I’m not one to tout the benefits of alternative medicine, mainly because I’ve seen one thing work for one person and then not work for another. Plus I’ve heard the sales tactics of many herbal and essential oil companies as they try to convince me that their product will cure many of my ills. But that doesn’t stop me from believing that many of them are safe and effective options and have been used for thousands of years.
Herpes Simplex – Cold Sores
I’m writing to share a tip that really worked for me!** I have that dreaded malady called ‘herpes simplex’. Yes, it sounds like something you don’t talk about, but it’s just the Latin name for cold sores or fever blisters. And if you get them, you know they are no fun at all. They are quite embarrassing when they take over your lip with a crusty sore and you feel so helpless just waiting it out.
Well, an over-the-counter medication that really works for these nasty blisters is Abreva. It’s a man-made chemical, docosanol, and it’s expensive, but it does shorten the duration and severity of the blister. Our family has used it for years.
But last week, after hearing that the essential oil, Geranium, works for cold sores, I decided to give it a try. With all the stress of our upcoming move, I had come down with a head cold, was extremely tired, and to top it off, I got that tingly sensation in my lower lip! Always the sign of an impending cold sore.
Geranium Oil – A Great Alternative!
So now was my time to experiment. It was a bit difficult to persevere, knowing that it might not work and I’d still be left with the remnants of a large sore on my lip for over a week. But, alas – on day two of putting a drop of Geranium oil on my sore every few hours, I realized that instead of getting larger and more sore, it was already drying up! What a pleasant surprise! And instead of lasting the usual, uncomfortable 7-10 days, it never even got crusty and was almost gone at day 5.
So, I can heartily recommend** the essential oil, Geranium, to treat herpes simplex (cold sores or fever blisters). One 15 ml. bottle of Geranium oil only costs 1-2x more than a tube of Abreve’ but will last at least ten times longer. I used the ——- brand (see note below), which is made with the purest distillation processes. I would recommend using only a highly reputable manufacturer of essential oils.
Update – Feb. 2013 – Another supplement that many people say works is L-Lysine. You can buy it in capsule form and 500-1,000 mg. a day should help the cold sores to lessen in severity. I again tried Geranium and L-Lysine for a new type of cold sore I’ve been getting lately – a sore in my nose! Oh, joy! But this one was gone in only three days using L-Lysine 3X/day for three days and putting Geranium oil on the sore, several times each day. I’m a believer!
Not a world-changing revelation, but one that offers relief to those of us who struggle with cold sores! If you have any suggestions for what has worked for you, please send in your comments.
And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. Exodus 30:25
**Please understand – this information is based on my experience and opinion. How you use essential oils is completely your responsibility. **The FDA is banning all “Brand” posts claiming that illnesses which can be diagnosed by a doctor cannot be described as treatable by alternative medicine, such as essential oils. Oh, well. I have removed my specific brand name and pictures, but I will be leaving the information relating to essential oils. I firmly believe in our right and need to educate ourselves about alternative medicine. Thanks for wanting to be smart about your health.
You might want to research Pau d’ Arco (from a tree from the Amazon rain forest) and Agarikon (medicinal mushroom). Both are being and have been studied for its ability to kill the HSV virus. I buy the tea for the former and the Stamets supplements for the latter. I also take Lysine. And stay away from L-Arginine (and foods containing it) as it assists in viral replication.
Thanks for adding to the conversation! I’ll do some research on what you recommended.
Thanks for the post! I know I’m a bit late to the party on this one (a few years? Lol) but I wanted to say that I too use geranium eo mixed with lemon and tea tree oils and diluted in a carrier oil and it has been the only thing to help my daughter when she has an outbreak. She’s too young for the prescription valtrex pills, so essential oils have been a life saver. I also wanted to ask if you’ve ever considered that the sores in your nose may not actually be cold sores, but rather, they may be impetigo? Just a thought– I get impetigo inside of my nostrils (similar crusty painful sores to cold sores) and it lasts days, despite prescription ointments. The only things that have helped are lavender essential oil and plain soapy water… I’m not on the “EO works for everything” bandwagon but I’ve been pleasantly surprised at their effectiveness on my face whenever I have an issue.
Sorry I didn’t respond sooner; now I’m late to the party! Thanks for sharing your experience. I’ll try your recipe next time I get a blister. I hesitate to use anything else but Abreve these days, as I don’t want those nasty sores to last any longer than they need to, but it seems worth a try to avoid the cost.
To answer your question – I really don’t think the nose sores are impetigo as it is very contagious (no one else has gotten them from us) plus it keeps getting worse without antibiotic treatment. (We have had two outbreaks of impetigo in our family so I’m familiar with it.) My daughter has done much research on the herpes simplex virus since she gets it worse each year. It has tracked up to her nose and the side of her face and is very debilitating. It’s very similar to an outbreak of shingles as it affects the nerves. The nose sores follow the typical advancement seen in some cases, along with the nerves of the face being affected (sore skin and eye socket). She has started taking l-lysine as a preventative and will see if she can stop the progression of her virus. Hope this helps and again, thanks for your input!
I have always had a horrible time with getting fever blisters. My favorite remedy is Burt’s Bees Wax medication lip balm. It immediately soothes and protects the fever blister. Over the years, I have learned to apply the balm AS SOON AS YOU FEEL THE TINGLE of a beginning of sore emerging. It always helps with the duration as well as pain!
Thanks for adding to this conversation! I look forward to trying your idea to see how it works.
Karen Rideout says
I got a cold sore.. Been stressed about the holidays, and just planned a trip to Florida and I HATE flying. So, no surprise a cold sore popped up. I am 4 days into the cold sore and a friend recommended geranium oil. Been using it today and will continue until it’s gone. It does feel like a burning sensation, but kind of feels good at the same time. .. It actually looks smaller, it’s definitely dried up. Will use this for all future cold sores
I’m so glad it seems to be working for you. I recommend using a carrier oil to prevent the strength of the oil from burning your skin. Thanks for sharing your experience.
I always use Doterra Peppermint oil when I feel a cold sore coming. It takes away the burning feeling and keeps the blister soft so it never cracks or scabs. This time I got a cold sore without warning and am trying the Geranium, it seems to be drying it up! Anything for this desperate moment!
Thanks for adding your experience using these oils! I will try the peppermint oil next cold sore I get. Oh, that feeling is a deperate one, isn’t it?!
debra johnson says
This article was so helpful. I appreciate you expressing that what works for one may not be the exact key for another, but it also could be the answer. My daughter just starting with Doterra oils and we have seen it work on different things. Peppermint oil works when my back is aching in a joint. I have a cold sore right now but not Geranium oil . So Iam trying Tea Tree oil… We will see! Thanks
You’re welcome. Let me know what else works and what doesn’t. I’m always looking for input on these oils. Thanks!
Rebecca Anglin says
That is supposed to read “water soaked cotton ball”
Rebecca Anglin says
Did you put the drop directly on your sore? The oil that I bought said to not apply it directly without diluting it. Another website that recommended geranium oil said to put a drop on a watt soaked cotton ball. I have only applied the oil one time so far using the cotton ball method, but was just wondering what other people did so I can try to make it the most effective way. I hate cold sores!!!
I used it straight on my sore, but kept feeling like it was “burning” the virus. So I persevered. Since then, I realized that it’s too strong to use straight. So, my fever blister was going away, but I was left with a burned and irritated lip! Definitely mix it with coconut oil, possibly the water-soaked cotton ball, or add a few drops to your lip balm. Hope this helps.