Cold Sores
Natural Remedies

Cold Sore Relief: Top Natural Remedies

L-Lysine, Nail Polish Remover

4 User Reviews
5 star (4) 

Posted by Mary P (Los Angeles, Usa) on 01/31/2011

Yes... I have suffered from cold sores for 15 years, and in the beginning I used drug store items and suffered 7-10 painful days. In the last few years, I've tried other remedies, and the daily Lysine - I take 1000mg a day along with a B12 helps reduce the type of outbreak, they are tiny if they come at all - I work in a high stress business and sometimes it can wear me down to the point of a cold sore breakout. I then double up the lysine, and press nail polish remover on it for several minutes (5-10) an hour until it is barely noticeable. It really works... oh and I wouldn't adivse popping the blisters unless they are really big, if you pop them, it will only irritate the area and slow down the healing process.

L-Lysine, Nail Polish Remover
Posted by Victoria (Saint Johns, Florida) on 01/29/2010

I get about 2-3 cold sores a year on my lips. After a attempting a few remedies, I have found the cure. Once I feel that tingling sensation I immediately take 2 capsules of L-lysine at 500mg. each. If I see a red spot coming out, I get a q-tip, dip it in nail polish remover & using the tip only, apply it with a slight pressure to that area for a few seconds until I feel a burning sensation deep within. That's how you know it's working. I repeat 2 more times that day and the next along with the L-lysine. The cold sore never even comes out. Sometimes, I've had a cold sore start at night while I'm sleeping & when I wake up, it's already painful & clearly visible. Even then, I take my L-lysine and apply the nail polish remover and it stops it in its track! It kills the virus and stops it from growing. I tell all my friends and family & it has worked on them too!

L-Lysine, Nail Polish Remover
Posted by Victoria (Saint Johns, FL) on 08/06/2008

I get about 2 or 3 cold sores a year. Unfortunately, the last cold sore I got hit me in the middle of the night as I slept so when I woke up, it was already in the painful stage. Finally fed up with these unsightly things, I did some internet searches and found several positive remarks about applying nail polish remover AND so I immediately dabbed a q-tip in it and stuck the tip directly at the cold sore site. The sore had come out by this time but it was still small and had not broken the skin. I made sure to place a folded tissue on my lips to catch any nail polish liquid excess. After a few seconds, I felt it burning inside! I repeated this for a total of 3 times that day and twice the next day and my small cold sore only lasted 3 days! Otherwise, it would normally have lasted 7 days. It never became a scab. I also read up on L-Lysine capsules and decided to keep them at hand for my next cold sore. Well, this morning, I felt a tingling on my upper lip which started to turn pink and swell so I immediately took 2 500MG capsules of L-Lysine and dabbed on some nail polish remover (2 times). I can honestly say that it is completely gone! No sore, no redness, no swelling! I am also taking 2 more L-Lysine capsules before going to bed as a precaution. I am recommending this remedy to everyone I know.

L-Lysine, Nail Polish Remover
Posted by Michelle (Brooklyn, N.Y.) on 04/01/2008

I have been suffering from cold sores since I was a kid. As long as I wear sunscreen on my lips when I leave the house day or night I do not get them. Occasionally I forget, and that is what happened a week ago. I decided to try this wonderful site and tried the lysine pill and the nail polish remover. Now I do not know which one worked but that nasty cold sore was completly gone in 2 days. This has NEVER happened before. I am so glad this site exist. I will no longer worry when I get a cold sore because i now found an instant cure. I will use both remedies since I do not know which one worked and I also take one lysine pill a day. Thanks!


1 User Review
4 star (1) 

Posted by Found Another Option (Columbus, Ohio) on 02/08/2010

I have had cold sores since I was 6. L-Lysine never worked for me. Once I discovered that this virus is in your nerve endings, I thought of anything that would be a destresser. One day by accident I tried L-Theanine. When the tingling came, I had just taken one. It broke out but only stayed two days and did not have any redness. The tingling and soreness was never felt. Thought I'd put this one out there for anyone who might want to try this.

Lavender Oil

3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Jean (Wheeling, IL) on 03/19/2020

Lavender essential oil applied liberally three times a day will heal cold sores in no time.

Lavender Oil
Posted by Anne (Portland, OR)

Lavender oil works wonders on cold sores. It stops them turning to a blister, if caught early enough and treated enough with the oil.

Lavender Oil
Posted by D (NJ)

I control hsv2 outbreaks with healthy diet and exercise. Exercise helps me to relieve stress, thus keeping outbreaks at bay since stress is a major factor in having outbreaks (for me). When I feel an outbreak coming on I apply lavender oil to the area that tingles and within hours the feeling is gone and no outbreak occurs. I've had the same success using tea tree oil. Believe it or not, on an established sore, neither oil hurts, but rather relieves the itch and pain and speeds up the healing process. I've also used lysine supplements as well as an echinacea and goldenseal combo while pregnant.


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Freddie (Buckeye, AZ, USA) on 02/17/2009

I tried Lecithin. A Bechtel engineer who worked at a laboratory when he was younger told me that they grew the herpes virus. They used Lecithin to control and kill the herpes virus. He saw the herpes breakout on my face one day at work. He told me to take 2500 mg each day for a month. I asked him why he hasn't come forward with this information. He said that the FDA was too powerful to fight.

It worked for me. I haven't had a breakout in 20 years.

As I understand it, hospitals use Lecithin based baby formulas on new born babies born to women with genital herpes.

Lecithin 2500 mg a day for a month

Replied by Curious
(San Francisco, Ca, Usa)

Did you take the lecithin one month only, or do you take it consistently?

Replied by Anita

I sprinkle in on my eggs almost every morning. I don't necessarily take the full 2500mg, but I am also small ~115lb. I also do ice, lysine, and h2o2 if I feel a tingle. Haven't had a major breakout since.

Replied by Gwendolyn

Is lecithin in capsule form or in fresh granular form?

Replied by Rashida

After taking the lecithin for a month at 2500 mlgs??? Do you stop taking it??

Lemon Balm

5 User Reviews
5 star (5) 

Posted by G (Auckland, New Zealand) on 03/24/2018

Lemon balm tincture worked for me. I'm 51, female and have had a recurring cold sore for about 10 years on my bottom lip.Sometimes I would get it maybe once or twice a year, and other times I would get it nearly every month.

I could only find the tincture, not the oil on a Friday night after watching on youtube about cold sore remedies. So I applied it by q tip on the newly and quickly developing cold sore for about a minute. Then I dropped a couple of mls or so into my green tea and drank it. I did this a few times over the weekend. The cold sore didn't develop any more and was totally gone in 3 days. I've tried heaps of remedies over the 10 years and this was the first time I've succeeded in getting instant results. I've had 2 recurrences since then and applied the lemon balm with immediate results again. Lemon balm oil would probably work too but I couldn't find it at the time. I've since realised that it's called by it's latin name Melissa officinalis on the essential oil bottle at my local organics shop.

I hope this helps someone else.

Lemon Balm
Posted by Cris01us (Honolulu) on 07/07/2017

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!

Lemon Balm
Posted by P (Shawnee Mission, Ks) on 10/24/2012

The herb Lemon Balm There is actually some research to support its effectiveness against the herpes virus. Take it when you first start to feel the pain. 2 or three capsules, Then back off and use 1 maybe 3 times a day. Zinc oxide ointment on the sores at night. I use coconut oil in cooking. May help.

Replied by Cris01us

You are spot on. Lemon Balm is my main weapon now (liquid form with dropper). I also take coconut oil (1000-5000mg) depending on how I feel, and having enough Zinc is also key. I rotate in Echinacea with Goldenseal every so often and always take L-Lysine. Thanks for sharing!

Lemon Balm
Posted by Crys (Ventura, Ca) on 07/15/2012

YAY! It worked great!

Lemon Balm
Posted by Angela (Brisbane, Qld, Australia) on 05/17/2012

I have tried a number of remedies for cold sores with no success: ice, apple cider vinegar, lysine (was ok), crystal salt deoderant (only helped the blister dry up). I get cold sores every couple of months so was very keen to find a good cure. I recently attended a medicinal herb workshop and was told to try lemon balm. I happen to grow it in my garden so I made a tea of it and have been drinking it 3 times per day. I found that within a day the cold sore I had went down and all pain subsided. It is now healing well. Additionally I have put some goldenseal ointment onto the healing sore and that is also clearing up a lot faster than normal. The teacher at the herb workshop said her husband use to get regular cold sores and he now drinks lemon balm tea often. He has not had a cold sore in years.

Replied by Irbgirl
(Indian Rocks Beach, Fl USA)

Are you on any blood pressure med? There was a certain bp med my husband was on and it caused him to get cold sores. (I'm a nurse and that really doesn't make sense, but... ) He started taking Lysine to stop the cold sores and it worked. A few years went by and he got a new doctor who wanted him to use a newer, different bp med. My husband, being my husband, ran out of Lysine and never bothered to replace it. When I asked him about it, he told me he hadn't taken Lysine in a long time and really felt it was the old brand of bp med that had been causing the problem.

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Angela, do you know if this would help for canker sores (inside the mouth) too?


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Trista (Sydney, Australia ) on 03/05/2022

Fresh lemongrass has stopped my cold sores in their tracks. If you get to it on the tingle and before it blisters it will knock it out and won't get the chance to blister.

Get a fresh lemongrass stalk, peel one of the layers off and use a spoon..I usually have the spoon up right while I scrape the inside lemongrass layer using my thumb to hold it down and get the juice on the spoon that way.. then put it on the cold sore with my finger...

The 1st couple of times I just put the layer on a plate and used the spoon and pressed it down to get the juice on the back of the spoon and used the spoon directly on the cold sore so I didn't have to wash my hands after.. or fold the layer in half and use the juices that produce at the fold directly to the cold sore..

1st time I used it, it was at the tingle stage.. within the hour of it tingling I applied the lemongrass juice just the once and the tingle stopped instantly. It was around midday/ early afternoon that I applied it.

The next morning I felt the tingle again.. I could see slight redness however no blister so I quickly put some more on and immediately stopped tingling and started healing after that.. no blister. No more applying. It just didn't progress into a cold sore and it healed from that point on.

2nd time it had just started to rise and was about to form a blister. I had no lemongrass on hand so went to the shops and grabbed some.I applied it that afternoon and before bed. The next day no tingling and it was healing. I didn't need to apply anymore.

So it would seem that 2 applications are necessary.

4th or 5th time I had kept the lemongrass in the freezer.. to my dismay, it did not work. It took the tingle out a little which I felt I needed to keep applying it.. soo I did all day and the next day.. but it continued into a blister.. I got some fresh lemongrass the next day and it worked. Immediately stopping its progress.

So the lemongrass has to be fresh.

I've tried all the creams.. they aren't really great.. at 1st they helped the itchiness etc but never stopped the blisters...and after a while don't do anything at all..

I've tried peppermint extract.. as I had read good things.. but this didn't help really.. made it less itchy but didn't help the blisters.. same as toothpaste.. it stops the itch but it burns the skin and makes the area bigger.

Lemongrass by far is the best thing I've tried. Knocks it out.