Cold sores are the results of a viral infection .
You can identify cold sores with clusters of red, swollen and painful blisters. They usually appear on the lips or around the mouth. These blisters may break or leak fluid .
Not everyone is vulnerable to the HSV virus.
Only 90% of the people get affected by it. If you are lucky, you will get it once, and your body will grow immune to it.
This viral infection is contagious. It can transfer from one person to another through kissing or sharing of utensils .
This article reviews the efficacy and uses of essential oils for cold sores, plus some precautionary tips.
20 Best Essential Oils for Cold Sores Natural Treatment
The antiviral qualities of essential oils help to fight the symptoms of cold sores. In some cases, the use of essential oil can reduce the number of days, the infection lasts.
In most of the cases, using essential oils are better than using antibiotic. Because essential oils have fewer side effects.
1. Peppermint Oil
Most people know peppermint oil for the cooling effect that it leaves on the skin.
It’s also popular as a breath freshener.
It’s about time that people get to know more about what this versatile essential oil can do for your health.
This oil comes from an herb that belongs to the mint family .
Scientific research has shown that it has many therapeutic effects. It can treat dyspepsia, soothe irritable bowel syndrome, and reduce colonic spasms .
Its primary compound called menthol also produces relaxation effects in the gastrointestinal tract. That’s why researchers consider it helpful in many digestive-related problems .
For those who are suffering from cold sores, peppermint oil can also come in handy.
Researchers analyzed the virucidal properties of this oil against HSV type 1 and 2. They used a method called plaque reduction assay .
They found that at 0.002 and 0.0008 percent of peppermint oil, it reduced HSV-1 and HSV-2 activities by up to 50 percent .
It also decreased viral plaque formation by 82 percent and 92 percent .
It shows peppermint oil’s “high levels of virucidal activities” against both viruses .
That’s not all.
This oil also works to inhibit even drug-resistant viruses. This makes it a suitable treatment for recurrent cases of cold sores .
How to use peppermint essential oil for cold sores:
Mix 5 drops of peppermint oil and 1 tsp of sweet almond oil in a bowl. Use a cotton bud to apply the mixture on cold sores. Leave it on for at least one hour before wiping it off. Repeat once a day for up to one week.
2. Tea Tree Oil
In Australia, tea tree oil is one of the most used home remedies.
The oil is also popular worldwide as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial.
Now, it’s generally used in countries in Europe, Asia, and North America.
If you’re having a hard time with those painful blisters around your mouth, you might want to try tea tree oil.
Researchers assessed its antiviral properties against the herpes simplex virus .
At a small concentration of 0.0006%, tea tree oil could neutralize viral growth and spread by up to 50 percent .
The tests showed that tea tree oil has strong toxicity effects on herpes viruses. It can also kill these microorganisms and prevent them from forming plaques .
Like peppermint oil, it is also a good solution for cold sores that keep on coming back.
In another study done, some patients with compromised immune systems attended. Tea tree oil worked great on the cold sores of those patients .
The topical application for 6% tea tree oil gel could resolve recurrent herpes attacks .
How to use tea tree essential oil for cold sores on lips:
Dilute 5 drops of tea tree oil with 1 tsp of olive oil. Use a cotton pad and dab mixture on the affected areas around the mouth and press. Repeat remedy three times a day for one week, or until fever blisters are gone.
3. Eucalyptus Oil
Scientists have long acknowledged the critical role of eucalyptus in alternative medicine.
Eucalyptus oil is the go-to-solution for respiratory ailments like tuberculosis, asthma, and bronchitis.
Research has confirmed that the oil can dilate the blood vessels to let more oxygen get into the lungs. In turn, it reduces difficulty in breathing.
Chest congestion is a significant problem encountered by those who have respiratory diseases.
For cases of cold sores, you can also use eucalyptus oil.
A study has validated its antiviral activities against herpes simplex virus type 1 . It’s the same study that investigated tea tree oil.
Findings say, eucalyptus oil at 0.0008 percent can inhibit the activities of HSV-1 by 50 percent .
It can also control plaque formation by up to 93 percent .
That’s how potent this essential oil is. So it’s safe to say that it can be a reliable solution even for chronic cases of oral herpes infections.
How you can use eucalyptus oil to heal cold sores:
Add 5 drops of eucalyptus oil to 1 tsp of olive oil. Apply oil blend on the skin around the mouth. Let it sit for one hour before wiping it off. Be sure not to get any inside the mouth. Do this technique twice a day for one to two weeks.
4. Sandalwood Oil
When you’re having a hard time focusing, or when you’re all stressed out, sandalwood can help.
This oil helps by calming your senses and giving you a clearer perspective of things.
It can also do so much in improving your physical health.
There are so many therapeutic benefits that you can get from sandalwood oil.
Here’s one that’s quite surprising though:
It’s also a potent antiviral agent.
Researchers tested the antiviral activities of this oil against both HSV-1 and HSV-2 .
They discovered that the oil inhibited the replication of both types of viruses .
Its effects were more potent against HSV-1 .
It’s interesting to know that sandalwood does not kill or destroy microorganisms. Instead, it only neutralizes them and prevents them from spreading and multiplying .
How to make sandalwood oil-infused cream to treat fever blisters:
Add 5 drops of each of eucalyptus oil and sandalwood oil to 1 tablespoon of organic facial cream. Mix well. Apply the cream on the skin with fever blisters. Do this every night before sleeping. Rinse the cream the next day when you wake up. Repeat every day until the cold sores disappear.
When a toothache hits you, the first remedy you may think of using is clove oil.
It’s because clove oil contains compounds that are analgesic.
It means that it can provide immediate relief from pain and discomfort.
It can do the same thing for you if you have cold sores around your mouth.
These swollen blisters are quite painful and distressing.
But, this is not all the clove oil can do for you.
It can also deactivate the replication of the virus. A study published in the Phytotherapy Research Journal in 2007 reported the fact .
Eugenol, the active compound in clove oil, could inhibit the various strains of HSV-1 .
Its antiviral activity was stronger than the other compounds tested in the study .
When eugenol was present, the viruses were incapable of replicating .
Try this simple clove oil home remedy for cold sores on lips:
Combine 5 drops of clove oil with 1 tsp of aloe vera gel. Blend well. Use a cotton pad or ball and apply the mixture to your cold sores. Spread it on the other parts of the skin to prevent infection. Do this three to four times a day for one week.
6. Lemon Balm Oil
Lemon balm is a perennial plant. It was first cultivated in Asia Minor, southern parts of Europe, and North America .
It’s quite popularity as a home remedy. Thus, it has become widely distributed in the Mediterranean regions .
This herb is famous as a traditional medicine. It’s also a food additive, ornamental plant, and an ingredient in cosmetic products .
Its essential oil is effective in combating tumors, controlling bacterial infections, soothing pain. It can even prevent severe conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease .
It has potent inhibitory effects against herpes simplex viruses .
Lemon oil has a component named monoterpene aldehydes citral. This component was effective in suppressing the activities of the herpes virus .
At a dilution of 0.0004 percent, lemon balm inhibited the activities of the virus by 50 percent. The oil also prevented their plaque formation by 98.8 percent .
Learn how to use lemon balm oil to treat cold sores:
Combine 3 drops of lemon balm oil and 1 tsp of olive oil. Apply oil blend on infected lesions. Repeat remedy twice a day for one week.
7. Marjoram Oil
Marjoram oil may not be as popular as tea tree oil or peppermint oil when it comes to treating ailments.
But, it’s good to know that it also has many valuable uses for people’s health.
If you’d like to get rid of your cold sores, this is another essential oil that can help for this purpose.
A study reveals that some essential oils inhibited the growth and spread of HSV-1 at a concentration of 1% 11]. Marjoram oil was one of those oils.
How to use marjoram essential oil for mouth sores:
Put 3 drops of marjoram oil, 2 drops of peppermint oil, and 1 tsp of olive oil in a bowl. Mix well. Apply the mixture on the cold sores. Leave it on for one hour before washing it off. Repeat twice a day for one week.
8. Lemongrass Oil
Lemongrass oil can treat bacterial infections, and keep insects at bay. It also eases muscle pains, and boosts digestion.
When it comes to cold sores, it’s one of the most effective essential oils that you should try.
A study found that lemongrass oil has the most potent anti-herpes properties .
The study confirmed that at a concentration of 0.05%, lemongrass could inhibit the viral formation by up to 80% .
Method of using lemongrass essential oil to get rid of fever blisters:
Add 10 drops of lemongrass oil to 2 bowls of water. Splash your face with this mixture. Wash your face with this every day for one to two weeks.
9. Ginger Oil
Ginger is a popular spice in Asian cuisine.
What makes ginger oil even more popular is the fact that it’s replete with all sorts of benefits for the health.
Its antiviral effects may work on those strains that cause herpes infections.
A 2006 study confirms that HSV-1 is susceptible to the antiviral effects of ginger. Besides, it works even on strains that have grown resistant to medications .
How you can heal cold sores using ginger oil:
Dilute 5 drops of ginger oil with 1 tsp of almond oil. Apply oil combination on cold sores. Rinse with warm water. Follow this remedy once a day for one week.
10. Thyme Oil
The leaves and flowers of thyme can treat stomach ache, arthritis, colic, and diarrhea.
Its oil extract meanwhile can be an excellent solution for herpes infections.
Thyme oil is one of the essential oils tested for antiviral activities against HSV-1 .
There are some strains of HSV-1 that have grown resistant to acyclovir. The research found that the essential oils were effective against those strains .
A simple way to use thyme essential oil for mouth sores:
Combine 5 drops of thyme oil and 1 tsp of honey. Apply to cold sores. After 10 minutes, wash it off with warm water. Repeat every other day for one week.
11. Lavender Oil
lavender essential oil, one of the most used essential oils can come to your benefit to get rid of cold sores.
The use of this oil has been going on for centuries to deal with many serious health problems. Lavender oil possesses strong properties to fight off skin irritations, rashes, and bruises.
Some studies show it can treat skin problems associated with pain and inflammation. You can use this oil for your cold sores without any worries.
Lavender oil will help to reduce the pain and provide relief from the inflammation of the sores.
How to use lavender essential oil for fever blisters:
If you are a first time user, you should dilute it with a little carrier oil and apply to check for reactions. If it suits you, you can opt for undiluted lavender oil and use on the cold sores. Repeat every day till you get relief.
12. Chamomile Oil
It would be wise if you start using chamomile essential oil, as soon as you feel the first sign of cold sore.
This essential oil decreases the amount of herpes absorption into the skin. It can work better than antibiotics. Moreover, this oil fights the herpes strains and helps to soothe the skin when applied.
Using the diluted version of this essential oil will soothe the pain and heal the sore.
Try this chamomile oil blend to soothe cold sores:
Dilute 2-3 drops of chamomile oil in 1 tsp of coconut oil. Apply it on the cold sores using a cotton ball. Repeat daily till you get relief.
13. Oregano Oil
Pop quiz for you. How often do you see any insects or pests on the oregano plant?
The answer is, almost never. The reason behind it is, essential oregano oil has extreme anti-microbial quality. 
Applying diluted oregano oil on your sore will kill the virus inside the blister. Besides, it will reduce the severity of the situation in no time and soothe the pain and inflammation. 
Essential oregano oil is one of the most effective ways of managing cold sores. But, it is far more expensive than the other remedies.
But, do not shy away from it. If you have a severe cold sore and are ready to spend money to get rid of it as soon as possible. It will be worth it!
How you can use oregano oil for herpes cure:
Pour 2-3 drops of oregano oil on a fresh cotton ball. Apply the oil on the inflamed areas. Repeat daily to get rid of cold sores fast.
14. Geranium Oil
Geranium is another essential oil that you can use for cold sores. This oil possesses astringent, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. 
This oil is generally used to restore skin balance. In the case of cold sores, you can use it to dry up the blister and promotes quick healing. On the top of that, it can shrink the size of the blister in no time.
Learn how to use geranium oil on your cold sores:
If you have sensitive skin, mix 3-4 drops of water with 2-3 drops of the essential oil, before applying it on the lesion. Keep using, until the condition is gone.
15. Hyssop Oil
Hyssop essential oil comes from Hyssop tree. This tree is abundant in the Mediterranean region.
Different ways to try hyssop oil for fever blisters:
You can apply the oil on the sores using a cotton ball. You can also add 2-3 drops of hyssop oil to your herbal tea and soothe your cold sores.
16. Myrrh Oil
You can get myrrh essential oil by drying up the resin. The farmers gather the resin from the Commiphora Myrrha tree.
Myrrh oil comes with many medicinal properties and works magic against cold sore. If you use it, you can also avoid the risk of further scarring. 
How to use myrrh oil if for cold sores:
You should use the diluted version of myrrh essential oil. Wash your face before applying the essential oil.
You can use this 2-3 time a day until the scar fades away.
17. Bergamot Oil
You can use a diluted version of bergamot essential oil to fight against outbreaks of cold sores.
Some people claim that bergamot is toxic and can be the reason for child death. The claims are baseless and irresponsible.  You can add the oil extracted from the peel for managing your cold sore problem.
A simple method of using bergamot oil to treat cold sores:
Mix 6 drops of bergamot oil with 5 ml of olive oil or jojoba oil. Apply the diluted blend of the oils around your cold sore.
18. Anise Oil
The anise essential oil can be one of your remedy options when it comes to the cold sore. This specific essential oil possesses antispasmodic and anti-viral property. 
You need to make sure, whether you are allergic to it or not. First, apply the diluted version of it.
If your skin does not show any sign of irritation, you can go ahead and apply 2-3 drop of the crude oil on the sore. If you use it following the right method, you will not even feel the slightest tingle.
How you may use anise essential oil for cold sores:
In case you don’t have sensitive skin, apply the oil on the sores using a cotton ball.
19. Thieves Oil
Thieves oil is not one of your directly extracted essential oil. Instead, it is a complex essential oil blend. Cinnamon, clove, rosemary, lemon, and eucalyptus are the key materials of this oil blend.
Try this thieves oil natural remedy for cold sores:
We are blending here 5 different essential oils. Each of them contains medicinal characteristics. The properties include antiviral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic.
It is understandable that how rich the blend is as per pharmaceutical properties. Some people find it to be the best remedy for cold sores, as it is all in one type of deal. You can opt for this if you have all these ingredients handy.
Apply the blend with Q-tip on and around the affected area.
20. Synergistic Blend
It’s another one of these essential oil blends.
This blend also contains various pharmaceutical properties and ideal for cold sore treatment.
You are going to need 8 drops of tea tree oil, 6 drops of chamomile oil, 3-4 drops of
lavender oil, 3 drops of lemon oil and 8 drops of geranium essential oil.
Soothe your cold sores with this essential oils blend:
Mix 8 drops of each of tea tree oil, and geranium oil, 6 drops of chamomile oil, 3 drops of lemon oil, and 3-4 drops of lavender oil. Preserve the oil blend in an airtight glass container. You can soak a Q-tip on the oil and treat cold sores whenever you need it.
Precautions of Using Essential Oils for Cold Sores
- There are so many essential oils out there with the same pharmaceutical property. Not each one of these will work for you. Again, if something works for someone else, does not mean, it would work for you as well. So, find out which suits your skin and use only these to avoid further skin problems.
- Always use a sterilized and clean cotton swab or bud to apply the essential oil on your skin. Do not forget to dispose of the used cotton bud or swab. Be very careful so that the used swab does not touch any of your body parts.
- In case of potent essential oils, use water or carrier oils to dilute the oil before using. Coconut oil or olive oil can be a good carrier oil.
- In case of having sensitive skin, you should dilute even the milder oils, to be safe.
- If your cold sore is severe, painful, and does not go away even after using home remedies, you need to see a doctor.
When to See a Doctor?
Cold sores usually heal within 10 days. But, you may want to get rid of them fast as they are contagious.
Essential oils can help you get rid of them, but you must see a doctor if you want a quick recovery.
Your cold sores may stay longer than two weeks if your immunity is weak. In that case, consult your doctor and follow proper medication.
Cold sores or fever blisters are viral infections.
Once you have a cold sore, you become contagious. People coming in contact with you can get these too if they are prone to HSV. So, no kissing your loved ones until the yellow crusts over the blisters fall off completely.
This problem can heal on its own within a few days or up to two weeks. You can use essential oils for cold sores to get relief fast at home.
Whether it’s severe or not, you should treat cold sores immediately.
Even if you can resolve this problem without treatment, it’s better not to take any chances.
Visit your doctor if your condition doesn’t improve within two weeks.