Essential Oils For Cold Sores

Essential Oils For Cold Sores

Cold sores or fever blisters can be very irritating if does not clear out sooner. According to medical and health resource Healthline, the sores are largely caused by the highly resilient, Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV I & II). The oral virus usually spreads when a personal contact is made with an infected person via the skin or saliva.

A person with cold sores may suffer successive bouts due to a number of factors, including hormonal changes, exposure to sunlight and stress. Several OTC medications can be used to provide relief from cold sores. However, certain strains of Herpes Simplex are resistant to drugs, a fact that complicates the treatment and outcome. 

Studies are ongoing across various laboratories to establish the most effective organic compounds for managing and treating cold sores. Several home remedies such as concentrated plant oils or essential oils have proved effective in the treatment. Essential oils are generally gentle and have far fewer side effects compared to pharmaceutical treatment alternatives.

The oils are normally applied topically or inhaled using a specially designed infuser. The essential oils must be diluted with various carrier oils before application to reduce the risk of toxicity and other undesirable effects. The carrier oils include jojoba oil, coconut oil, almond oil and honey.

List of Essential oils for cold sores

The use of essential oils for its curative potential and as fragrance dates back several centuries. The essential oils used in the treatment of cold sores and other ailments are obtained from entire plants, fruit peels, flowers, leaves, barks and the roots.

According to the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine (Direct Science), the most effective essential oils for cold sores are listed below: 


Essential Oils For Cold Sores

Tea Tree (Huge 8oz) Best Essential Oil
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Anthemis Nobilis With a range of different uses, Roman Chamomile comes packed with advantages. Derived from the beautiful daisy-like flower, it is amongst the mostly demanded products. Applications: Aromatic, Topical, Internal  
Mentha piperita Peppermint is one of the world’s oldest medicinal herbs, and we are learning more every day about all of the amazing things that this oil can do!* Applications: Aromatic, Topical, Internal
Eucalyptus globulus Eucalyptus essential oil is primarily gathered from Australian eucalyptus trees, so perhaps it is appropriate that it is most widely used to promote relaxation!* Applications: Aromatic, Topical  
Lavandula Angustifolia Cherished for over centuries, lavender essential oil is renowned for its unmistakable aroma as well as myriad benefits. With topical, internal and aromatic applications, the oil definitely has a lot to bring on the table. Applications: Aromatic, Topical, Internal  
Eugenia caryophyllata Clove essential oil has many antioxidant and antibacterial qualities to boost internal health.* It also can promote healthy teeth and gums for a beautiful smile. It’s warm, spicy flavor is great for adding to numerous culinary creations. Applications: Aromatic Topical Internal    
Citrus bergamia Bergamot essential oil has a light citrusy aroma with the power to both relax and invigorate.  This oil also harnesses medicinal qualities that can boost overall digestive and cardiovascular health.* Applications: Aromatic Topical Internal
Melissa Pure Essential Oil 15 ml Lemon Balm - Helpful for Anxiety & Depression Aromatherapy Support
Lemon Balm Essential Oil
Biosource Naturals Melissa (Melissa officinalis) Pure Essential Oil also known as Lemon Balm, 100% Pure, Concentrated, Undiluted, Therapeutic Quality. Steam distilled from flowers with characteristic green, lemon scent. Originates from Spain and France.


1. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia Cheel) is a well-renowned shrub that produces purple or yellow flowers. The essential oil produced from the shrub has antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial potential as denoted by the presence of active ingredient, terpinen-4-ol. The alcoholic terpene is highly distinguishable as a result of its musty aroma.

Researchers have studied Tea tree oil and found it effective in the treatment of various skin problems, including cold sores, dandruff, acne and blisters. Clinical studies support the use of Tea tree oil in the treatment of cold sores. 

A team of researchers at the University of Heidelberg, Germany has analyzed and documented promising antiviral ability of the Australian tea tree oil in breaking the Herpes Simplex cell structure. A similar study appearing in the highly respected International Journal of Dermatology upholds tea tree oil’s ability to stop and destroy the spread of the hard to destroy Herpes Simplex Virus.

The additional uses of the aromatherapy include the treatment of respiratory problems, such as asthma, cough, whooping cough and bronchitis along with cystitis and vaginitis in women. 

Instructions for Use

  • Combine 3 to 7 drops of Tea tree oil with 1 teaspoon of your preferred carrier oil 
  • Use clean cotton dab to apply the oils directly onto the areas affected by the Cold sores 
  • Apply the content 2 to 3 times daily until improvements are noted


2. Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

Roman Chamomile Essential OilThe Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nibilis Linn) has been valued for generations due to its antiseptic, antibiotic and palliative benefits. Its treatment potential includes the ability to calm the nerves and strong emotions.

The essential oil contains several active ingredients (esters), including 2-methylbutanoic acid, angelic acid and tiglic acid. When extracted, the freshly distilled oil emerges with a blue tint, which is attributed to the sesquiterpenoid chamazulene compound. 

Researchers have studied, tested and found Roman Chamomile to be effective in the treatment of ailments such as hay fever, muscle spasm, ulcers, rheumatoid pain, wounds and Cold sores. In the Department of Biology, Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology at Germany’s University of Heidelberg, researchers have published a comprehensive study showing the effectiveness of Chamomile in fighting the herpes viruses. The research highlights Chamomile’s powerful inhibitory effects that give it the power to attack and contain the spread of the Herpes virus.

Instructions for Use

  • Mix Chamomile with a preferred carrier oil before application 
  • Use cotton gauze and dab the oil over the affected part of the skin 
  • To achieve optimal results, apply the oil 2 to 3 times daily


3. Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint Essential OilDue to the presence of menthol, Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is known to possess powerful pharmacological action. The peppermint oil has been documented for its highly effective fungicidal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antimicrobial effects.

The antiviral properties make it highly effective in the treatment of cold sores and sinus infection. Mentha piperita has been shown to be effective inhibiting the spread of both HSV type I and Type I. The antioxidants found in Peppermint oil have also been shown to enhance the healing process. 

A study conducted by the USDA run Human Nutrition Research Center indicates that the antioxidants, antimicrobial and antiviral ability in Peppermint can totally alienate and destroy the Herpes virus.

Studies also suggest the oil can be used to treat a wide range of fungal, viral and bacterial infections when applied as vapor balm or when inhaled. If Peppermint oil is applied around the head, it can reduce pain, inflammation and itching caused by common ailments like ivy, poison oak and ringworm infestation among other health issues.

Instructions for Use

  • Mix 2 drops of the oil with 1 Ounce of olive carrier oil 
  • Use cotton swab and apply the oil gently over the affected area 
  • Effective results can be achieved by applying the oil two to three times daily

Note: The application and inhalation of menthol may cause a skin reaction.


4. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus Essential OilEucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) is a common evergreen tree with the ability to activate and regulate the nervous system as well as boost immunity against cold, flu, chicken pox and measles. The essential oil is also effective in fighting throat infections, coughs, sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis and cold sores.

Eucalyptus oil stands out as one of the most effective remedies for cold sores because of its palliative attributes reinforced by key constituents such as cineole (up to 85% composition), cymene and aromadendrene.

A study published in the Journal of Ethno-Pharmacology shows that the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of the palliative therapeutic oil can heal cold sores and reduce inflammation. People with skin issues like lice, burns, insect bites and wounds can also benefit from the healing potential of Eucalyptus essential oil.

Instructions for Use

  • For effective results, combine the essential oil with mild carrier oil 
  • Use cotton bud to rub the solution on the affected area 
  • Apply the essential oil 2 to 3 times daily for better results


5. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender Essential OilLavender (Lavandula officinalis Chaix) is a popular herb that grows well in around the garden. The essential oil contains numerous active compounds, including terpinen-4-ol, beta-ocimene, linalool, camphor and linalyl acetate.

These highly beneficial compounds are known to produce different therapeutic effects depending on the species of the herb (Lamiaceae family) that is chosen. Studies have shown that the presence of linalyl acetate and linalool gives Lavender oil its potent absorbing properties when used as massage oil. 

Lavender oil can also help relieve depression resulting from Central Nervous System (CNS) problems. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of Lavender make it a good alternative to commonly used antibiotic medications.

Its uses in aromatherapy include the treatment for stress, painful muscles, abrasion and viral skin problems such as cold sores. Several double blind clinical studies have been conducted that support this assertion. Researchers believe in Lavender’s ability to heal blisters, irritations and inflammations make it a good remedy for Herpes Simplex Virus. 

Instructions for Use

  • Add 2 drops of Lavender oil on almond oil or any other preferred carrier oil 
  • Apply the oil on the affected area at least 2 to 3 times daily as necessary to achieve desired results 

Note: As part of precaution, avoid applying the essential oil over open sores instead; apply on the scab of the fever blister.


6. Clove Essential Oil

Clove Essential OilClove (Sygium aromaticum) is widely used as a spice in the culinary circles. This essential oil is obtained from the flower buds of the Eugenia caryphyllata tree. The oil contains high amounts of antioxidant, which make it a highly effective therapeutic oil.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the other dermatological benefits of clove include antiviral, anesthetic and antimicrobial benefits with the ability to fight herpes virus, inflammation and reduce pain. The essential oil also accelerates the healing process in people recovering from Cold sores.(1)

Instructions for Use

  • Mix the essential oil with coconut oil, honey or other desired carrier oil 
  • Apply gently on the sore using a cotton bud 
  • Repeat the process two to three times daily for optimal results


7. Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot Essential OilBergamot oil (Citrus bergamia) contains effective antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties that can fight Herpes Simplex I and II by minimizing its spread while working effectively to quicken the healing process. The aroma molecules of Bergamot go into action by making it difficult for the Herpes Simplex virus to survive around its presence.

According to NCBI, Bergamot aromatherapy is also effective in treating dermatitis, abscesses, acne, eczema and fungal infections. These wide ranging treatment capabilities continue to arouse a lot of interest in Bergamot oil. 

Instructions of Use

  • Choose a Bergamot oil without the photogenotoxic furocoumarin 
  • Mix 2 to 3 drops of the essential oil with 1 teaspoon of Almond oil or Coconut oil 
  • Using a cotton ball, apply the content directly on the areas impacted by the cold sores


8. Lemon Balm Essential Oil

Research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information shows Lemon balm (Melissa officianalis) is an effective remedy for fighting Herpes Simplex. This is largely due to the antiseptic and astringent nature of the essential oil.

Lemon balm actively inhibits the ability of herpes viruses to penetrate body cells, thus curtailing its spread and negative impact on the body. Besides the treatment of Cold sores, the other dermatological uses of Lemon balm include the treatment of eczema, ulcers, insect stings and allergic reactions. 

Instructions for Use

  • Dilute the essential oil appropriately by mixing it with ½ teaspoon of Coconut oil 
  • Apply the oil topically over the Cold sore at least 4 times a day until the sores disappear. 



The annoying mouth sores and associated pain caused by cold sores can be treated using home remedies and common antiviral medications like valacyclovir and famciclovir. Popular home remedies like essential oils are gaining popularity because they are inexpensive, gentle and produce far fewer side effects compared to antiviral medications already in the market.

The essential oils used in the treatment of cold sores include: Tea tree oil, Eucalyptus oil, Peppermint oil, Roman Chamomile oil and Lavender oil. There are, however, a few safety measures and risks to consider when buying an essential oil to treat conditions like cold sore. 

One of the biggest risks is allergic reaction, which may lead to itching, redness or hives. Because of the potential harm that may arise from oral ingestion, essential oils used in the treatment of Herpes Simplex should be applied topically after mixing with favored carrier oil. The most popular carrier oils in aromatherapy include Coconut oil, Olive oil and Almond oil.

Note, the use and purchase of essential oils is not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For this reason, it is important to talk to a certified Aromatherapist before using any essential oil. If you encounter any serious side effects, visit a doctor for additional guidance and treatment