Elderberry Tea: The Natural Cold Sore Killer

When it comes to frustrating skin conditions, few things are as aggravating as a cold sore. With no cure in sight, the most people can do today is simply try to deal with its symptoms as best they can, whether through over-the-counter treatment or home remedies. Elderberry tea may be one such remedy; while it cannot cure a cold sore, its beneficial properties may offer a tasty way to shorten its healing time.

What Causes a Cold Sore?

A cold sore is a blister (or series of blisters) occurring around the mouth. They are the result of an infection from the herpes simplex virus (HSV), and can be contracted either by coming into contact with a cold sore, or touching infected fluid. Common methods of transfer include kissing someone infected with a cold sore, sharing utensils with an infected person or drinking from the same glass, or touching infected saliva. Once a cold sore has developed, it will frequently break open, which results in an oozing of fluid until the wound crusts over. It may also be accompanied by soreness and pain around the affected area, a sore throat, fever and swelling of the lymph nodes.

Cold Sores & Elderberry Tea

The Risk of Repeated Outbreaks

Because the cause is viral, there is currently no cure for cold sores. While treatment options do exist, these deal only with reducing pain and swelling, and may at best shorten healing time. Unfortunately, HSV is never fully removed from the body, and may cause occasional outbreaks throughout your entire life. However, it is also possible to become infected with the virus and never experience an outbreak. Most outbreaks will have accompanying triggers, such as stress, a weakened immune system, or damage to the skin around the mouth. Other viral infections may also trigger an outbreak, such as a cold or flu (hence the name cold sore).


How Can Elderberry Tea Help?

Elderberry tea offers defense against cold sores in a number of ways. The antiviral properties are especially useful; although it cannot completely eliminate the virus, it may help to reduce the spread of infection and shorten the healing of an outbreak. Elderberry also offers anti-inflammatory properties, which may reduce swelling at the site of an outbreak, as well as pain and itching. Furthermore, elderberry helps to fortify the immune system, which may reduce the risk of an outbreak triggered by weakened immunity or a separate viral infection.

Drinking elderberry tea is one way to take advantage of its benefits. You may also take the tea bag used to make the tea and, once it has cooled, apply it to the site of infection for a few minutes to further benefit from its anti-inflammatory effects. This method should not be used, however, if the cold sore has broken open. Discard any tea bag immediately after it has come in contact with a cold sore, and remember to carefully wash any mug or cup you use to reduce the spread of infection.