7 Home Remedies for Cold Sores to Get Rid of Them Faster

Cold sores can be downright painful, but the worst thing about them is they’re embarrassing. The sooner they heal the better life will be. They seem to pop out of nowhere, and if just left alone, they can take quite some time to go away. Good thing for us, there are many home remedies for cold sores that can speed up the healing process and make them go away faster.

Lemon Balm for Cold Sores

home remedies for cold sores

Lemon balm is a natural herb with powerful antiviral properties. One study found topical application of a lemon balm cream led to fewer cold sore symptoms.  Another study showed that with topical applications, lemon balm for cold sores contributed to faster healing.

What you’ll need:

  • Lemon balm extract
  • Cotton swab

What to do:

  1. Take a new cotton swab. It’s important to use a new, unused, cotton swab each time you have to apply lemon balm extract to a cold sore. This is to help prevent contamination and spreading of the virus—to avoid even more cold sores.
  2. Add a 2-4 drops of lemon balm to the clean cotton swab.
  3. Gently apply the lemon balm to the cold sore by gently dabbing the cotton swab all over the cold sore.
  4. Allow it to air dry.
  5. Continue to apply lemon balm to the cold sore 4-5 times a day.
  6. Repeat on a daily basis until the cold sore is gone, or the symptoms has been reduced to a level you are comfortable with.

Pure Vanilla Extract for Cold Sores

Using pure vanilla extract for cold sores is a great home remedy for treating these ugly occurrences. The extracted essence, vanillin, has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

All you’ll need:

  • Vanilla extract
  • Cotton swab

What to do:

  • Take a cotton swab and dip it into the vanilla extract. Make sure it is soaked with the extract.
  • Apply the vanilla extract soaked cotton swab directly to the cold sore(s). Hold the it in place for about a minute. Do not “double dip”. Use a new cotton swab each time you have to dip it into the vanilla extract.
  • Continue application daily and as often as up to four times a day.

Use Aloe Vera on Cold Sores

You can use aloe vera on cold sores to make them heal faser, and relieve some of its symptoms. Aloe vera is fairly safe to use. You can even take it internally (in moderation).

Fresh aloe leaves are the best if you can get your hands on some. However, it’s no biggie if you can’t get fresh aloe. You can buy a bottle of aloe juice at very reasonable prices.

For this remedy, we’re going to use aloe very juice because some people may not be able to get fresh aloe vera leaves.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Aloe vera juice (99.8% & organic if possible)
  • Cotton swab

How to use aloe vera for cold sores:

  1. Pour a small amount of aloe vera juice into a clean container. A cup, bowl, or plate will do. I personally like to use disposable cups.
  2. Take a clean cotton swab and dunk it into the aloe juice.
  3. Allow any excess juice to drip back into the container.
  4. Gently apply the juice onto the cold sores.
  5. Allow to air dry.
  6. Repeat up to 5 times a day, or as needed.
  7. Continue to repeat steps 1-7 until your cold sores are gone.

Tea Tree Oil and Cold Sores

What does tea tree oil and cold sores have to do with each other? Does tea tree oil help cold sores disappear sooner? The antiviral and antiseptic qualities of tea tree oil can speed up healing of cold sores effectively.

What you need:

  • Tea tree oil
  • Carrier oil (olive oil, or coconut oil)
  • Cotton swab

What to do:

  1. Mix three parts carrier oil to one-part tea tree oil in a container. Again, disposable cups work great for this.
  2. Dip the cotton swab into the mixture and allow excess oil to drip back into your container.
  3. Apply the oil on your cold sores gently.
  4. Allow to air dry.
  5. Repeat application three times a day.
  6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 until the cold sores have gone away.

A word of caution:

Tea tree oil is toxic if swallowed. It can also cause a chemical burn if used undiluted; hence the use of a carrier oil in the remedy above.

Whole Milk

Whole milk has natural properties such as calcium, monocaprin, and immunoglobulin to help heal cold sores faster.

What you need:

  • Whole milk
  • Cotton ball

What you need:

  1. Take a clean cotton ball and soak it with some cold whole milk.
  2. Place the cotton ball directly on the cold sore for about 10 minutes.
  3. Wash off the cold sore and let it dry.
  4. Repeat multiple times a day/
  5. Continue to apply cold whole milk to the cold sore on a daily basis until the cold sore is gone.

Licorice for Cold Sores

One surprising home treatment for cold sores is licorice. The glycyrrhizin acid found in licorice has strong antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. To be clear, we’re talking about real licorice here and not the stuff you’ll find in the candy aisle.

What you’ll need:

  • Licorice root powder
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Cotton swab

What to do for the licorice cold sore treatment:

  1. Mix one tablespoon of licorice root powder with 1 teaspoon of petroleum jelly. Don’t want to bother with measuring? This is one of those remedies where you can get away with no precise measuring. You can actually get away with just mixing in some of the powder with a glob of petroleum jelly. What you’re shooting for is a creamy consistency
  2. Use a clean cotton swab to apply the mixture to the cold sore.
  3. Make sure it is covered entirely and leave it on overnight.
  4. Wash it off in the morning.
  5. Repeat until the cold sore is gone.

Caution: Do not use licorice if you have high blood pressure.

Plain Ice on Cold Sores

Nothing can be more soothing than an application of a cold ice on cold sores. When ice is applied, it helps provide relief from the discomfort and pain. It will also reduce the redness and swelling.

What you’ll need:

  • Ice
  • Ziploc/freezer food storage bag

What to do:

  1. Take a clean Ziploc bag and fill it with a few ice cubes. Make sure to close the bag.
  2. Place the ice pack on the cold sore(s).
  3. Hold in place for about 5-10 minutes, or until the blister(s) feel cold to the touch.
  4. You can repeat this multiple times per day. Use it whenever you feel you need relief from the discomfort/pain.

Additional Cold Sores Info to Read

These are just 7 of the many home remedies for cold sores. Did I miss one that you think works better? Help us all out and share it with us in the comments below. Got some questions? Check out the frequently asked questions for answers.