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Essential Oils for Cold Sores

Cold sores. Ugh, they’re the worst. You know the feeling of your lips getting dry and chapped. You skin getting a little tight, no matter how much chapstick you put on them and that familiar little bump starting to form. You’re hoping its a pimple, a blister, maybe even a small allergic reaction, but nope, you know it’s the tale tell signs of a cold sore coming.


Cold sores are blisters that form on the lips. In some cases, these blisters can go as far as affecting you’re your cheeks and the nose. These spots can be merely inconvenient or very painful, especially when you open your mouth. Which we do more than we realize, to smile, eat, yawn, talk, laugh and so on.

According to the CDC, at least eight out of 10 people have the herpes simplex virus, the virus responsible for these blisters. With this high of a number, and with no cure, you would assume there wouldn’t be such a stigma surrounding them.

Thankfully not all fever blisters are painful; some people are lucky to have relatively painless blisters. Either way, you still probably won’t be pleased having to deal with the visual proof that comes along with cold sores.

Currently there are some pharmaceutical medications and natural remedies that are used to prevent the damage caused by the virus but rarely do they eliminate it from your body.

Cold Sores Symptoms

This comes as a shock to many people, but lots of people have the herpes simplex virus and don’t even know about it, and may never know until they experience their first infection.

The appearance of the cold sores is one of the most common symptoms of HSV and can be accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms: 

  • Lip swelling
  • Blisters, ulcers or lesions on the mouth or tongue
  • Tongue and mouth pain
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • A sore throat
  • High body temperature
  • Swollen glands
  • Dehydration

Usually the first time you get a cold sore is the most painful,  any subsequent infections are categorized as HSV1 or 2 and are less bothersome.

Phases of Cold Sores

When you first come into contact with the herpes simplex virus (which is very contagious) you most likely won’t get a cold sore right away. The virus mostly remains inactive, and is considered as an opportunistic infection. This means HSV usually becomes active while your immune systme is occupoed fighting other diseases and not able to fend off HSV.

  1. First, you will experience an itching, burning or tingling sensation around your mouth. This results in a swollen red spot.
  2. Blisters will then appear. At this stage you will notice tiny sores filled with fluid on the edges of your lips.
  3. Next the blister will open up, and the red swelling will turn green. At this stage, the sores are highly contagious.
  4. Finally, scabbing takes place. When this happens your body tries to heal itself but creating smaller and smaller scabs which will continue to flake and reduce in size until the cold sore disappears.

If it is your first outbreak, the cold sore might last for up to two weeks, but if its a subsequent one, usually they will disappear within a week.


Several pharmaceutical drugs are used to treat the symptoms of HSV, but due to the recurrence of the blisters, some bodies generate defensive mechanisms against these drugs making them ineffective. The side effects of these drugs also make them unfavorable for use.

Instead, many people look for natural remedies like essential oils to treat medical issues due their efficiency and quick results. If you’re immune system is already compromised and you don’t want to pump your body full of prescription drugs, try the essential oils below for rapid relief.

Essential oils for cold sores

Turmeric Oil 

Turmeric oil is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial agent. As such, this oil when used correctly will not only treat your fever blisters but will also work to prevent them in the future. The antioxidants are also useful in speeding up the healing process so you should be able to be rid of them in a matter of days instead of weeks.

Blend: Mix 2-3 drops of turmeric oil with one teaspoon of honey and then topically apply it to the cold sore. Let the mixture soak in and watch how fast the healing process happens.

Get the best price on turmeric oil here!

Clove Oil

Clove oil slows down the swelling of your lip blisters, fights the underlying infection and speeds up the entire healing process. How does it do this? This oil is clinically proven to possess antioxidant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties all of which are crucial in treating most forms of blisters not just cold sores.

This oil promotes healing while ensuring that the skin left behind is as smooth as possible and scar free and is the top pick for essential oils for cold sores on the lip.

Mix: The oil should be diluted with honey or coconut oil before topically applying it. Avoid ingesting the blend.

Get the best price on clove oil here!

Ginger Oil

The active ingredient in ginger oil is gingerol and studies have confirmed its ability to prevent the spread of HSV. This consequently inhibits the appearance of fever blisters. Ginger oil is perfect for use immediately after you start noticing swelling or discomfort in the region where a cold sore is about to appear.

Best use: Mix ginger oil with olive oil or honey and directly apply it to the cold sore. Let it absorb before wiping it away.

Get the best price on ginger oil here!

Hyssop Oil 

Hyssop oil is a potent antiseptic and antiviral essential oil powerful enough to attack and eliminate the herpes simplex virus from your body. This is one of the best essential oils for cold sores to keep around because it actually can be used to prevent HSV from taking hold in your body and developing.

Application: Diffuse for preventative use or apply directly if already experiencing a blister.

Get the best price on hyssop oil here!


Our bodies are amazing but sometimes aren’t able to fight all the infections and viruses we’re exposed to. In the case that you do have a fever blister, by taking quick action and using the essential oils above, you can greatly reduce the time it takes for your body to heal and get rid of the cold sore. Soon you’ll be back to laughing, eating, and showing off your smile without a second thought.

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