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Cold sores are embarrassing painful blisters on the lips and outer edges of the lips. Cold sores are often referred to as fever blisters.
These blisters are often confused with canker sores, however canker sores are small sores that appear on the soft tissues of the mouth such as the tongue or walls of the mouth, and are not contagious. The cold sore blister is caused by the herpes simplex virus. The skin around the blister is inflamed and over time the blister will weep a clear fluid after which the blister will then scab over. The herpes simplex virus are contagious and can be spread by coughing, touch, and using the same towels, cups, or other items that come into contact with the affected area. Cold sores usually last 7 to 10 days, however with home made remedies or over the counter creams, the life of the blister can be reduced.
Cold sores need to be treated by herbs that have antiviral properties. Lemon balm and St. John's wort are particularly helpful in killing the herpes virus. The use of herbs with antiviral properties is known to reduce the life of the cold sore.
1 tablespoon fresh lemon balm (or freeze-dried)
1 cup boiling water
Pour boiling water over lemon balm. Let steep 15 minutes. Drink as a tea, hot or cold. It is safe to consume as much lemon balm tea as you want. Several cups a day may help keep the herpes virus in check. Do not use dried lemon balm unless you just picked and dried it yourself and it still has a strong lemony smell, as its active ingredients are lost in the slow-drying process; freeze-drying retains them.