Cold Sores
Natural Remedies

Cold Sore Relief: Top Natural Remedies

Multiple Remedies

11 User Reviews
5 star (9) 
4 star (2) 

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
(MA, US)

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
2063 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.

Replied by Nan

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.


Lecithin taken daily will keep you from ever having another herpes outbreak again. I tried everything and lecithin is the only thing that works.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Susan (Manila, Philippines) on 05/07/2012

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.

Multiple Remedies
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

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Sms27 (Princeton, Nj, Usa) on 04/07/2012

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.

Multiple Remedies
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.

Multiple Remedies
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 h@$$ 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.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Alamont (Reno, Nevada) on 12/06/2011

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.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Una1rose (Toronto, On, Canada) on 11/25/2011

Most importantly, I have learnt that if I stress out about herpes or anything, my sores are worse and occur more often.

I take 2000 mg L-Lysine when I get an outbreak or tingle. It can prevent them for a few days and sometimes I never develop them at all.

I avoid any foods with baking soda/powder, salt, sugar, yeast. These foods really stress out my immune system and make me more susecptable to breakouts. I eliminated them from my diet and now only break out 1-2 times a year at most. I'm a strict vegan as well which also helps my immune health.

My system for treating outbreaks:

I wash and then cover sore in Abreva. Then I cover with it with New Skin, a liquid bandage. It's nice and stress free. It tingles and smells like herbs and I don't have to worry about infecting others or other parts of my body.

Every morning and night I wash the sore and hold a cotton pad with a mixture of cold camomille tea, tea tree oil and rubbing alcohol on it for a minute or two. I then pat dry with a tissue and cover with New Skin. In a week, for sure, the sore will be completely gone.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Herpes (Phoenix, Arizona) on 11/11/2011

I have been diagnosed with the Herpes Simplex Virus (type 1 & 2). Ever since then I have been devastated and trying to find a 'CURE' (not treatment) for it. After doing some research here is what I got so far. I'm taking VIT C, zinc, VIT A (nonfat soluble), and lysine every day to build up my immune system. A strong immune system is a must have, especially if someone is infected with this bs virus. I take the lysine every other day because I noticed some adverse effects coming from it. I did some research on colloidal silver and know it can kill the virus so I bought that. The only problem with that is the virus hides in your neurons so it's hard to reach it. I'm thinking if there is any way to bring out the virus then I made be able to kill it with the silver.

I heard of a herb that can maybe bring out the virus from hiding called Yakeow, it's a Thai natural herb or something like that. Another thing I came across was known as BHT, which disrupts the herpes virus's lipid membrane coating function. Another thing was coconut oil which kills the lipid membrane of the virus.

Another thing I came across was DSMO, so I know DSMO provides an oxidative effect on the applied area, so I was thinking since the herpes virus cannot survive in oxygenated areas, we apply that with the Yakeow (to help bring it out) to its hiding place. This is lower back area (lower spine). Plus DSMO allows penetration through your skin very easily so I was thinking to use that of getting to the virus. Maybe put some colloidal silver on that area too before applying the DSMO. Doctor even use it for their penetrating abilities. They say it hides around your lower spine, in the nerves. I would do that and eat only basic foods because this virus thrives in an acidic environment. Therefore, by lowering your body's pH you will disrupt the virus. Maybe get a pH drink or something, I hear they have those. I would get foods that have very little or no carbs because the herpes virus needs those to function. Obviously, stay away from foods that have carbs, chocolate and definitely sugar. I would use a 2% iodine skin patch on my skin to help fight this virus also. I would also order Astragalus which fights breakouts outs quickly. Astragalus, colloidal silver, and Dynamiclear are the best ways to fight a herpes breakout.

After doing all this, I think I may be able to CURE herpes once and for all! I was also maybe thinking, have a surgeon cut my back open at the area that it hides and apply colloidal silver, BHT, Coconut oil, and/or others maybe lysine to that area where its hiding. This thing is controlling my life. I know they say it's not that bad and whatever but for me it is! I have read many support articles and posts about it. I can't comfortably date or even talk to women anymore! The psychological distress is too much for me! I feel that I will never get over it. I had this for about 2 months now.

Please give me some comments people, I need help!! I am going to try this and will not give up until I cure this thing. If this is indeed a way to cure herpes, I am calling dibs and copywriting this so nobody try to steal it!

Here is my email, andre200923 (at) ymail (dot) com

Let me know what you guys think please!

Replied by Gavin
(Manganui, Northland, New Zealand)

With regards to herpes, coconut oil fixes it by stripping the protective lipid coating on the virus. The Apple cider vinegar will collapse it at the tingling stage, as it forms, applied topicaly. It might even clear it out over time. Coconut oil is sure, but with ACV I guess with its coating stripped the ACV cleans it faster than the immune system. The dose is three teaspoons per day for a couple of months to clear the body of the virus. But it's nice in smoothies.

Replied by Andre
(Phoenix, Az)

3 teaspoons a day regarding the Colloidal silver? How do you know this? Did you cure your herpes? If you don't mind me asking..

Replied by Anastazi
(San Luis Obispo, Ca)

I have herpes simplex 1 on my genitalia and on my mouth and some have popped up randomly. Overall it has been mild but I too feel like it has stopped me from living my life fully the idea of never knowing when it's active for sure and the possiblity of transmitting it is terrifying to me. I tried to take the meds the clinic gave acyclovier.. Can't afford valtrex but it made unable to sleep or eat and I started feeling down right on the edge. My nervous system was shot. I stopped taking it and started taking l lysine, garic pills, but have noticed better luck with raw garic, vit c, echinechia/goldenseal, oxide coloidial silver the smallest particle form I ingest it in tincture form and I have a topical spray I use. I tried a salve of colloidal silver aloe and tea tree but I don't know how well any of it works yet. I've had this for going on three months and I have had three total breakouts but the recovery time has gotten alot better I know there are triggers: booze, sugar, coffee, choc- booze seems to be the worst. I want to cure this!! I have been reading about Zinc as a possible topical way to kill the virus if kept on continually during an outbreak. Has anyone had any luck with this?.. I am wondering if the coconut oil is best topical and ingested as with the apple cider vinegar?

Replied by Maxklug
(Ma, Usa)

Get some powdered licorice root. Put it in DMSO and let sit for several days. Then apply that DMSO to the lower back. Don't do this for more than a couple weeks as Glycyrrhizic Acid will raise cortisol levels. Do not take DMSO internally. If you wish to try to take the licorice internally then make a tea out of it and consume it AFTER first consuming fresh grapefruit juice. The grapefruit juice will inactivate an enzyme that would hydrolyze the Glycyrrhizic Acid. Once again, do not do this for more than a couple weeks as it will raise cortisol levels and that in turn will raise your blood pressure.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Chauncey (Asbury Park, Nj) on 09/29/2011

I've never had a cold sore. Takes less then 2 weeks to heal but this time it took about 5. I felt a cold sore starting one day, I left it alone, it seemed to go away but once I shaved my face to have a night out and drank a snapple and the artificial sweetener irritated it and I felt it grow the whole night. The next morning I woke up an it was right in the center of my top lip. I was so pissed, but I remembered stress doesn't help so I took a couple deep breaths and tried to not let it get to me. I did research and I bought nail polish removal, hydrogen peroxide, vitamin c pills and neosporin overnight lip renewal cream. I took a vitamin c pill every morning.

Then every hour and a half I dipped a qtip in the peroxide then the acetone and dabbed it on the outbreak, until I was about to go to bed. Right before I went to bed I used a qtip to put the over night lip renewal cream and repeat. I also watched what I ate, I love greasy and spicy food. But this week I ate healthy and drank nothing but water. Other research I found was the L-lysine pills. I read stories of people not getting an outbreak for 15 years from taking vitamin c and l-lysine pills everyday. I just ordered them this week hopefully I'll never have a outbreak again. It's the most embarrassing thing to ever go through. I hope this post helps someone out there. Just know, you're not alone and don't stress it.

Replied by Anastazi
(San Luis Obispo, Ca)

I have herpes symplex 1. I started having outbreaks a few months ago and have been struggling with reocurring mild outbreaks on my face and a few randoms I think I had one on my arm.. So far I use alba green clay mask when I feel the tingling start and it has stopped outbreaks and in the case of already formed bumps it has reduced then so significantly.. I just keep the clay dabbed on when there is tingling before I go out and all night or when im home. It cleared them in about 5 day and kept them from looking noticable.. This in conjunction with raw fresh garlic in every meal and vit c and lysine.. Hope the clay tip will be of some use I had heard white clay was the best to use but I tried the green since that's what I had and it was very helpful.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Don (Knoxville, Tn, Usa) on 01/05/2010

Red marine algae has really reduced the pain and brought on much faster healing. Using it with lysine and garlic supplements plus lysine lip salve has been a blessing.

One more thing if you can find the trigger mechanism that brings them on you can avoid many outbreaks. One of mine is apple skins or any products with apple juice in it. Another is stress.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by C P (Columbia, SC) on 05/24/2009

I have GH and we all know its excrutiating...hurt very bad. But herpes is a virus that lies dormant at the base of your spine inside your nervous system. The absolute best way to avoid an outbreak is to try your best to stay stress-free and worry-free and illness-free...take plenty of vitamin c or immunity defense tabs, plenty of water...we all know that sick can cause stress and worry...but this seems to be working well for me. I haven't had and outbreak in almost a year. But, when I do, I use a mixture of sea salt or witch hazel and lidocaine spray. the salt and witch hazel helps dry it out and the lidocaine of course, numbs the area for a while. also, after showering, i know this sounds crazy, but i use lysol..the can says dont use on skin, but if you read it kills the herpes virus...I spray a touch of lysol on a dry towel (not enough to effect your skin)and gently pat the area...wait about 5 minutes then, do the sea salt, lidocaine trick...this has worked very well for me...hope it helps

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Kate (Atlanta, GA) on 06/12/2007

Ok let me start by saying medical advise from doctors only suppress symptoms. This is the remedy I use daily... Take 2 super lysine pills daily I take them at the same time on empty stomach, You can fine this at an herbal shop. Drink liquid oxygen water thru out the day it increases ph balance in blood, we need water any way daily but don't mix the oxygenated water with herbs at the same time. You can find this at the herbal shop. Take olive leaf capsules, I take 3 a day, this plant is the plant that heals the nations according to the bible it also builds the immune system just like super lysine. Taking a liquid vitamin for example mirical 2000 is a good way 2 build the immune system and you are getting daily vitamins. Finally vegetables and fruits I don't consume enough vegetables and fruits eating so the alternate option is to juice them and drink a nice glass of green plants and fruits this also increase your ph in your blood and to top it off apply dmso on the bottom part of your spine and your genital area I would say twice a week. And this will stop any break outs you will practically forget u have herpes I have been outbreak free for 14yrs now.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Jerry (Dingman's Ferry, PA) on 12/24/2006

Lysine, Super B Complex, Zinc, Vitamin C, and Acidophilus (all of these taken daily, one capsule), plus garlic tablets when an outbreak occurs. This vitamin regimen helps prevent outbreaks. The garlic helps get rid of the sores when there is an outbreak.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Lexi (Los Angeles) on 05/25/2006

i wanted to post a cure for cold sores... i tried a combo of just about everything on the board and it worked! i was diligent but did add one thing, Oregano Oil directly to the tiny sore on my lip. this was my regimen: oregano oil followed by lysine drops - directly on the sore. i took supplements of vitamin C, a Multi, Olive Leaf Extract, Grapeseed Extract, Lysine, Zinc, Echinacea and Golden Seal and an Oxygen supplement (like Cell Food) to my water. sometimes i put the drops of oxygen on the sore as well. i kept it very clean with hydrogen peroxide and then would do another round of oregano oil and lysine drops on it. i would then use grapeseed oil so my lip wouldn't get over dry. also, put some oregano oil drops on your tongue. be diligent. don't drink alcohol, be as healthy as you can -- work out, do yoga whatever works for you... stay positive and i swear, you can stop it before anyone even notices what it is.

Replied by Gilliansage
(Rowlett, Texas, United States)

I have tried everything, from Abreva, to prescriptions, to Herpecin. Mine get down right nasty, one time I had one about the size of a quarter on my upper lip. I than did some research and discovered Oregano Oil. It has to be the pure oil. I got it online from a specialty shop. I take a q-tip and apply it when the bumps and the tingling starts. It burns to the core, I also take lysine in pill form. I have found that too much Arginine which in is nuts aggrivates the cold sore. Make sure it is pure and not diluted. Also be very careful as it is strong as all out. I also add a drop or two to a glass of oj. Oh it's not easy to drink, but I find that when I have a cold sore, I also have a lymph node swell in my neck and my ulcer starts acting up. I take the Oregano to kill off any other infections I might have going on.