Essential oils for cold sores
The following essential oils may be useful for treating cold sores:
Lavender oil has been used for years to treat a variety of issues, including skin irritation and bruises.
Although it may not have any effect on the virus, lavender oil may be helpful in reducing pain associated with cold sores. In one study, lavender oil appeared to have the potential to decrease pain and inflammation.
The first time someone uses lavender oil, they should dilute it with a carrier oil. If there is no reaction, they might be able to use a stronger mix.
Lavender oil can also be used undiluted, as it does not usually irritate the skin. One or two drops of lavender oil can be applied directly to the sore.
In one study, peppermint oil was shown to inhibit the activity of both the herpes virus type 1 and type 2. The study concluded that peppermint oil might be useful in treating recurrent herpes infections.
A few drops of peppermint oil diluted with a milder oil, such as almond oil, can be applied to the sore.
Although chrysanthemum oil may not specifically treat the herpes simplex virus, research has suggested that the oil has a strong anti-inflammatory effect, which may reduce symptoms.
Allergies to chrysanthemum oil are not uncommon. It is best to test a small area of the skin before using the essential oil on a cold sore. Never apply directly to the skin, and always dilute in a carrier oil.
Read more How Tea Tree Oil Helps Ease Gum & Tooth Pain
Eucalyptus oil may be useful in treating cold sores due to its anti-inflammatory ability.
A paper in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology indicated that eucalyptus oil could decrease inflammation. By reducing inflammation, eucalyptus may speed up the healing process of a cold sore.
Users should be sure to dilute eucalyptus oil in a carrier oil before applying it to the skin to avoid irritation. Eucalyptus is a known allergen, so people should not use it if they have a reaction.
The effect of clove has been studied on the herpes simplex virus as well as other viruses, including hepatitis C.
Clove may have an antimicrobial and antiviral effect on the herpes simplex virus. It also may decrease pain associated with a cold sore.
Clove is irritating if applied directly to the skin. It should be diluted with a milder oil, such as coconut oil. Users should use caution when applying the mixture to the sore.
Chamomile oil interrupts absorption of the herpes virus into the cells differently than antiviral drugs, according to some research.
This oil may also be useful in treating drug-resistant strains of herpes. Again, chamomile oil must be diluted in a carrier oil before being applied to the skin.
Tea tree oil
According to a review published in the International Journal of Dermatology, tea tree oil has shown the ability to stop or kill the herpes simplex virus.
The oil is strong, so it is best to use it with caution. Users should dilute it with a carrier oil to decrease the chances of a skin irritation.
Read more The Best Pregnancy Smoothies + 10 Smoothie Recipes
Research on hyssop oil showed that the essential oil caused a decrease in viral activity.
A few drops of hyssop oil can be diluted and applied to the cold sore.
Lemon balm oil
Lemon balm oil, which is also called Melissa extract, may have an antiviral effect on the herpes simplex virus.
One study indicated that the oil prevents the herpes virus from penetrating the cells.
Users should apply the diluted oil to the cold sore with a cotton swab three or four times a day for best results.
Thyme oil has been examined to determine its ability to treat herpes simplex virus type 1. The results of one study indicated that the essential oil shows antiviral action against the virus.
Thyme oil should always be diluted with a carrier oil before it is applied to the cold sore.