Coconut oil is known for its several health benefits.
It is now classified as a ‘superfood.’ This oil truly deserves to be so.
This oil is also an exceptional natural remedy for treating several common infections.
Coconut oil for cold sores or fever blisters works because of the antiviral and antibacterial properties richly present in this oil.
The convenience and ease of using this oil are all the more appealing.
It is worth learning how to use coconut oil for oral herpes and cold sores.
Cold Sores And Fever Blisters
Cold sores are blister-like bumps that usually appear on lips and around the mouth (1).
Fever blisters and oral herpes also share the same characteristics of cold sores.
In the next stage, small fluid-filled sores appear, usually on lip lines.
This viral infection may also appear in the mouth, on the face, skin, fingers, or around the mouth.
It usually takes up to two weeks for the cold sores or fever blisters to get healed.
Herpes simplex virus causes cold sores.
This virus enters the body via a lesion or cracks on the skin.
The blisters that appear on the skin are the result of damages caused to the skin tissues by the herpes simplex virus while they reproduce and multiply (4).
The cold-sore virus is the same as the virus which causes genital herpes. HSV 1 causes cold sores, HSV 2 causes genital herpes. In some cases, HSV 1 virus can also cause genital herpes (5).
Common symptoms of fever blisters or cold sores are (6):
- A cluster of fluid-filled blisters
- Pain and itching at the site of sores
Some of the factors that trigger the outbreak of cold sores are (7):
- emotional upset
- psychological stress
- injury in the affected area
- suffering other infections
- prolonged exposure to the sun.
However, cold sores or fever blisters can also occur without any of the triggers.
It is a contagious infection that transfers from the infected person to another via physical contact or by sharing the objects used by the patient.
Benefits Of Using Coconut Oil
Coconut is rich in fatty acids.
About 50% of fatty acids in this oil consist of 12-carbon Lauric Acid.
After digestion, the Lauric Acid forms a substance called monolaurin.
Both monolaurin and Lauric acid can eliminate harmful pathogens like fungi, viruses, and bacteria that cause infections (8).
Coconut oil is proven to help health conditions like:
- Heart diseases
- LDL blood cholesterol
- Abdominal fat
- Hair loss
- Dry skin
Some of the studies have shown the effectiveness of coconut oil in healing microbial infections.
Does Coconut oil for Cold Sores Work?
Coconut oil has antiviral and antibacterial compounds that help in eliminating the virus that causes herpes and cold sores.
Let us now have a look at some of the constituent properties in this oil beneficial for healing herpes.
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT)
The saturated fat in coconut oil is mostly made up of medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs.
Lauric acid and capric acid are two MCTs in coconut oil.
MCTs are powerful pathogen pulverizer.
MCTs also help in the quick healing of inflammation on the skin caused by infections.
Thus, MCTs may help in the faster healing of sores and regeneration of new skin tissues in the sores affected area.
According to another report published in coconutoil.com, MCTs help in destroying the fatty coat surrounding the herpes virus (15).
When Lauric acid in coconut oil is metabolized it forms monocaprin which is a potent virus killer.
Coconut oil specifically effective for herpes and cold sores because of the monocaprin, an antiviral substance it produces.
Arginine In Coconut Oil
Arginine, like lysine, is an amino acid.
This particular α-amino acid is highly potent in killing the herpes virus.
The kernel of the coconut is high in arginine.
However, some health scientists say that arginine can aggravate cold sore conditions (16).
It is still a disputed issue whether it works for or against cold sores.
However, coconut oil has only an insignificant amount of arginine in it, unlike the raw coconut kernel.
Benefits of Coconut Oil Treatment For Fever Blisters
The monolaurin formed from coconut oil during the metabolic process in the body begins to take effect on sores.
Monolaurin gradually begins to work from within the body to fight against the pathogenic virus and bacteria.
Consuming coconut oil is equally or more effective than the local application of the oil on the sores affected area.
The coconut oil is equally beneficial for cold sores, fever blisters, and genital herpes.
Applying coconut oil to the sores affected area reduces the outbreak of blisters.
This oil can also help in reducing the pain and itching sensation caused by cold sores.
Applying coconut oil to the lips is useful for removing the crusts and flakes formed while sores are getting healed.
Some of the ointments you use for applying to the sores affected area can make your skin dry and scaly. In such cases, applying coconut oil can produce the twin benefits of moistening the dry skin and healing the blisters.
How to Use Coconut Oil For Blisters and Sores?
Coconut oil treatment for cold sores consists of consuming and applying the oil to the sores affected area.
Most people do not find any difficulty in consuming coconut oil directly.
You can ingest one tablespoon of coconut oil per day.
If you find it difficult to eat raw coconut oil, then there are other options as well.
You can mix a tablespoon of this oil into a cup of warm coffee or tea and then drink.
Alternatively, you can also make use of coconut oil for salad dressing, as cooking oil, or as ingredients of the dishes, you prepare for meals.
Use only virgin coconut oil for consumption.
Applying coconut oil directly to the cold sores affected area is another method of treatment.
Take one q-tip of coconut oil and apply it to the area of the skin infected with cold sores.
You can start applying the coconut oil at the start of the cold sores. That is when you begin to experience the tingling and burning sensation of impending herpes infection on any part of the skin.
Applying the oil to the affected area helps to heal the sores within a short period.
It is also useful for soothing the symptoms of cold sores such as itching and burning sensation.
Coconut oil helps in moisturizing the skin and removes the flakes and crusts formed by the sores.
You can continue to apply the coconut oil daily even after the disappearance of the sores. This helps to diminish the scars and blemishes on the skin caused by the blisters.
Cold sores become worse if you have to be in the sun for a long time. You can use coconut oil as a sunscreen lotion to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.
It is a nice thing to carry a small jar of coconut oil with you while on long travel or when you have to be in the outdoors for many hours.
Other Simple Remedies You Can Use Along With Coconut Oil Treatment
Here are some ways to get rid of cold sores and fever blisters quickly.
Start using over-the-counter (OTC) anesthetic gel to alleviate pain.
Use oral antiviral medication to speed up the healing process or prevent the recurrence of cold sores.
You can perform a cold compress on the sores affected area to relieve the pain and burning caused by sores. This also helps to suppress the activities of the herpes virus.
Consult your doctor and get prescription medicines for getting rid of the herpes simplex virus.
It is also good to consume Vitamin C supplements to strengthen your immune system to withstand the attack of infectious pathogens.
Taking L-lysine supplements can reduce the frequency of attacks of oral herpes in some people.
The Bottom Line
MCTs in coconut oil are remarkable virus killers.
Of course, this oil is not a scientifically proven remedy for cold sores or fever blisters. Yet, the experiences of people vouch for the effectiveness of this oil.
Make it a diet habit to include coconut oil in the daily diet to protect your body from future attacks of the herpes virus.
Once the fever blisters are fully formed, there’s no magical solution for making them quickly disappear within a day or two.
Coconut oil mostly helps in reducing the symptoms of cold sores rather than healing them instantly.
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