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Best Quick Natural Home Remedies and Fast Treatments for Cold Sore Lips

Updated on March 22, 2017
john000 profile image

John was a Navy hospital corpsman; he worked general sick bay, managed a carrier O.R., and treated heat rash, eczema, and dyshidrosis.

Medicinal properties have been associated with coconuts for many years.
Medicinal properties have been associated with coconuts for many years. | Source
A jar of coconut oil for benefits
A jar of coconut oil for benefits | Source

Hubber's Note:

I am not providing this Hub as medical advice. This is to be construed as only information. I recommend that anyone who is upset about any health problem visit a medical doctor first. Now some reported alternatives.

My interest in cold sores stems from a young woman relative who was very upset about never knowing when a cold sore episode would begin. She is a professional who is in the public eye, and her look of discouragement couldn't be missed. At that time I was naïve enough to think there might be a cure. I say this because modern medicine clearly states that there is no cure for a fever blister, but there are things you can do to diminish the pain and duration.

So began an investigation into causes, treatment, course, and then, virus and infection. Then it occurred to me that I might refer her to the Internet and cold sore remedies. Up until then she had visited a doctor once. My intention was only to be helpful by giving information and showing an interest in cold sore treatment.

It just so happened that one of the blogs I referred her to (sorry I can't remember the particular one, but there are MANY) suggested as one recommendation, out of many, using hydrogen peroxide. By chance she chose hydrogen peroxide to experiment with first, and as luck may have it, she claimed it worked for her. There may have been other things listed that would have worked also, so I make no judgments about what happened or why. This story is what prompted me to write my current Hub.

This is what she claims happens when she uses it. When she first gets tingling on her lip she takes a q-tip and wets it with hydrogen peroxide. She dabs it on the cold sore, letting it dry, and does this at least 3 times a day. For her, when treating the tingling quickly, and then, continuing applications, the fever blister does not break out; the only sign of a cold sore is a slightly darker coloration to her lip which goes away soon. She claims that there is no pain, no blisters, and no scabbing.

It occurred to me that with the plethora of home remedies for cold sores on the Internet, perhaps I could give a person a reason to begin experimenting with different "home cures". As regards the story recounted, I recall saying, "Have you tried ice?" Her response was "Ice, what's that going to do for a cold sore?" And, by the way, until I sent the link to the blog, she had not gotten active educating herself about the sores. So, I wrote this Hub for people who are determined to use a home remedy as a way of deciding what remedy to choose. Mind you, I have no interest in recommending any of the following remedies, only providing a reason to get started when one will not go to a doctor, or cannot afford a doctor. After all, if there are 16 million home remedies for cold sores (including pickle slice application), where do you begin?

My idea was this. If I could evaluate popularity of a group of natural home remedies for cold sores, that would give a reader a reason, if even a weak one, for starting off a search in a systematic way, and therefore, that would be useful. I decided to choose commonly recommended remedies for cold sores and see how often they were sited on Google search. My keywords were [{"remedy(the name) form (cream, balm, extract, whatever was appropriate) cold sores]. I didn't want the search criteria too short or too long (I know, what's too short or too long; it was subjective!). I wanted the terms to be similar yet not inappropriate or strained (Example: soybean seed). And finally, I wanted the first five pages of results (55 entries) to have 90% accuracy in addressing a remedy for cold sores. An example of this consideration would be that flax seed oil is used as a remedy for cold hands. I tried to eliminate that in the first 5 pages, but cannot swear there are no errors. If you look at the number of articles, my assumption is that those substances written about in large numbers must have helped people. While the count will not stand a statistical test of validity, I hope that a correlation exists between authors' interest in writing articles and reports of positive results.

Popularity of home remedies for cold sores chosen from tabulation. In all cases, apply at the first sign (for most, tingling) of a cold sore.

1. 3,790,000 - coconut oil extract cold sores

2. 2,400,000 - soybean extract cold sores

3. 1,930,000 - flaxseed extract oil cold sores - this entry gives too many results for taking flaxseed for other problems including "colds". There are references to how to extract when it is "cold". Also, it can be used for people with "cold hands". It is also sometimes misspelled as flackseed.

4. 1,860,000 - tea cold sores- This term was not of much help - there were teas listed from tons of substances including: tree bark, green tea, Lepton tea bag, herbal tea bags, marshmallow root, licorice root, elm bark- you get the picture

5. 1,630,000 - milk cold sores- weakness, different types of milk, some sites recommending avoiding milk (claims causes cold sores) others recommending for cold sores

6. 1,600,000 - black currant seed extract cold sores

7. 934,000 - salt cold sores - most often sited is applying damp finger to table salt and applying to the sore, but remember to wash hands well before touching again - cold sores are contagious. I read of moistened gauze or cotton ball application; that sounds better.

8. 913,000 - Ice cold sores- includes relief of pain

9. 800,000 - echinacea extract cold sores

10. 692,000 - orange oil seed extract cold sores

11. 644,000 - garlic cold sores - frequently sited - 1/2 clove and apply to sore

12. 455,000 - salt toothpaste cold sores - entries call for a paste and apply several times a day

13. 404,000 - peroxide cold sores - This remedy was most frequently offered for canker sores and cold sores. They are not the same, though sometimes used to mean the same. Most often advised to apply with q-tip several times a day. Others recommended soaking the lip in small cup or bowl (don't swallow, it is poisonous).

14. 389,000 - black elderberry extract oil cold sores - 389,000

15. 377,000 - licorice cold sores (also known as glycyrrhizic acid)

16. 344,000 - mouthwash cold sores - this term is too general. I read about home remedy mouth washes containing household elements, mouth washes that can be prepared by buying prescription elements, and commercial mouthwash

17. 316,000 - lemon oil,extract, balm,cream - cold sores

(lemon balm 4oz extract, lemon juice, lemon oil,lemon balm cream, crushing up a clove, mixing it with olive oil and lemon juice, add lemon extract to a mixture of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide).

18. 302,000 - tangerine seed oil extract cold sores

19. 290,000 - lime seed extract cold sores

20. 231,000 - zinc lozenges cold sores - sucking on them

21. 99,400 - grapefruit seed extract cold sores

22. 69,300 - fish oil cold sores - omega based oils are mostly recommended as a dietary supplement. There are also a number of entries reporting break outs after eating these oils?

23. 52,800 - olive leaf extract cold sores

And now, to give an idea of the number of general remedies - treatment remedies cold sores -

11,600,000. A more negative personality than mine might claim anything will "cure" cold sores. But then again, maybe there is something to it all? I don't know.

If one person finds a cold sore remedy that helps here, it was worth the effort.

And, finally, to add a bit of confusion on the subject, I add this tidbit of information.

Did you notice how many home remedies were made of citrus extract, oil, etc? Well, those are foods that are acid. Substances are either acid or alkaline (basic) or water, which is classified neutral at pH 7.0. Acid substances are below seven, while alkaline substances are above seven. Studies have shown that a healthy person has a pH of 7.4, slightly alkaline. This is what the body strives to regulate itself to, and this is why doctors feel citrus contributes to cold sore development- citrus is acid! This is claimed to be the ultimate trigger.

I prefer to use the term "cold sore remedy" instead of "cold sore cure" because cure seems to connote an understanding of what is going on. I honestly don't. So dear reader, if you are stymied by where to start trying out home cold sore remedies, my list will at least give you some kind of reason, though perhaps not a strong one. Since this is an ailment that folks who are victims research a lot, let me recommend for even more information

Good luck with a trying problem.

© 2011 John R Wilsdon


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    • john000 profile image

      John R Wilsdon 4 years ago from Superior, Arizona

      Thank you. It always nice to know it is helpful.Have a great day.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      that is really great and excellent suggestions for getting rid of cold sores fast. Voted up!

    • DIYmommy profile image

      Julie 4 years ago

      Excellent home remedies. I love using coconut oil for natural remedies and I find it quite fascinating. Great article!

    • coldsorebuster profile image

      coldsorebuster 5 years ago from Sugar Land, TX

      Home remedies such as ice, hydrogen peroxide, and nail polish remover are the ones that mentioned a lot in the forums. Yet I still prefer herbal remedies. Like you said, it is better not to recommend any of them. So will any of these work? You have to try it yourself. One thing you have to understand is that herpes simplex virus will find ways to compromise your immune system. They kind of evolving all the time. That is what makes it hard to be cured.

    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 5 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      My daughter has it and we have tried almost everything.Useful hub!

    • john000 profile image

      John R Wilsdon 5 years ago from Superior, Arizona

      Hello, frogyfish!

      Interesting note about there being a type of fluoride toothpaste that works best for your daughter. Will keep this in mind as I read. Thanks.

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America

      Interesting research on tips. Have a daughter who has used ice somewhat successfully and plans to try your #12 one next time needed. But there is only ONE kind of paste that works and it is the DIFFERENT TYPE of fluoride kind, don't remember the name but it is a popular brand.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, these sound like really good remedies, tea tree oil is good because it's a natural antiseptic. The trouble with cold sores is that they are of the herpes strain, obviously different from the other type but still the same sort of virus, it lays dormant in the body and then flairs up again, so really its about controlling it, and your ideas are spot on, cheers nell

    • john000 profile image

      John R Wilsdon 5 years ago from Superior, Arizona


      Thank you for the caveat. I think treating with peroxide before an open sore develops is probably the best thing to do.

    • profile image

      Derdriu 5 years ago

      John000: Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent home remedy for squelching infection. But at a certain, immediately recognizable point its potency actually gets in the way of healing. So its use must be monitored.

      Thank you, voted up, etc.,


    • john000 profile image

      John R Wilsdon 5 years ago from Superior, Arizona


      Thank you for your comment. I hope all readers check out your input on virgin coconut oil.

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      Good old coconut oil is up in the list :) I have to swear by the effectiveness of coconut oil, although I have to say that people should buy virgin coconut oil. Unlike the commercial coconut oil, virgin coconut oil is pure, cold-pressed and is derived from mature coconuts and not from copra. As such, it has mega-doses of healing properties.

    • rwelton profile image

      rwelton 5 years ago from Sacramento CA

      My son had a series of these when he was in high school...maybe it is a tension, worry generated thing...we never got a quik remedy...tried some of the above.



    • profile image

      BloomsDM 5 years ago

      I have tried many of these home remedies with little luck of them doing anything for me. I did come across an oral over the counter that is all natural though. It is called kisu. I always have it on hand and if I feel the tingle, take it and it stops the cold sore from coming out. The other thing I like about it is only a 2 day treatment. You have to buy online, although some independent pharmacies have them. Go to Good luck to all.

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