Homemade Cold Sore Salve


Today’s recipe is a simple herbal salve for cold sores. They are one of those annoying things that seems to strike at the most inconvenient of times, always when you least need them! (Which is always, always when you are stressed!). Before we begin, if you find you are feeling rather stressed lately, I wrote a lovely meditation to help you unwind and release tension here. Practising this meditation may also help in the prevention of nasty cold sore outbreaks. Ok, let’s get started!

Herbs and Oils to heal Cold Sores

I  chose the following herbs and oils to use in this healing salve:

Coconut oil: Olive oil is traditionally used as a base in herbal infused oils and in salve making, but I chose coconut for its strong anti-viral properties.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis): Lemon balm is a fantastic calming, soothing herb to aid to stress and tension (cold sores are often triggered by stress). Additionally, it is an effective anti-viral that is safe to use topically. I have used both the dried herb and the oil in this remedy.

Peppermint Essential Oil: In this study, it was found that peppermint oil was extremely effective at inhibiting the herpes virus and can also be used therapeutically, topically. Add to this – it is cooling and has both a pleasant taste and scent.

Tee Tree Essential Oil: Also a known anti-viral, tee tree has the added benefit of being antiseptic and antibacterial. This is useful once those painful blisters have broken and start to heal, to keep it free from any chance of an infection.

St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum): I used the dried herb in the infusion of the base oil. St John’s wort is both anti-viral and incredibly beneficial for stress and anxiety. Used externally it is a great anti-inflammatory.

Clove Essential Oil: Clove is a dear friend of mine, I once had ‘dry sockets’ – a complication after having my wisdom teeth removed (the blood clots dislodge prematurely from the sockets, exposing the raw nerves). An emergency trip to the dentist saw him stuff the sockets with clove buds and the pain relief was instant. Clove is what we call an analgesic – a pain reliever. I put a tiny bit in the salve to aid in that horrible aching tingling feeling you get. Be warned though – please don’t use more than suggested – it is quite strong! 

And a special, secret ingredient:

I have been enjoying learning more about vibrational medicine lately, which refers to the subtle energies of the etheric body having an affect on the physical body at the cellular level. Flower essences, homeopathy, sound therapy and crystal therapy are all examples of therapies used to balance the energies of the body in order to create harmony.

Crystals (and flowers) carry a certain vibration, or frequency, with them. It is possible to transfer these healing frequencies and information from the crystal to either water or oil, which you then can ingest in order to receive the healing benefits.

For this recipe, I have tried infusing the base oil of the salve with the energies of a crystal specific to healing herpes, to add a little extra magic power in the remedy. 

Crystal Infused Oil

The crystal I chose is called Chrysoprase. A bright aqua green, it is useful for healing herpes as well as other skin disorders such such as psoriasis and fungal infections.

Whilst water is known as a universal energy storage medium, oil can also become attuned with the vibrations of a gem or crystal with which it is infused. Sun or the light of the full moon is used to transfer these energies.

To make my crystal infused oil, I simply placed the chrysoprase in a glass with the oil and left it for a day in the full sunlight before use. Some crystals aren’t suitable for making infused waters, essences or oils, (they can leach toxic minerals) I have a great handbook that lists the ones to avoid, you can find it here.



Homemade Cold Sore Salve

Lemon Balm • St John’s wort • Coconut • Tea Tree • Clove • Peppermint

To make a salve, you generally start with a base oil infused with herbs, then you add the other ingredients. We add the essential oils last as the mixture starts to cool, as the essential oils are volatile and will evaporate with the heat.

Herbal Oil:

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 15g St John’s wort (dried herb)
  • 15g Lemon Balm (dried herb)


  1. Melt coconut oil in a double boiler/in a glass bowl over water that has only JUST reached a simmer, add herbs and mix well, leave for two hours, checking regularly to ensure there is enough water in the pan still as it simmers away. If after two hours the oil has taken on the colour and scent of the herbs, perfect, if not, leave for another couple of hours.
  2. The longer and you can leave your herbs to extract the better, as long as it is at a very low temperature.
  3. Strain through cheesecloth/nut milk bag, wring out the herbs to get every little magical last drop of goodness out.


  • 60ml of the above herbal oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped/grated organic beeswax (about 15g) (deeply moisturising, soothing, creates a protective layer over the skin)
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated cacao butter (a rich moisturizer, rich source of fatty acids to aid in emulsification, gives firmness)
  • 10 drops Melissa essential oil (Lemon Balm)


  • 2 drops of clove oil (pain relief)
  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil (anti-viral, cooling, pleasant scent)
  • 2 drops tea tree essential oil (anti-viral)


  1. In a double boiler, combine the herbal oil with the beeswax and cacao butter and let the water simmer till everything has melted and combined, stir frequently.
  2. At this point, you may want to test the consistency of the salve. Spoon a little into a container and set in the freezer for a few minutes. If it is too soft, add more beeswax, if it is too firm, add more oil.
  3. Remove from heat, let cool a little, add the essential oils (they are heat sensitive so adding them to a hot mixture will see the volatile oils evaporate and escape), pour into little lip containers or small pots, set in the fridge. Make sure you label them so you remember what they are and when you made them!


Where to find…

Herbs: Try your local health food store, alternatively, you can source them from Austral Herbs.

Jars/droppers: Perfect potion

Skin care/bases/wax: Body Temple, Australia





Lauren Glucina is a plant-based whole foods Nutritionist, Naturopath and Medical Herbalist. She is a passionate advocate for food as medicine. Lauren has also formally trained as a Raw Foods Chef and has a soft spot for raw treats. 

Lauren is available for Natural & Nutritional Medicine consultations here.

  • Great post and blog. I create organic skin care products and want to include some crystal energy. I do have one question, can I put the crystals in the various oils and leave them there? Thank you, pinned and shared. Consider stopping by my blog later this evening and sharing a yummy recipe on Real Food Fridays Link Up.