A cold sore usually forms on the lips, corners of the mouth, gums or the roof of the mouth. There is often a little warning that a cold sore is about to erupt. If lips or gums are tender or painful for 24-48 hours, expect a cold sore and begin treatment.
A cold sore is caused by the herpes simplex virus. These sores are blisters filled with fluid. They may sometimes burst, causing a crusty scab to form. Never attempt to rupture a cold sore. Infection may occur, leaving a permanent scar.
The cold sore may last from a week to ten days, putting a damper on romantic plans. Cold sores are contagious. There are several natural remedies that work as well as or better than expensive medications.
- Lemon balm cream: Those lemon balm herbs dried this past fall will do more than make a good tea. Use a tincture or essential oils from the lemon balm and add several drops to one ounce of coconut oil. Apply the cream to the sore several times a day. Lemon balm is an antiviral.
- Peppermint: Use a tincture or essential oils from the dried peppermint herb. Apply tincture to a cotton ball and dab at the sore two or three times a day. If using extract, add several drops to a half-ounce of coconut oil. Apply to sore up to five times a day.
- Astragalus herb has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. It protects the immune system and has antibacterial properties.
- Avoid chocolate, peanuts and almonds. These foods compete with the natural lysine in the body by raising the amount of arginine. Eat eggs, cheese, fish and red meat. Drink lots of milk.
- The resveratrol in red grapes works to keep a cold sore from forming. There is also creams to apply with resveratrol.
These natural remedies won't cost a fortune and are easy to obtain. Health food stores sell the dried herbs, creams, essential oils and tinctures for those who don't dry their own herbs.