Cold sores, commonly known as fever blisters, can be defined as small lesions that develop around the mouth and contain fluid. These sores usually occur in clusters and form crusts, when the blisters burst. It is important to note that this condition is contagious. This condition cannot be cured completely, but can only be treated by making use of certain medications and herbs.
The affected individual may experience flare-ups of this condition from time to time, due to stress or low immunity. Given below are some effective herbs that are helpful for treating cold sores.
Herbal Remedies for Cold Sores
Goldenseal is an herb that is native to South America and has been used extensively for treating numerous health conditions such as sore throat, common cold etc. This herb is known to exhibit antibiotic properties that help in supressing the virus responsible for the symptoms of cold sores. Goldenseal is easily available at any health store and can be taken in the form of capsules or tea.
For treating cold sores, you will need to take around 300-500 mg of this herb daily, in the form of capsules or tablets. Individuals suffering from heart disease or epilepsy should avoid the use of this herb in treating cold sores. You should also consult your doctor prior to using goldenseal, especially if you take any medications.
Licorice is an herb that is considered effective in the treatment of several bacterial and viral infections, including cold sores. This herb is known to possess certain compounds known as glycyrrhetic and glycyrrhizin acid, which are the components responsible for the antiviral properties of this herb. These compounds are considered effective in dettering the herpes virus from multiplying. According to the results of a research study published in ‘Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin’, glycyrrhetic acid is more effective in the treatment of herpes virus in comparison to glycyrrhzin acid.
This herb can be taken in the form of tea or capsules, for treating cold sores. If you suffer from conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, low potassium levels, or liver disorders, make sure to seek medical approval before using this herb for cold sores. The recommended dose of this herb is 250-500 mg thrice a day, in the form of capsules. However, consult your doctor regarding the correct dosage to reduce the risk of side effects.
Lemon balm is an herb that originates from Europe, but is found in almost all parts of the world. There are several research studies that indicate the effectiveness of applying this herb topically to cold sores. According to a research study conducted on 116 cold sores patients, the patients experienced relief from redness as well as swelling within just 48 hours of using this herb.
Another research study conducted by three German hospitals and one dermatological clinic indicates that this herb is effective in preventing the recurrence of this condition. The recommended daily intake of this herb is around 300-500mg thrice daily. Inform your doctor prior to using lemon balm if you take any medications.
Witch hazel is considered an effective herbal remedy for treating cold sores. This herb is known to possess certain volatile oils and tannins, which are considered beneficial in reducing inflammation associated with cold sores. In addition to that, the presence of proanthocyanidins in witch hazel has proven effective in deterring the multiplication of herpes simplex virus, during test tube studies.
According to a research study cited by the University of Michigan Health System, individuals suffering from cold sores were instructed to apply cream containing 2 per cent witch hazel to the cold sores six times in a day. At the end of the research study, it was observed that the individuals who used this herb experienced reduction in inflammation as well as size of cold sores.
Neem is considered an effective herbal remedy for treating cold sores. According to the results of a research study published in ‘Phytotherapy Research’, neem extract proved beneficial in decreasing the activity of the herpes simplex virus. It is recommended that you use neem cream that contains 5 per cent neem extract for treating cold sores.
You can apply this cream topically to your skin twice daily. You can also prepare mouthwash using this herb, for treating cold sores. Add two to three neem leaves to water, along with a tablespoon of honey and allow it to steep for around 30 minutes. Allow the rinse to cool and then gargle. You can use this herbal remedy as many times as required. It is important to note that neem leaves are only used for treating cold sores, but they cannot cure them.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree is considered effective for treating the symptoms associated with cold sores. Tea tree is an herb that is native to Australia and possesses strong antiseptic properties. These antiseptic properties of tea tree oil make it an effective remedy for dealing with cold sores. You should add 3 drops of this oil to 2 tablespoons of olive oil and apply it to the cold sores. This remedy is considered effective in reducing the growth of herpes simplex virus, which is the primary cause of cold sores. Do not consume this oil orally, as it may have a toxic effect on the body.
Garlic is an herb that is used extensively in cooking as well as treating a host of medical conditions. This herb is known to exhibit strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiviral properties, which make it an effective remedy for treating the symptoms associated with cold sores. This herb is known to deter the growth as well as spread of herpes simplex virus, which is responsible for cold sores.
You can use this herb for treating cold sores by consuming it raw or by rubbing garlic oil on the cold sores. You can prepare garlic oil by finely chopping a few flakes of garlic and adding it to olive oil. Heat it for 10 minutes over the stove. Allow the oil to cool and apply it to the cold sores. This will help in reducing inflammation and size of the cold sores.