In this article, I’m going to teach you how to use honey for cold sores. Additionally, I’ll be going into detail about the wonderful benefits of using Manuka honey for cold sores, which is my absolute favorite.
I used to get recurring cold sores for a couple of decades of my life.
During several of those years, I would even get as many as 4-6 cold sores in a single year. And since each cold sore would take about two weeks before it was completely healed, this means that 2-3 months out of the year I would have a cold sore on my lip!
It was awful.
But fortunately, I’ve now been cold-sore-free for over four years.
Now the time has come for me to review the use of honey for cold sores. And I know you’re going to just love the science behind using honey and Manuka honey for cold sores.
But before I do that…let’s first discuss the nature of cold sores…
Honey For Cold Sores – HSV Overview
Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are groups of small blisters that form on or near the lips. Cold sores are a result of something called herpes simplex virus (HSV).
There are two types of HSV, and both can cause cold sores. HSV-1 typically is responsible for cold sores, and HSV-2 is most often the cause of genital herpes.
However, both types of HSV can cause cold sores or genital herpes.
After primary infection, the virus resides in the associated dorsal root ganglion where it lies dormant until an external stimuli (such as stress or immunosuppression) initiate reactivation of the virus from dormancy.
The virus lives on forever, and that’s why people continue to get cold sores over and over again.
Honey For Cold Sores – Honey Overview
Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance produced by bees and some related insects. Bees produce honey from the sugary secretions of plants (floral nectar) or other insects (aphid honeydew) through regurgitation, enzymatic activity, and water evaporation, and store it in wax structures called honeycombs.
The Greek physician Hippocrates (referred to as the “Father of Medicine”) was known to promote the use of honey for cold sores.
One of my favorite quotes of all time was from Hippocrates, who said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Honey For Cold Sores – How Does it Help?
Why does honey help with cold sores? Good question. The reason so many people enjoy using honey for cold sores is due to honey’s natural ability to heal the cold sore faster.
Using honey on cold sores helps because honey has the following benefits:
Honey contains abundant levels of sugar in the form of fructose and glucose. This elevated sugar concentration makes it very hard for fungi and bacteria to survive.
Ultimately, this can lead to a shortened healing time of cold sores due to the immune system not having to defend against the fungi and bacteria, which enables the immune system to use more of it’s vital resources to kill the herpes simplex virus.
Herpes Simplex Virus
Additionally, using honey on cold sores leads to the cold sore lesion receiving optimal levels of phenolic acid and certain flavonoids that can attack the cold sore virus.
Want to kick up the benefits from using honey for cold sores? Raw, unfiltered, organic honey contains a much higher concentration of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Honey For Cold Sores – Research Studies
In a study from 2004, researchers investigated the effect of the topical application of honey on recurrent attacks of cold sore lesions as compared to acyclovir cream.
Here is a summation of the results from the study:
While using honey for cold sores, the mean duration of attacks and pain, occurrence of crusting, and mean healing time with honey treatment were 35%, 39%, 28% and 43% better, respectively, than with acyclovir treatment.
Two people’s cold sores remitted completely with the use of honey.
The study concluded that “topical honey application is safe and effective in the management of the signs and symptoms of recurrent lesions from labial and genital herpes.”
In another study from 2014, honey was shown to have antiviral properties that inhibited the growth of the herpes simplex virus.
Manuka Honey For Cold Sores – Review
The most powerful way to use honey for cold sores is to use Manuka honey. Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the Manuka bush.
With Manuka honey, the nutrient profile is up to four times higher than that of normal flower honeys. And along with this fact, check out the following science that will blow your mind…
All kinds of honey have been used as natural antibiotics throughout the centuries. In recent years, researchers have discovered that honey’s power to kill germs comes from hydrogen peroxide produced with the help of a bee enzyme.
Manuka honey takes this a step further by attacking germs with a substance called methylglyoxal (MGO). Found in the nectar of some Manuka plants, this substance helps heal both minor and chronic wounds.
Munuka plant (Leptospermum scoparium)
Because of this, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved bandages infused with Manuka honey for both over-the-counter and prescription sales.
The more MGO there is in the honey, the more antiviral and antibacterial properties it has, which of course means the more effective it is for healing cold sores!
My favorite brand is Wedderspoon Raw Manuka Honey KFactor 16. It has amazing Amazon reviews and I love it.
How To Use Honey For Cold Sores
If you’re psyched up about using honey or Manuka honey for cold sores, then you’ll benefit from knowing the exact process on how to use it.
Here’s how to use honey for cold sores:
- Dip a cotton swab into some honey (Manuka is the best) and apply it generously to your cold sore.
- Once you’re finished, wash your hands with warm water and soap.
- Repeat this process 3-4 times a day.
Sometimes it can even prevent the cold sore from forming altogether, so as soon as you feel a cold sore coming on, treat it fast!
At this point, I need to mention something VERY IMPORTANT:
The key to cold sores is to prevent them from forming in the first place.
Thus, I encourage you to check out my Ultimate Guide to Preventing Cold Sores.
It’s free and has absolutely everything you need to know.
If you have any comments or questions on the use of honey for cold sores, please post them in the comment box below.