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An easy and effective home remedy using essential oils for cold sores

Cold and flu season is almost here. Prepare with these simple home remedies, plus a homemade cold sore remedy.

Every fall I make “supplies” for the cold and flu season, and one of those supplies is a cold sore (or fever blister) remedy. This cold sore remedy is super quick and easy to make; in fact might have each of these essential oils for cold sores in your cabinet already. Yep, they are that common.

We’ve been using this remedy for several years and it works far better than any of the over the counter remedies we’ve used in the past. Like most herbal or essential oil remedies you want to begin using this cold sore remedy early and often.

While we call them “cold sores” or “fever blisters” they are caused by a Herpes virus. It lays dormant in the body and when the body is stressed the virus activates and caused blisters, usually on the lips or in the nose but they can appear on other parts of the body too. One of our children get them on the thumb which is rare but can happen. Regardless of where the outbreak is, they are painful and, somewhat, embarrassing.

Because stress can cause a breakout, many people experience cold sores when they have a cold or flu. Outbreaks can also happen after prolonged sun exposure or heat exposure, both of these things stress the body. And, of course, regular old emotional stress or chaos can cause an outbreak.

Everyone is different and different things will trigger an breakout. For instance, I’m more susceptible to a breakout when I’ve had a fever, a sunburn, or get over heated. But others will break out when they have more emotional stress in their lives. This is good to know because you can use a holistic approach and try to reduce the triggers if you know what they are for you.

Most people will experience tingling or itching before they see blisters. Within a day or so the cold sore blisters will start forming and will continue growing for a couple of days. Slowly they’ll start popping, oozing, and crusting over. Until the blisters crust over they are contagious….very contagious. The whole process usually lasts 10-14 days.

Begin using the cold sore remedy when you feel the tingling, don’t wait until you see blisters. Of course, if you wake up in the morning with blisters go ahead and use the cold sore remedy just know that it might take a few more days to heal than if you started before the blisters erupted.

Essential Oil Cold Sore Remedy

To make this cold sore remedy we’re going to use essential oils that have been shown to be effective against virus and the Herpes virus in particular, these oils are lemon, lavender, and eucalyptus. We’re also going to be using coconut oil as the carrier oils which also has some anti-viral properties. 

All of these essential oils have anti-viral properties but make sure you dilute them by using a carrier oil, if you don’t have coconut oil, use sweet almond oil or even just olive oil. 

I like to mix it up and put it in a small jar or roll on bottle. This recipe makes three 10ml roll on bottles (1/3 oz).

Since this cold sore remedy is used externally and for a short period of time (just a few days in most cases) it’s okay if it’s a little stronger than a standard 2% dilution.

You can use this cold sore remedy often, we try to put it on every 30 minutes or so. Once the blisters scab over, just keep the sore moist with a salve or balm. We just use our regular healing salve.

There’s a printable recipe at the end of the post.

Over the years I’ve used a lot of different brands of essential oils. I’m now in the process of just using Rocky Mountain Oils. They have quality oils and make each batches GC/MS test results available, they also practice environmental sustainability in harvesting, packaging, and recycling. These are things that are important to me, but know that there are many high quality essential oil companies to choose from.

More Cold and Flu Remedies

Stuffy noses and congestion is a common ailment during the winter. I make a batch of homemade vapor rub to have on hand. It doesn’t take much and one batch is all our family needs for the whole season.

Cold and flu season is almost here. Prepare with these simple home remedies, plus a homemade cold sore remedy.

I also made a big batch of a “concoction” that I learned from our Kenyan friends. I freeze it in ice cube trays so we’ll have plenty on hand when we need it. You can get video tutorials of how to make this and the other recipes in the Simple Remedies for Cold and Flu Season ecourse.

In the course you’ll also learn to make smelling salts, cough syrup, fire cider, and a super charged elderberry syrup. You’ll also receive printable recipes and an profile for each ingredient. This is truly all you need to be prepared for the cold and flu season.

A couple of years ago Kathie from Homespun Seasonal Living sent me some elderberry syrup and tincture in exchange for some lemons. I had never had elderberry syrup before and was pretty excited to use it. Esther had a lingering cough that she just could not shake and after a few days of taking elderberry syrup her cough was gone. I was impressed and now elderberry syrup and tincture is part of my cold and flu protocol.

SchneiderPeeps - Dry, chapped skin is a huge problem in the winter. You can easily conquer it with homemade scrubs and lotions.

I love to make different scrubs to help with dry skin. It’s super important to get the dry, flaky skin off so that the moisturizers can do their job. I also love this body butter recipe, you can use different infused oils and essential oils depending on your needs.

That’s it. This is how I prep for the cold and flu season. I’ve found that with these few things along with eating lots of citrus, taking Epsom salt baths and limiting sugar we can usually make it through the season without getting sick enough to go to the doctor.

Quick and Easy Cold Sore Remedy

Quick and Easy Cold Sore Remedy


  • 6 drops lemon essential oil
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil (I use coconut oil)
  • 3 10ml roller bottles or other small jar


  1. Mix ingredients in a small cup (a cup with a pour spout works great for this) and pour into roller balls.
  2. Use at the first sign of a cold sore
  3. Use every 30 minutes or so
  4. Once the blister scabs over use a salve or balm to keep it moist until fully healed.

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Did you make this project?

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What are your natural must-haves for the cold and flu season?

Thanks for sharing with your friends!


Monday 25th of October 2021

This has been a life saver. My son gets cold sores when his immune system is fighting a cold or when he gets a fever. I started using this roller ball recipe at the first sight of a cold sore and it stopped it in it's tracks. It didn't blister or scab and went away in 2 days rather than 2 weeks. Amazing!

Angi Schneider

Tuesday 26th of October 2021

I'm so glad to hear this!!!


Thursday 1st of August 2019

Lovely article. Is the coconut oil regular or fractionated...for the roll on bottle?

Angi Schneider

Friday 2nd of August 2019

You can use either one. I just use regular coconut oil. It does solidify, which I think is great for carrying with you, and if you hold it in your hand for a minute or two it will melt enough to roll on.


Sunday 20th of January 2019

Is it possible to use peppermint in place of eucalyptus? That's the only one I don't have :(

Angi Schneider

Monday 21st of January 2019

Hi Michelle, yes you can use peppermint but you probably won't get the same results. Eucalyptus and peppermint are totally different plants with different constituents.

Kim M Villmann

Saturday 29th of September 2018

Hi Angi, I can't wait to try your cold sore on my grandson. He gets cold sores every winter. The cold brings them out. I use to get them and haven't for years now. I discovered that when I am stressed, combined with eating spicy hot foods or citrus fruit (acidic foods), dehydrated, and am worn out, it brings them on. Now that I know these symptoms, I make sure I eliminate the food during stressful times and drink a lot of water.. I also take PB 8 probiotic for digestive health if I have eaten something that is acidic. It balances my system out. Like I said, it has literally been years! I hope this helps others to figure out how to avoid them. :-)

Angi Schneider

Saturday 29th of September 2018

Hi Kim, thanks so much for the tips. I also hope they will help others with their cold sores. I love that you've figured out a way to prevent them by being mindful of your body and your environment.


Saturday 29th of September 2018

Hi Angi, Just wanted to tell you that you have a special place in my heart!!! There's so much you do for us and share with us for free, it's just awesome. Thank you.. I'm going to buy the e=course when I get paid next month. You are a wonderful person. Thanks again for all you do.

Angi Schneider

Saturday 29th of September 2018

Hi Susie, thank you so much for your sweet words. I love sharing what I've learned and I'm glad that it's helping others!

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