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Is coconut oil cold sore treatment really effective? Is it backed by research studies or is it just another hyped up use of trendy coconut oil?
Coconut oil for cold sores? Sure, why not? There’s dozens of things coconut oil can help with. It can get rid of chicken skin. And it adds luster to your hair. It’s a great massage oil and lubricant. In addition, coconut oil is healthy to cook with and you can even add it to your coffee.
Fewer people, though, know it can help treat cold sores.
Why does coconut oil cold sore treatment work?
Coconut oil is scientifically-proven to kill viruses. Cold sores are viruses. Herpes viruses, to be exact. More accurately, herpes virus simplex 1.
What’s in coconut oil that makes it a cold sore killer?
Specifically, fats known as medium chain triglicyerides or MCT’s for short. MCTs, of which there are three, have 6 to 12 carbon chains. Studies such as this one show MCTs may kill several different kinds of bad bacteria, parasites, fungi, and viruses. Specifically, the good fats in coconut oil kill the outer fatty layer of cold sores. This may potentially speed the healing of these pesky, painful and unsightly sores.
Roughly two-thirds of coconut oil is MCT oil. And not only can you get the benefits of MCTs by ingesting coconut oil, you can apply it topically.
In other words, rubbing some coconut oil on your cold sore may speed up the recovery. Better yet, start applying it as soon as you feel the tingle before the cold sore appears. This is the basis for coconut oil cold sore treatment.
MCTs are such a powerful pathogen pulverizer. In fact, coconut oil can improve the quality of life of HIV-positive people. This is especially true in developing countries that have low supplies of antiviral drugs.
Followers of very low-carb diets such as the Ketogenic Diet know MCTs are a good source of energy. What does this have to do with cold sores and coconut oil? Well, some MCTs that you eat convert into ketones. Ketones are fatty acids that the body, especially the brain, uses for energy. Another important role ketones perform activating special proteins. These proteins may help trigger cellular repair.
The cellular repair initiated by ketones is mostly in the brain. However, perhaps your lips can also undergo repair by MCT’s conversion into ketones?
Admittedly, that’s pure hypothesis.
But this research from Iceland seems definitive. It shows that MCTs destroy the fatty coat surrounding the herpes virus. Remember, cold sores are the type 1 herpes virus. Lauric acid and capric acid are two MCTs in coconut oil. When you metabolize them, they convert into monocaprin. Why is this important? Because monocaprin, according to the study is the most lethal virus killer of all the fats that were studied by the researchers. In fact, monocaprin’s actions resulted in a 100,000 fold reduction of type 1 herpes virus.
Monolaurin, is a compound made from the lauric acid in coconut oil coconut oil. And, it has been shown to be effective at combating herpes virus. It’s one of the best coconut oil cold sore treatments as it extracts the most active component.
Coconut oil fever blisters
But not all sores on the lip are because of the herpes virus. When you’re out in the hot dry sun you can develop painful fever blisters. Can coconut oil help with fever blisters, too?
Yes, for many of the same reasons coconut oil for cold sores works.
Many people rely on over-the-counter remedies for cold sores or fever blisters. However, some people can’t use prescriptions. Pregnant women are one example. And other people simply want a natural remedy for fever blisters.
Every living thing and food contains amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Not only the protein in a piece of, say, chicken breast, but also your own body’s proteins. Lysine is one of those amino acids. Coconut oil contains lysine. And it’s this lysine which may help both prevent and heal fever blisters.
Again, use the same coconut oil cold sore treatment by applying the oil to your lips as soon as possible after you feel tingling. Although this method can speed up the healing process, once a fever blister fully forms, there’s no magical solution for making it quickly disappear.
It might be a good idea for you to always have a small jar of coconut oil with you. Especially, if you’re exercising outdoors in the sun or at the beach. Keep in mind, though, that when the ambient temperature is cool, coconut oil becomes solid. This makes it difficult to apply to the lips. You may want to keep it in a roller bottle in warmer weather.
For coconut oil cold sore and fever blister prevention, eat a spoonful or two of the oil a day. To apply it topically on your lips, if the coconut oil is solid, you’ll have to heat some up. Put a large dab of it in a frying pan at medium low temp for just 30 seconds or so.
Quick ways to get rid of cold sores
Want the fastest way to get rid of a cold sore? Then don’t use coconut oil. Instead, buy an over-the-counter cold sore remedy. Better yet, before the cold sore is visible, get a prescription from your doctor.
Although for the all-natural minded, this solution offers little comfort, there’s little risk of side effects from cold sore medications. At least compared to other pharmaceuticals.
Using a cold compress along with a cold sore ointment can also work.
Again, it’s worth repeating that prescriptions can get rid of a developing cold sore. But once they appear, there’s really no use in rushing to your doctor to get a prescription.
Perhaps the best strategy for getting rid of a cold sore is by combining the above methods: using MCT oil, frequent cold compressing on the lips and a cold sore medication.
Coconut oil high arginine
Arginine, like lysine, is an amino acid. This may be another reason why coconut oil cold sore treatment can be effective.
Some health experts believe arginine makes cold sores worse. The flesh from coconuts (also called “coconut meat”) is high in arginine. So if you’re coo-coo for coconuts, don’t eat coconut meat when you have a cold sore.
Here’s a partial list of other foods with lots of arginine:
chocolate, peas, nuts, seeds, carob, coconut, dairy products, gelatin, meat, oats, soybeans, white flour, wheat and wheat germ
The good news is coconut oil is mostly fat. It doesn’t have enough arginine to be a concern.
Have you heard that coconut oil makes cold sores worse? Because of arginine? Well, the comforting news is that studies on arginine and its relationship to herpes were in vitro, not in vivo. In other words, these studies were done in a lab, not on humans.
But again, you really don’t have to worry because coconut oil contains barely any protein. Proteins are made by amino acids. If there’s hardly any protein, then there’s hardly any amino acids. So go ahead and use the healing coconut oil cold sore remedy.
Coconut oil cold sore treatment: conclusion
MCTs are remarkable virus killers. Still, coconut oil is not an absolute cure for cold sores. Especially if the cold sore is already visible. However, using the oil as part of your cold sore therapy may help speed up blister healing.
Do you use coconut oil for cold sores? We’d love to hear your experience….