Cold Sores
Natural Remedies

Natural Cold Sore Cures

Lemon Balm
Posted by Cris01us (Honolulu) on 07/07/2017
5 out of 5 stars

So I have tried many many things for the past three years to deal with embarrassing cold sores and surprisingly most are listed on this site and most do in fact work to some degree or another.

For instance, on a 1-10 scale with 10 being awesome: 1. ACV applied (3) 2. Acetone applied (6) 3. Ice applied (4) 4. L-Lysine taken (5) 5. Earwax applied (7) (hey when your desperate you'll try anything! ) 6. Zinc taken (3) 7. Lemon Balm (9)!!! 8. Organic Oregano Oil applied (7) (if the right strength is applied enough) 9. Tea Tree Oil applied (5) 10. Tea bag applied (2)

If you are reading this and looking for some relief then you have probably read a ton of others too, and what you should have noticed by now is that no one thing by itself is probably going to be a silver bullet. What I have found that works for me is: Lemon Balm oil (1oz bottle with dropper) apply to q-tip and hold that on the spot for 1-5 minutes at a time, do as often as needed through out the day. If done at the very first sign this is amazing with helping slow everything down. Then up the L-lysine to 3000mg (1000 each dose). Drink plenty of water - the body needs it! Eat healthy (I even fasted for a day once and it helped).

Take a zinc supplement and make sure your getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs and plenty of rest. I also have tried BHT and I think it helps....but that's not natural and is very controversial in this kind of community.

Mistakes: too strong of OOO - I burned my lip and it took as long to heal as it would have the cold sore (but it worked the sores were gone the next day)! . Topical Zinc Sulfate - also burns. TTO applied too often - burns and stops working after a while. Really in most mistakes it comes down to overdoing it. I know we all want it gone yesterday but NOTHING is going to do that so have a little patience. Best of luck!

Posted by Anon (Anon) on 11/09/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Acetone is working really well. Had the worst cold sore of my life a month ago and now a month later another one. I felt the tingling and immediately started with Hydrogen peroxide. Later read on here that acetone works very well too so I started using that. It has dried out the cold sore better than the HP. The cold sore is barely visible and has not swollen huge or burst or anything. it is Just red and a little swollen, It is very dried out and seems to be going straight to scabbing, although you cant really see a real "scab" its just dried out and dry skin but you cant tell unless you look real close in the mirror. This sore is in the same spot as the really bad one a month ago but also spread down the lip even more than the really bad one. I feel that if I would not have used the acetone this sore would have been the worst one ever. The first day I felt the tingling I used HP. The next day no sign of a sore but still put HP on it for about 10 min twice that day. Day 3 I woke up and the sore started to pop up like normally, reddish and a glossy bump. It wasn't too big, yet! It was about the size of Lincolns head on a penny. Immediately started to soak with acetone. It went down in swelling and dried out quick. Still red though. Next day, day 4, which is today, I woke up and it looked really good. swelling down still, still dried out, still a little red. Soaking in Acetone again this morning. Worked all day and it barely noticeable, barley swollen, barely red. Applying again tonight. I'm hoping that it continues to go down and not have a brown scab. Hopefully just dry crusty skin scab that you can't really see like it is now. So it should be healed within a week hopefully. which is amazing because before it would be a week before it even scabbed and then at least another week with bleeding nasty huge scab on my lip.

This is a GOD send, helping soo much. I am truly grateful!

Posted by Fae (Santa Rosa, Ca) on 06/11/2013
5 out of 5 stars

The juice of fresh raw garlic clove applied topically stops a cold sore dead in its tracks! Results are felt instantly. I've tried many of the natural Earth Clinic remedies for cold sores (ice, peroxide, L-lysine, nail polish remover, etc. ) with varying degrees of success so when I say it works almost immediately, I am speaking from experience! As soon as you feel that dreaded tingle or see any sign of the blister, peel a raw clove, nick the end to release the juices (or smash it in a garlic press) and apply to the sore. Hold it on there for about 15 seconds. It will sting like a sonuva..but that is the garlic juice doing its job and is actually a satisfying sensation. I usually only have to do this 2 or 3 times within an hour or two, holding it on there for about 15 seconds each time (any longer and the strong juice may irritate the skin) and the virus inside the cold sore dies or retreats. You can feel it! Any physical damage the cold sore has caused will have to heal in it's own time which is why it's best to catch it before there is any visible sign but even when I had a big red swollen bubble, it flattened within an hour, dried up and flaked off within a day or so. Instantly effective and dependable! I have read that garlic is a strong anti-viral and it is now my only cold sore treatment. I love Earth Clinic and wanted to share this simple but effective cold sore cure.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Lee (Blenheim, New Zealand) on 12/17/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I can not reccommend Hydrogen peroxide enough! I had my first ever break out of cold sores on my bottom lip, it started as one then ended up having 4, my lip was a mess and showed no signs of improving it just kept scabbing then cracking. I went and got Hydrogen peroxide 6% (but im sure 3% or whatever one you can get would work) and I put it on every time I looked in the mirror or remembered about it -the more the better! (I also started taking L-lysine and olive leaf extract but I know it was the hydrogen peroxide that made the big difference) then within only 2 days my lips were 90% better!!!! It kills the virus, dries up the blisters/scabs and heals it but without it getting so dry that it cracks. If my lips did feel a little dry I just put some coconut oil on them and it worked so so well! Had to come back on here and reccommend to anyone who is going through what I have just been through. USE HYDROGEN PEROXIDE!! :)

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Nan (Canada) on 04/30/2023
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Oregano Oil
Posted by J. (Minneapolis, Mn) on 03/03/2010
5 out of 5 stars

I have been a cold sore sufferer for about 20 years and I usually get between 10-35 or so a year and they range from the size of a pea to a quarter. They are usually in my nose or on the skin between my nose and it is safe to say I'm a chronic cold sore sufferer, especially during cold weather and I live up north. I honestly don't know what is worse, the pain or the humiliation as both are almost unbearable. I have tried every single prescription on the market over the years, every single over the counter treatment, and home remedies like daily lysine, ice, acetone fingernail name it.

For me there is one prescription (blue pill) that always worked best but the sore is still extremely painful for 2-3 days and then I have a scorched area of skin that turns scaly and then stays red for weeks afterword. Anyway, I have been trying to find a natural way to control or eliminate my cold sores and I came across Oil of Oregano so I thought I would give it a shot. (I am also taking 2 billion live cultures of acidopholis per day to strengthen my immune system.) And I am so so thankful that I did.

I started taking the OoO twice a day by putting 3-4 drops under my tongue and holding it for about 1-2 minutes and washing it down with 8-10 oz water. Before bed I also rub several drops on the base of my spine (where the virus lives) because OoO is supposed to penetrate the skin to directly combat the virus. (I have read that you might get a bad outbreak as the OoO clears the virus from your system so I was prepared for that.) Anyway, I have taken it for several weeks and I hadn't gotten a cold sore until I forgot to take it two days ago. Yesterday morning I felt the tingle of a cold sore coming on and immediately took a ____ and put Oil of Oregano on it and reapplied it 3-4x throughout the day. I noticed that the sore stayed very small and the Oil of Oregano reduced the usually unbearable burning pain and itching to almost nothing. I did get some blisters, but the sore was about 25% to 35% of the normal size of a cold sore for me with almost zero swelling, burning pain, or itching. It has now been around 36 hours since the first tingle and it is almost completely healed...and it was easily covered with a little powder when I was out shopping yesterday so no one else even knew. This stuff is AMAZING!!!! I also took a couple extra drops orally throughout the day so I was taking it orally and applying it to the sore directly.

Usually within 5-10 hours of the first tingle I have MAJOR burning and itching and there is always a lot of swelling the next morning when I wake up even if I take my prescription the second I feel the first tingle and another before bed. The sore usually lasts a couple of days and then I am left with the burned skin from the blisters which turns into a scab and then red skin for a couple of weeks afterward. With the Oil of Oregano I was able to keep the sore very small and nearly painless and it is almost healed within 36 hours. I am thrilled!! Every time I started to feel a bit of burning pain and itching I would gently reapply 1 drop of oil to the sore and it would immediately help a lot. The second day of a cold sore for me has always been full of serious burning pain, lots of swelling, and finally it is very very itchy as the virus starts to retreat. With Oil of Oregano I experienced almost nothing except a bit of redness and a warm sensation over my lip where the sore was. I can't say enough good things about Oil of Oregano and cold sores. I understand that I have only been using this product for about two weeks and this is my first cold sore that I have treated with it, but I can't tell you just how different this cold sore looked and felt from any other in the past 20 years. My husband couldn't believe it either. This is so much better than my prescription alone. Hopefully it will be a long time before I get another one since I'm taking the OoO to prevent them, but if/when I get the next one I will try OoO without my prescription at all. Hopefully I will have the same results as I really think it was the OoO alone that made the amazing difference in the pain and duration of this sore. I am going to check into how long I can take it daily. I don't want to do any damage to my liver or anything else by taking it for too long, but for now I am going to keep taking it for several months to try to eliminate my cold sores completely. If anyone has information on how long you can take it I would love to hear about it. I asked my pharmacist yesterday and he said that there has been no long-term research on daily usage of OoO, but he personally thinks this is much safer than almost anything else people use for cold sores.

If you suffer from cold sores, I hope this helps you as much as it has me!

In addition to the cold sores, I have used it to stop a sore throat within minutes, relieve my husband's migraine that his medication wouldn't touch, relieve my friend's bronchitis within 24-48 hours after two weeks on antibiotics weren't helping, clear an under the skin acne problem I wasn't even aware I had (experienced a bad breakout for a couple of days) and now my skin looks healthier than it ever has, shrink a cyst that my dermatologist wouldn't remove because it was too deep (within 2 weeks it has shrunk to half the size and is now flat), stop the pain and redness overnight from a hangnail that was really sore...and this is only after using this stuff for only a few weeks. I can't say enough amazing things about Oil of Oregano!! It is like a cure all for everything and that is just crazy!! Had I only know about this 20 years ago I could have saved myself thousands of dollars and years of pain and humiliation!!

Posted by Sarab (CA) on 12/26/2021

Does acetone make them stay away? Just wondering because I use selenium (selenomethionine) and I don't get cold sores any more. I take 1 200mcg capsule a day although I started by taking 2 200mcg capsules a day for about 10 months.

Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 01/05/2021
5 out of 5 stars

Campho-Phenique (Liquid in the green bottle) which you can buy over the counter at any drug store.

Campho-Phenique is an old folk remedy for many skin issues. Camphor is known to have antiviral activity. Studies state that external application of lavender oil mixed with Camphor deactivates both herpes simplex type-1 and herpes simplex type-2 virus. This prevents spreading of the herpes infection.

It works for any type of herpes virus such as cold sores or shingles. Apply with Q-tip to affected area three to four times a day. It dries up the sores immediately.

I got introduced to Campho-Phenique back in the late 70's when I had a mouth ulcer. My parents had a bottle of it in the bathroom cabinet. I dipped a Q-tip into the liquid and rubbed it on the mouth ulcer, waited about a minutes and spit it out. The mouth ulcer was gone by the next day. I've been using this product for other skin issues ever since.

Posted by Nancy R. (New Hope, PA) on 08/03/2020
5 out of 5 stars

I had persistent fever blisters on my lips for years and years. When I took 500mg lysine/day it quickly solved the problem. I do not get them now.

Posted by Joy (Zimbabwe) on 06/19/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I used to suffer terribly with cold sores, until I discovered that holding an ice cube on my lip directly over the tell-tale "tingle" that I came to dread!!! Hold it there until the cube has melted, and hey presto, no more tingle and no outbreak!! This discovery has revolutionised my life... perhaps a bit dramatic, but it sure feels wonderful to no longer suffer with a dreaded fever blister!! :)

Oregano Oil
Posted by Sue M. (Worden, Il, USA) on 12/16/2012
5 out of 5 stars

My "cold sore" outbreaks consist of naturally the lip pustules, but also I have the bad headache, body aches and pain and so very tired.... Flu like symptoms. At the first sign of an outbreak, I would take lysine and it would help lessen the symptoms by 25%, but I was looking for a prevention to the outbreaks that I could take on a day by day basis. That's when I read about the Oil of Oregano. Got my first bottle on the 6th and used 2 drops under my tongue for 10 to 15 seconds, followed by a large glass of warm water. I had a cold sore come up on Friday (14th) and immediately increased my drops to 3 and put the oregano directly on the lip (up to 3 to 4x's a day). My symptoms were cut, I would say, by 75% to what they used to be. I had about 1/2 day of downtime, compared to 3 days before and my lip stayed contained to the cold sore and no swelling like I usually get. I did do the lysine on the 1st and 2nd day, but I really attribute the scaling down of my cold sore issues to the Oil of Oregano. To compensate for it taking iron out of my system, I just drink a tbs of blackstrap molasses to warmed almond milk every other day. There are so many benefits to taking this..... I found alot of information on so many sites. Hope this helps someone.

General Feedback
Posted by Luiz Fernando (Brazil) on 11/08/2021

nope, that would never been an overdose. I have taken lugols 5% doses for 7 years ranging from 8 drops to 20-40 without issues besides some herx symptoms from detox.

The minimum amount for maintenance is 8 drops = 50mg, but often doses of 16 drops = 100mg is recommended because we are fully loaded on bromine/bromides, fluorides and toxins that will take a long time to clear before iodine/iodide can enter it receptors and works on sufficiency, doctors in the past have gave 200mg-3grams of iodine for serious conditions like syphilis and dangerous infections. IT cant be overdosing in that range, our body holds 2.5grams of iodine/iodide content when sufficient.

So any info that tells you to take 2-3 drops is a lie. People taking 2-3 drops will take 3-4 years to detox all bromides and fluorides to get into the sufficiency. Reminding you that we are exposed to fluoride and mostly bromine/bromide on a daily basis, as lots of products we have are loaded on bromine/bromide fire retardants, so you could never reach the full benefit of iodine in that dose.

I take 100mg =16 drops now for months this year, and I feel really good.

Posted by L (New York, New York, Usa) on 03/29/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I have found that taking large doses of L-lysine as SOON as the cold sore begins to develop will cause it to never develop... Or if it does, it won't be noticeable, and won't last more than a couple of days. I have recently undergone a period where I have fought off about 4 cold sores in about a month. It has been absolutely terrible, however, I have gotten to the point where I am pretty sure I have come up with a foolproof prevention and treatment method.

First of all, STRESS and DIET are the two main culprits of these sores. Any diet high in Arginine combined with unusually high levels of stress, little sleep, or menstration will definitely make it hard for the body to fight off cold sores. I have found that I MUST completely eliminate coffee, any form of nuts (including peanut butter), oatmeal, and soft drinks in order to prevent these suckers from appearing. Chocolate intake also needs to be monitored. All 4 times that I have gotten these sores, I had had unusually high levels of stress and had a ton of coffee/soft drinks. I don't know if it is the caffeine or coffee itself, but I do know this must be avoided altogether for me.

Taking L-Lysine each day is NOT suggested, since your body will become immune to it, and it won't be as effective taking it when a cold sore does appear. However, making sure to eat foods with Lysine everyday if you are a frequent sufferer is essential. Yogurt (with live cultures) is wonderful as far as lysine counts are concerned. I have started to include yogurt in my daily diet , and other dairy products such as cheeses and milk, since these are all wonderful foods rich in lysine. Also, most vegetables are excellent as well.

Despite all these precautions, sometimes the suckers still appear, and treatment is vital in getting rid of them quicker. I use a combination of abreva (as soon as it first appears), hand sanitizer (especially if the blister is very tiny... I will pop it and IMMEDIATELY apply hand sanitizer to kill the germs... And make sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward.. This seems to be effective), as well as nail polish remover to dry it up. The bigger the sore gets however, the less you should touch it. Definitely do not pop it if it is huge, since this will only spread germs. The best method for a huge sore is to dry it out, so nail polish remover is best. Also application of honey, beeswax, and hot tea bags have all seemed to relieve it, though I am not sure if those actually HEAL the sore.

On top of these topical applications, I also take LARGE doses of lysine (about 1000 every few hours), as well as Vitamin C. I believe this is honestly the most crucial part of the whole treatment. Make sure your diet is completely free of arginine when the sore is developing... Otherwise it might get pretty nasty. Arginine is prevolent in coffee, chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, coconut, oatmeal, wheat (meaning bread and beer needs to be avoided!! ), jello, brown rice, beans, and lentils.

Eating a lot of licorice also has seemed to help me a ton(make sure the licorice you buy contains real licorice extract... the artificial stuff won't help).

This is a lot... But this is my method of prevention and treatment that seems to work quite nicely. Hope this helps someone!!

Oregano Oil
Posted by Craig (Edmonton, AB, Canada) on 12/08/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I use Oil of Oregano for cold sores, the second I feel that tingle i put a drop or two on the area that is tingleing and repeat a few times through out the day for about 2-4 days, it never blisters and breaks out, in fact its quickly regressed and dissapears within those days. I have been doing this for over a year and usually get cold sores about 4 times a year, and its worked every time...

Black Tea
Posted by Trista (Sydney, Australia ) on 09/13/2022
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Posted by GILLIAN (CA) on 07/10/2022
5 out of 5 stars

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 Bethany H. (San Diego, Ca) on 02/10/2019
5 out of 5 stars

L-lysine for cold sores WORKS!!!

My mom, sisters and I suffer from cold sores- or at least we used to, because we discovered that taking L-lysine stops, actually STOPS cold sores in their tracks. As soon as you feel that “is that a cold sore funny sore feeling “ on your lip or around lips area, start taking L-lysine immediately! Take 1000 mg of L-lysine two to three times a day. So immediately effective and we all carry in our purse and on trips so we have immediate help in case it strikes while you're out and about. I've spent so much money or various cold sore lip creams but this is the best ever! L-lysine.

Ear Wax
Posted by Angela (Wyoming) on 06/23/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Alright you all need to try ear wax for a cold sore. I had a huge one on my bottom lip. I tried 1/2 bottle lysine, acetone, salt, honey, abreva, toothpaste and many many more and nothing! I then decided to try earwax. I kid you not it immediately felt better. No stinging or burning like most products did. The swelling went down in a hour and no redness. By hour 3 virus gone! It you are at your wits end please try this or do when it first tingles. Wash hands really really good. Don't use same finger that touched sore in ear please!! Do this upon the first tingle and keep doing it until no tingle. It really is a true miracle!!! Thank you God for having a free remedy to get rid of these nasty things from the devil.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Tmccallum (United States ) on 12/29/2015
5 out of 5 stars

For years I would get re-occurring cold sores when a change in the weather would come;typically from warm to cold. However, this year I used HP and soaked a cotton ball in it and applied (ran back and forth) on my upper lip for repeatedly until I felt it tingle on my upper lip. The tingling helped me to know that it was working. I did this until the tingling stopped. NO cold sore! Not sure this will work for everyone but I can feel when something is not working right on my body and I try to be proactive in stopping it. I hope this helps!

Lysine, Vitamin C and Coconut Oil
Posted by Mia (Mi, Fl) on 03/24/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I didn't have any acetone to use this time and I really didn't like using it at all so I used 4,000 mg of Lysine spread out through the day, 3,000 mg of Vit C spread out through the day, and I dabbed coconut oil on the sore twice.

In ONE DAY, it was dried up with barely a tiny scab left over and this thing had seven different bubbles and felt like my lip was really ready to swell up.

I will stick with remedy FOREVER.

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