Cold sores, commonly known as fever blisters, usually occur on the skin surrounding the lips and particularly on the sides of the lips. The sore is caused by a type of herpes virus that stays in the body of the host but becomes dominant when the immune system of the body weakens. Some people who are allergic to certain food products especially wheat will find that the cold sores appear when they eat the particular food or its variant. The sores are filled with clear liquid and are red in color. Many people also experience fever and lymph nodes along with the occurrence of cold sores.
It is advisable to treat the cold sores because they can be rather painful and uncomfortable to have. There are many over-the-counter gels and creams to combat cold sores. Doctors also prescribe antibiotics in severe cases of cold sores. However, after a certain time and with repeated usage our body becomes immune to these medications and they fail to have any major effect on the cold sores. Herbal remedies for cold sores on the other hand are safe and as effective as OTC and prescription medicines. And if a person frequently suffers from cold sores then they can keep the herbal medications handy at all times.
Let us look at some of the best herbal remedies that can effectively treat cold sores. Point to remember while taking the herbal medicines is that they should never be mixed with OTC and doctor prescribed medicines.
Effective Herbal Remedies for Cold Sores
Garlic is an effective remedy against cold sores. The anti-bacterial properties of garlic ensure that the virus causing the infection leave the body within no time at all. To treat cold sores maximum consumption of raw as well as cooked garlic is advised. One should also apply paste of crushed garlic directly over the cold sores to treat them.
This will help minimize the discomfort and pain associated with cold sores. There are garlic capsules available for people who cannot consume garlic in its raw form. However, it is best to consult an herbalist for the proper dosage of garlic capsules.
Turmeric is actually an herb that is used as spice in everyday cooking and it is quite a popular cooking ingredient because of its antiseptic properties. For this reason, turmeric powder is used in the treatment of injuries, cuts and burns. The herb is also an effective remedy for treatment of cold sores since the antiseptic effect of turmeric helps fasten the drying of the blisters leading ultimately to their falling off.
To treat cold sores with turmeric apply a thin paste of fresh turmeric powder over the sores and leave for 20 minutes. Wash off gently with warm water. The treatment should be done thrice a day until the sores fall off. The turmeric paste can be left overnight as well.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is extremely beneficial in the treatment of various skin ailments including cold sores. The gel of the plant has anti-bacterial properties that help eliminate the infection causing micro-organisms from the skin. What’s more, the herb is extremely gentle on the skin and has no side effects. For this reason, fresh gel from ale vera plant is extensively used in the treatment of skin problems.
To treat cold sores with aloe vera gel, scoop out a teaspoon of aloe gel from the leaf and crush it well to form a paste of spreadable consistency. Apply the paste over the cold sores and leave on for 20 minutes. Remove using warm water. The treatment can be done twice a day to fasten the process of healing. Application of aloe vera gel over the cold sores will give you immediate comfort.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree is an essential oil that is popularly used in skin care products because of its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. The oil acts strongly on the bacteria or virus causing the infection. Tea tree oil works by first eliminating the virus responsible for cold sores and then begins acting on the blisters to dry them. Drying of the sores causes them to fall quicker.
Since tea tree is an essential oil it should be mixed with carrier oil like olive oil before application otherwise it can lead to severe burning of the skin. Combine 2 ml tea tree oil with 4 ml olive oil and mix the two oils well. Apply a thin layer of the mixed oils over the cold sores and leave on for a couple of hours. Wash the area with warm water and re-apply tea tree oil mix after 20 minutes. Repeat the procedure at least thrice a day for a period of five days. Regular application of the oil mix will ensure that the skin doesn’t break out into cold sores again.
5. Evening Primrose Oil and Rosehip Oil
Both the oils are produced from herbal plants that have the same names as the two oils. And like tea tree oil, evening primrose oil and rosehip oil are both essential oils with amazing healing properties for the skin. Rosehip oil is especially a rich source of vitamin C that helps the skin repair any wear and tear caused to the tissues due to infections. Evening primrose oil contains a special type of fatty acid that helps the body fight attacks on the immune system better. Hence, they are ideal for treating cold sores caused by herpes virus.
Mix 2 ml of evening primrose oil with 2 ml of rosehip oil and 4 ml of olive oil. Combine the three oils well and apply a thin and even layer of the oil mix over the cold sores. Leave on for 2-3 hours and then remove with warm water. Repeat the treatment 3-4 times a day. You can even leave the oil mix on the sores overnight but wash off the oils first thing in the morning. Leaving the oil mix on the skin overnight will give the oils longer time to act on the sores thereby speeding up the process of their healing. The oils will also reduce the discomfort and dryness of the skin caused by sores. Rosehip oil will also ensure that the sores don’t leave behind any unsightly marks.
Caution: Please use Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.