Natural Remedies for Cold Sores
Cold sores. Fever blisters. Whichever name you call them by, these little sores are painful, unsightly and for some of us, embarrassingly chronic. The good news is that Nature offers us numerous ways to manage cold sores. Let's take a look at this annoying infection, and see what we can do about it.
What Causes Cold Sores?
Cold sores are viral infections caused by a virus in the herpes family, usually HSV1 (herpes simplex virus 1). They can develop anywhere on the body, but usually appear on or around the lips, extending to the chin and up to the nostrils. Cold sores can also develop on the inside of your lips.
Many first feel a tingling sensation in the area where a cold sore will form. Small blisters develop, which can be quite painful. The blisters will break open and ooze. Cold sores are at their most contagious at this time. Over the course of about 7-10 days, the cold sore will scab over and heal.
The herpes virus behind cold sores IS contagious, and can spread from close person to person contact like kissing, or even indirect contact like sharing a drink with someone who has a cold sore.
Ready to learn more, including how to handle cold sores with natural remedies? Read on.
Cold Sore Triggers
Here's one of those times when triggers can vary greatly from one person to the next. Take note of the times when you develop a cold sore. See if you can pinpoint what caused the outbreak. Knowledge is power. If you can find your triggers, then you can work to prevent them from setting off a cold sore outbreak. Some common triggers are:
Natural Treatment for Cold Sores
The first thing that you've got to know is that you're not alone. You are NOT "dirty." According to WebMD, 90% of Americans will have at least one cold sore in their lives. Most will develop antibodies to the virus, severely diminishing their chance of developing another cold sore in the future. Roughly 40% of American adults will experience repeated cold sores. 
The first thing that you've got to know is that you're not alone. You are NOT "dirty."
When it comes to fighting cold sores herbally, think of immune stimulation, healing and antiviral action. Some good examples are:
Start your chosen treatments at the first sign that you're getting a cold sore, usually a tingly feeling at the location where the sore will develop. Sometimes this can even knock out the sore before it truly develops. If not, continue treating until the sore heals.
If there's swelling, you can ice it to force that down. Cutting down on sugar or eliminating it completely from your diet during this time will surely give your immune system a boost, as sugar has a diminishing effect on it.
Additional Notes on Handling Cold Sores
Preventing Cold Sores
Of course one of the best ways to fight infection is to sidestep it altogether. This can be challenging with cold sores, since we can hardly tell if one is heading our way until it's too late; however, here are some steps that you can take proactively to help reduce the number of cold sore outbreaks.
Editor's Note: The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat illness. Always do your research before using an herbal remedy to ensure that there are no allergy risks or cross indications with any prescription medications that you are taking. See your doctor before starting any new treatments or programs. Anything that you learn from Prairie Hawk Botanica, its blog, or Jennifer Capestany must be considered informational only. You own yourself.
Author: Jennifer Capestany
Jennifer is a clinical herbalist and health coach, specializing in autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Her interest in plant medicine led Jennifer to spend years studying herbology, physiology, and nutrition. She works one-on-one with her clients via her herbalist and health coaching business, Prairie Hawk Botanica. Jennifer lives on a homestead in rural Texas with her husband, 2 children, and various animals. In her spare time she loves to be in her large herb and vegetable garden. Sharing herb knowledge and her love of natural healing with others is her calling.
I'm Jennifer Capestany, a clinical herbalist and freelance writer with a practice in North Texas. Helping people deal as naturally as possible with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic illness and other chronic conditions is my calling.