Cold Sores
Health Benefits

Coconut Oil for Cold Sores

| Modified on May 12, 2024

Virgin coconut oil has proven to be an effective natural remedy for treating cold sores (oral herpes) as it is both antiviral and antibacterial. This home cure is one of the singularly most effective options for treating herpes and can easily be found in most grocery or health food stores today.

What Is Herpes?

Herpes is generally categorized into two forms - genital herpes and oral herpes (cold sores). Either type is typically linked to one of the two types of the herpes simplex virus: HSV-1 or HSV-2. The virus typically enters the body via a break or lesion in the skin and is spread as the individual touches a sore or the infected fluid.

Symptoms of the condition include pain at the site of sores, fever, and breaking and leaking of the sores. Certain things can trigger an outbreak of herpes including stress, colds or other illness, sharing utensils and cups, kissing, and other contact.

Does Coconut Oil Really Help?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that organic and unrefined coconut oil is particularly effective for treating herpes. The oil is an effective agent for remedying a wide variety of infections and other conditions and is just as effective for treating herpes in either of its forms.

How coconut oil works:

A derivative of the milk in coconuts, coconut oil contains coconut fat and lauric acid, a fatty acid that the body transforms into monolaurin. As such, the oil contains antiviral and antibacterial substances that are effective for treating herpes outbreaks. According to research, the most effective treatment option using coconut oil is consuming it as the digestive process more effectively releases the nutrients throughout the body.

How to use coconut oil:

To use coconut oil take one tablespoon of the oil per mouth by day. You may want to mix the oil into coffee, tea, or another warm liquid to make it easier to take. You can also apply the oil topically to the affected area for more immediate relief. Organic and unrefined coconut oil is highly recommended.

Herpes is a particularly uncomfortable condition and can even be embarrassing. Coconut oil, however, delivers fast effective relief and can even prevent future breakouts. Continue reading below to find out how our readers fared when they tried coconut oil for cold sores.

Related Links:

Coconut Milk Health Benefits
Effective Natural Treatments for Genital Herpes Relief
Natural Cures Usiing Coconut Water

6 User Reviews

Posted by Mmsg (Somewhere, Europe) on 05/28/2014

Am using Coconut Oil on Cold Sores that appeared after a bad cold. It does work, thank G-d.

For the Canker Sores that appeared at the same time, the Coconut Oil only soothes, but doesn't seem to cure.

Replied by Bertha
(Mcallen, Texas)

Cold sores/fever blisters on lips, in my 10 year old granddaughter:

I have heard the coconut oil virgin unrefined cold pressed is great for curing the cold sores/fever blisters for good. How much can she be given the the coconut oil and can she take daily?

Coconut Oil
Posted by Paula (Charlotte) on 05/25/2014

I have suffered from cold sores ever since I was about 9 years old. I would have several outbreaks a year, some of them were very severe. I started taking 1 tbs of coconut daily and have only had 1 cold sore in over a year. During the time of my cold sore I had slacked off and was not taking the coconut daily. I have learned my lesson!! Now, I may miss one day, but never more than that. I will never stop taking this!!!

Coconut Oil
Posted by Mike (Spokane, WA) on 01/02/2008

I have suffered from fever blisters (herpes simplex) on my lips for many years. I read that VCO reduces viral loads in the body so I gave it a try. Have had spectacular results (better than lysine) and no more outbreaks for 9 months. Regarding some of the negative feedback, I was shocked to read of the problems people have had with VCO - I guess because my experience has been so positive. My suggestion is to add some butter along with the VCO. Not sure why this works but it also works to stop repeat when taking fish oil.

Coconut Oil
Posted by SG (Bakersfield, CA) on 08/25/2007

I wrote earlier about my experience with eight years of un-diagnosed herpes. Since then, I've been experimenting with it, and I've got complete control over it--I can make myself completely symptom-free, or cause an outbreak within 30 minutes.

THE CURES: Coconut. Yep, another vote for that one. I recently discovered Thai food, and they put coconut milk in just about everything. Taking special care to eat Tom Kha Gai (Food of the gods!) or Thai curry dishes several times a week, I've discovered that I have no need for my previous supplement: Gigartina Red Marine Algae, 1000mg (4 capsules) per day. And it's a lot more fun! To be fair, though, the Red Marine Algae works just as well.

If I want to cause an outbreak within an hour, all I have to do is not eat any coconut products for a few days, and then have a Diet Red Bull. Chock full of both Aspartame and arginine, if your doctor needs you to have an outbreak for testing purposes, this will do the trick. Drinking two of these per day sent me to the emergency room with horrible sores, and was how I discovered I had herpes. Other energy drinks (containing arginine) kept me having sores for the next few months until I realized the connection.

Coconut Oil
Posted by Peter (Kaitaia, New Zealand) on 07/24/2007

I was diagnosed with genital herpes in 1999. It was a shock to my system, in more ways than one. The nasty bleeding scabs, the weeping sores, the pain - and the horrible sensation on the thighs, like cats clawing at wet skin. (That's just my description.) I heard about coconut oil a year ago and decided to try it. I was guided to take it this way: A tablespoonful in a glass of clear warm water, mix it up, melt it, and drink it. I took it three times a day at regular intervals. I came off my medication, Ayclovir, and waited for the usual attack. (This was after a few months of taking the oil.) But nothing happened. In order to stimulate an attack, to force it, I ate my old 'enemies' - peanuts and bananas, in great quantities, both guaranteed to cause a herpes outbreak. But nothing happened. I have been clear of the genital herpes now for at least six months, perhaps more, and the only thing I want now is to have a blood test to be absolutely sure the infection has gone. Of course doctors will say that the virus is incurable, but something has happened here, something profound and unusual. I have an inner certainty that the virus has been battered about by the oil, to such an extent it has no power left. Of course, I may be wrong. But there is no sign of it.

Replied by Joy

I was diagnosed with HSV-2 in 1988, I took the Ayclovir for about 8 months and was constantly battling outbreaks. I stopped the ayclovir and started listening to my body and stopped having the outbreaks every 6 weeks. I have gone for over 20 years without an outbreak.

A year ago I had bloodwork done to see if I was still HSV+, sadly, I am. I rarely get outbreaks orally, but at this time am battling severe sepsis and even with getting the valtrex as soon as possible, my lips, inside my mouth, inside my nose... nasty. I'm giving the Coconut oil a go because right now my lips look like the time I was waxing my upper-lip with a wide strip and lost control of the strip so it slipped down over my lips and onto my chin.... it took months for my lips to heal after that one.

Readers: Do. Not. Wax. Your. Lips.

Here's to both of us and our continued use of coconut oil for HSV....

Coconut Oil
Posted by Phil (Palm Springs, CA, USA) on 05/30/2007

I am very active and love to play volleyball outdoors under the sun. I play once a week for 3-4 hours with full sun. The problem is the aftermath. It never fails. The day after I played outdoors, I would feel a tingling sensation around my mouth where the cold sore is about to come out. In the past, I would put all kinds of medications for cold sore and it would still come out painfully.

I found out that putting Virgin Coconut oil directly on my face/skin, after showering and/or after playing outdoors, the cold sore never came back. I am cold sore free for 6 months and going.

Coconut Oil
Posted by Steve (Johnson City, TN) on 02/03/2007

i have tried lots of health products to suppress herpes. both on my leg and also a bad tooth both were suppressed with monolaurin. now in trying coconut oil along with olive leaf oil. seems to work.

Replied by Love Coconut
(Los Angeles, Ca)

I love coconut. However, 10 plus yrs ago after being diagnosed (A big thank you to my EX-fiance! ) I was handed a list by a MD telling me to avoid it, peas, soy, oranges, and a myriad of other favorites. Im dumbfounded by the idea of using coconut oil! Any ingestion of coconut or peas is an instant outbreak for me!! Soy takes a greater amount so its easier to deal with. After reading all of this information re coconut oil Im completely confused. As I was reading this site another post recommended another website for additional info...

It includes a great chart showing the clinically proven topic of lysine vs arginine ratio of foods. Coconut falls way at the bottom of the list, having a high arginine level, just like many of the foods this site recommends avoiding like nuts & citrus.

I would LOVE to eat my favorites again if someone can give me some actual information that would be worth tempting the horrid outbreak that is sure to follow...

Replied by Natural Self-healer
(Smalltown, Va, Usa)

Hi Love Coconut - The arginine, being an amino acid, is part of the protein of the coconut--not part of the oil. So coconut oil should not have any arginine at all. Good luck to you.

Replied by Coconut Head
(Dallas, Tx)

So you are assuming there is no arginine in coconut oil because oils do not have any protein amino acids? It takes many amino acids to create a complete protein. I, too am concerned about coconut oil being high in arginine. I cannot find it on the lysine vs arginine chart on the web. Does anyone know the accurate answer?

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

About coconut oil and canker sores: I suffered from very frequent outbreaks for years. Changing diet, topical creams etc. Didn't help till I found out about lysine. That DID help when I took enough of it and daily. But about a week ago I started oil pulling twice a day with coconut oil (Barleans if I am allowed to say it) and I have forgotten to take my daily lysine, and not only do I not have any new sores, the bumps inside my cheeks from old sores, are GONE!! Quite unbelievable to me.

So it does seem to me that the coconut OIL is not only devoid of arginine, it benefits canker sores big time, at least for me now.

Replied by Southernarc
(Durham, Nc, Usa)

"So you are assuming there is no arginine in coconut oil because oils do not have any protein amino acids... Does anyone know the accurate answer?" Nutrition Info