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10 Natural Remedies for Cold Sores

Cold sores are painful blisters around the corners of your lips, caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two different types of herpes simplex viruses, which are known as the HSV-1 and HSV-2 strains. The virus usually enters the body through a break in the skin and is extremely contagious.

The most common symptoms include a burning or tingling sensation in or outside of the mouth, which eventually turns into a blister that goes away within a few days. The blister goes from a bright red color to a crusty yellow scab before falling off. You can speed up the healing process with a few natural home remedies listed below:
The Most Common Causes & Symptoms:

  • Hormonal changes (especially during menstruation)
  • Emotional stress 
  • Fever
  • Trauma to the skin (such as a fall) 
  • Long exposure to sunlight 
  • Pain around your mouth and on your lips
  • Fever
  • Sore throat 
  • Swollen glands in your neck or other parts of the body.
10 Natural Remedies to Treat Cold Sores:
1) Cold Milk - A glass of cold milk can help sooth the tingling sensation and discomfort caused by the virus. Whole milk contains immunoglobulins, which prevent the cold sores from spreading. 

  • Soak a cotton ball in cold, whole milk.
  • Apply it on the cold sore and leave it on for around 10 minutes.
  • Repeat the process twice daily.
2) Lemon Balm - Lemon balm prevents the cold sores from spreading, since it contains polyphenolic compounds and tannins that add to its antiviral effects.
  • Steep one to two teaspoons of dried lemon balm leaves in one liter (or 4 cups) of hot water for 10 minutes. 
  • Strain and drink three to four cups of this herbal tea with each meal throughout the day.
  • Apply lemon balm tea or essential oil on your cold sore three to five times a day, and repeat until blisters go away.
3) Ice - Ice provides a temporary relief from the painful sores by reducing the redness and swelling. Ice cools off the blister and prevents it from growing to a larger size. 

  • Take a single ice cube and wrap it inside a clean washcloth.
  • Place the washcloth over your cold sore for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Repeat the process every three to four hours or until blister reduces.
4) Echinacea - The powerful herb contains many antiviral properties, while keeping your immune system fully protected. Echinacea extract is also used to treat herpes simplex virus-1. 

  • Dab Echinacea liquid extract on the affected area.
  • You can drink Echinacea tea, in the form of tincture or capsules. Consult your doctor before taking any capsules or if you're currently on any particular medications. 
  • Do not take the herb for more than eight weeks.  
5) Licorice Root - Licorice contains the glycyrrhizic acid ingredient, which is used to treat the sores. Chew on a few sticks of the snack treat for temporary pain relief or use the root powder as a topical solution.

  • Mix one tablespoon of licorice root powder and one-half teaspoon of water. 
  • Apply the mixture on the cold sore using a cotton swab or your fingertip. 
  • Allow it to stay for a few hours. 
  • Repeat several times throughout the day.
  • Alternatively, You can chew on natural licorice sticks, drink licorice root tea or take them in supplement form. Make sure you consult your physician before taking any supplements. 
6) Hydrogen Peroxide - Hydrogen peroxide can be applied after the sore has turned into a yellowish blister, as a cleansing antiseptic. Do not use the peroxide on a red blister, since it can severely aggravate it. Use the peroxide during the blister phase or the early scab phase. 
  • Dip a cotton swab in 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.
  • Apply it on the cold sore area, and leave it on for a few minutes.
  • Repeat every couple of hours.
7) Tea Tree Oil - The antiviral properties found in tea tree oil can reduce the cold sore by nearly half its original size overnight. The oil also contains antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory components, all essential for treating the red blisters. 

  • Add three parts of water to one part of tea tree oil in order to dilute it. 
  • Dip a cotton ball in the tea tree oil and apply it on the affected area three times a day.
  • You can also combine tea tree oil with an equal amount of olive oil and a little eucalyptus oil, and apply as a topical treatment two to three times a day.
8) Acetone Nail Polish Remover - Who would ever guess that a little dab of nail polish remover would make such a useful cold sore remedy? The acetone works to get rid of the discomfort and dry the cold sore faster.

  • Dip a cotton ball into the nail polish remover.
  • Dab the cotton ball on the affected area.
  • Repeat several times a day, preferably once an hour. 
9) Garlic - The powerful enzymes contained in garlic, act as antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral agents, which help treat the blisters. Garlic reduces swelling and inflammation, while increasing the healing process. 

  • Cut a clove of garlic into halves.
  • Crush one-half of the garlic and apply it on the affected area.
  • Allow the garlic to stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Repeat the process about three to five times a day.
10) Lysine - Lysine blocks the activity of an amino acid called arginine, which triggers the herpes simplex virus. You can either consume the essential amino acid through products, such as milk, soybeans, and cheese or in supplement form. 
  • Include a diet of protein-rich foods, such as; cheese, milk, meat, yogurt, and soybeans.
  • You can Take 1,000 to 1,500 mg L-Lysine supplements daily to help treat the herpes virus and 1,000 mg three times a day or during an outbreak. Consult with your doctor before taking any supplements.   
Bonus Tips:
  • Avoid acidic foods, such as; citrus fruits, tomatoes and anything with vinegar.
  • Avoid stress. 
  • Avoid picking at it to minimize the risks for infection. 
  • Limit your exposure to the sun, since it can cause cold sores to flare. 
  • Use lip balm and sunscreen on your face when it gets hot outside. 
  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Avoid sharing towels, razors, silverware, and toothbrushes, which other people with the illness might have used. 
  • Avoid contact with people that have been infected with the disease. 
  • Don't share eating utensils that an infected person might have used before.

H/T: top10homeremedies.com

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