Cold Sore Salve: Relieve Pain and Heal Faster! (And It's Easy to Make)
Oh.....Winter Time. Cold air, perhaps a stressed immune system, even the bright sunshine bouncing off the snow can contribute to a painful cold sore, also known as a fever blister. From that first itchy tingling to the extraordinarily painful blisters to the unappealing crusty sore....UGH.
Interestingly, I get cold sores on my left forearm and also on my left hip. Isn't that strange? Whether they are on your lip area or on your skin, cold sores are unsightly, painful, and I just want them to GO. Away! Right now. If you get them sometimes, I'll bet you feel the same way!
I'm sharing my best Cold Sore salve recipe with you. It combines a powerful anti-viral herb well known to help with cold sores, shingles, etc., an essential amino acid that is easily found and super helpful for cold sores, and essential oils for their anti-viral and pain relief properties.
This Cold Sore salve is easy to make, too, and it will save you a ton of money over the ointments and creams sold in the stores. You also won't be putting petro-chemicals on your skin with this natural salve!
FTC Disclosure: There are affiliate links scattered throughout this article. If you click through and make any kind of purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you---Heidi (Full Disclosure)
All About Cold Sores, aka Fever Blisters
Did you know that over 90% of people get at least one cold sore in their life? And a whopping 15 to 40% have recurring cold sores? This is because the virus that causes cold sores (Herpes Simplex) lives in the nerve cells forever, once your body is infected. But as long as you keep yourself healthy, recurrences are less likely to happen.
How Do You Get Cold Sores?
Cold sores (Herpes simplex) is a virus, therefore you need to "catch" it. To do this, you must come in contact with an affected person. You may also contract the virus by being exposed to wet towels, utensils recently used by an infected person, etc.
Cold sores are known as the "kissing disease," and have been documented as far back as Ancient Greek/Roman times. Suffice to say, there are many ways one can end up with a cold sore.
Some people may be infected with the virus and never have had symptoms, yet they are able to pass the virus along to others. Sneaky stuff, that Herpes simplex virus.
What Does a Cold Sore Look and Feel Like?
You may actually be able to tell when you are getting ready to get a cold sore because often the skin in the area of attack will be sensitive, itchy, or start feeling tingly or painful. It may also become red and a bit swollen.
When the sore emerges, it starts out as a fluid-filled blister. These are very painful and also highly contagious. This is the point a person is most contagious and able to spread the virus to others.
Eventually, the blister will break, leaking the fluid. At this point, it will become a sore, and within a couple of days will crust over and heal. The pain tends to go away at this point.
What Triggers a Cold Sore?
Some things in our lives can cause cold sores to pop up, and many of these can even be somewhat controlled. Things that can trigger an outbreak are 1) weakened immune system; 2) sunlight; 3) stress; 4) pre-menstrual syndrome or menstruation; 5) recent fever or illness.
Can You Prevent a Cold Sore?
Yes and no---it depends. We are all different, and people react differently to different stressors and illnesses. Cold sores are no different. Some people unfortunately get cold sores chronically, while other may never even have an outbreak.
With that said, there are some things you can do to help prevent a cold sore:
1) Stay healthy.
Keep your immune system in tip-top shape. You might be interested in reading these articles about the immune system: How to Boost Your Child's Immune System Naturally, How to Prevent Colds/Flus from Happening Naturally, and What to do at the First Sign of a Cold/Flu.
2) Keep previously affected areas protected from sunshine
For some people the sun can trigger cold sores. I happen to be one of these. I mentioned above that I tend to get them on my forearm, and years ago, I noticed that if I got a little sunburn, BAM....A cold sore was on its way.
If you get them on your mouth area, using a lip balm with a sunscreen can help. Otherwise, covering up or wearing a good natural sunscreen is a good idea.
3) Keep stress under control
This is a hard one for many people these days, but stress can absolutely trigger an outbreak. I'm one of these anxious people myself. When I was going through some stressful periods at work, or if I allowed myself to get all upset about something....it was more likely a cold sore might pop up its ugly head.
4) Take L-Lysine supplements
L-Lysine is an essential amino acid, which means it must be consumed. It's necessary for a number of functions in the body, among them brain health, skin health, and nerve health. Hence, it is a great supplement for helping your body fight off the virus that causes cold sores.
You can take L-Lysine internally, and it is a common supplement found in good health food stores, or even your grocery. You can also use it topically in creams or ointments.
How to Make Your Own Herbal Cold Sore Salve
This sized batch will fill about four 1 ounce tins, with a little extra to spare. So, if you fill your tins about 3/4 full, you'll need about five of them. You could also use a small Mason jelly jar, too.
Ingredients for Cold Sore Salve:
*** 1/2 cup Lemon Balm infused Olive Oil
(See this article for instructions on how to make an herb-infused oil. It's really easy to do.) The link is for Starwest Botanicals, my favorite place to purchase herbs. You can purchase infused Lemon Balm Oil from Amazon, but there's not enough to make a salve. You'll have to use it by itself.
Lemon Balm is a strong anti-viral herb. There is plenty of evidence that it helps relieve and heal cold sores quickly. It's also known as Melissa---so if you see that label on a bottle in the store, you'll know it's Lemon Balm.
*** 1/8 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon beeswax pellets
*** 1 tbsp L-Lysine Powder
(I make my own by crushing up 4 to 5 1,000 mg L-Lysine tablets into a very fine powder.)
*** 30 drops Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint essential oil is cooling and helps relieve the pain somewhat. It also smells wonderful!
*** 20 drops Tea Tree essential oil
Tea Tree essential oil has anti-viral properties, and helps heal.
*** 20 drops Wintergreen essential oil (optional--see Safety Factors below)
Wintergreen essential oil is great for pain relief, however, if you are in doubt about using it near your mouth, just leave it out. Personally, I love it, but it should not be taken internally.
*** 10-15 drops Clove essential oil
Helps with pain relief because of its numbing effect.
Directions for Making Cold Sore Salve
Combine the Lemon Balm infused olive oil with the beeswax in a double boiler, or use a Mason jar set into a pan of water (my preferred method). Heat gently on low until the beeswax is melted completely.
Remove the Mason jar/double boiler from heat and add the L-Lysine powder. Stir well.
Add your essential oils, and once again stir really well.
Carefully pour the liquid oil mixture into your tins. You'll have to stir immediately before pouring each tin, or the Lysine powder will sink. Pour about halfway up in each tin, then come back around and fill to within a bit of the top. I've found it helps the powder stay suspended better if small amounts start solidifying first, then you can add more on top, stirring well once again.
Allow to completely set up before using.
You can use this salve on all skin areas, just do not use in open wounds if you have included the Wintergreen.
Safety Factors: This salve is meant to be able to be used on your body or lips. If you are using it on young children who may lick their lips, you should not add the Wintergreen essential oil. Otherwise, if you are an adult, just try not to lick your lips if using. If you are concerned about the Wintergreen, just leave it out.
Where Do I Get My EO's These Days?
I've done a LOT of research on essential oils. These days, I have three or four favorite companies I like to purchase from, and here they are, so you can decide your best choices for essential oils!
If you love Amazon, you can find Plant Therapy there, too.
Final Thoughts on Making Cold Sore Salve
This cold sore salve combines the best herb (Lemon Balm) and essential oils, as well as the amino acid, L-Lysine, to help keep those cold sores either gone or going away fast! Pain relief is also one of the benefits of this salve.
Cold sores are no fun....at all. And if you are one of the many who gets recurring cold sores from time to time, you'll want to have this salve on hand ready to go!
Do you have a special remedy for treating cold sores or fever blisters? Please share in the comments!
Hugs & Self-Reliance,
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I am not a medical doctor, and in no manner, stated or implied is any information in this article, elsewhere on my website, or other publication by me meant or implied to cure, treat, diagnose, or prevent any illness. Please seek advice from your medical doctor, especially when using herbs or essential oils. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.