People tend to use a variety of different methods for treating cold sores. Sometimes, however, the most natural ingredients can make the biggest difference. Using lemon balm for cold sores works in multiple ways. When the unfortunate situation occurs of getting one of these blisters on your face, you’ll likely want to treat it as quickly as possible.
It’s not just the embarrassment that comes into play, though, but the pain and discomfort. Cold sores (or, fever blisters) can cause quite a bit of both. After a cold sore bursts, it will form a scab and crust over. Every time you open your mouth, then, you run the risk of it splitting open again.
On average, a cold sore will take about ten to fourteen days to heal. Of course, that all depends on it not bursting open again, cracking, etc. Using something like lemon balm can not only speed up the healing time, but it can provide a sense of relief.
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Does Lemon Balm for Cold Sores Really Work?
There have been multiple studies performed in which lemon balm was used to treat HSV. This is the herpes virus that causes the appearance of cold sores. One of these studies, performed by German hospitals and dermatology clinics, found that lemon balm can actually help to reduce the chance of cold sores coming back. This occurrence was true when lemon balm was used to treat the sores. In fact, subjects who followed this practice had zero flare ups again, during the time of the study.
But, lemon balm can do much more than prevent cold sores from returning. Another study (of 116 people) found that it can actually help to reducing the healing time. A cold sore is at its worst after a few days. Once it bursts, it can become unsightly. When using the balm topically, it can reduce redness and swelling extremely quickly. Of course, it’s best to start using the balm at the first sign of a cold sore. Or, use it as a preventative measure by carrying it with you every day!
Finally, there is a soothing side to lemon balm. One of the biggest complaints about cold sores is the pain and discomfort they cause. Because of the nature of the balm, and what it’s ‘made up of,’ it has soothing properties that can take away some of that pain.
What is Lemon Balm?
So, what is it made up of? Well, lemon balm is a member of the mint family. That helps to explain its soothing, cooling properties. It also works as an antiviral agent, thanks to components called tannins. Though in the case of HSV, it cannot completely wipe out the herpes virus. But, it can fight against it, and the symptoms it brings up.
The balm also contains something called eugenol. Eugenol helps to kill bacteria. So, using it topically can help to reduce the risk of infection. When a cold sore bursts, it becomes more exposed to potential bacteria. Lemon balm can not only help to reduce the pain caused by bursting, but can prevent that bacteria from causing even more problems.
What are Some Other Uses?
Because of its ingredients and properties, lemon balm is also used for a variety of different treatments. This includes everything from insect bites, to digestive issues. However, another interesting use that could also connect with cold sores is the fact that it can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Oftentimes, we associate flare ups with stress. It tends to weaken our immune system, making it easier for the HSV virus to slip in and wreak havoc. Using lemon balm as a supplement regularly can help to fight back against this kind of harmful stress. We may never be rid of the stressors in our lives entirely, but finding a natural solution to help can be a good start.
Is it Safe?
Lemon balm is a completely natural herb. It has been used in a variety of ways to treat different ailments for centuries. For cold sores, it can either be applied as an actual lip balm, in a cream, or even taken in supplement form for prevention. On its own, there should be no negative side effects. It’s when you mix lemon balm with other herbs, or medicines that can sometimes cause negative side effects.
Be aware of other medications or supplements you’re taking. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor how they might react with lemon balm. Certain thyroid medications, and even sedatives have been known to react poorly with the use of it.
Treating Cold Sores
When it comes to treating cold sores, understand that the cause can never be fully cured. Once you’ve contracted HSV, it will be in your body forever, unless science finds a cure for the herpes virus. However, the news is promising when it comes to treating the sores themselves with lemon balm.
Not only has the balm been proven to reduce healing time, redness, swelling, and pain, but it has been shown to fight back against cold sores returning. That isn’t to say you’ll never experience a flare up again. But, having a ‘line of defense’ on your side is a great way to reduce that risk.
Because lemon balm is safe, natural, and easy to use, you can take it as a prevention method. Some people are simply more prone to cold sores than other. Applying lemon balm daily can work like a small army for you. Not only will it help to prevent drying and cracking, but will fight the HSV virus from erupting through the top layer of skin.
No one wants to have to deal with cold sores. But, using a natural treatment option that is safe to use everyday can lessen the effect they might have on your body. It’s hard to go wrong with an herb that has been healing people all over the world, for centuries.