Indigo Faulkner, an 18-year-old from Bridgnorth in Shropshire, has suffered from cold sores since she was five. As she grew older, they became progressively worse and more frequent.
Faulkner often experiences an outbreak of painful, fluid-filled, blister-like lesions on her lips every six to eight weeks. The cold sores also make her feel anxious and anti-social.
She tried using various topical treatments and an anti-viral medication from her general practitioner (GP), but none of the remedies were able to keep the cold sores under control. Fortunately, Faulkner discovered the power of licorice.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over two-thirds of the world's population under 50 have herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), a virus that causes cold sores. Unfortunately, once your body is infected with this herpes virus, it remains there forever.
Herpes infections are common globally. HSV-1 is usually transmitted by oral-to-oral contact and causes infection in or around the mouth (oral herpes). HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes.
Both oral and genital herpes are mostly asymptomatic or unrecognized, but these conditions can cause painful blisters or ulcers at the site of infection. The blisters can range from mild to severe.
Oral herpes symptoms can recur over many years. Some medications may help reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms, but they cannot cure an infection.
Oral herpes infection is mostly asymptomatic, but symptoms can include painful blisters or open sores and ulcers in or around your mouth.
If you have HSV-1, you may experience a tingling, itching or burning sensation around your mouth before the appearance of sores. These symptoms can recur periodically, and the frequency varies for each person.
In Faulkner's case, cold sores made her feel insecure and her symptoms were "very painful" and "disfiguring." She said her cold sores often look like an "open wound" and can remain for 10 days.
When an outbreak is bad, Faulkner has sores that cover her whole top lip. They even go up to her nose. She added that the sores also "crack open and weep and when anything touches them, they hurt."
To date, experts have yet to figure out why some people are more vulnerable to severe cold sore attacks than others. But certain things are known to trigger a cold sore, such as another illness, sunshine or periods.
Faulkner was then advised by a friend of her mother's who also gets cold sores to try a lip balm containing licorice extract. Before finding out about the lip balm, Faulkner shared that the most effective remedy for her was ice cubes.
She gladly reported that over the last year, the licorice balm has "made a huge difference." Faulkner uses the lip balm every day as a preventive medicine. The minute she feels "the first sign of a tingle of a cold sore," she switches to a slightly stronger lip gel that also contains licorice.
The products Faulkner uses contain an antiviral natural acid found in licorice root. The combination has helped reduce the length of time her cold sores last as well as their frequency.
With the help of the licorice products, Faulkner has been getting far less outbreaks than she used to. They also disappear much more quickly now that she uses the licorice lip products, and they don't spread up her nose. Her cold sores have also stopped bursting open and weeping on her face.
But because HSV-1 is a permanent condition, Faulkner will get cold sores for the rest of her life. But with the help of licorice balms, she no longer has to hide behind her hand while talking to others.
If you also suffer from cold sores caused by HSV-1, here are some natural remedies that might help:
Make a licorice root paste
Licorice has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Studies have shown that an acid found in licorice root can help counteract symptoms and stop the cold sore virus from spreading.
If you have a cold sore, apply licorice powder or licorice extract topically. Mix one tablespoon of licorice root powder with one teaspoon of petroleum jelly, then leave the cream on the sore for several hours or overnight.
Use lemon balm essential oil
According to research, lemon balm essential oil effectively kills the herpes virus. Because all cold sores are caused by the herpes virus, any treatment that directly targets the virus is an effective cold sore remedy.
When you feel the tingle of a cold sore forming, put a drop or two of lemon balm essential oil and a carrier oil to the area. Next, hold an ice cube on top of the area for ten minutes.
After icing, spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly over the sore to protect it from bacteria and prevent it from cracking. Repeat the whole process several times a day.
If you use lemon balm essential oil quickly enough, a cold sore won’t emerge or its severity can be reduced.
Make a cornstarch paste
This home remedy requires cornmeal. Make a paste out of a bit of cornstarch and water, then dab it on the sore several times a day.
Cornstarch neutralizes the pH of the sore since cold sores thrive in acidic environments. This remedy will help soothe pain and inflammation.
Use hydrogen peroxide
An open blister like a cold sore is vulnerable to infection, especially if you touch it frequently.
To prevent infections, regularly disinfect the sore with hydrogen peroxide. The cleaner the sore is, the more likely it will heal quickly without spreading or getting worse.
Use aloe vera for natural relief
If your cold sores are particularly bad, apply some aloe vera three to four times a day until the sore goes away. Aloe vera can help soothe sensitive, blistered skin and protect it from bacteria.
Try tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a natural antifungal, antiseptic and antibiotic that can help heal a cold sore.
Apply tea tree essential oil and a bit of carrier oil directly on the cold sore three or four times a day. If you don't have tea tree oil, try witch hazel.
Visit Remedies.news for more articles about natural home remedies for different health conditions.
Watch the video below to learn how licorice root can improve your oral health.
This video is from the Groovy Bee channel on Brighteon.com.