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Essential oils for cold sores

“Cold sores” have you hear about it? Do you know about “Essential oils for cold sore”? Yes, cold sores have a treatment by the use of essential oils. If not don’t worry we will help you. This article will cover all the questions you have got for cold sores.

What are essentials oils?

Essential oils are hydrophobic liquid which is concentrated in nature and its extraction takes place from the plants.  It has different names as volatile oils, ethereal oils, and aetherolea. Some of the examples of the essentials oils for cold sores are tea tree oil, clove oil, peppermint oils, and many more.

The process used for the extraction of essential oils is through distillation (via steam/ or water) or mechanical methods such as cold pressing. Other processes of the essential oils extractions are expression, solvent extraction, sfumatura, absolute oil extraction, resin tapping, and wax embedding.

For the treatment of the various condition, essential oils come in play which is already present in the principle article. Mainly in this article, we have focussed the detail on the essential oils for cold sores.

10 best essential oils for cold sores

There is a belief that certain essential oils as the best treatment for cold sores because of its antiviral properties. Not only the antiviral properties but many essential oils for cold sores have anti-inflammatory properties, anti-bacterial properties. In this article we have discussed the 10 best essential oils for sores:

1. Lavender essential oil

Lavender essential oil is one of the popular oil. It has been in use from the ancient period to treat various condition likes anxiety, fungal infections, allergies, skin irritation, bruises, depression, insomnia, eczema, nausea, and menstrual cramps.

Lavender essential oils for cold sore doesn’t show any promising result to viral infections such as herpes virus, but it can help reduce the painful symptoms, associated with cold sores. In aromatherapy, there is the primary use of it. There is a belief that the scent from the lavender oil of the lavender plant promotes the calmness and wellness of anxiety and depressed people.

For the first time, user there should be dilution with a carrier oil. If there is no reaction, that might be able to use a stronger mix.

Lavender can be used without dilution to the person who does not have any skin irritation. One or two drops of this essential oil can be directly placed on the cold sore. 

2. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil for cold-core has antiviral, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. These all properties help in the treatment of the cold cores. There is a link to reductions in the viral activity of the herpes virus. A research which was done in 2001 mentions that tea tree oil reduces plaque formation by 98.2 per cent for herpes simplex virus-1 and 93.0 per cent for herpes simplex virus-2.

You can apply tea tree oil to your cold sore by a clean cotton swab. The tea tree oil needs to be diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut oil. You can use it up to twice a day on the cold sores. It shouldn’t use more than twice a day because it may cause skin irritation.

3. Peppermint oil

Peppermint is another essential oils for cold sores with the ability to kill both HSV-1 and HSV-2. The lab study concluded that peppermint oil might be useful in calming the symptoms of the activated herpes strain and treating recurrent infections.

Peppermint oil has been used for medicinal purpose since ancient time. It is used as natural home remedies for cold and flu too.

You can use the diluted peppermint to the cold sore. The peppermint oil can be diluted using almond oil.

4. Eucalyptus oil

The research-based on the cell structure mentions that eucalyptus oil could reduce the duration and severity of the cold sores. The anti-inflammatory properties of the eucalyptus oil help in the quick recovery from the cold sores. 

It is also known as natural herpes treatment medicine.  The eucalyptus oil reduced the virus titres by 57.9 per cent of HSV-1 and 75.4 per cent for HSV-2 when tested in vitro. Like other essential oils for cold sores, the eucalyptus oil must be diluted in a carrier oil before applying to skin. The dilution is done in order to prevent skin irritation.

5. Lemon Balm oil

Lemon balm oil essential oils for cold sores has an antiviral effect on herpes simplex virus. One of the studies done in the lab mentions that lemon balm oil prevents the herpes virus from penetrating the cells.

Its is value as the natural treatment for the herpes virus. Before using it to the affected area the lemon balm oil should be in dilute form.With the help of cotton swab for 3- 4 times it is put on everyday for the better results.

6. Vanilla essential oil

The vanilla essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties which will reduce the discomfort and the pain of cold sores. It boosts the healing process too. As like other essential oils for cold sores, a vanilla essential oil also shows some evidence of having anti-viral properties.

With the help of the cotton swab it is put on the cold sores. You can use it for three to four times a day.

7. Thyme oil

Thyme oil also has antiviral activities according to one of the lab study. It has a high capability of reducing the viral infectivity and the other chemical component inhibited by HSV.

Thyme oil is not the proven treatment for the cold sores but it shows somehow the promising result during the healing process.

8. Clove oil

Clove oil having antiviral and antimicrobial properties used for the treatment of various condition like digestive upset, pain, and various respiratory conditions, it may be beneficial for dental and topical applications, for treating infections and even fighting cancer too.

The antimicrobial and antiviral properties help to decrease the pain from the cold sores and help in treating it. Dilution with coconut oil should be done or else it can cause skin irritation. You must apply caution when applying the mixture to the sore.

9. Ginger oil

The anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antioxidant properties of ginger oil make it to use to soothe cold sores and sore throat. The anti-inflammatory properties could be useful in easing feelings of nausea too. The ginger oil may be a benefit for your skin and protects your hair from damage.

To heal the cold sores faster giner oil is topically put in the cold sores in a dilution form . You can dilute it by mixing it with some other carrier oil.

10. Chrysanthemum oil

This is no proven research that chrysanthemum oil treats herpes simplex infection but the anti-inflammatory properties of this oil may reduce the cold sores painful symptoms. Besides reducing the severity and symptoms of the cold sore, it has many other uses.

It is used in treatment for angina pain, hypertension, typer-2 diabetes, fever, colds, headaches, dizziness, and swelling. It is said that chrysanthemum oil is also used in the treatment of prostate cancer by mixing it with other herbs.

Make sure you dilute the chrysanthemum oil with any carrier before applying it to the infected area to prevent further skin irritation.

How do essential oil works?

In the practice of aromatherapy, essential oils are mainly used which inhalation method is practised. The swallowing of the essential oil should not take place, ingestion may be potentially life-threatening. Inhalation is one of the ways to use essential oil.

It is in use as topically to the skin. One of the common examples includes applying peppermint oil, or tea tree oil for the treatment of the cold sore.  For arthritis pain and improving its flexibility a blend of black pepper or ginger essential oils comes to be of help. For the treatment of eczema Chamomile essential oil comes to be of use.

The aromas from the essential oils can improve the limbic system. The limbic system is the part of the brain that plays a role in emotions, behaviours, sense of smells, and long-term memory. It plays an important role in controlling several unconscious physiological functions such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.

Risk of essential oils

As we know every product have some risk of consuming, same as this essential oils for cold sores too has some risk of the consuming. Some of the risks of essential oils are:

  • Essential oils can cause significant poisoning and potentially life-threatening even if small amounts are ingested by the individual.
  • It can cause skin irritation even burn when used in undiluted form.
  • Many people may develop an allergic reaction and a skin rash due to essential oils.
  • Essential oils into eyes or mucus membrane may also cause burning and damage in the area. You can rinse your eyes immediately if your eyes get in contact with essential oil accidentally.
  • Some essential oils for cold sores can be deadly to pets, so it better to store it out of reach of children and keep them apart from other products.
  • In the case of pregnant women or breastfeeding women, it is not clear that essential oil is useful or harmful to them but many doctors advise to avoid the essential oils.

Other home remedies for cold sores

Besides essential oils for cold sores, there are other home remedies you can try for the cold sores. But you must aware that this may not help everyone. Antiviral medications are proven to be much more effective for the prevention and the treatment of the outbreak of the cold sore. Some of the other home remedies for cold sores are:

  1. Lemon balm
  2. Over-the-counter antiviral medications
  3. Ice
  4. Aloe vera
  5. Sunscreen
  6. Stress reduction
  7. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen

You can read the detail about these remedies in our next post.

Some of the prescription medications for the cold sores are:

  • Acyclovir
  • Valacyclovir
  • Famiclocovir
  • Penciclovir


Essential oils are hydrophobic liquid which is concentrated in nature and its extraction takes place from the plants.  It has different names as volatile oils, ethereal oils, and aetherolea. Some of the examples of the essential oils for cold sores are tea tree oil, clove oil, peppermint oils, and many more.

Learn differences about pimple vs cold sores


World of Medical Saviours (WOMS) is a website formed by a group of medicos who are embarking to provide facts, tips and knowledge related to health and lifestyle. This website proves to be a great platform for the medical enthusiast and also for those medicos searching to outgrowth their knowledge about the medical field.

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