Natural Home Remedies for Cold Sores
Conventional medicine does have a few tricks in its little black bag, including antiviral lotions and creams. But they don't cure, just treat. So take a look in your kitchen. You might just find some useful home remedies there.
Home Remedies From the Candy Jar
Licorice. Studies show that glycyrrhizic acid, an ingredient in licorice, stops the cold sore virus cells dead in their tracks. So try chewing a licorice whip. Just be sure it's made from real licorice, as most "licorice" candy in the United States today is flavored with anise. If the ingredient list reads "licorice mass," the product contains real licorice. You could also try buying some licorice powder and sprinkling it on the sore. Or mix up a cream with a pinch of licorice power and a smidgen of pure vegetable shortening, then apply to the sore. Remember, though -- don't go overboard! Just as with any medicine, real licorice's medicinal effects can cause serious side effects if used in large amounts over long periods of time.
Home Remedies From the Freezer
Ice packs. If you ice a cold sore when it first arrives, you may cut down on the amount of time it hangs around. Ice packs and cold compresses will provide some temporary relief. A tasty popsicle will feel good, too, but skip the juice bars. Their acid content may irritate that major irritation even more. Super-cold drinks, such as slushes or smoothies, are another tasty way to provide comfort.
Home Remedies From the Refrigerator
Milk. This remedy doesn't involve drinking. Soak a cotton ball in milk and apply it to the sore to relieve pain. Better yet, if you feel the telltale tingling before the cold sore surfaces, go straight to the cold milk. It can help speed the healing right from the beginning.
Home Remedies From the Supplement Shelf
Zinc lozenges. Cold sores may be triggered by stress. During stressful times, sucking on zinc lozenges can boost the immune system.
Cold sores are not the most attractive accessory. But while coping with them, you can experience as little discomfort as possible by using these easy but crucial home remedies.