8 Effective Essential Oils For Cold Sores

essential oils for cold sores

When people get cold sores, they usually look for cold sore remedies overnight i.e. essential oils for cold sores. We all get panic and ask, how do you get rid of a cold sore fast? Do any essential oils help with cold sores? Does tea tree oil kill cold sores? Does peppermint oil help cold sores? etc etc.

But before using an essential oil, you need to know about cold sores. Cold sores are also called fever blisters. They are tiny, fluid-filled blisters on and around your lips often grouped together in patches.

When these blisters break, a crust forms over the resulting sore. Essential oils have proven to be affected in treating cold sores. In fact, it is best to think of essential oils as a supplementary treatment for cold sores along with antiviral medications.


Do Any Essential Oils Help With Cold Sores?

Concentrated plant oil extracts are known as essential oils. Fortunately, home treatments like essential oils help alleviate the effects of a cold sore.

Do Any Essential Oils Help With Cold Sores

Though cold sores can be treated with antiviral medications as they shorten the time period of a cold sore. But researchers are beginning to find that the organic compounds present in some essential oils might treat cold sores just as effectively.

Essential Oils For Cold Sores

As essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties, these can be used as antiviral and antiseptic for cold sores. Diluted essential oil applied directly on the skin can heal the infection rapidly. Here are some of the best essential oils for cold sores:

Does Tea Tree Oil Kill Cold Sores?

When we need immediate cure to cold sores, the tea tree always comes in handy as it has anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antiseptic properties. It has been seen tea tree oil has a potent antiviral effect when used for skin disorders.

Does Tea Tree Oil Kill Cold Sores

You can use diluted tea tree oil using a clean cotton swab directly on your skin. However, it is necessary to dilute it with any carrier oil such as jojoba oil or coconut oils. Otherwise, it can hurt your skin. Make sure to not use tea tree oil more than twice per day as it can irritate your skin.

Peppermint Oil For Cold Sore

This is another essential oil with an ability to treat viral infection. According to a study on HSV, peppermint oil calms the symptoms of herpes strain. It is also affected on the strains that are resistant to other kinds of drugs.

You can apply diluted peppermint oil directly to the cold sore as soon as the first sign of it appears for the best results.

Oregano Oil

This essential oil is one of the most popular home remedies for cold sores and it has a good reason for this. Back in 1996, it was found in a  study that oregano oil has significant effects on HSV.

In order to treat a cold sore, you can use diluted oregano oil on the affected area with a sterile piece of cotton gauze. It will help you diminish the size and inflammation of your cold sore. Moreover, it helps shorten the time of healing.

Ginger Essential Oil For Cold Sores

Components of Ginger oil have been found to decrease cold sore infection symptoms. Applying the diluted mixture topically can help your cold sore heal faster than usual. You can mix ginger oil with some of the other oils mentioned here or any carrier oil.

Chamomile Oil

Chamomile oil has proven to be a very active antiviral agent against HSV. It also proved to help treat strains that are drug-resistant. It also soothes the skin when applied. Apply diluted chamomile oil directly to a cold sore as soon as the symptoms begin to appear. Because it is the most effective way to use it.

Lemon Balm

Research is 2006 suggests that applying a cream with lemon balm to a cold sore can help boost the healing process. It is a herb from the mint family which is also available in capsule form. It is also used for a variety of therapeutic purposes.

Sandalwood Essential Oil For Cold Sores

Sandalwood oil is known for its unique and powerful scent. However, its components can also combat the cold sore virus. When the symptoms of a cold sore appear, you can apply diluted sandalwood oil directly on your skin.

Sandalwood Oil for cold sores

Some people may find the strong scent of sandalwood irritating to the nose. Therefore, you can mix it with any essential oil mentioned here. Besides, you can use a carrier oil as well.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil reduces the severity of cold sores and shortens the healing time. Many people say that this essential oil has a calming scent and soothing sensation on the skin. Before applying on skin, always make sure to dilute eucalyptus oil well. Besides, limit the application to four times per day.

Cold Sore Remedies Overnight

Perhaps you are interested in a complementary approach toward treating a cold sore. However, there is insufficient data to support the regular use of these complementary therapies in treating cold sores. You must discuss them with your doctor before use.

Precaution must be taken when applying any new substances to your skin. Some of these treatments can cause reactions, like irritation and allergy.

aloe vera for cold sore

Do not forget to test it on a small area of your skin before applying on the cold sore. Home remedies that can help ease cold sore symptoms when applied include:

  • Aloe vera
  • Hot or cold compress
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin E
  • Witch hazel

Home remedies do not kill the herpes virus or prevent the future recurrence of cold sores. However, home remedies may ease cold sore symptoms, such as pain, redness, and itching.

You may also like to read: Essential oils for restless legs

Kanuka Honey

We already know honey has a great reputation for helping wounds and skin injuries heal. A recent study found that kanuka honey, which comes from the manuka tree in New Zealand, can be useful for treating cold sores, too.

Moreover, a large randomized clinical trial found that a medical-grade version of this honey seemed to be as effective as acyclovir. Acyclovir is an antiviral drug.


Just like honey, propolis is another bee product that is beneficial for healing wounds and skin lesions. The antiviral properties of propolis help healing your cold sores a little more quickly.


Some studies have said that people taking lysin were less likely to experience recurrences of cold sores. However, the studies have limits. For example, no optimal dose or even a particular type of precaution was recommended. 

More recent research suggests that using lysine will not prevent the occurrence of a cold sore, but it does not hurt to try. This essential amino acid (lysin) is available as a cream or an oral supplement.

It is worth knowing that OTC oral supplements, including lysine, are poorly regulated by the FDA. Therefore, you should first discuss with your healthcare provider before taking any oral supplement.

Do’s And Dont’s Of Essential Oil For Cold Sores

There are several things we need to keep in mind while using essential oils as topical skin treatment:

Do's And Dont's Of Essential Oil

  • You must dilute the oils that you use for treatment with a nonabrasive carrier oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil. This is necessary because it will help keep your skin from becoming further inflamed by the cold sore.
  • Do not overuse essential oils on your skin as it can weaken your skin’s epidermis. Hence, it becomes harder for your skin to repair itself.
  • Make sure that you do not have any sensitivity or allergy to the ingredients of your oils before using them.
  • Do a spot test with any essential oil on another part of your skin before applying it in your cold sore.
  • Possible side effects of using essential oils range from moderate stinging sensation to burning or bleeding from the area of infection.

Immediately stop essential oil if any time you feel there is a negative reaction on your skin.

When To See A Doctor?

In most cases, cold sores go away on their own within two weeks. If your cold sore persists beyond this duration, it might be time to consult a doctor.

When To See A Doctor for cold sores

There is another good reason to check with your doctor if you feel that you are persistently dealing with cold sore several times a year. In such a case, prescription-strength antiviral medication can treat your problem.

Other reasons to see your doctor:

  • Severe pain
  • Numerous cold sores
  • Sores near your eyes
  • Sores that have spread to other parts of your body

Moreover, if you have eczema, that is also called atopic dermatitis, you may have some cracked or bleeding areas on your skin. And, if HSV-1 spreads into those areas, it can cause complications.

I hope you like my post about essential oils for cold sores. If you have any queries or want to share your suggestions then write them down in the comments section. Your participation in this topic will be highly appreciated.

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