Alternative medicine

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Although study results have been mixed, alternative medicine treatments for cold sores include:

  • Lysine. An amino acid, lysine is available as an oral supplement and as a cream.
  • Propolis. Also known as synthetic beeswax, this is available as a 3 percent ointment. When applied early and often, it may shorten the duration of the breakout.
  • Rhubarb and sage. A cream combining rhubarb and sage may be about as effective as acyclovir (Zovirax) cream.
  • Stress reduction. If your cold sores are triggered by stress, you might want to try relaxation techniques, such as deep-breathing exercises and meditation.
May 15, 2015