This guide lists the best essential oils for cold sores. Cold sores are nasty little lesions that not only hurt but are also unsightly and very infectious. Cold sores are medically known as herpes simplex which also occures on other body parts such as around the genital area (and is known as genital herpes down there). Herpes is also one of the most commonly carried viruses in adult humans. According to this study 60-90% of adult humans carry some form of the herpes virus, although it is most often dormant. Cold sores themselves are generally harmless and disappear relatively quickly. But no one wants to have a visible and unsightly little red bump around their mouth whilst being out in public.
This guide will tell you why cold sores appear and some of the conventional medicines used (and their drawbacks). Finally I’ll show you which essential oils will rid the cold sore for you, faster than most anti-viral medicines.
Here’s a little overview of what’s in this guide:
–What are Cold Sores?
–What (not) to do when you have a Cold Sore
–Best Essential Oils against Cold Sores
–Simple Solution: Direct Essential Oil Application
–Advanced Solution: An Essential Oil Ointment
–Mobile Solution: Lip Balm against Cold Sores
–Other Natural Remedies: Manuka Honey
Cold sores are part of the family of herpes viruses and appear on and around the mouth area. There are many different variations of this virus and cold sores are just one manifestation of this. Once the herpes virus is caught, unfortunately it’ll be your companion for life. As of yet, scientists have found no known cure for getting rid of this virus. Therefore, once you get it the first time, you are likely to get it over and over again throughout the rest of your life. However, there are certain ways of preventing it from appearing by using essential oils and we’ll go over those later in this article.
After initial contraction of the herpes virus, people usually develop cold sores when their immune system is weakened or their bodies are stressed. Therefore the best way to fight the cold sore is to avoid letting it come up in the first place.
Have a healthy diet, exercise and give your body enough sleep in order to stop the cold sore from appearing in the first place. A simple essential oil regimen can help prevent outbursts as well.
Usually cold sores announce their arrival with a tingling sensation in and around the affected area. This is the early stage and when treatment will be at its most effective. If treatment is done at this stage sometimes the cold sore will come and go without becoming apparent to anyone but yourself.
Following the tingling sensation a painful lesion forms after a few days, which is when the cold sore first becomes visible. After a further couple of days the blister appears in the middle of the lesion. All in, this whole process (if left untreated) can last up to 10 days.
What (not) to do when you have a Cold Sore
You should always wash your hands after touching the sore. Otherwise you risk infecting other parts of your body and other people. The liquid inside the cold sore is highly infectious and can be transmitted very easily. Best thing to do is not to touch it directly in the first place.
It goes without saying that if you have a baby you shouldn’t kiss it if you have a cold sore. Catching a cold sore infection can prove fatal to them.
Conventional medicines are available when it comes to cold sores. There are a few anti-viral over the counter options available. The creams which are to be applied topically, however, test result show that the total duration of the cold sore appearance is only reduced by 1 or 2 days. The pills that are available can help if taken in the early stadium of the break out and will help considerably in minimising the breakout and thereby reducing the itchiness. But you will have to take the pill before you see the first signs of the cold sore.
Best Essential Oils against Cold Sores
Essential Oils are an effective natural alternative and work much quicker. Not only will they act as anti-virals in getting rid of the sores, but they will also help your skin heal quicker and aid a return to its vibrant former self.
The best way to rid yourself of cold sores is by applying essential oils directly on the affected area.
Important: These recipes below can be applied to the affected area at any stage of the outbreak. However, the earlier you spot a cold sore outbreak and apply these essential oils to it, the quicker they will be able to get rid of the symptoms. So it’s always best to apply immediately.
Simple Solution: Direct Essential Oil Application
There are a few essential oils which you can apply directly on to the affected skin area. One of the best essential oils is Tea Tree oil for cold sore relief. Geranium oil is also a good alternative if Tea Tree oil is not at hand.
These oils work as an anti-septic and anti-viral. They may need to be diluted depending on the sensitivity of your skin. I usually apply them on a water soaked cotton ball but if you have sensitive skin, you can dilute them further with Sweet Almond, Sunflower, Tamanu or Grapeseed oil. If you don’t have those, you can also dilute it with high grade coconut or olive oil. In any given case, it may be easier for you to trial these to see which one works best for you.
– 1 clean cotton bud/ball or Q-tip
– 1 drop of your selected essential oil (Geranium oil, Tea Tree oil or a mix of the two)
– Take a cotton bud/ball and wet it slightly with water.
– Apply one drop of your selected essential oil (Geranium oil or Tea Tree oil or a mix) to the cotton bud.
– Dab onto affected area. Make sure you don’t lick the affected area. Repeat frequently throughout the day.
Depending on the stadium of the cold sore, the essential oils will dry out the sore within a few days.
Advanced Solution: An Essential Oil Ointment
You can also create your own ointment by mixing several essential oils together and keeping this ointment in a sealable bottle. This can be stored for future use in an area sheltered from light and can be applied directly using a wet cotton bud.
– 1 empty and clean refillable dark coloured bottle (not like in the photo 🙂 )
– 1 funnel
– 8 drops of Tea Tree oil
– 6 drops of Chamomile oil
– 8 drops of Geranium oil
– 5 drops of Lavender oil
– 3 drops of Lemon oil
– For SENSITIVE skin add 10 drops of Grapeseed or Sweet Almond oil
– Pour oils into bottle using funnel.
– Once all oils have been added, shake well.
– Apply onto a wet cotton bud and apply throughout the day.
Mobile Solution: Lip Balm for Cold Sores
If you need to make something whilst you’re on the go and you prefer not to carry the above brown bottle with you, the following recipe will allow you to make a protective lip balm.
The following recipe is borrowed from TheNerdyFarmWife.com and is excellent. The lemon balm infused oil can be left out of this recipe without ruining the healing power of the balm.
– Lemon balm infused oil (4 tablespoons)
– Shea butter (1 tablespoon)
– Tamanu Oil (1/2 tablespoon)
– Castor Oil (1/2 tablespoon)
– Beeswax (2 tablespoons)
– Coconut oil (1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon)
– 15 drops Tea Tree Oil
– 25 drops peppermint oil
– Mix the tamanu oil, castor oil, coconut oil, (lemon balm infused oil, if you’re using it,) shea butter and beeswax in a heat proof container.
– Drop the container gently into a saucepan containing a few inches of water. This is to avoid overheating of the mixture which can damage the healing properties of the oils.
– Switch the hob onto a medium heat, watch it carefully and remove the container once everything is melted.
– Stir in the Essential Oils.
– Pour the mixture into your lip balm tins.
– Let the mixture cool and place lids on the tins once the mixture is solid.
And voila. You’ve got your own little anti cold sore lip balm.
Remember not to put fingers into the tin after you touch your sore as you will be contaminating the rest of the balm with the virus.
Other Natural Remedies: Manuka Honey
There are of course other natural methods to combat cold sores as well. One of the most popular ones is treating these with honey, specifically Manuka Honey. Manuka honey is formed by bees in New Zealand that feed on the pollen of the Manuka bush. It has many positive features such as being anti-bacterial.
The honey has successfully been used to treat cold sores by applying it topically reducing the time needed for healing by almost half. As such it is an effective albeit expensive alternative to essential oils.
Summary: Essential Oils for Cold Sores
I hope you’ve found this guide useful and your cold sores disappear quickly. As you can see Geranium oil and Tea Tree oil are pretty amazing oils. All three recipes listed here are effective treatements for cold sores. If you’ve enjoyed reading this guide, please share this article with your family and friends.