If you’re looking for a simple, natural way to relieve yourself of cold sores, look no further than essential oils. Today, a variety of these oils, including peppermint oil, bergamot oil, and geranium oil, are recommended to help soothe and treat this stubborn virus.
Also known as fever blisters, cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). While these sores may pop up anywhere on the body, they are most often seen on the outside of the mouth, the lips, the cheeks, the fingers, and the nose. Typically, these blister-like sores last for seven to ten days, and are very contagious.
If you’ve got a cold sore, try these natural, at-home remedies to kick them to the curb:
With antiviral constituents, peppermint oil works wonders on healing cold sores. A 2013 study found it to have high virucidal capabilities against HSV—especially in the early stages of symptoms. To use peppermint oil, dilute it with a small amount of coconut oil and apply it to the skin with a cotton swab.
- Bergamot FCF and St. John’s Wort
Furocoumarin-free (FCF) bergamot has been found to be a safe treatment against cold sores, with its powerful antibacterial and antibiotic properties. When mixed with St. John’s wort, it is especially beneficial: this carrier oil is antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and a great supporter of the nervous system. As with the peppermint oil, apply this remedy with a clean cotton bud. This will avoid the spread of infection.
Often used to restore the skin’s balance, geranium essential oil has been found to dry up cold sores, promoting quicker healing. Mix with a carrier oil and apply with a Q-Tip.
“Essential oils have been reported to be of benefit in treating a variety of skin conditions, including cold sores,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a dermatologist. “By killing the virus, the oil can help speed healing of the cold sore.