Treat Your Cold Sores with Lavender Oil

As the weather starts to turn colder, the inevitable first round of winter coughs, colds, and flu start appearing. But rather than immediately heading for your local pharmacy to stock up on expensive, chemically synthesized cold and flu remedies, why not see if you can treat your cold naturally using a few drops of some amazing essential oils?

Cold sores are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (in most cases by the HSV-1 strain, but in a minority of cases by the HSV-2 strain). This is a highly contagious virus that can be spread by direct personal contact with a cold sore. There is no known cure for the virus, but in most people, the virus remains inactive for most of the time only becoming active and causing a cold sore occasionally. When the virus does become active the sufferer tends to feel itching, tingling or burning sensation, usually around their lips. Small fluid-filled sores will then appear, most typically on the edges of your lower lip, but they can appear anywhere around the mouth area.

Exactly what triggers activation of the virus is unknown and most likely varies from person to person, however, some likely triggers include; having another infection, having a high temperature, stress, tiredness and fatigue, an injury to the affected area, menstruation and strong sunlight. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to avoid many of these triggers, so what can you do to treat a cold sore when it does appear?

Have a look at some of the most common symptoms of colds and flu below and see how essential oils can treat them.

Blocked nose

Blocked noses, and other symptoms of congestion, are often one of the first signs that you have been invaded by the cold or flu virus. It is, of course, possible to buy decongestant remedies over the counter from your pharmacy, however it is often cheaper, easier, and just as effective to pop a couple of drops of eucalyptus essential oil and/or lavender essential oil into a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam 2 or 3 times per day.

Sore throat

Lavender essential oil has both antibacterial and antiviral properties, and so can be used to successfully and naturally treat throat infections. Simply add a few drops of our amazing lavender essential oil to a glass of warm water and gargle with it twice a day.


Often one of the most debilitating symptoms of a cold can be headaches. However, you can soothe a headache simply and naturally by mixing a few drops of lavender essential oil into a carrier oil (such as olive, coconut or sweet almond) and massaging it in your temples, or across the forehead. Also, if you wish to apply a hot or cold compress to the forehead, then add a few drops of lavender oil into the water in which you soak the cloth or flannel to be used.

Disturbed sleep

In many cases one of the most effective remedies for colds and flu is rest, however often when the symptoms of cold and flu strike, this can be one of the most difficult things to do, as congestion and headache etc can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. In this case, a combination of both lavender essential oil and eucalyptus oils can help to combat this. Simply sprinkle a couple of drops of lavender oil onto a tissue and slip this into your pillowcase to let the calming and soothing aromas send you off to sleep. And to combat the symptoms of colds and flu during the night make a eucalyptus chest rub, using 10ml of a carrier oil and 6 drops of eucalyptus essential oil and apply it before you retire to bed.

There are a number of antiviral treatments that are specifically designed for cold sores that are available over the counter from the pharmacy. However, these are frequently expensive and can contain numerous harsh chemically synthesised ingredients. Instead, why not try treating your cold sore with a little of our lovely lavender essential oil? Lavender oil is naturally antiviral, but it also has properties that promote the rapid and scar-free healing of the skin so not only will it attack the HSV-1 virus, it will also help the skin to heal naturally if the cold sore appears.

To treat your cold sore with lavender oil we recommend applying a single neat drop to the area when you first feel the tingle and then treating the area with 1:5 ratio of diluted lavender oil (into a carrier oil such as olive or sweet almond) up to twice more per day. We would love to hear if you have also had success treating your cold sores with lavender oil, so please contact us and share your experiences.


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