Cold Sores
Natural Remedies

Cold Sore Relief: Top Natural Remedies


23 User Reviews
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1 star (2) 

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.

Replied by Sam

It does work, just add vitamin C.

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

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 Bethany H. (San Diego, Ca) on 02/10/2019

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.

Posted by Becky (Fulton, Ny ) on 07/31/2012

My husband was diagnosed Bipolar 2 about 1.5 yrs ago after a manic episode possibly brought on by the huge amount of stress he was under. I read here about bipolar being caused by the herpes virus and it clicked because my husband had Rheumatoid Arthritis caused by the herpes zoster virus.... After a yr. on metronidazole he is completely healed of RA but was taking 2,000mg a day of Lysine to keep the virus in check.

He is in a depressed state now having come down from a manic eposide about a month ago. On day 1 he took 1,000mg Lysine every hour for 12 hrs...... Day 2 he took 1,000mg Lysine every hr. for 10 hrs. He felt less depressed the middle of day 2. On day 3 he took 1,000mg every hr. for 8 hrs and he felt much better but he woke up depressed on morning of day 4.... Which is today.... He started taking the Lysine at 8am then every hour so far......

Should he keep going every hour? How long should he keep doing this?

He is also taking.... Gelatin multi-vitamin 2x, vit c 1,000mg 4x, Vit. B6, 12, folic acid, Selenium 2x, Vit. D 5,000iu a day, Niacin 500mg 3x, choline 400mg, Inositol 650mg, zinc 50mg 2x, MSM 1,000mg 3x, Vit. A, Milk Thistle and he has taken various amino acids to help with mood.

I really do believe this could be cause by the herpes zoster virus because it caused his RA but dont want him to OD on lysine. Can this much lysine damage his liver? Seems like this virus is really holding on but I do see hope but not sure where to go from here? Is there anything else that can knock this virus out? Any help is appreciated.

Thanks, Becky

Replied by Timh
(Louisville, Ky, Usa)
2064 posts

Becky, the herb St John's Wort is both antiviral and antidepressant. Outside of the typical vit/min used to boost immunity, of which some it seems he's taking, try the Thymus Gland support I posted a few days ago, here:

Cold Showers or Cold Baths or swimming is a powerful whole body/mind booster w/ immediate as well as long-term benefits; you can find it in the "remedies" section at the top of the E. C. page.

Hope this helps and good luck.

Replied by Robyn
(Melbourne, Australia)

Becky, I suffer too. Viral, manic, bad fibro, whacko immune sysem. What about garlic, lemon, BHT, olive leaf extract - these help. wheat grass sprouts as someone suggested to me. Dont think you can OD on lysine.

Replied by Sherry
(Vancouver, Bc)

RA and Mania are both tied to gluten intolerance. It has incredible systemic reactions. Do some research and get him off gluten and dairy. It'll make the world of difference.

Posted by Miserable_in_bama (Oneonta, Alabama, United States) on 06/09/2012

I've suffered from it horribly for 28 yrs. What works and is guaranteed to work is L-lysine. I take 1,000mg morning and night in powdered veg caps. I haven't had an outbreak in 2 yrs or since I started taking it diligently. If you do have an outbreak, take echinacea/goldenseal combo, red clover (helps with fever & inflammation), elderberry, acidolphilus, pau d'arco, burdock. I don't know about Ted and the snake oil things he's talking about. I know L-lysine is inexpensive, and easy. You cannot cure yourself of HSV, it's in your DNA, there's no way to remove it, sorry to tell you. I would get so sick, have horrid fevers, be in and out of consiousness, bad sick. Females have it worse with mucous membranes down there. I use tea tree oil on sores, it dries them out. Tea tree is absorbed into the layers of skin and helps keep it from getting infected, and dries them out fast. It's also cooling to me. You can also use witch hazel, it has antiseptic and pain killing properties. Most importantly, keep it clean and dry. I used aloe baby wipes. Something else I figured out after a few years of hell with this....... Ibuprofen can take away not only the fever, but that sick, puking feeling, and seems to help it heal faster. I found immediate relief, but for me ibuprofen is a no no these days, I have gastritis from taking it for many years. So eat when taking it, never take on an empty stomach.

Replied by Susan
(Bklyn, Ny)

Well, Well, I feel your pain but you do not have to live this way. Do not listen to the doctors, there is help out there. The problem is people do not want to change their diet. If u read my post on the "onion family" cure u would c that two people were cured passing on info to the next. I just found out that one of them had it for 7 yrs before she got cured. Upon finding out she immediately chnaged her diet, ate organic produce( only from the land and NOTHING processed). She does not use deodorant but makes her own from fresh lemons/limes. Drinks distilled water/minearl water. She takes cold pressed coconut oil daily and has been retested multiple times and the result is still negative. She has stopped taking the onion drink after her kidneys were messed up(she drank it excessively). She still maintains an extremely healthy lifestyle. Her shower has a filter and so is her tap. She uses no flour, rice etc. But this is what cured her. She also used lots of herbal stuff, no pill nor capsule.

Posted by Finzy (Palm Beach, Fl) on 12/06/2010

I have episodic bouts of dizziness and vertigo. I went to ENT doc and had caloric testing and BPPV test. It turned out that I do NOT have BPPV and they can't conclude that I have Meneire's. I get fullness and a deep itchiness in right ear, but no ringing and no hearing loss. The doc found the right ear to be the problem during the caloric testing.
I have Herpes in my nose (deep up in right nostril) and genital herpes. I am almost sure that the dizziness I get is from herpes attacking my right inner ear.

After reading suggestions about Lysine supplementation, I began loading up on Lysine. 500 mg about 4-5 times per day. I must say, no more dizziness and no more herpes attack. If I manage to forget to take the Lysine for about 48 hours then sure enough, the genital herpes or nasal herpes start to break out. I sometimes even feel that funny flu feeling in my head and worry that an attack is happening in my inner ear. I am very sure that with future studies, the experts will find a definitive relationship between HSV and vertigo.

Replied by L
(New York, New York, Usa)

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!!

Replied by Kimmi Noelle
(Springfield, Mo.)
12 posts

IF you have high blood pressure, do not use real is known to increase your blood pressure...please try an alternate method. Thanks. :-)

Replied by Kimmi Noelle
(Springfield, Mo.)
12 posts

Warning! IF you have high blood pressure, do not use real is known to increase your blood pressure...please try an alternate method. Thanks. :-)

Posted by Kaykow (Washington, Dc) on 01/19/2010

I've used L-Lysine and it does not work. I currently have 3 cold sores on 3 places on my bottom lip. I've been taking L-Lysine for 1 - 1 1/2 years and I still get cold sores. Unfortunately this time it was 3 at one time.

Replied by Kristin
(Newcastle, Ontario, Canada)

From what I remember you are only supposed to take L-lysine for up to 6 months at a time.

Replied by Don

Eat lots of flounder.

Posted by ShantiM (Mogadoe, Ohio) on 05/27/2009

When I take one cap of 500mg a day of L Lysine, I never have an out-break. When I don't take it, I have an out-break about once every three months. I have been on and off the L Lysine for years. Now I take it daily and have not had an out-break of oral herpes for eight months. Some days I take only half a still works. I would suggest this cure for anyone who has oral herpes and I can't imagine not taking L Lysine everyday ever again.

Posted by Bonita (Rochester, MN, USA) on 01/03/2009

Found this website looking for flea remedies and found so much more! I too am always looking for remedies other than what are mainstream, just because it seems to me there has got to be more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak!

Read about Vitamin D deficincy in The Star Tribune by a doctor at the U of MN who discovered how many people suffer from a lack of it. Of course, I am a blue eyed blond who frys like a lobster in the sun and can't remember when the last time was that I went outdoors without sunscreen and and hat so I began taking a D supplement right away. I take 2000 IU of vitamin D daily. I have to say that I feel pretty darn good considering I have arthritis in all the major joints of my body.

I also have been using lysine to take care of my Herpes simplex outbreaks for years and would not be without it. I find that if I take 4-6 500 mg tablets at the first sign of the itch/tingle on my lip, and then 2 tablets every couple of hours after that, I can most times, stop it in its tracks and completely skip and signs of the break out. If I am nowhere near my supply of lysine and I get those symptoms, taking it at first opportunity causes the leisons to heal very rapidly. In any case, it works for me.

Am going to try the apple cider vinegar thing as well, for arthritis and for the flea problem. Weird that it will be for 2 such unrelated problems but If it works, who cares. It is certainly safe enough. Thanks for being here as a sounding board and gathering of natural remedies.

Posted by Ali (San Diego, CA) on 12/30/2008

Best ways to preventing a cold sore: I used to get cold sore and at first I had no idea what they were, then the doctor started giving me a cream to put on it which I thought was useless. Then I read about Lysine, now Lysine is a life saver. I also came across this device called Virulite, which helped prevent cold sores from forming by targeting the immune system to fight it before an outbreak. So every time I get stressed from work or school, I take 6- 500mg of Lysine daily, I spread them out during the day. Also if I feel a cold sore or a burning sensation anywhere, that is where I use the machine. Hope this helps ;)

Posted by Rodney (Charlotte, NC) on 12/09/2008

I heard about l-lysine for cold sores using the internet about 10 years ago. I tried it then and it did not work. This time L-Lysine closed my sore almost immediately. This time I took larger dosages. My sore was already opening on my lip when I started using Abreva. But Abreva(???no generic ointment name) is not that great once a sore starts.

Since discovering this site, I decided to use a larger dosage of the L-lysine and within 1.5 (one and one half days) the sore has closed up and is well on its way to disappearing. Even though Herpes I is widespread, it is very uncomfortable for me to deal with people's reaction to seeing an open sore on your lips.

I am a big guy. So this time I used 3 1000mg tablets every six hours for 2 days. And each day following the first 2 days, I will lower it 1000 mg until I am taking nothing.

I usally get sores around the holidays which is a very stressful time for me for some reason. Thanks so much!

Posted by Al (Orlando, Fla) on 08/24/2008

This site is the best thing I have found! I was in complete depression after a wrestling sparring partner infected me with Herpes Gladiatorum (HSV1) on my neck and face. It was a nightmare and this site was my salvation. I have tried L-Lysine and it worked perfectly, even if I feel a new OB I just start taking 3K Mg daily it has been under control. In addition I use Hydrogen Peroxide and smash a L-Lysine Pill and put in my face.

The only problem right now is that even the sores are closed, the red marks/spots on my face and neck are still there even after more than two months of being diagnosed with HSV1! Sometimes it gets irritated when I shave, is this normal?? Can someone please recommend me what to do?

Replied by D
(Orlando, Fl)

For Herpes Gladitorum avoid heat/getting overheated/sun. Apply cold (wash face and neck in cold or tepid water, or at least end your washing with cold to close pores and reduce inflammation). Bathe in tepid or cool water ending with a cold splash/ice on problem areas, apply cooling aloe vera/ice to tingling areas, stay cool and hydrated (without getting chilled enough to catch a cold) and pull hot collared shirts away from the neck. Keeping the skin cool works like a charm for me. I have not had a break out for months with the 'cold treatment'. Years ago used to break out constantly. Lysine was not effective for me. Best wishes! :)

Replied by D M
(Orlando, Fl)

Check the other 'Ice' remedies on your website for Herpes Outbreaks. Many others have experienced good results with ice/cool water. Other websites also mention avoiding heat/sun.

Replied by D M
(Orlando, Fl)

Many others on this website mention the 'Ice' and cold water. Other websites mention avoiding sun/heat. My personal experience has proven this effective.

Posted by Jodi (AV, Minn) on 04/01/2008

L-LYSINE Keep it simple - you feel the tingle - take (2000 to 3000mg) lysine asap! then (2000 to 3000mg) 3 times a day -for 2 days. Day 3 reduce to (1000 to 1500mg) 3 times a day. Day 4 (1000 to 1500mg) 3 times a day. Day 5 & day 6 (500mg) 3 times a day. Your Done! You will either have no outbreak or only a day or two with a very small blister with this treatment.

Also note: L-LYSINE is an amnio acid not a vitamin. Do not take Lysine for long extended periods or mega dose as it can have negative effect on the liver. For mega dosing you may want to have your liver checked out. I have done this for 20 years with great success. I do not take it any other time.

Tip: For traveling back and forth - cold to warm climates, or after viruses, or muscle exersions all of which can trigger coldsores as well as large doses of stress. Take 1000mg for a week to help keep them away.

Replied by Michelle
(Minneapolis, MN)

I thought you were supposed to take L-Lysine everyday, which is what i've been doing for a year, as a preventative. I'm glad to finally figure this out.

I used to get cold sores at least every other month when I was a student. They were brought on by stress, and also seemed connected to my period. Acyclovir works for me but I have to double dose and also use abreva and carmex.

I started taking a Vitamin B-complex, Sunmark's Stress Vitamins, daily. I was also taking L-Lysine with this, which I will now quit. It greatly reduced the frequency and duration of my outbreaks. I get them 3 time a year now, compared to at least 6 and they are usually really small and last no more than 3 or 4 days.

I have a tiny one right now, it looks more like a little zit above my lip. But I am excited to go home and start the L-Lysine regiment now that I know the appropriate way to do it.

Symptoms will get better with time for a lot of people. It's important to track your behaviors and habits closely so you can know the triggers and if you've never used it before i highly recommend acyclovir from your dr. Take about 4 right when you feel the tingle and then 2 more that day and it will knock it out before it even becomes a cold sore.

Posted by Sue (Waukesha, WI) on 09/23/2007

Ever since I was a child I would get really bad cold sores on my lips. about eighteen years ago a co-worker told me about L-lysine. I bought some and as soon as I would feel the tingling like one was starting I'd take 2-3 L-lysine and later in the day 2 more and the next day only 3. And the cold sore wouldn't form or come out. For about a year I'd take it only when I felt one coming and a day or two. For about 14 years I haven't had one cold sore! A miracle!

Posted by Sheila (Kansas City, MO) on 05/11/2007

there's a vitamin called LYSINE -they sell it everywhere>>>GO BUY IT IT HELPS STOP fever blisters from coming and helps them go away..... i crush them up and put them on my lips IT WORKS

Replied by Cs
(Sg, Sgp)

I've tried just about everything. Lysine is the only thing that works.