DIY cold sore remedies really can kill a cold sore overnight naturally.
This post is NOT qualified medical advice. Be aware the cold sore virus is dangerous for babies.
Table of Contents
- How to kill cold sores overnight with DIY remedies including toothpaste, ice cubes, tea tree oil, honey, garlic, turmeric & more.
- What causes cold sores? including hormone imbalance, menopause, perimenopause, vegan diet, sun exposure, birth control, nutritional deficiencies.
- How to get rid of cold sores forever? B12, daylight, fatty acids, fibre, iron, magnesium, protein, sleep & zinc to boost hormone balance and immune function.
How To Kill Cold Sores Naturally Overnight
You can kill cold sores overnight with stuff you already have in your kitchen and bathroom cupboards.
The trick is to act fast. So at the first tell-tale sign of soreness or tingling start rotating through a selection of these DIY cold sore remedies :
- Cold Sore Ice Trick
- Cold Compress
- Black Tea
- Herbal Teas
- Thuja Cream
- Tea Tree Oil
- Aloe Vera
- Peppermint Oil
- More Natural Remedies
Cold Sore Ice Trick
The cold sore ice cube trick is a quick DIY remedy to stop a cold sore.
The treatment can :
- Cut blood flow to cold sore site
- Which stops cold sore growth
- Whilst numbing pain.
All the ice cube trick involves is :
- Wrapping an ice cube in a cloth
- And applying it to the cold sore
- For 5 to 10 minutes every hour.
If you use the ice cube trick at the first sign of symptoms, you can kill the cold sore overnight.
A cold compress is a quick natural way to kill off cold sores.
To make a cold compress simply:
- Wet a wash cloth then wring out
- Put wash cloth in plastic bag
- Pop in freezer for 15 mins
- Remove cloth from bag
- Apply to mouth for 10 minutes
- Repeat every hour or so if you can.
Putting Toothpaste On Cold Sore Overnight
Toothpaste on a cold sore overnight really can get rid of cold sores.
The toothpaste doesn’t as some suggest actually kill herpes but helps cold sores by inactivating the virus.
Just make sure your toothpaste contains Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), the active ingredient which gets rid of the cold sore. Crest, Colgate & Aquafresh all do but typically Sensodyne doesn’t. White toothpaste works better than gel.
To use as a cold sore remedy :
- Apply pea sized amount to:
- Tingling skin where cold sore expected to appear
- Or the cold sore itself
- Leave on to dry for 2 hours
- Remove toothpaste with warm water & a small clean cloth
- Reapply throughout day
- Or leave on overnight.
Some campaigners criticise use of SLS in toiletries but other scientists say there is no evidence SLS in toiletries is a problem.
Research has shown honey can treat herpes as well as the cold sore medication aciclovir.
The honey inhibits virus growth so can stop cold sores if applied as soon as skin starts tingling.
It does need to be real honey. The research used manuka honey.
Simply apply honey to the cold sore and leave on. Repeat 4 times daily.
Turmeric can help prevent activation of the herpes virus and heal cold sores by reducing inflammation.
To use turmeric to heal cold sores :
- Add 1/2 teaspoon to food daily
- Or make a turmeric paste from turmeric powder and water or honey and apply to cold sore.
Tannins in black tea can inhibit the herpes virus and cold sore growth.
To kill the cold sore :
- Brew a cup of black tea
- Let it cool slightly
- Squeeze out tea bag & apply
- Or soak hankie in tea & apply
- Hold on for 5 minutes
- Reapply every few hours.
Garlic has anti-viral powers against various viruses including herpes.
To stop and get rid of cold sores :
- Hold a cut raw garlic clove to skin for 5 minutes 3 or 4 times daily
- And try drinking garlic tea.
Herbal Teas & Poultice
These common kitchen herbs are believed to stop cold sore growth :
You can simply bathe the cold sore with cooled herbal tea or quickly apply the herbs as a poultice :
- Mash a small bunch of fresh or spoonful of dried herbs
- Into a paste with water or honey
- Scoop onto a small clean cloth
- Hold on cold sore for 5 minutes.
Lots of us have aloe vera in our bathroom and some research shows aloe vera can stop cold sore growth.
If you have it in stock apply 3 or 4 times a day at first sign of tingling.
Research suggests peppermint oil inhibits herpes and reduces plaque formation & scabs in cold sores.
So peppermint oil in the bathroom is another quick DIY cold sore remedy.
Apply following product instructions.
I stock this thuja cream. Dab some on the first sign of a cold sore.
Tea Tree Oil
I am not a big fan of essential oils. Many are sold under dodgy business models and are not needed.
But I do find tea tree oil helpful and it may help cold sores heal quicker.
Dilute before application following instructions on your product.
More Natural Remedies
Natural remedies work best used early so DIY cold sore treatments we already have at home are our best bet to kill cold sores.
But if you suffer recurrent cold sores you could also check out these:
- Bee propolis
- Licorice root
- Echinacea tea
- Lemon balm – try this super simple DIY cold sore balm recipe …
All these natural remedies can help kill a cold sore overnight but we must identify the causes of cold sores to stop them coming back again.
What Causes Cold Sores?
After infection the virus remains latent but can be reactivated. If we keep getting cold sores we need to work out what’s activating it.
Potential triggers include :
- Birth control
- Nutritional deficiency
- Hormone imbalance
- Argentine & lysine balance
- Vegan diet
- Sun exposure
Can Menopause Cause Herpes Outbreaks & Cold Sores?
Menopause doesn’t directly cause cold sores but herpes outbreaks can suddenly appear during menopause.
Changing levels of progesterone & oestrogen impact the T-Cells that usually stop herpes reactivating.
But these changes can be tied to :
- Nutritional deficiency
- Coming off birth control
- Taking HRT.
So if you suddenly have cold sores during menopause do check for :
- Key nutritional deficiencies e.g. protein, iron, B12 & magnesium
- Common hormone imbalance triggers e.g. sleep, fibre, sugar & daylight deficiency.
Perimenopause & Cold Sores
Perimenopause – as well as menopause – can trigger cold sores.
Erratically fluctuating progesterone and oestrogen levels can reduce our T-Cell’s ability to inhibit herpes.
But as in menopause, the big cause of cold sores in perimenopause can be dietary issues we can fix.
Anaemia in perimenopause is also tied to B12 deficiency which is itself a risk factor for herpes reactivation.
So cold sores in perimenopause are a big red flag telling us to :
For more help with perimenopause check out this guide to surprising perimenopause symptoms.
Can Birth Control Cause Cold Sores?
There is ongoing debate whether birth control causes cold sores.
But if you have repeated unexplained cold sores you may want to review your contraception.
Can Diet Affect Cold Sores?
Over half of US adults carry herpes but most don’t have cold sores as our body keeps it under control.
Frequent cold sores can be a big sign our immune system is struggling from nutritional deficiency.
Key nutrients tied to cold sores are:
- Iron : for T-Cell function.
- B12 : low levels tied to skin lesions & fall in herpes controlling t-cells.
- Zinc : research shows zinc inhibits all stages of herpes lifecycle.
- Protein : low protein levels harm all parts of our immune system.
- Vitamin D : balances immunity.
- Magnesium : balances hormones which in turn balance T-Cells.
- Essential Fatty Acids : EFA in healthy fats are needed for skin cell repair and regeneration.
Deficiencies are common in:
- Low fat diets
- Menstruating girls & women
You’re also at risk if you skip your greens and hide in doors all day!!
Do review your diet honestly if you have frequent cold sores and use the tips in how to get rid of cold sores.
Can Hormonal Imbalance Cause Cold Sores?
Many of us do struggle with hormone imbalance these days with reproductive, stress and thyroid hormones plus insulin all off kilter.
And hormone imbalance can trigger cold sores as it impacts our T-Cells which inhibit herpes reactivation.
But it is easy to obsess about and over complicate hormones without covering hormone health basics first.
So if you have hormonal swings and cold sores do get on top of these :
- Daylight deficiency
- Poor sleep
- Way too much sugar.
- A lack of regular gentle relaxing exercise aka a daily walk!!
And don’t skip your greens. They are full of magnesium, a key mineral for balancing hormone levels.
There is more advice on these tips in how to get rid of cold sores forever.
Argentine / Lysine Imbalance
We need both these amino acids but lysine limits the over absorption of arginine which herpes feeds on.
Meat, fish and dairy contain more lysine than arginine whilst the reverse is true in non-animal sources of protein e.g. nuts, seeds, pulses.
Vegans may have more frequent cold sores due to excess arginine and some take lysine supplements to control herpes outbreaks.
Frequent cold sores can however be caused by other vegan diet issues.
Frequent cold sores can be caused by an unbalanced vegan diet.
If you don’t eat animal products you need to be sure you eat enough :
Don’t just kid yourself it’s all OK – I’ve been there and done that!!
Cold sores are a sign of immune deficiency. Get yourself tested for the above and adjust your diet or supplement effectively as needed.
Applying sun protection can prevent cold sores triggered by the sun.
But it is a balancing act as over use of sun cream has downsides. We need sun for vitamin D and benefit from its immunosuppressant effects.
Without sunshine our immune system can go into overdrive
The key takeaways seem to be :
- Do get some sunlight daily
- Don’t over expose self to sun
- Don’t get sunburned
- Use natural protection i.e. clothing, hats, shade in strong sun
- Use sun cream in moderation
- Improve overall immune function by tackling diet deficiencies.
As you can see cold sores are triggered by a variety of causes but the good news is we can tackle many of these with simple lifestyle changes to get rid of cold sores for good.
How To Get Rid Of Cold Sores Forever
We have to help our body stay on top of the herpes virus if we want to get rid of recurrent cold sores.
That means nurturing a healthy balance of hormones and all our different immune functions.
And key to that is a balanced lifestyle in which we don’t go short on these:
Do look honestly at your habits to be sure you are not missing out.
Up your B12 levels easily by eating organ meat, red meat, oily fish, mussels, clams, dairy and eggs.
Vegans need B12 supplements.
Get at least an hour outdoors every day for not only vitamin D but also well balanced T-Cell reaction and good sleep which is itself key for balanced hormones.
Essential Fatty Acids
Enjoy a range of healthy fats from oily fish, nuts, seeds & pasture fed dairy to eggs, olive oil & avocados which are essential for renewal of skin cells damaged by herpes.
Tackle constipation that triggers hormone and subsequent T-Cell imbalance by eating more :
- Pulses & legumes
- High fibre vegetables – e.g. broccoli, brussels, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, garlic, leek, mushrooms, onions, peas, pepper, pumpkin, tomatoes
- High fibre grains – e.g. whole grain & wheat flours, spelt, rye, pearl barley, cous cous, granola
- Fermented food – e.g. yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi.
Or try these constipation remedies.
Boost iron levels quickly to fight frequent cold sores with red and especially organ meat.
Or if meat free eat more of these :
I was often iron deficient on a meat free diet despite taking supplements and recommend regular checks.
Eat more magnesium rich food to keep hormones in better balance which in turn helps T-Cell function.
Don’t miss out on protein as a vegan, vegetarian or light meat eater.
I frequently did!!
Boost your intake with these top :
Good sleep is critical for re-balancing hormones every day.
If you struggle to rest well at night check out these 6 sleep better tips. They are simple but super powerful and most people miss them!!
Meat and shell fish are rich in zinc but if you don’t eat meat you can boost levels quickly with these zinc rich vegetarian foods including :
- Pumpkin seeds
- Shitake mushrooms.
OK, so you now know how to :
- Kill cold sores overnight with DIY & natural remedies in your kitchen & bathroom cupboards
- Work out the underlying causes of your recurrent cold sores
- Make simple diet and lifestyle changes to improve hormone balance and immune function to control the underlying herpes virus.
I really hope these cold sore remedies and tips help you get rid of your cold sores for good. Let me know how you get on.