Prevent and Treat Cold Sores Naturally

Once you contract the herpes virus it’s with you forever, but remains dormant within your body, emerging when your defenses are low.
Prevent and Treat Cold Sores Naturally

Last update: 26 May, 2022

First you feel that tingling sensation or itching on your lip. You look in the mirror and don’t see a thing. A few days later the itching is more severe and you realize you have a cold sore. The herpes virus, so easily spread and so hard to eradicate, can be avoided. But once you’ve contracted it, all you can do is treat cold sores naturally. Find out more in today’s article.

A healthy immune system is the key to treat cold sores

Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus that’s spread in two ways:

  • From mouth to mouth (by kissing)
  • From sharing contaminated objects (toothbrushes, glassware, makeup…)

Once you’ve contracted the virus it’s with you forever. But don’t worry – it can remain dormant in your nervous system, never turning into a cold sore again. To do this you need to have a strong immune system.

If you’ve contracted the virus it’s likely that at that time of contact your natural defenses were low. The virus was able to enter your body, and there it remains.

But if you want to avoid suffering from another cold sore, which can be very annoying and embarrassing, you need to start taking better care of your immune system. How? With a healthy diet and exercise.

Other triggers for cold sores are:

  • Stress
  • Exposure to sunlight
  • Sleep deprivation

How to treat cold sores naturally

There aren’t that many home treatments for cold sores because little is known about the virus itself. Still, many people have been able to say “goodbye forever” to cold sores thanks to these 100% natural treatments. Are you ready to find out what they are?


This is one of the most popular ways to treat a cold sore outbreak. All you need to do is take an ice cube and place it over the area where you have a sore. Hold it there for 10 minutes or until the cube is completely melted. Repeat this trick after two hours.

Ice will reduce inflammation in the area and ease your pain. This treatment only works while the blisters are still in tact (before the sore opens and begins to ooze, which is when the virus is most easily spread).

Hot compresses

Pain induced by cold sores

This should be used during the second stage of a cold sore outbreak, when the blisters break open and ooze. It’s very important that you avoid contact with your partner or children during this stage because you could easily spread the virus to them.

You should also separate your personal care and makeup items from other people in the household. Try using one of the following hot compresses on your lip:

  • A freshly ironed towel
  • A cloth soaked in hot water

Teabags to treat cold sores naturally

Here’s another option for the stage when the blisters begin to open. A used teabag can be very helpful. Make a tea like you normally would using black tea. Don’t throw away the teabag. Let it drain and cool for a minute (you don’t want to burn the area where you have a sore).

Apply the teabag to your lip using light pressure until the bag cools. Wait two hours and then repeat this treatment.

Essential oils

Essential oils to treat cold sores naturally

You can choose from peppermint and lemon, the most effective against cold sores. But any essential oil you have at home will be helpful.

Apply a few drops to a cotton ball and put it to your cold sore. It will calm the area and alleviate the discomfort.


Remember that this remedy might sting a little. It’s too effective to dismiss, however. Put a few grains of sugar on the blisters of your cold sore. Not only will it dry out the blisters and reduce pain, it also eliminates any bacteria in the area.

Herbs to treat cold sores naturally

Herbs that help to treat cold sores naturally

In this case you have two options: internal and external use. For the first, you can make a herbal tea, and for the second you apply the herb directly to your lip. The most common herbs used for cold sores are:

  • Sage
  • Valerian root
  • Mint
  • Echinacea

Drinking teas made from these herbs gives you a stronger immune system and fights the herpes virus, making you more resistant to microorganisms that transmit disease.

If you just want to use them topically, prepare herbal teas as you would normally and soak a cotton ball in the liquid. Press it to the sore. You’ll find this treatment dries out a cold sore faster than any other option.

Sea salt

Sea salt to treat cold sores naturally

This is the most powerful technique of all. Maybe you’ve already tried it when you had a cold sore, so you already know what we mean. But you have to be pretty strong to withstand it…

Still, it’s really worth it. You have 3 options available to you:

Salt and water

Mix a tablespoon of sea salt with a few drops of water until a paste forms. Apply it to the sore using a cotton swab and leave it on as long as you can. Rinse with warm water. Do this three times a day.

Salt and toothpaste

Instead of mixing the sea salt with water try using a little toothpaste instead. Put it on the sore at night and rinse it off in the morning.

Salt and lemon

Cut a small piece of a lemon and sprinkle it with salt. Place this over your cold sore using light pressure for as long as you can. It’s going to be very painful! Repeat (if you can) a second time every day.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Dadwal, S. S., & Ito, J. I. (2016). Herpes Simplex Virus Infections. In Thomas’ Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: Fifth Edition.

  • Chi, C. C., Wang, S. H., Delamere, F. M., Wojnarowska, F., Peters, M. C., & Kanjirath, P. P. (2015). Interventions for prevention of herpes simplex labialis (cold sores on the lips). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

  • Bodsworth, N. (2008). Cold sores. Pharmacy News.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.