burns the skin around the coldsores and builds a thin scab where the coldsores is and stops the burning and itching as it kills it from the outside.

Avoid Citric Acid

Posted by Kim (San Jose, Ca) on 09/03/2010
5 out of 5 stars

While I don't have a cure for cold sores, I discovered what causes a breakout on my upper lip. I recently found out that I have a cousin in another country that has a break when she eats too many tomatoes. So I decided to keep track of what I ate, when I have my breakouts. It turns out that citric acid was the culprit. I noticed that when I drink too much orange juice, cranberry juice, soda, or eat tomato sauce, I get a cold sore. Any one item does not cause me to break out, but ingesting multiple items in one day or over a few days will result in a painful breakout that lasts about three weeks. Now, I very seldom get a cold sore, and when I do, I realize that I was not careful about what I ate, especially when it is often used as an additive is foods, like most sodas, jellies, sour dough bread, etc. I thought I would pass this information on, in case it helps someone else prevent or reduce future cold sore break outs, as they are painful and embarrassing.

Replied by Kingkevin
Macomb, Illinois

Thanks definitely going to give it a try. I drink TONS of mt. Dew on a daily basis, it's practically what I live on. I've concluded it IS something I do on a daily basis considering since I was infected six months ago nearly not one week has gone by that I haven't got one. I absolutely am the most vein person in the world, and am not at a job I can just continuously take time off. I've considered quitting my job over the situation, which would leave NO way to pay bills... But it's that bad I consider it almost evey day. Fortunately I'm with the woman I'm going to marry, but it's still unsettling. I seriously am breaking down. As soon as the excitement of confidence is coming back because one healed, another pops up. I can't take it much more! Thanks for your info...

Replied by Kangroo
Chicago, Il

Definitely! I have had the same experience with orange juice and cranberry juice. They definitely cause more outbreaks.

Use Campho-Phenique (walgreens) all around your lip every four hours during the day and before sleeping to stop outbreaks there. Then, for when blisters may appear ON your lip, pour some 3% hydrogen peroxide (walgreens) in a tablespoon and soak the blisters in it for 10 minutes every half hour until you notice shrinkage in the blisters. Visually inspect the blisters every half hour, if they seem to be growing, soak in the 3% solution again for 15 minutes, but if they have stopped growing, soak again in the solution for 10 minutes every 2 or 3 hours. This should help kill the blisters that are ON your lip in about 24 hours. The blisters that appear ON your lip (the purple area) are the hardest one to treat, but with practice you will get better and better at it and pretty soon you'll get the situation under control.

Replied by Timauthee
Dallas, Tx

Thanks! For cold sores I tried ALL of the home remedies, heavy drugs and L Lysine for prevention for years..... Nothing worked. Read here and on the genital herpes site that Orange, Grapefruit and Cranberry Juice causes outbreaks. Past years would have on average of 8 major occurrences per year. Stopped drinking these juices and had 1 minor occurrence in the past 2 years (side-note, the last two years have been anything but stressless so its not due to a low stress levels)."

Avoid Orange, Grapefruit, and Cranberry Juices

Posted by Timauthee (Dallas, Tx) on 09/04/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Cold Sores: Tried ALL of the home remedies, drugs and L Lysine for prevention..... Nothing worked. Read on the genital herpes site that Orange, Grapefruit and Cranberry Juice causes outbreaks. Past years would have on average of 8 major occurrences per year. Stopped drinking these juices and had 1 minor occurrence in the past 2 years (side-note, the last two years have been anything but stressless so its not due to a low stress levels).

Avoiding The Sun

Posted by Maremarecalif (Concord, Ca) on 04/19/2013
4 out of 5 stars

For years I would get cold sores and I could not figure out why.. I'm 70yrs now and about 5 years ago the answer came.. It was the sun that brought them on for me... I am fair skin and I have a large lot.. I do all the yard work , that includes making patios with pavers, digging up sewer pipes etc... The days I'm in the sun too long, the next day I will feel bumps next to my lips and I know whats coming Blisters... So now I do most of my yard work late in the day or very early in the am.. If I do get one, I use camphor.

Baking Soda

Posted by Inez (Kent, Uk) on 07/25/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Bicarbonate of soda for cold sores:

Been having cold sores all my life but it effects me more now as I have fallen in love. Massive cold sore came up yesterday (Thursday )above my lip found this site and made the paste put it on the sore and it went down within an hour. I covered my whole face with it and my skin is so soft and glowing now thank you so much


Replied by Suzanne
Fort Wayne, US
5 out of 5 stars

Inez from Kent UK. Inez, I too suffered from cold sores till I started taking baking soda mixed with water in the morning on an empty stomach. I have 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with a cup of water four to five days a week. I have not had one outbreak since I started years ago. there is much written on the subject here on EC. It works, it's cheap and I feel great.

Posted by Jay (Altoona, FL) on 06/25/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I found that the virus that causes cold sores does not like bicarbonate of soda. I was usually able to half the time to heal by applying the soda to the open lesion several times a day.

Posted by Susan (USA)
5 out of 5 stars

Another excellent use for baking soda is for mouth ulcers and cold sores. Simply mix a teaspoon of baking soda with 100mls of water and use as a gargle. For cold sores use the same solution. Dab directly onto the cold sore using a cotton bud. Do this at least twice a day.

Bee Propolis

Posted by Bodulica (Barrie, Canada) on 12/12/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Herpes: Bee propolis applied topically significantly shortens the duration of the outbreak. Be careful: it permanently stains textile!

Bentonite Clay and Apple Cider Vinegar

Posted by Benjamin (Scottsdale, Arizona) on 06/17/2010
5 out of 5 stars

I`ve had good results using cosmetic bentonite clay mixed with apple cider vinegar on a fever blister.This is something I normally use as a facial.But I discovered if I applied a small amount of the mixture to the fever blister covering it completely and leave on overnight, it would reduce and start to heal.


Posted by Cris01us (Hawaii) on 06/18/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I have been taking BHT for a year now and haven't had an actual outbreak since. In 2015 I had three in the course of 6 months, which is the most I've ever had in that amount of time. Now here's the disclaimer, I've had what I thought were the tell-tale signs of one coming on (you know that little bit of irritation). Now this could be paranoia and nerves or an actual outbreak, I never am 100% sure. Anyway, I always up my regular 250mg dose of BHT to 500 or even 1000mg (never more), apply some Lemon Balm to the suspect area and ta-da, and up all my other vitamins (L-Lysine too) and it never comes to fruition. Maybe one of these times I will be brave and just stick with the 250mg of BHT and see what happens (too bad my outbreaks last at least 2 full weeks! )!?

Replied by Zark
Emerald City

BHT is a good choice - it kills lipid enveloped viruses, and that includes the herpes virus which causes cold sores.

Posted by Art (Vancouver Bc, Canada) on 03/22/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I see a list for popular remedies but, under that list I do not see BHT (Butylated Hydroxy Toluene) for cold sores of which is a herpes virus. I for one am using it and am seeing the disapearance of one on my lip that used to break out every year. Some one here mentioned if you can't cure it you can at least control it. I say why control it when you can cure it. You can see the results of BHT under the remedies tab. Again I don't understand why it not under the list of popular remedies here as opposed to acetone which can be harmful. Acetone nay. BHT yea.

Posted by Lucky (Durban, South Africa) on 11/01/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Hi my name is Lucky Phoswa, from South Africa I'm busy experimenting with BHT, to try and control my cold sore outbreaks and documenting it all on my blog at: I want to give users first hand information on the use of BHT, with results and it's side effects. Many thanks,

Replied by Lee
Fremont, OH
1 out of 5 stars

Ok after reading the above blog on BHT, I thought I would give it a try. So I began taking 250mg per day and over the course of a week or two ramped it up to 1000 mg per day. i continued this for 2 months not always taking 1000mg but varying between the 250 and 1000, and during this time I had far more (3 to be exact) and more severe outbreaks than I'd had in the 5 years since first realizing I had genital herpes. So, I would say BHT is an emphatic NO. I even combined it with ST. Johns Wart (hipericin). I have been outbreak free since quitting the BHT and thought well maybe this stuff actually worked and I had rid myself of the virus, but just last night I began feeling the familiar pain, like somebody punched me in the vag and it has continued onto today. No blisters yet but I'm sure they are coming. Since quitting the BHT, I have been boosting my immune system with extra zink, resveratrol, flax seed oil, mega doses of vitamin b, vitamins a+d, vitamin c. The boosting of the immune system seems to be the only effective therapy.

Replied by Joyce
Joelton, Tn
512 posts

Genital Herpes, For herpes of any kind I would be taking 2000 (2grams) of l-lysine mealtime and bedtime. As a matter of fact I would rely on this for any virus. When I start taking it when the fever blister first starts, it is already drying up by the next day after starting it.

Replied by Surfcity
Orange County, Ca
5 out of 5 stars

BHT works. I read about it and immediately tried it for a year, everyday (without fail). Combined with my normally strict diet, no nuts, no alcohol, no chocolate, no soda, no caffeine. Started with 500mg then moving up to 750mg a day and sometimes 1000. I never had a outbreak during this time. My year long experiment ended roughly 2 years ago and I'd say I've had 3 minor outbreaks since the experiment ended, although I have started to occasionally enjoy alcohol again and chocolate and some seeds and nuts, but no caffeine. My opinion is BHT has greatly reduced my outbreaks and improved my life.

Replied by Art.
Bc Canada

BHT if taken with other supplements will not work, as these other supplements interfere with the metabolism of BHT. Sounds like your problem.

If you feel a break out happening take the BHT again for a while. Oscar takes it every day and says it will intensify the effects of alcohol.