Cold Sore

Cold sore, also called fever blister, occurs when a group of blisters appears on the lip and mouth area. The surrounding affected area is usually red, swollen and painful. For some cases, the blisters may break and secrete a clear white fluid. Scabbing will follow for a few days but will eventually heal after a week or two.

Cold sores are contagious and can easily be spread from person to person via physical contact such as kissing. It can also spread through oral sex. One of the most common causes is a virus called herpes simplex virus, which is closely related to the virus that causes herpes. Even if not physically visible to the naked eye, a cold sore can affect a person and can actually be highly contagious.

There is no specific cure for cold sores. Most of the time, this condition is just left to heal itself. In addition, a cold sore is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It has no prevention, but there are various effective steps to minimize its duration and frequency.


Some of the most common symptoms especially in children include:

• Mouth lesions
• Lounge lesions
• Swollen lips
• Tingling sensation around the mouth area
• Appearance of hard and painful blisters that can also leak some fluid
• Blisters surrounding the nose area
• On and off fever
• Headache
• Muscle aches

These symptoms vary from person to person, depending on whether the individual affected is suffering for the first time. These symptoms usually last for weeks.


The most common cause of cold sores is the infection of the HSV-1 (herpes simplex virus type 1). Although possible, cold sores caused by the HSV-2 virus due to oral sex is rare. Aside from physical contact, below are other possible causes of cold sores:

• Sharing utensils and things with an infected person
Mental and physical stress
• Sunlight
• Injury to the affected area
Cold sores clear up even without treatment. However, for severe cases with extreme symptoms, visiting a doctor is highly advised. If you have a weak immunes system, experience constant eye irritation, and slow healing process, it is better to get professional help.

Close up of lips affected by cold sore

Six Natural Home Remedies for Cold Sores

Cold sores can be easily treated and prevented using home treatments. By using natural ingredients that are usually found in your home, you can strengthen your immunity against this condition or shorten its duration. In addition, religiously following these natural home remedies will minimize the frequency or occurrence of cold sores.

1. Proper Hygiene

The most basic way to solidify your defense against the virus that causes cold sores is by always practicing proper overall hygiene. Make sure to brush your teeth after meals and also use antibacterial mouthwash regularly. Furthermore, avoid contact with people you suspect of suffering from a cold sore.


Aside from proper hygiene, you must also avoid sharing personal things with other people such as utensils, towels, and razors. Make sure to wash and clean your personal belongings before and after using thoroughly.

2. Pure Vanilla

Vanilla is packed with antibacterial properties which make it a potent fighter of the cold sore virus. It also provides cooling and soothing effects on the affected area. Make sure to use pure and natural vanilla to maximize its benefits.

Dip a cotton swab in pure natural vanilla and apply liberally on the affected area. Try not to wash off with saliva. You can also use a cotton ball with vanilla and place directly above the affected area. Leave it for a few minutes. Do these steps at least 5 times a day or until the cranking and swelling are completely gone.

Make sure to buy pure vanilla extract with no harmful chemicals that can cause further swelling and irritation of the cold sores.

3. Licorice

Aside from giving a sweet aroma, licorice is packed with Glycyrrhizic acid, a substance that provides high levels of anti-viral and anti-inflammatory effects that are perfect for mild to severe cold sore cases. Studies have also shown that these acids found in licorice roots effectively eliminate viruses that can cause a wide array of infections including cold sores.

Mix 1 teaspoon of licorice powder with a few drops of water to create a pasty or creamy mixture. Stir well until it has the consistency of a topical cream. Apply to the affected area liberally for at least 5 times a day. Use a cotton ball or swab to apply to the affected area. Leave for a few minutes before rinsing off with running water. It is not dangerous if you accidentally consume some of the cream as long as you use natural licorice powder.

Dip a cotton swab to natural licorice extract and apply to the affected area as often as you can. Leave for several minutes or until it dries out.

licorice roots

4. Use a New Toothbrush

Since cold sores usually affect the mouth area, it is a must to always use clean and fresh hygiene tools specially toothbrush. A toothbrush can store hundreds of viruses that can easily lead to mouth infections if used over and over again. It is highly recommended to use a new pair before and after experiencing cold sores.

For some cases, the brand of the toothpaste used can also promote swelling due to harsh chemical content. If you suspect that your toothpaste is full of harmful ingredients, opt for a brand that is made with all natural ingredients.

5. Milk

In addition to providing health benefits, milk is also a potent treatment against a wide array of infections. It is loaded with immunoglobulins, which are powerful proteins that act as antibodies against viruses that can lead to cold sores and herpes. Milk is also rich with L-lysine, which has been proven to minimize the risks of cold sores while also promoting the healing of cracked and swollen lips and mouth walls.


Soak a cotton ball in lukewarm milk and directly apply to the affected area. Leave it for a few minutes or until the milk dries. Repeat these steps as often as you can on a daily basis until swelling and cranking are gone. In addition, drink a cup of either hot or cold milk in the morning and before going to bed to increase immunity against viral infections.

6. Take Vitamins C and E

Vitamins C and E are some of the best sources for antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. Vitamin C is the perfect source for white blood cells, which are needed when fighting infections. On the other hand, vitamin E is highly sought for its immediate effect on swelling and irritation caused by infections.

When battling with cold sores, regularly eat fruits sand vegetables that contain high levels of these vitamins such orange, apple, papaya, lemon, pear, etc. You can also take vitamins supplements in the form of tablets on a daily basis. To get proper daily dosage, ask your doctor to get maximum effects.

You can also use vitamin C and E extracts and apply directed to the affected area. Dip a cotton swab or ball and place directly on the affected area. Leave it alone for a few minutes each day until the swelling and cranking disappear.


Gii Santos
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Gii Santos

Gii is a full-time work at home mom to her 9 year old daughter and a new baby on the way. She is passionate about health and fitness and natural remedies for certain health conditions. She makes it a point to use eco-friendly products as a way to give back to the environment. Aside from mothering, her routine at home includes sewing, crafting, cooking, reading books, and designing.
Gii Santos
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