Coconut Oil For Cold Sores: Benefits And Ways To Use

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 also is an exceptional natural remedy for treating several common infections.

Coconut oil for cold sores 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 the lips and around the mouth.

Fever blisters and oral herpes also share the same characteristics as cold sores.

The virus usually starts by making your mouth and lips itch, tingle, or burn. Sores follow this.

Small, fluid-filled sores appear in the next stage, usually on the lips.

This viral infection may also appear in the mouth, on the face, on the skin, on the fingers, or around the mouth.

It usually takes up to two weeks for the cold sores to heal.


The herpes simplex virus causes cold sores.

This virus enters the body via a lesion or cracks in the skin.

The eruptions on the skin result from damage caused to the skin tissues by the herpes simplex virus while it reproduces and multiplies.

The cold-sore virus is the same as the virus that causes genital herpes. HSV-1 causes cold sores, and HSV-2 causes genital herpes. In some cases, the HSV-1 virus can also cause genital herpes.


Common symptoms of fever blisters are:

  • A cluster of fluid-filled blisters
  • Pain and itching at the site of sores
  • Fever
  • Headache


Some of the factors that trigger the outbreak of cold sores are:

  • emotional upset
  • psychological stress
  • injury in the infected area
  • fever
  • suffering other infections
  • menstruation
  • pregnancy
  • prolonged exposure to the sun.

However, cold sores can also occur without any of the triggers.

It is a contagious infection that transfers from one infected person to another via physical contact or by sharing the objects used by the patient.

Benefits Of Coconut Oil  

Coconut oil contains rich in fatty acids.

About 50% of the fatty acids in this oil consist of 12-carbon lauric acid.

After digestion, lauric acid forms a substance called monolaurin.

Both monolaurin and lauric acid can eliminate harmful pathogens like fungi, viruses, and bacteria that cause infections.

Monolaurin has been shown in some studies to kill bacteria that cause yeast infections, such as Staphylococcus aureus and the yeast Candida albicans.

It is proven to help prevent and heal conditions like:

Some studies have shown coconut oil’s effectiveness in healing microbial infections.

Is Coconut Oil Good For Cold Sores?

This oil has antiviral and antibacterial compounds that help eliminate the virus that causes herpes and cold sores. It has effective antimicrobial and antiinflammatory potency.

Let us now look at some of the constituent properties in this oil that are 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 this oil.

MCTs are powerful pathogen pulverizers.

According to some recent studies, MCTs can potentially eliminate or suppress disease-causing pathogens like bacteria, parasites, fungi, and viruses.

MCTs also help quickly heal inflammation on the skin caused by infections.

MCTs are an excellent source of energy. A good portion of the MCTs you consume is converted into ketones, which activate special proteins required for cellular repair and regeneration.

Thus, MCTs may help heal sores faster and regenerate new skin tissues in the affected area.

According to another report published on, MCTs help destroy the fatty coating surrounding the HSV.

When lauric acid in coconut oil is metabolized, it forms monocaprin, a potent virus killer.

Coconut oil is specifically effective for herpes and cold sores because it produces monocaprin, an antiviral substance.

Arginine In Coconut Oil

Arginine, like lysine, is an amino acid.

This specific amino acid is extremely effective at 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.

Whether it works for or against cold sores is still a disputed issue.

However, coconut oil has only an insignificant amount of arginine, unlike the raw coconut kernel.

How Does Coconut Oil Help 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 pathogenic viruses and bacteria.

Consuming coconut oil is equally or more effective than the local oil application in the sores-affected area.

Coconut oil may be beneficial for cold sores and genital herpes.

Applying coconut oil to the sores-affected area reduces the outbreak of blisters.

This oil can also help reduce the pain and itching sensation caused by cold sores.

Applying coconut oil to the lips is useful for removing the crusts and flakes that form while sores are healing.

Some of the ointments you use for applying to the sores-infected area can make your skin dry and scaly. Applying coconut oil can produce the twin benefits of moistening dry skin and healing eruptions in such cases.

Ways To Use Coconut Oil For Cold Sores

Coconut oil treatment for cold sores consists of consuming and applying the oil to the sores.

Internally Consuming

Most people do not find any difficulty in consuming coconut oil directly.

You can ingest one tablespoon of coconut oil per day.

There are other options if you find it difficult to eat raw coconut oil.

Mix a tablespoon of this oil into a cup of warm coffee or tea, and then drink.

Alternatively, you can use coconut oil for salad dressing, cooking oil, or ingredients in the dishes you prepare for meals.

Use only virgin coconut oil for consumption.

Applying Oil Topically

Applying coconut oil directly to the cold sores affected area is another treatment method.

Take one q-tip of coconut oil and apply it to the area of the skin infected with cold sores. Repeat the application three times a day.

You can start applying 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 sensations.

Coconut oil helps moisturize the skin and remove 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 sores.

Cold sores scabs worsen if you stay in the sun for a long time. You can use coconut oil as a sunscreen lotion to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

It is nice to carry a small jar of coconut oil while on long travel or when you have to be outdoors for many hours.

Other Simple Solutions For Cold Sores

Here are some ways to quickly eliminate cold sores.

Essential oils are traditional medicine to treat cold sores, especially tea tree essential oil is outstanding. Other effective essential oils include peppermint, oregano, lavender, anise, ginger, and chamomile oils.

Many use lemon balm to eliminate the virus that causes cold sores.

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 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 to eliminate the herpes simplex virus.

It is also good to consume Vitamin C supplements to strengthen your immune system and withstand attacks from infectious pathogens.

Taking L-lysine supplements can reduce the frequency of oral herpes attacks in some people.

Final Thought 

MCTs in coconut oil are remarkable virus killers. It’s rich in antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Of course, this oil is not a scientifically proven remedy for cold sores. Nonetheless, people’s experiences attest to the effectiveness of this oil.

Make it a habit to include coconut oil in your daily diet to protect your body from future attacks of the herpes virus.

Once the sores are fully formed, there’s no magical solution for making them quickly disappear within a day or two.

Coconut oil helps reduce the symptoms of cold sores rather than heal them instantly.

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