Cold Sores
Natural Remedies

Cold Sore Relief: Top Natural Remedies

Apple Cider Vinegar

21 User Reviews
5 star (16) 
1 star (3) 

Posted by Eric (San Francisco, California) on 06/08/2009

I've been getting cold sores occasionally for 12 years and have tried every over the counter topical treatment there is, but NOTHING worked like Apple Cider Vinegar did.(I actually find that most of those oily/waxy treatments make my sores worse.) I take a L-Lysine supplement pill every day of my life which I feel helps keep the breakouts down to a minimum, but occasionally sun exposure etc. will bring on a sore and I was desperate for a treatment that finally worked! I was skeptical of home remedies especially when I read that people were applying acetone to their faces, but 2 days ago I had a cold sore eruption the size of a dime on my lower lip and I thought I'd try about anything to speed along it's demise. I came across many sites listing Apple Cider Vinegar as a topical solution and I remembered my grandfather using it for burns and cuts. The fact that it's all natural was a major selling point, so I decided to give it a try. I had already had the sore for about 24 hours when I started applying 100% Apple cider vinegar directly to the sore with a Q-Tip. It was at the red sore with white blister stage, but hadn't yet erupted or oozed. Well let me tell you, within 5 minutes of applying vinegar it started to sting a little and then pulsate and I knew something was working. I read that viruses can not live in an acidic environment and this was no exception. Over the next few hours, I continually applied and reapplied a few drops and it was as if I had placed a time machine on my sore. What would usually take about 5-7 days occurred over the course of a few hours. My sore erupted oozed, dried out, cracked and crusted over that evening. I then cleansed and applied a little acne medication and left in on overnight to dry the sore further. By the next morning, the scab sloughed off in the shower and I was left with just a dry reddish area of skin, but no sore or bump whatsoever. I was able to cover it with a little concealer (something that NEVER works effectively on an actual cold sore) and with a little loose powder, it was practically invisible. The area is still dry and little painful due to the war that had occurred on the premises the night before, but should be all cleared up by tomorrow and best of all, the cracking/bleeding stage was skipped all together. Essentially, what would usually have lasted 7-10 days for me was complete in just 48 hours. I can only imagine how much better it would have been if I had caught the sore at the tingling stage and applied Apple Cider Vinegar right away. All I can say is that I am AMAZED at the results. Apple Cider Vinegar. Who Knew??? I'm a Believer!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Dave (Parts, Unknown) on 10/14/2008

I was originally diagnosed with GW early last March. The doctor prescribed Aldara which worked a bit but as many of you know it's very pricey. i finally thought i had it kicked only for it to return in full vengeance about a month ago. I started back up with the Aldara than stumbled upon this site.

I started the ACV treatment 3 days ago and it definitely seems to be working as the affected area is either completely raw or blackish/green in color. The warts arent raised from the skin at all and the blackish/green portion is a couple of splotches.

I have noticed that much smaller black marks have appeared on the opposite portion of my penis that the ACV has not even touched. I assume these are much smaller warts that the ACV is triggering. Is this assumption correct? If so, I guess I need to attack these too. A couple of them are on the side of the head of my penis so I'm not looking forward to my head getting even remotely raw. Any advice?

Anyways, thanks to everyone for sharing their stories and advice. This remedy definitely seems to be working and I am optimistic for the first time in a long while. Well best of luck to everyone and thanks again!

Replied by Anon
(None, Usa)

Put the apple cider heavily on a cloth and wrap it around your penis. It may smell a little funny but it will work...

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by David (Los Angeles, CA) on 01/15/2008

Well.. it's official.. this last week, what I thought was a zit on my chin, slowly turned into a large festering herpes wound. How fun for me. I don't need a biopsy to know, it's herpes. I've had a bit of a bout with swollen lymph nodes, fever, and overall yuck. I didn't see a doctor because it was the weekend and I wanted to see if it would go away for a day or two. I usually take chinese herbs at the first sign of a cold and never get fully sick, but this lasted more than 24 hours so I new it was something different. As always when something comes up medically I try to research online to feel empowered. I'm here to mention the wonders of Apple Cider Vinegar. My festering wound over a couple of days turned into a giant scab a top a large red mound that seemed to be competing with my nose for who could stick out the farthest. I had read that this was the period when it would heal because it's scabbed but who the hell wants to walk around with a scab on their face. Anyway, this morning after I decided I could no longer look at this awful scab on my chin I used tweezers to remove it hoping it had had enough time to heal beneath. Well, it didn't. Immediately it started oozing and breathing and winking as if to laugh at my naivet'e. I think I even heard it growl once but that may have been the dog next door. Well, long story too long, I decided to use apple cider vinegar on the wound. I just kept pouring it on my chin letting it air dry fully, then any ooze got dabbed off with tissue and then another pour and air dry. After about maybe 10 or so times going through this the gaping wound finally gave up it's relentless fight and went dry with out needing to scab. Victory was mine. The rest of the day it has significantly reduced and I feel like I can almost show my face to the world without being embarrassed. The real problem with the herpes virus is it's friggin' ugly.. If it gets to the point of being an open wound, apple cider vinegar will heal it faster. I've also drank a cap full 3 times today mixed with apple juice. That plus vitamins and L-Lysine for the past couple days may have been helping, but the scabby, woundy part is healed because of straight apple cider vinegar poured on it. I'm confident that I will know the signs earlier next time and use other remedies to catch it BEFORE it becomes the messy roommate living on my face that it became this time. Knowledge is power. Thanks for letting me share in the posters knowledge and to now add mine. Peace.

Replied by secondch@nce
(Phuket, Thailand)

I was just wondering, How do you apply apple cider vinegar if it's Genital herpes? You know, the sores and all in the insides? does it also, like, heal or helps to keep it from too much itching and burning?

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Lisa (Wichita , KS) on 01/05/2008

I found this site a week ago and Thank God I did. I have been suffering for 30 years with cold sores from time to time and NOTHING has helped with my cold sores. I have tried everything. So I thought I would try ACV. I put ACV on a cotton ball and held it on my cold sore for a few minutes 4 times a day at the first sign of the tingling. In 48 hours my cold sore was gone! It is amazing! Thank you

Replied by Inourhands
(Sydney, Australia)

I keep organic ACV in the fridge and use it all the time but had never tried it on cold sores which I occasionally suffer from. After a really busy period without enough rest I was starting to feel very run down and sure enough the other morning I woke up with one cold sore above my lip, and a separate one just starting nearby. I thought i'd try the ACV - dabbed straight on with a cotton bud. Immediately I could tell it was helping, so I applied it a few more times during the day. The one that had already started dried up to a mild scab and the other one retreated completely without erupting. Glad to see others know about this too, it really works.

Replied by Anonymous

This is probably what I should have done. Instead I held the cotton ball on my lip for 5 minutes or more. My lip swelled and it's still swollen a day later. I'll try this again in the future if I get another sore, but definitely will use it carefully. I used organic apple cider vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by LaVon (Coeburn, VA) on 08/09/2006

Out of everything that I have used, this was the only thing that took care of the pain and with only one day use. Already the Fever Blister is drying up. Last week I got to much sun and it caused me to get a Fever Blister on my bottom lip... Had me crippled for about 3 days. Had to drink with a straw and had to eat finger food so nothing would touch my lip.. I was in pain... For some reason the internet was my only solution.. Looked up Old Timers Remedy....... Thank God I did... Read all about it, So, found a bottle and poured some in a glass, took a cotton swab and soaked the Fever Blister really good and WOW Pain City for about 30 sec. after the pain left the fever blister did not hurt anymore. I did this on and off all day, now it is late in the evening and the thing is healing. Gods Honest Truth Rem..... No Pain No Gain.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kendall (Minneapolis MN)

the only cure for cold sores and herpes is apple cider vinegar. i tried everything else and nothing worked. now when a cold sore comes on i immediately douse a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and hold it on the cold sore constantly --nite and day--until it stops burning. once it stops burning it scabs and begins to heal. with this therapy a cold sore lasts 1-3 days MAX.

Replied by LIA
(NY, NY)

I would like to ask if ACV can be used on genital herpes??

Replied by Joyce
(Joelton, Tn)
495 posts

Hi LIA, for all viruses, including genital herpes, think L-lysine 2 grams (2000mgm) 4 times per day for adults.

Replied by Bob
(Somewhere, Ma)

even if you have GH, you can still have a family. It does not pass the fetal/blood barrier.You would be given surpressors a few weeks prior to delivery to help ensure a clean vaginal delivery. The only draw-back is if you have a break-out and are ready to deliver. The doctor/mid-wife will not deliver vaginaly if you have a break-out (a) becasue you will most assuradely pass it on to your newborn and (b) it can cause blindness. A break-out will garuntee a c-section.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Clay

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Sheel (New York, Ny) on 07/08/2016

I just experience an amazing recovery from a recurring cold sore. In the past I have used garlic and tried acetone topically, but I noticed that moisture always exacerbated the sore for example taking a shower would be terrible. This time I figured I would dry the heck out of it so I tried using a clay mask mixed with an equal amount of ACV on my developing cold sore. I did it two times a day for two days now and slept with it on my lip overnight and the cold sore completely skipped it's "exploding with pus" stage, dried up and is healing. I hope you try this, it really worked amazingly well for me.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Garlic, Ice

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Butterfly (Singapore) on 05/10/2011

I recently got a tingling sensation on my lips. I was sure it is an onset of cold sore. I searched earthclinic and found various remedies including ACV, Ice and garlic. I soaked a cotton ball in ACV and place it on the cold sore. Later, I sliced garlic and rub it slowly. I stinged a lot, but it was worth. I also applied ice and numb the affected area. The next morning, I found no trace of cold sore, but only a little swelling.

Thank You Earth Clinic for saving me from so much of embarrassment.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Salt

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Nature Boi (Atl) on 08/31/2022

You can use apple cider vinegar and salts. Like put it in a cup, add salt, take a cotton swab and dip it. Put it on your cold sore will disappear in days.

Apple Slices, Aloe Vera Cream

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Chuckles (Auckland, New Zealand) on 07/06/2011

Apples for cold sores. I just wanted to share this with folks. I have suffered from cold sores since a child and I am in my 50s now. I have had that tingle happen under my skin for so many years, I just know I only have a few minutes to get something to stop the onset of sores. I had an apple on my table and cut a small slice from it in a disc shape. I placed the piece on the tingle and held it there for about five minutes. I was careful not to use the same spot of the apple slice on the tingle. I moved it around until I had used every little inch of the apple slice. I then used a baby wipes that had aloe vera in it, and then patted it dry with paper tissue. I then applied a store bought cream (it cost me $14) that had aloe vera in it.

I repeated this procedure if I still felt the tingle was still there, but by the second slice of apple and then wiping with tissue and applying cream, the tingle had already begun to subside. To my amazement, it never went beyond the tingle. I did this before I went to bed, and when I woke there was no tingle, and no cold sore. I was so amazed and overjoyed, I wondered if it was just a coincidence.

About a week later, I felt that familiar tingle again, so I grabbed another apple (I had eaten the rest of the first one) and did the same little cold sore thing. And again, the tingle stopped. I am so amazed that it was as simple as that. For over 45 years I have suffered with these cold sores and this is the ONLY TIME that I have had them disappear without going beyond a the tingle stage. So now I have a little kit for my cold sore treatment which I carry with me in the car or in my bag. I have an apple (buy a bag of them while you are at it, ha ha), a box of tissues, some baby wipes with aloe vera in it and any cream with aloe vera in it. I have oily skin so I have moisturising cream with aloe vera in it. When you cut a slice of apple, it need not be a big chunky piece. I cut mine thin enough to hold with my fingers and it need not be a huge slice. If you cut a big hunk, you will waste the rest of the precious apple in that chunk. Slice only enough to use like a wedge to cover the tingle area. I put these in a plastic container with a lid on it, so that I carry them with me everywhere, in the car or in my bag, because you never know when a tingle will start.

I have a lot of stress in my life at times and this is when the tingle starts. You can even do this while you are on the bus - discreetly of course. I think there is some merit in apple cider juice and apples in general. I have spent years buying creams and gels to no avail. I have scars on my face from cold sores so I am trialing a procedure using Vit E caps and Multi vitamins with minerals capsules, and also Cod Liver Oil Caps.

I will keep you posted and let you know how I am getting on with treating the very visible cold sore scars that have ruined my face (in my opinion) and made me feel at times like a recluse. Please try it, it is so simple, it makes me want to run and tell everyone about it, but of course, only sufferers like you and me know what it is truly like. So cheer up and go and try it, and be amazed. By the way, stress always brings on my cold sores, and low Vit C intake. I do know that these trigger them and my doctor is forever telling me to chill out and eat more fruit, ha ha. So I hope you find some success with this treatment. Regards Chuckles

Replied by Chuckles
(Auckland, New Zealand)

Hi, its chuckles again. I just wanted to add that you don't need to carry around sliced apples in your little container. Just carry an apple, and wrap it in that clingy clearwrap stuff. You just need to take a little vegetable knife (with a short blade about 3 inches long) into your container, to slice the apple slices when you need them. If you don't use the apple for a week, well you can eat it as a treat for not having a cold sore that week, haha. But seriously, always have apples around the house in a bowl or in the fridge. If you don't always have them, go to the supermarket or vegetable shop if you feel that tingle coming on, and buy just a single apple. That one apple has so much goodness in it, view it as if it were gold. The apple will keep for at least two weeks if it is fresh. I kept my apple for a week, and just sliced it when I needed it again. Wrap it in clingwrap after you have cut slices from it. Don't keep it any longer than 10 ten days, just eat it, haha. So into your little kit of cold sore tools, put a little vegetable knife, an apple wrapped in clingwrap, baby wipes that have aloe vera, tissues for wiping skin, and cream with aloe vera in it. Oh by the way, all of us cold sore sufferers know how infectious a cold sore can be, so take special care to keep your fingers and hands clean and dry when treating your tingling skin.

SO JUST TO RECAP ON HOW TO TREAT YOUR TINGLING SKIN THAT SIGNALS THE ONSET OF A COLD SORE: Slice a small wedge of apple from your apple, and place it on the tingly area of your skin. Hold it there for a few seconds. With your fingers, take a unused piece of your apple slice and place it on the tingling area. Hold it there for a minute. Again, find another unused part of your apple slice and place it on the tingling area and hold it there. Do this again until you have used all the unused parts of your apple slice - hold it on the tingling area. You only need this one apple slice to do this first bit. It is amazing! This should take only five minutes or so. Take a baby wipe and wipe the area clean. Then pat this area dry with a few tissues. Apply a small amount of the cream to the area. Use the baby wipes to wipe your hands and fingers after treating your tingling skin. Dry your hands with clean tissues and that is all you need to do. Re-wrap your apple in the clingwrap and wipe the vege knife with a babywipe and dry off with a tissue. Put these back into your little kit with the cream, tissues and baby wipes. You will be amazed at the results in a few hours time.

Treat your cold sore regime as if you had asthma. Most asthmatics have a regime that they follow to manage their asthma, and cold sore sufferers must do the same thing. I did this before I went to bed. When I woke up there was no cold sore, and the same thing happened a week later when I had that tingling feeling. The key is to start your regime as soon as you feel the tingling. As you can see, there is very little effort involved. Just vigilance and having all of your cold sore kit on hand for the next outbreak. I must also say that I do not know how this regime would work on full blown cold sores. Someone may want to try this method to see if it works on full blown cold sores, but if you use this method as soon as you feel that tingling sensation, you shouldnt be bothered by those nasty cold sores again. Kind regards, Chuckles

Artificial Sweetener Link to Herpes

55 User Reviews

Posted by Art 1a. (Vancouver BC, Canada) on 04/05/2013

I have been off artificial sweeteners for some time now. The other day being 5 days ago I went out to mow the grass. I had a bottle of flavored water 1/2 full sitting in my cup holder. It had been there for 7 months since the last time I use the tractor. I drank it like I have done before, after all it, s just flavored water and it still tasted pretty good. The cap was on tight and the garage is cold. Anyway I got a Cold Sore 2 hours later on my upper lip. Now any time before if I was to hold my keys with my teeth and the key touched my lower lip I would get a break out on that spot. So this must be some kind of bacteria causing it.

I am taking BHT for another problem but it does not help with this. So I guess the next time I will try the ACV trick and see if that does the trick.

art 1a.

Artificial Sweetener Link to Herpes
Posted by Tyler (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) on 12/27/2009

Started taking aspartame yesterday as a phenylalanine supplement, so I was taking a pretty significant amount, about 350mg twice a day. Today, I got a cold sore; no notice or warning (tingling or itching) or anything. I've never ingested aspartame before in my life, and don't get cold sores that often, maybe once or twice a year and it's always from too much sun. The aspartame is definitely what caused this outbreak, seeing as it's December and I'm not getting any sun at all.

I'm pissed. The companies that make and sell this sh*t should be required to put a warning on the labels regarding a link between their product and cold sores/gh outbreaks. Obviously, and I can tell from reading the responses on this site, aspartame causes herpes outbreaks, and this cold sore on my lip right now wouldn't be here if I never took any in the first place.

Replied by Hilde
(Chicago, Il)

Aspartame is toxic. It not only, apparently, causes herpes outbreaks, but may be linked to all sorts of ailments that plague people today. Don't believe the FDA's and diet industry's lies! Research the dangers of aspartame and stop ingesting it already.

Replied by Eric
(Central, Florida)

WOW, I can't believe you were taking that for any reason, let alone in a dose like that. You can thank Donald Rumsfeld for the aspartame push. If you have netflix, watch The Beautiful Truth, there's some good stuff in there about this subject and msg etc. and what it does to your brain. Good luck.

Artificial Sweetener Link to Herpes
Posted by Susan (New York, New York) on 04/26/2009

It has finally dawned on me that after consuming many cans of Slimfast for weightloss, I now realize that this is most likely the cause for my HB. 4 days after consuming Slimfast, I had a breakout. After reading the ingredients on the can, the company lists "non nutritive" sweetners, which obviously is some form of artifical sweetner. I am wondering now if the manufacturer might realize the problem and never intentionally mension the actual sweetners by name????? So, I will never drink Slimfast again. I do not take any diet products of any kind or artificial sweetners. I think people who are allergy prone have a higher chance of this kind of reaction. I believe that with all of the obesity in this country, more and more people will have outbreaks due to weightloss products. Thanks for this site.

Artificial Sweetener Link to Herpes
Posted by IGOTITTO (Martin, TN) on 04/09/2009

I have been able to link one of my worse outbreaks ever to my new diet and these drink mixes. Of course, it has aspartme. I was wondering though, which of you all was able to link it to wine? Thanks for the help guys. A community that is able to help others is a loving thing. Thanks again.

Artificial Sweetener Link to Herpes
Posted by B (Washington DC, USA) on 03/21/2009

I have a question. So we know there's an artificial sweetener link to cold sores. Is it the ingestion of the product or the mere contact of it. Here's my dilemma. The girl I'm currently seeing is a hardcore Diet Coke fiend. We may very well be doing some kissing tonight and I'm afraid if I kiss her right after she had a diet coke I may get a cold sore. Does aspartame cause cold sores because of the ingestion and weakening of the immune system or is it a contact thing? Does anyone have experience with this? Anybody date someone who consumed a lot of aspartame and did it spread cold sores? Am I being paranoid? Will I be okay? Thanks.

Replied by Joyce
(Joelton, Tn)
495 posts

Hello B, I am definitely no expert to answer your question, but taking into consideration the other things the excitotoxins cause, the answer would most likely be that it damages the immune system along with other parts of the body. It might be a good idea for you to research excitotoxins and print out the things they cause and present them to your friend.