For all those people who face the trauma of dealing with a horrible cold, we are here to tell you you’re not the only ones. We all know the humiliation and embarrassment that comes along with the horrible cold and cough season. Many people incline towards using medicines found in your general pharmacies, but this quite often does not prove useful.
A lot of people have come to terms with the fact that pharmaceutical methods just do not help that annoying cold go away. However, there is a sustainable substitute: essential oils. These essential oils are the gift of god, and truly an elixir for a lot of people. Since essential oils are beneficial, potent and efficacious, they are a fantastic method for treating cold sores.
How do these simple essential oils help us deal with this gnarly cold though? Let us look through the fragrant, and quite a fun world of essential oils and how they help us with our sniffles.
Cold Sores And Their Causes
Fever ulcers, also known as cold sores, are infectious papules or ulcers around the mouth that typically appear on the lip. In simpler terms, cold sores are those annoying blisters, and runny bumps that are caused due to dry and cold weather. Cold sores are often associated with herpes, more commonly known and hates as the virus, HSV. These signs are present:
- The feeling of itchiness, tingling or burning there
- Tiny bubbles packed with liquids
- The blister that is leaking and scabbing
- Typically, the first explosion will last the greatest, lasting two weeks or so
- Later flare-ups could last a week or so
- Deep brown discolouration, and red bumps all over
- Feeling pain and stinging on your lips
A study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry has a detailed report on how and why the herpes simplex virus spreads and attacks. (1)
Aromatherapy For Cold Sores
It’s time to break out the essential oils for cold sores when you notice the distinctive tickle on your mouth. Although no long-term treatment exists for these bothersome blisters, some oils can hasten the recovery process and stop them from expanding. Since cold sores are so apparent to everybody, they can be unpleasant.
The soreness and irritation on the delicate lip area can be excruciating. Many essential oils have therapeutic and antiviral properties, making them a fantastic choice for treating cold sores. In his book, “The Secret Benefits of Aroma Therapy: Secret Guides”, Sumeet Sharma mentions how aromatherapy can treat ailments including cold sores. (2)
So, here are a few of our favourite essential oils for cold sore, to make them a little less sore:
1. Aromatic Lemon Balm Oil (aka Melissa)
Aromatic And Therapeutic
The beautiful lemon balm oil, just like its name is aromatic and highly beneficial when used. This citrus scented oil has several components that are medicinal in nature. A study done in 2008 and Published in the LWT – Food Science and Technology analyzed the components and composition of the lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) extract. (3)
Nutrition Rich Oil
More commonly known as Melissa, it is packed with the nutrients of lemon in the form of Vitamin C, citrus goodness and even more!
Treats Cold Sore Regardless of Causes
A typical cold core breakout is triggered by a change in weather and worry and tension, both ways Melissa can help you out.
Known for its calming properties, and aesthetic aroma, Lemon Balm oil helps people calm down and reduce any anxiety.
Good for All Skin Types
Suitable to apply to the skin, this virus-fighting essential oil is made for all those annoying cold sores.
Fights Herpes Simplex Virus
According to this study, lemon balm has been proven effective against the herpes simplex virus. A study published in Phytomedicine on September 2008 concluded that applying lemon balm oil topically could treat herpetic infections. (4)
2. Essential Oil of Tea Tree
A Potent Essential Oil
The holy grail of all essential oils, Tea tree oil has long reigned as one of the all-rounders in this field because of its multiple therapeutic properties and potency. A study published on January 2006 outlined most of the properties of Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil.
Common Household Cold Sore Therapy
With all its amazing properties, to fight viruses, fungi, and bacteria, tea tree oil for cold sores is a common household name.
Essential Oil Blend for Cold Sore
Tea tree essential oil is known to combat any cold sore, especially when mixed with even more amazing essential oils like peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil and even coconut oil.
If you are looking for an essential oil to bid goodbye to cold sore symptoms, and that too really fast, use tea tree oil and say hello to the best healing process.
3. Essential Oil of Peppermint
Aroma and Properties of Peppermint
Peppermint oil is the tingly essential oil that always pops up in every essential oil list because of its pleasant mint aroma and medicinal properties. The Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research on July 2015 published a study that lists the therapeutic properties of peppermint oil. (5)
Stops Recurrent Herpes Infection
According to studies, this essential oil is the pioneer in cold sore essential oils. One such study published in Phytomedicine in 2003 reports that applying peppermint oil topically inhibits recurring herpes infections. (6)
Topical Application With Carrier Oils
When mixed with carrier oils like jojoba oil, coconut oil, or clove oil, it speeds up the healing process when a cold sore outbreak happens.
One of the best essential oils ever, it is also used to relax our mind, which is perfect to reduce signs of cold sores.
Peppermint Oil Blends For Cold Sores
To prevent cold sores too, use peppermint oil along with chamomile oil or even oregano oil to centre your mind and get the best out of your essential oils
Soothing Effect of Peppermint
Peppermint has a cooling sensation because of the presence of menthol. It has an appeasing minty aroma that has a soothing effect on the body and mind.
4. Essential Oil Of Lavender
A Versatile Oil
Anyone who knows essential oils knows about the beautiful lavender oil. Lavender essential oil is the go to essential oil for treating different diseases and disorders.
Reduce Symptoms Of Cold Sores
One of the best cold sores essential oils, lavender oil will definitely treat cold sores and reduce cold sore symptoms drastically.
Good Calming Properties
The best part of this essential oil is how it calms these fever blisters and treacherous herpes simplex virus through its calming properties.
Essential Oil Blends With Lavender
Just diffuse your favourite lavender essential oil or mix it with essential oil blends with anise oil, chamomile oil, peppermint oil or lemon balm essential oil to calm your senses.
Antiseptic And Antiviral Properties
Cold sore treatment can be aided by the antiseptic properties and the antiviral activity that is filled to the brim in lavender essential oil.
Lavender Has Analgesic Properties
It also contains pain-relieving qualities that can help lessen the discomfort related to cold sores. This essential oil works in two levels as it prevents and cures cold sores.
It Has A Soothing Aroma
Many people find the soothing aroma of lavender oil to be particularly alluring. Combine lavender with potent antiviral oils like lemon balm or clove.
5. Essential Oil of Eucalyptus Radiata
Good Antiviral Properties
The natural antiviral medication of the world, applied topically or otherwise, is our favourite, eucalyptus oil.
Reduce Cold Sores and Skin Conditions
A few drops of dilute eucalyptus oil can make all the difference in your skin conditions and reduce signs of cold sore symptoms.
It Softens Fever Blisters
Use a clean cotton swab, along with common carrier oils and slowly dab the diluted essential oil around your lips. The antiseptic properties and the anti-inflammatory properties help softened the fever blisters.
Oil of Choice for Cold Sores
Certain essential oils like eucalyptus heal cold sores even better with other oils like thyme oil, hyssop oil, and oregano oil.
Eucalyptus oil helps lessen the intensity of a bad cold because of its painkiller and anti-inflammatory qualities.
Relaxing Effect on Mind and Body
Eucalyptus oil is said to provide a relaxing smell and a calming effect on the skin when rubbed. A 1994 study showed that eucalyptus oil has muscle relaxing and mental relaxing properties. (7)
6. Essential Oil of Clove
Disease Treating Essential Oil
Essential oils like clove have been used for generations for different problems, including a cold sore. The chemical composition and properties of clove oil has evaluated in a study published in 2016 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. (8)
Essential Oil For HSV
When mixed with carrier oil, clove oil can defeat the herpes simplex virus. Diluted essential oils can help a cold sore slowly improve while defeating the cold sore virus from the insides.
Since clove oil has freezing properties and is an analgesic (pain reliever), it can calm the unpleasant burning and tingly sensation that many people experience.
Topical Application Of Clove Oil
Diluting clove oil with a carrier oil is preferable to avoid irritating the skin. One drop of this oil is typically sufficient because it is so potent; much less is usually required.
7. Aromatic Chamomile Essential Oil
A Game Changing Oil
Oils for cold and cold sores have been redefined since the introduction of the lovely chamomile oil.
Gentle Essential Oil
This delicate, soft and comforting chamomile oil is a blessing to our essential oil world. It is one of the leading essential oils and is commonly used like ginger oil, anise oil and mixed with a carrier oil it is perfect.
8. Oil of Chrysanthemum
Potent Medical Properties
Essential oils like Chrysanthemum oil have strong properties including anti-inflammatory and analgesic to counter inflammation and pain.
Fights Herpes Simplex Virus
It can treat herpes simplex virus and treat cold sores, especially when mixed with useful carrier oils including jojoba or coconut oil.
When Using Essential Oils For Cold Sores, Use Caution
Despite all the amazing things that essential oils add to our life, there is a bunch of things to strongly consider before using any essential oil. As they are often potent and quite concentrated, improper use and dosage of the same can highly impact our bodies. Some individuals are sensitive to chrysanthemum oil as a cautionary tale.
Before applying any essential oil to any part of your body, remember to always dilute it with carrier oil. There are many great websites which explain how essential oils are diluted and ways to even bump up their benefits. The best essential oils are mostly the ones with the most concentration hence consider using oils like virgin olive oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, and sweet almond oil as they are perfect to be used as carrier oils.
A general rule of thumb to help you correctly dilute your essential oils is: Three drops of essential oil to an ounce of carrier oil are recommended.
When you do dilute your oil, you are paving way for an essential oil which helps treat cold sores, improve circulation and reduce skin irritation.
Despite frequent cold sore outbreaks, avoid using excessive essential oils on your body. Most essential oils like Melissa Officinalis oil, thyme oil, ginger oil, and even dwarf pine oil can get too much for our body. Oils for cold can cause skin irritation, hence be mindful. A reasonable amount would be to use the essential oil around one to two times a day, around five days a week.
Always make sure that you do a patch test before you decide to apply any essential oil. In case your body ends up reacting to the oil, immediately cease the use of the oil.
The best recommendation for utilizing essential oils for cold sores is to do it under the direction of a licensed healthcare professional who is experienced in using these oils.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best essential oil to heal cold sores?
Some of the essential oils that are used to heal cold sores are: – · Eucalyptus essential oil · Tea tree essential oil · Clove essential oil · Hyssop essential oil · Lemon balm essential oil · Thyme essential oil · Anise essential oil · Oregano essential oil · Ginger essential oil
Can peppermint oil help with cold sores?
A research conducted in 2003 found that peppermint essential oil could soothe a particular activated herpes strain. Also, it has menthol which has a soothing effect on the skin. It can hence be applied topically to help with cold sore symptoms.
Does tea tree oil heal cold sores?
Tea tree essential oil is amongst the most potent essential oils because of its antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Thus it can reduce the inflammation in the affected region, soothe the skin and eliminate herpes simplex virus.
- P G E Kennedy. VIRAL ENCEPHALITIS: CAUSES, DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS, AND MANAGEMENT. https://jnnp.bmj.com/content/75/suppl_1/i10.full.
- Sumeet Sharma. The secret benefits of aromatherapy. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=miSABZYP7j8C&oi=fnd&pg=PA7&dq=aromatherapy+for+%22cold+sores%22&ots=r0PuIyuXeK&sig=x415MQkNY8dYKS21YX5OHyjqlQI&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=aromatherapy%20for%20%22cold%20sores%22cold&f=false.
- LWT – Food Science and Technology. Volume 41, Issue 3, April 2008, Pages 391-400. Chemical composition and in vitro antioxidative activity of a lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) extract. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0023643807001247.
- Phytomedicine. Volume 15, Issue 9, 3 September 2008, Pages 734-740. Melissa officinalis oil affects infectivity of enveloped herpesviruses. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0944711308001128.
- Balakrishnan, Aishwarya.. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research; Cuddalore Vol. 7, Iss. 7, (Jul 2015): 474-476.. Therapeutic Uses of Peppermint -A Review. https://www.proquest.com/openview/0fcb7e61eaa5900ea403b14471dd0145/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=54977.
- Virucidal effect of peppermint oil on the enveloped viruses herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 in vitro. Volume 10, Issues 6–7, 2003, Pages 504-510. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S094471130470255X.
- H Göbel,G Schmidt,D Soyka. (1994). Effect of peppermint and eucalyptus oil preparations on neurophysiological and experimental algesimetric headache parameters. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1468-2982.1994.014003228.x.
- Leopold Jirovetz, Gerhard Buchbauer, Ivanka Stoilova, Albena Stoyanova, Albert Krastanov, and Erich Schmidt. (2006). Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Clove Leaf Essential Oil. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf060608c.