Cold Sores
Natural Remedies

Natural Cold Sore Cures

Mango Mask, Alum

Posted by Mollyanne (Detroit, Michigan, Us) on 09/20/2010
4 out of 5 stars

Yes, the fruit, mangoes. I have to share this here because I believe it has reduced my cold sore outbreaks by about 90%. I had been having almost constant outbreaks for several years, with hardly a week going by where I didn't have at least one or two sores somewhere on my face. I tried SO many remedies, some of which lessened the severity of the outbreaks a little, but nothing that worked tremendously well. My skin was looking icky besides, since I balk at trying to exfoliate it even a little which has the potential of making a whole new batch of cold sores crop up all over, so I decided to give myself a mango facial. Mangoes contain bunches of alpha-hydroxy acids which are supposed to smooth your skin. So I bought a mango, peeled and ate it, then rubbed the inside of the skin all over my face, let it sit for about 15 minutes then rinsed with cool water. The next day my skin looked great - because my cold sores were visibly shrinking! I decided to stick with it just to see. Since then I have been doing the mango facial thing every one to three days, and for the past three months I have hardly had any outbreaks. When I do get them they aren't the monstrous red oozy scabby embarrassments they used to be... Now they are tiny, and usually come to a little white head right away. At this stage I carefully pop them into a tissue, press the area with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol for a minute, then I apply a layer of granulated alum (available in the spice section of the grocery store). I leave the alum on for as long as I can, then I gently wipe that off and go about my business. The sores turn into tiny scabs and disappear quickly if I leave them alone.

Anyway, as I said, since using the mango on my face both the frequency and severity of my outbreaks have diminished substantially, and I wanted to share this with others - it might work for them too. I have wracked my brain and can't think of anything else I am doing differently that might've caused this. I'm so happy with my discovery.

Replied by Maxklug
Ma, Usa

I posted a reply earlier to another comment but I think the information would be relevant to you too so I am posting it again here.

There is some evidence that an elevated level of mercury in the body is connected with outbreaks. There are ways to lower your mercury levels . One way is to take the supplement IP6, but research this yourself as it also chelates iron. Elevated levels of free iron may also contribute to outbreaks as iron displaces zinc and copper. Zinc is known to suppress the Herpes virus so reducing iron and mercury may convert you over to someone who never has another outbreak. Cilantro, otherwise known as coriander, is another very effective substance for chelating mercury and lowering your levels.

From my initial infection and a few outbreaks after that I was outbreak free for over a decade. Then in my mid thirties I had cavities filled for the first time in my life. I had frequent and sometimes sever outbreaks after that for a number of years. At some point I started taking IP6 for general health/anti aging reasons. My outbreaks ceased after that. I did not make the connection till much later when I read about mercury levels and herpes.

I would also suggest taking zinc supplements as most people are deficient.

Manuka Honey

Posted by Sunny (Los Angeles, Ca) on 09/13/2018
5 out of 5 stars

I tried putting castor oil for few days and didn't work, I thought it was actually getting worse. Then I tried putting raw royal jelly and didn't work. I then put high grade Manuka honey and in few days it worked. I put honey in the morning and after eating I brushed my teeth and put the honey again and in the evening before sleep. I put it on with q-tip. It may become crusty at first, but continue still and reapply after washing several times throughout the day and it will work!

EC: Hi Sunny, no ailment listed in your post. We're guessing it's a cold sore but please correct us if we're wrong.

Posted by Carrie (Galena) on 10/07/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I was recently affected by something (likely a Bloody Mary Drink) I think I ate/drank along with another friend. Some other friends suggested maybe it was msg. I will never have another Bloody Mary drink there again. Maybe, but who knows for sure. I started with a swollen mouth. Gums sore and places where I have chewed my cheeks, etc.

My friend woke up with swollen lips that did not go away for a week. Since I am prone to cold sores, I found myself with one that next day as well as the swollen mouth. During the next couple of days my lips were swollen as well and canker sores developed all over them as well as the cold sore. I came here and found someone said something about manuka honey. I had recently purchased some good stuff with a 10+ UMF rating. I started by putting a 1/2 teaspoon of it in my mouth and pushing it around for about a minute. I did this about 3 or 4 times for 2 days. It burned like h... for about a minute and pain and swelling subsided. I stopped doing it when I no longer felt any pain from doing it. I created a paste using it with some coconut oil and applied it to my lips and cold sore about 5/6 times a day.

Within 2 days my mouth was completely healed with the cold sore gone in less than a week. Truly amazing as they usually last for 2 weeks for me. It's expensive, but it was well worth it for me as I'd never had canker sores and they hurt really badly. I had about 10 or more all over my inner lips which I think was a reaction from them being swollen. My friend never developed any other problems but the swollen lips.

Posted by Sms27 (Princeton, Nj, Usa) on 01/14/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Manuka honey applied topically on the lip helps diminish the virus outbreak and significantly shortens the healing time. The trick is to keep the honey on for as long as possible until the sore heals. To clean use witch hazel.

Posted by Jessica (Orlando, Florida, Usa) on 10/27/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Ive Been Using Manuka Honey for my cold sores. I normally get them from ACCIDENTALLY touching my mouth with unclean hands especially with money. When I was young I sue to get them ALL the time and could never figure out when until I got older and put 2 and 2 together and realized the Dirtiness in $$ and touching my mouth was causing continous outbreaks. I try to be as cautious as possible but I also have kids who accidentally hit me in the mouth here and there when playing or jumping around. Ive been applying manuka honey with a Q Tip everytime im touched anywhere in the area of my mouth. At night I apply the manuka honey around the outer lining of my mouth and also all over my lips and thus far have not had any outbreaks. The Manuka Honey helps destroy bacteria and is also WONDERFUL for so many different ailments. I had a cold sore a few months back and applied the manuka honey to it continuosally and the sore was gone and healed within a week. It never allowed the sore to get bubble up and hit that really disgusting stage. TRY IT IT CANT HURT!!

Maria Treben's Recipe

Posted by Christine (Virginia Beach, USA) on 04/10/2008
5 out of 5 stars

When I tried using apple cider vinegar on cold sores, I found that it burned my skin if I left the compress on too long.

So I am using Maria Treben's recipe for homemade calendula ointment instead. Take a pint of lard or beef tallow and melt it in a stainless steel or glass pot. Raise it to a boil and add as much calendula floers as you can pack in it, plus comfrey leaves (a handful).Turn down the heat and let simmer for a half an hour. Strain out the herb material and pour into jars. Let cool to room temperature and then refridgerate.

The mixture is greasy and will stain your clothes if you are not careful. Wear an old tee shirt if you can. Apply the ointment to your lips, face, and beneath the jawline to reach affected lymph nodes. The lard acts as a carrier for the calendula, which crosses the skim membrane readily.

Replied by Beeara
Corvallis, Or

What form of melissa do you use. I'd heard that the essential oil applied to cold sore is very effective but it's also quite cost prohibitive. I've been using tincture of lemon balm since this last outbreak but am not sure it's helping.

Replied by Lily
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Beeara, Lemon balm and Melissa are the same thing. Just different names. Lily.

Replied by Beeara
Corvallis, Or

Yes, I know that. Just wondering how you've been using melissa -- in tea form, tincture, essential oil topical or what?

Melissa, Aka Lemon Balm

Posted by Anonymous (Alb NM)
5 out of 5 stars

When Lysine quits working, which for me was at about 20 years, only Lemon Balm works.


Posted by Any (Az., US) on 02/26/2015
5 out of 5 stars

If you have an active cold sore, please do some research on Monolaurin. This is not a quick cure, but taking monolaurin everyday for 6 months while you have an active infection, has been shown to eradicate the virus permanently. It will also heal the cold sore faster than it normally would heal.

Multiple Remedies

Posted by Geri (Seattle, Washington) on 08/09/2012

What the best combination of supplements is to permanently eliminate dormant herpes from the nervous system? What is the dosage, and for how long should the herbs and supplements be taken?

Replied by Maxklug

There has only EVER been ONE substance shown to eliminate a dormant herpes infection. That is Glycyrrhizic Acid. It causes cells that have the dormant Kaposi Sarcoma virus in them to die. Chaps Sarcoma is a type of herpes virus. It is not known if this works for other herpes type viruses. I am unclear of the exact mechanism but it works somewhere along the lines of it activates only half of the mechanism to reactivate the dormant virus' DNA and this causes the cell harboring the virus to die. If I remember correctly this research was done in Japan.

Self treatment with this would be tricky or dangerous, and could only be short term as Glycyrrhizic Acid causes a rise in cortisol levels by inhibiting the breakdown of cortisol.

Replied by Timh
2109 posts

Licorice is a potent antiviral and worth the recommend, but, yes, the Glycyrrhizic Acid makes it unpopular as the bad side effects of elevated Aldosterone thus sodium retention and hypertension. To reduce these side effects one can go on a very low sodium and increased potassium diet for the few days of taking Licorice.

Also, most folks take advantage of the deglyccerinated form of licorice or DGL. Therapeutic doses of DGL could be taken together w/ minimal doses of regular strength Licorice (also w/ low sodium diet) for maximum benefit and minimal side effect.

Posted by Susan (Manila, Philippines) on 05/07/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I have had herpes since about age 7 or 8, I had it both orally and genitally, I know Doctors will say it is not possible but I think being a child I played with the oral sores and transferred it to my penis when I had a pee, anyway all my life it has come and gone and now I'm 64 and I just discovered this website. Brilliant. My outbreaks have been rare over the past 30 or 40 years but 3 years I moved from my native New Zealand to the Philippines and after coming here I began having outbreak after outbreak. I have seldom needed any medication before and suddenly I found I needed it, but I hardly got over one OB and another would start. Then I began getting a rash above the hairline on the back of my head, and around the waist, under my arms, my butt crack, anywhere I sweated heavily. That generated me thinking why, what is different, and after a lot of thought, it is definitely diet triggered. I went from Potato as the staple to rice and also in NZ I always drank alkaline water, where I lived the water was naturally alkaline.

So I began the 1/4 teaspoon of BS in a glass of water twice a day on a empty stomach, stopped eating rice for breakfast and began eating raw fruits as my first food, I would consume this using the ACV as a dip and would consume 1 or 2 tablespoons of it.

My skin began to clear immediately, the itching stopped, and the herpes outbreaks seem to have come to halt. I have been doing this for a month, added benefit, I have lost weight and my BP is a steady 110/70. What more can I say. I love this site. Thank Earth Clinic and especially Ted from Thailand.

Posted by Eva Maria (Bern) on 04/11/2012

Here I have something that helped me a lot my friends:

There is many creams against Lip Herpes but what really works is to take Lysine Capsules, Vitamin C 1gr retard or 2x 500mgr a day and avoid foods that have high levels of Arginine like chocolate, all nuts, and pulses. In addition eat a lot of curd (it contains Lysine). Also avoid direct sunlight upon your face and put a shawl against cold on your mouth.

Happy season change for all who suffer from Lip Herpes! Eva

Posted by Sms27 (Princeton, Nj, Usa) on 04/07/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I've tried many remedies, but what best works for me is a combination of lysine taken first thing in the morning and then twice more during the day, and in the first day of the sore, dabbing it periodically with tea tree oil, holding the cutip for a minute or so, then putting vaseline on it. Taking vitain C and zinc supplements speeds up the healing process. The best part about the teatree oil is that is dries the sore and it doesn't really break-up, making it easy to conceal, especially if you catch it within a few hours of forming. If you catch it before it starts swelling, when you just have tingling and itching, then it is very lkely it won't even form.

Posted by New Generation Hippy (London, Ontario, Canada) on 03/26/2012

I have just gotten the first cold sore I've had in years and am in panic mode. I have been quite sick for the last week & I think my lowered immunity has brought on an outbreak.. I noticed it last night & applied an OTC ointment that didn't seem to help at all so I looked up a natural remedy. Thankfully I already had some raw organic apple cider vinegar, vitamin E & a bottle of oil of oregano handy from my week of being ill.

I originally applied the oil of oregano on it's own, about 3 or 4 times within an hour and just let it soak into the blisters, I could feel it burning a little & it seemed to be working really well, they seemed to almost disappear after the 3rd time... But a few hours later I noticed some swelling and they were bigger again, so I broke down and tried the acetone.. I was very skeptical about putting something so harsh on my lip but I am desperate to get rid of this thing before going to see my boyfriend. Since then I have been alternating from rubbing on the acetone, then a bit of oil of oregano & vit. E mixed together, then the ACV, then back to the oil & vit. E again, then the acetone. Etc. Etc. I cycle through these for about a half hour, letting each soak in thoroughly, then I hold an ice cube over it until it melts completely(this hurts but lowering the temp. will help slow the growth of the virus under your skin) then I leave it alone & let the irritation subside before repeating the whole process again.

Hope this helps! I find the OTC remedies only shorten the healing time by a day or 2 at most & leave the area so dry I usually get a very nasty, irritated & red scab after I manage to finally rid myself of the cold core. This is day 2 of my treatment and my small blisters have not popped, they have shrunk in size & I think it will start to heal before the blisters even break, which is great to be able to skip the whole embarassing phase of having an oozing, open sore on your face.

Posted by Zay (Virgin Islands, Usa) on 01/02/2012

I get mild outbreaks on my upper lip. The minute I feel a tingle on my lip I apply 3% hydrogen peroxide on my lip. Allow the peroxide to set in for awhile. I then cut a fresh clove of garlic and apply to my lip. This burns like [email protected]$$ for about 10 seconds. The peroxide and garlic causes my lips feel a bit dry so rather than using lip gloss/ balm I apply pure vitamin E oil or coconut oil on my lips. That has stopped me from having any major outbreaks.

Posted by Alamont (Reno, Nevada) on 12/06/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I don't get cold sores often enough to realize what's happening until it's too late. I had dry lips one day and the next day awoke with a pea size sore on the outside of upper and lower lip. I immediately put Releev on as directed on the package for one day. The next day my lips were visably swollen and the cold sore quater-size. Plus, the sore now extended into my mouth. Everywhere I read online said once a cold sore moves inside your mouth you have to take anti-viral drugs to get rid of them. I wasn't about to do that. So I began gargling with hydrogen peroxide. It bubbled a lot, but I noticed no difference after one day so I began gargling with a solution I got in part from this site: 1oz warm filtered water, 3oz hydrogen peroxide, 1tbsp baking soda, 1tbsp sea salt, and two drops Lugols iodine. I also put the solution on a spoon and held it to my sore. I let the sore air dry, trying to keep my mouth open to dry out the sore inside my mouth too. Once it was dry, I dapped tea tree oil both inside and outside. I did this as often as I could throughout the day (maybe every 2 hours), as I still had to go to work. By the next day my swelling reduced and it felt like it was on the mend. By the 5th day, it was just a scab and in 7 days it was completely gone. I would have liked it to be gone sooner, but I feel like one week was a good healing time for such an intense cold sore.