A cold sore can be an annoying inconvenience or a source of incredible pain. These blisters can make it difficult to enjoy meals as each sore becomes swollen and tender, getting in the way of the process of chewing. Needless to say, anyone who is suffering from a cold sore wants to find the quickest way possible to experience complete relief.
What Causes a Cold Sore?
A cold sore is the result of the herpes virus. More than half of the population has a form of herpes that can cause cold sores. Typically, a person who has the virus will experience cold sores that come and go during their lifetime.
Often, cold sores last for about one week. They are extremely contagious, meaning that a person who is experiencing a cold sore should not make oral contact with another human being. There is no cure for the virus itself. There is also no known preventative treatment for cold sores. However, essential oils can provide sufferers with relief from pain and prevent the cold sore from becoming infected.
How Do Essential Oils Treat Cold Sores?
Many essential oils possess anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antibacterial properties. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties can reduce the pain and swelling associated with cold sores. Meanwhile, the antibacterial properties can prevent a cold sore from becoming infected. Cold sores can become infected when the blisters open and become exposed to harmful bacteria that exists inside of the mouth.
Essential Oils for Cold Sores
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree essential oil should be the first thing on your shopping list if you have a cold sore. Between its antiviral and antibacterial properties, tea tree oil can reduce the duration of the outbreak while killing any bacteria that could lead to an infection.
In fact, tea tree essential oil is a potent antibacterial agent that can be used as a daily oral rinse in order to freshen breath, prevent the buildup of plaque and prevent bacteria from causing tooth decay. Therefore, many natural health specialists recommend using tea tree oil as an oral health aid on a regular basis.
Clove Essential Oil
Clove essential oil boasts powerful pain-relieving abilities thanks to its combination of anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The anti-inflammatory properties in clove oil reduce the swelling of the cold sore. This helps you avoid biting down on the sore while you chew your food.
The analgesic properties in clove oil provide the cold sore with a numbing, cooling sensation. When applied directly to the cold sore, it can numb the pain within minutes. In fact, studies have found that clove oil works just as well as commonly used numbing agents that are used by dentists during oral surgery procedures.
Basil Essential Oil
For centuries, basil essential oil has been used as a natural oral health product thanks to its ability to freshen breath and kill harmful bacteria in the mouth. Unlike some essential oils, basil oil is relatively safe to ingest in very small quantities. Therefore, cold sore sufferers can use it more frequently than other essential oils in order to treat their pain.
Basil essential oil has incredibly powerful antibacterial activity thanks to its unique blend of chemical compounds. When applied to a cold sore, it can kill bacteria that could cause an infection. Plus, its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties will help a cold sore sufferer manage their pain levels in a safe and natural way.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is used in many commercial oral care products thanks to its profound ability to kill harmful microorganisms that exist inside of the mouth. Additionally, its potent minty aroma kills bad breath virtually on contact.
When applied to a cold sore, peppermint essential oil can kill any bacteria that could lead to a potentially dangerous infection. Additionally, peppermint oil boasts anti-inflammatory properties that reduce pain and swelling. Plus, peppermint essential contains a high level of menthol, a chemical compound that’s known to numb pain and cool the affected area on contact.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense essential oil is a multi-tasking natural product that can help those who suffer from cold sores in a variety of ways. Some suggest that this oil possesses antiviral properties that can help heal a cold sore more quickly than many conventional medications.
Plus, frankincense oil is commonly used as an oral health product thanks to its ability to kill the bacteria that causes plaque and gum disease. Therefore, it’s safe to use on a cold sore. Its anti-inflammatory properties can reduce pain while its antibacterial properties destroy any germs that can infect the cold sore.
How to Treat a Cold Sore with an Essential Oil
Oral Rinse Method
To make an oral rinse with essential oils, combine two drops of one of the essential oils listed above with about one cup of water. Swish this mixture around your mouth for one minute. Do this twice each day until you experience relief.
Pour one drop of one of the essential oils listed above on a q-tip. Then, hold the q-tip against the cold sore for about one minute. This will allow the essential oil to permeate the affected tissue. Do this twice each day until you experience relief from your symptoms.
Thanks to these incredible essential oils, a cold sore doesn’t have to make you suffer. These oils can alleviate the pain caused by the cold sore while killing bacteria and fighting the effects of the virus.