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Natural Remedies to Treat Cold Sores

Cold sores are annoying, painful sores caused by the herpes simplex virus. They usually heal on their own within 10 – 14 days, but there are some natural remedies you can use that can speed up the healing process. If your cold sore is severe and still hasn’t disappeared by the two-week mark, than you should have a doctor take a look at it.

paris hilton cold sore Natural Remedies to Treat Cold Sores

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm, Melissa officinalis L., is known as a calming herb. Throughout human history it has been used to reduce stress, reduce anxiety, increase appetite, and treat indigestion. Today lemon balm is still used as a relaxant and also as a natural way to treat cold sores and fever blisters.

Studies have shown that ointments with lemon balm in its ingredients may help treat the virus that causes cold sores and genital herpes (herpes simplex type 2 virus) [3]. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a study of 116 people with the herpes simplex virus, that applied a lemon balm ointment on their cold sores saw massive improvements in swelling and redness after two days. The doctors and patients in the study both agreed it was highly effective.

Lemon balm can be purchased in different forms such as capsules, tea, extracts, ointment, and oils. In addition to using it as a topical ointment, you can also create a tea out of lemon balm which also helps in treating a cold sore.

Blackberry Extract

No, you can put your Blackberry phone away because it won’t help you if you have a cold sore.  However, a recent study published by researchers from Kentucky suggests that blackberry extract has potent virucidal activity against the Herpes Simplex type 1 virus [1].  The study authors concluded:

“Blackberry extract inhibited the early stages of HSV-1 replication and had potent virucidal activity. These properties suggest that this natural fruit extract could provide advantage as a topical prophylactic/therapeutic agent for HSV infections.”

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil, extracted from the leaves of the plant Melaleuca alternifolia, was originally discovered by indigenous people in Australia. They would crush the leaves of the plant and inhale the oils to treat coughs, colds, skin rashes and many other medical ailments.

With further study of tea tree oil, it was discovered that it had positive effects against many types of viruses and microorganisms. One of which was the herpes simplex virus, the same virus the causes a cold sore [2].

A few drops of pure tea tree oil to the infected area of a cold sore when it first appears can play a big role in keeping it from spreading.

A few other medical ailments tea tree oil is also known to work well against are acne, yeast infections, Athletes Foot, colds, flu, head lice, and sinus infection. So keeping a bottle of tea tree oil in your home would not be a bad idea.

Honey

Here’s one on the list that probably made you do a double take. Honey is a thick, sweet liquid created from the nectar of flowers by bees. You probably know honey as something you put in your tea or sandwich to give it a sweet taste, but throughout history honey was also used as a natural way to better health and to treat a variety of medical ailments.

Ancient Roman physicians used honey to treat insomnia, while ancient Egyptian medical practitioners applied honey on open wounds and burns to speed up the healing process. The Greek physician, Hippocrates, recommended honey to treat cold sores and fever blisters amongst other things.

Because of such high concentration of sugar, in forms of glucose and fructose, microorganisms, germs and bacteria have a hard time surviving. If you are suffering from a cold sore this is good news for you, because applying honey on the infected area can speed up the healing time due to your immune system not having to defend against the herpes simplex virus. Another aspect of honey that can help combat the cold sore virus is its high levels of phenolic acid and flavonoids acid, both known to have anti-viral properties.

I’d like to add that you should not be applying honey anywhere on your body if you are allergic to pollen, because it may cause an allergic reaction. Also do not use honey to treat cold sores on your infant because of the small chance of  infection with bacteria that causes botulism.

Lysine

Lysine is an essential amino acid that is present in food sources like meat, fish, eggs, and cheese. Lysine is used by our body to make protein, which we need to produce antibodies, hormones, and enzymes to combat infection like the herpes simplex virus.

When you first feel that tingling of a cold sore materializing, increasing your portions of food sources rich in Lysine will go a long way in stopping the spread of the cold sore. Taking 1000 mg, three times a day, of a Lysine supplement can shorten the time it takes the cold sore to heal. Using a Lysine ointment in addition to the previous suggestions will also help in effectively treating your cold sores and fever blisters.

Author Bio:

With these natural cold sore remedies you should have more than enough options to effectively treat any cold sore outbreaks that you encounter.

References:

  1. Danaher RJ, Wang C, Dai J, Mumper RJ, Miller CS.  Antiviral effects of blackberry extract against herpes simplex virus type 1.  Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2011 Sep;112(3):e31-5.
  2. Schnitzler P, Reichling J.  [Efficacy of plant products against herpetic infections].  HNO. 2011 Dec;59(12):1176-84.
  3. Mazzanti G, Battinelli L, Pompeo C, Serrilli AM, Rossi R, Sauzullo I, Mengoni F, Vullo V.  Inhibitory activity of Melissa officinalis L. extract on Herpes simplex virus type 2 replication.  Nat Prod Res. 2008;22(16):1433-40.
Carrie is the editor of www.YourColdSoreRemedies.com, a site dedicated to information of safe and effective cold sore remedies and treatments. She currently lives in Hermosa Beach, Ca with her 2 Yorkies, Oscar and Maggie.
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