Cold Sore Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy for Cold Sores

Stress and the colder weather has been playing havoc with my immune system lately.  An outbreak of cold sores is usually inevitable.  I figure I am not the only one who struggles with them.  So, I would like to share with you some successful aromatherapy treatments I have used in the past.

A Cold Sore Lip Balm

A couple of years ago I played around with making my own aromatherapy cold sore lip balms using a vegetable-based gelling agent called Amigel and a trio of my favourite anti-viral essential oils. Bergamot (Citrus aurantium subsp. bergamia), Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), and Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia).  I prepared enough mixture for a little 10ml jar.  You will require one drop of each oil.

I used this remedy on a cold sore that had already formed on my lips.  It kept the lip from drying out and the sore from cracking.  Within two days the sore actually fell away.

You can substitute one of these oils with Rose (Rosa Centifolia or Rosa Damascena) or Niaouli (Melaleuca viridiflora).

If You Are Feeling A Tingle

If you are just beginning to feel that hot tingle in your lip that signals the arrival of a cold sore, you can use a cotton bud to apply one drop of neat melissa (Melissa officinalis) directly to the blister.  I found that the hot tingly sensation disappeared within 24 hours and no full-blown cold sore actually developed. You do need to be careful with the melissa essential oil though as it can be an irritant for some people (and if you are run down, then it is likely that this essential oil will irritate your skin).  I would only use this oil for adults and not children.  For children, you could use a drop Rose essential oil instead.

A Few Things To Be Mindful Of

There are a couple of things to be mindful of when using the essential oils mentioned in this article.

Melissa Essential Oil – Women who are pregnant or lactating are advised against using melissa due to the oleanolic acid content. Also for some people, melissa can cause drowsiness.  So, if you are already taking sedative medications you need to check with your doctor.  Also, if you are taking thyroid medications melissa is an essential oil you may need to leave alone as it may affect your medication.

Bergamot Essential Oil – Please always be mindful that Bergamot is photosensitising so you need to be careful when you are putting it on your body and heading out into the sunshine.  It is an essential oil you need to be sun savvy with.  Avoid if pregnant or lactating.

Geranium Essential Oil – I would avoid using Geranium essential oil during pregnancy as it affects the hormones and is an anti-spasmodic.

Tea Tree Essential Oil – Some people find this essential oil to be a skin irritant.  If you have sensitive skin it might be a good idea to use Rose or Niaouli as the alternative.


Lovitude Trying To Calm The Monkey MindAs well as being the author of Peacock Dreaming: The Wisdom Of Flowers and Lovitude:  Trying To Calm The Monkey Mind, Anne McCormack is also a qualified Clinical Aromatherapist who lives in works in Nelson, New Zealand.  Anne has practised and presented courses and workshops in Australia, and has been a guest speaker for organisations such as the NSW Encore Support Group for Breast Cancer. 

Feature photo courtesy of silviarita via Pixabay

Keen to learn more?  Contact Anne today!

1 Comment

  1. helpful article! I’ve been battling cold sores for most of my life, but some years ago I began using essential oils and they’ve worked their magic. Now I almost never have an outbreak, or it only lasts a day or two. I wrote about it on my own blog at Check it out!

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