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Though there is no cure for cold sores many home remedies can provide excellent pain relief.

Cold sores are small but painful blisters on the lips. They may occasionally appear on the nose as well. These are generally filled with fluid and are also called fever blisters.

Picture of Home Remedies for Cold Sores Olive Leaf

Most cold sores are caused by viruses Herpes Simplex Virus 1(HSV 1) and are contagious. It can be passed on by close contact like hugging and kissing with the infected person.

It may spread among children by playing with the infected child. It may be that a person has recovered from it and the symptoms are not visible but still his saliva may contain virus.

cold sore home remedies infographic

These blisters usually break open, weep fluid and disappear over a period of time. They are accompanied with fever. They are very painful. Eating drinking and even sleeping becomes difficult. Other symptoms include sore throat and swollen lymph nodes.

Picture of 8 Cold Sore Remedies

There is no real cure but following home remedies for cold sores do help reduce pain and heal faster.

1. Apply Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum Jelly is available at all drug stores. Usually most households keep it in stock as it has multiple uses.

Cover the cold sores with application of petroleum jelly. A thin layer of petroleum jelly over the cold sores will reduce pain. It will speed up the healing and help protect it from further infection with bacteria.

Picture of Cold Sore Remedies Petroleum Jelly

2. Use Ice for Cold Sores

Ice provides soothing effect. Rubbing ice on the affected area helps reduce the size of the blister. It reduces pain and stops spreading of the blisters. Gently press Ice cubes on the affected area until you can. This should give enough relief.

You can over an ice cube in a thick cotton cloth leaving one side open. Hold the wrapped ice cube in your hand and dab the open side of the ice on the fever blister on your lip. Keep it there as long as you can. Remove it and repeat the process 3-4 times. It will numb the area to give you instant pain relief.

3. Tea Bags

Take a lukewarm tea bag and gently press it on the affected area. Keep doing this about 15 minutes. This will reduce pain, contain the size of blisters and stop them from spreading.

Do this application 3-4 times during the day and last time before going to the bed.

4. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera gel is yet another effective natural remedy to get rid of cold sores. Gently apply fresh Aloe Vera gel on affected area 3 times a day.

Fresh Aloe Vera gel is more powerful and potent as compared to the Aloe Vera creams available in the drug stores. This will not only provide relief but also hasten the healing process.

You can extract fresh Aloe Vera gel from Aloe leaf if you grow the plant at home. You can remove all the gel from a leaf (100-300 gm) depending on the size of the leaf. Keep the gel refrigerated in a vacuum sealed glass container for keeping it fresh for long periods.

5. Eat Vitamin C to Fight Infection

Picture of Cold Sore Remedies Vitamin C

Vitamin C increase White Blood Cells which are responsible to fight infections and other attacks on the body. These while blood cells rush towards the infected area and fight the disease spreading bacteria and viruses.

Though Vitamin C is essential dietary elements for consumption, its intake should increase to fight against the herpes virus. Vitamin C speeds up the healing of cold sores. Vitamin C pills may also help but best way is to eat or drink natural vitamin C.

Include vitamin c containing fruits and vegetables and vitamin c supplements in your diet. There are a number of fruits and vegetables that contain Vitamin C. Most popular and widely available are broccoli, tomatoes, red berries, oranges, grape fruit, lemon etc.

You need to be careful on how you consume Vitamin C because it has been found that herpes virus spread in the acidic environment. Therefore drink orange juice may be harmful as it will increase acidity and wipe out the benefits provided additional white blood cells. But eating an orange will be better because it will not increase acidity in the gut.

6. Olive Leaf

Olive leaf may not be easily available everywhere in the world, but if you live in the part of the world where you get access to olive leaf then this is a great remedy.

Extract juice from olive leaf and apply it on the affected area. Olive leaf extract is a very effective natural antibiotic for cold sores and other viral skin infections.

7. Common Salt

Common Salt one the readily available remedy at every household.

Apply common salt on the affected area and press it by a cloth for 10 minutes. Don't wrap it, just press it. Don't use your fingers for pressing because the infection can spread through touching cold sores.

Applying salt may hurt initially but is very useful is fast healing.

8. Garlic Cloves

Garlic has a compound called Kyolic which is antiviral. Cut a garlic clove in half and apply it on the cold sore. It may initially give a burning sensation and later you may smell of garlic but the application is worth it as it speeds up the healing process.

Make sure that the pieces of garlic and all other items which were used to press on cold sores such as ice cubes and tea bags are properly disposed of to avoid spreading the virus.

In addition to physical application or taking a specific diet to cure cold sores, some abstinence will help stop spreading the infection.

Stop drinking coffee if you suspect cold sores. Caffeine acts as catalyst to spread cold sores. So completely avoid coffee or other caffeine containing drinks.

Stay away from all food items such as whole grains, seeds, nuts and chocolate which contain Arginine. Though it is a protein, it helps herpes viruses to thrive.

Lysine as Cold Sore Remedy

Eating Lysine has been found to treat cold sores, all types of oral herpes on lips and cheeks and fever blisters. External application of lysine for cold sores has not shown any significant positive impact. Foods containing lysine therefore can become good natural remedy for cold sores. Lysine and Arginine are two different types of amino acids that live in the cells. It is the ratio of lysine vs arginine that decides whether the dormant herpes simplex viruses that live on nerve roots will outbreak or not.

Lysine for cold sores actually restricts the HSV to multiply by controlling the Arginine. The Herpes Simplex Virus needs ample supply of Arginine to multiply. Eating Lysine rich food increases the Lysine Arginine ratio in the cells.

This reduces arginine supply and the outbreak of cold sores can be prevented. Once the cells are rich in lysine the reproduction or multiplication of HSV can’t happen as there is insufficient supply of arginine.

Now the question is how to increase the lysine content in the cells? For that you need to eat high lysine containing foods. Almost all types of cheeses, Margarine, Beets and papaya are good source of lysine rich foods for cold sores.

Agricultural Handbook, 1-23, published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture gives a complete list of foods that are rich in Lysine and Arginine.

As we know now that Lysine is good for cold sores and arginine is not. Therefore on one side we eat more of lysine rich goods and on the other side we reduce intake of high arginine containing foods such as all kinds of nuts, blue berries and other berries and grapes.

With the above food discipline, the herpes viruses will not be able to multiply and outbreak of cold sores can be prevented.

Lysine is also available as capsules. Consult your doctor for recommended doses. External application of lysine or cold sores will have no impact. Therefore don’t waste your time and money on such applications.

If you can’t change your food habits then take lysine capsules orally, but no external application.

With so much of documented research Lysine has established itself as a good natural remedy for cold sores and herpes outbreaks.Learn more about cold sores in the other related articles: