How to get rid of cold sores naturally... and fast!

With change of seasons come cold sores. We all know how painful and unsightly they can be, but did you know you can heal them naturally at home?

You don’t have to spend a fortune on all the potions, lotions and creams you can buy from the chemist – most of what you need to soothe and cure a cold sore is in your cupboard.

Take a look at our tips and feel free to add any of your own!


How do cold sores develop?

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Many people get confused about whether they have a cold sore or a mouth ulcer. The difference is simple: cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1, which is usually acquired in childhood or adolescence via saliva. The virus can lie dormant and only appear when stressed or anxious or in excessively cold or hot temperatures.

Natural remedies

1. Milk

Milk has nourishing and healing properties. Soak a cotton ball in full cream milk and apply it to the sore to relieve pain.

2. Lemon balm/melissa

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Lemon balm may help reduce the healing time of cold sore prevent future outbreaks. A compress made of a lemon balm tea applied to the area is effective, otherwise mix 2 drops of lemon balm with petroleum jelly and apply.

3. Garlic

Garlic is naturally antimicrobial and can be applied directly to cold sores to reduce swelling, speed healing and prevent them from forming altogether. Put a small amount in an empty lip balm container, and apply as needed.

4. Aloe vera gel

Many people swear by aloe vera gel to dry up cold sores and promote healing. Simply pour a small amount of aloe vera gel onto a fresh cotton swab and apply onto your cold sore.

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5. Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is great for disinfecting small cuts and scrapes, but it is also effective in drying up and healing cold sores. Soak a clean cotton swab with diluted liquid, and hold against the cold sore until it stops stinging. Repeat as necessary.

6. Used tea bags

This is an old home remedy – you may remember your mum or grandmother telling you about it!

Apply warm tea bags onto your cold sore to draw out the infection, reduce pain, and help speed the healing process.

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7. Vanilla extract

Pure vanilla extract is a natural cold sore remedy some people swear by. Soak a cotton pad or swab in vanilla until thoroughly saturated. Apply directly to sore, holding the swab or pad in place for a minute or so. Do this four times daily until no longer needed.


8. Manuka honey

Manuka honey has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, making it perfect for healing of herpes blisters and cold sores. You just need to apply some manuka honey directly on the infected area – it’s as simple as that. Repeat as necessary.

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9. Bi-carb soda

Bi-carb soda provides relief to itchy and painful sores. Take a cotton ball with bi-carb (no water added) and apply it directly on the infected area. This will dry it out quickly!

10. Tea tree oil

To heal the herpes sores outbreak, tea tree oil is a useful remedy. Add few drops to an eye-dropper and drop on the infected area.