Courtesy of anti-inflammatory and immune-strengthening properties, licorice root has the potential to reduce the recovery time of cold sores. If used in moderation, there is a legitimate chance of seeing positive results.
While many alternative fever blister treatments blur the lines between healthy and dangerous, licorice root can be beneficial. Similar to essential oils, plant-based products provide encouraging results with only limited potential side effects (when used correctly).
Although we recommend that you use a proven over the counter cold sore medication, licorice root is worthy of your consideration. It has healing and therapeutic qualities. It provides another option if OTC creams and gels have been failing you (or you want to boost their effectiveness).
Licorice root is one of the ingredients that’s used in FDA-approved products, such as HERP-B-GONE cream. Is licorice root for you? Let’s explore the topic and answer a few of the most common questions.
Can Licorice Root Heal Cold Sores Faster?
Glycyrrhizin is a potent anti-inflammatory that can reduce the swelling and discomfort brought on by cold sores. Serving as the perfect complement, flavonoids found in licorice extract can stunt the growth of the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). While the findings have proven inconclusive in humans, the quelling of the virus has been seen in test tubes.
Licorice root is native to both Europe and Asia. It has been used as a healer for many generations and has been used to treat a host of internal and external issues.
- Thanks in part to helpful compounds known as glycyrrhizin and flavonoids, licorice root has natural healing properties.
- It has been used for generations to treat a plethora of medical ailments, including skin conditions.
What Are the Medicinal Properties of Licorice Root?
The backbone of licorice root is one of cleansing, soothing, protecting, and healing. This root can also be used to stimulate the adrenal gland and promote relaxation.
Due in no small measure to glycyrrhizic acid, licorice root can tackle many ailments. Serving as an anti-inflammatory as well as an immune booster, licorice root has many characteristics that are found in modern Western medicine. Imagine if a natural swelling reducer such as Ibuprofen that also could boost your immune health. That is mostly what it has the potential to do for your body.
The ability to heal a sore while promoting strong immune health is critical. Being that a weakened immune system is a known activator of fever blisters, licorice root cannot only heal an active sore but potentially prevent a future outbreak.
Maintaining a good standard of general health is always the objective. This is why plants, roots, essential oils, natural vitamins, etc. are wildly popular and consumed on a daily basis. And that’s why they’re used in natural products, such as HERP-B-GONE cream.
How Do I Use Licorice Root?
There are two distinct types of licorice root: standard root and de-glycyrrhizinated (DGL). Regarding treating cold sores, the usual selection should always be your final choice. This is because glycyrrhizin is one of the most critical compounds in the standard root and this will provide you with the most significant benefits.
Standard root comes in a variety of forms:
- Liquid extract
- Gel capsules
If you actively carry HSV-1 is it essential to avoid dried and unprocessed root due to the potential irritation factor. While the beneficial compounds are in play, the aggressiveness of the texture can be harmful. The other forms can be consumed without issue or used as a topical cream.
Noted below is a quick “how to” process for both consumption and application purposes:
- Topical root (liquid extract) can be applied as a cream or gel by using your fingertips or a cotton swab. It can also be used as a lip balm during your time of need when nothing else seems to work.
- Root pills should always be crushed, not consumed. By crushing the pills and mixing them with water or an essential oil of your choosing you can form a gel or paste. This is another form of topical treatment you can apply directly to your cold sore.
- Root pills can also be crushed and mixed with one cup of warm water to form a mouthwash. This can help to cleanse your mouth while also inhibiting the spread of HSV-1. This is recommended three or four times per day if you have active fever blisters.
How to Prepare Licorice Root Tea
Licorice tea is not only a positive way to treat cold sores and build your immune system but also a quality way to cleanse your body. If you are searching for a good detox, licorice root tea is a great option.
The instructions for preparation are straightforward. Although you can buy licorice tea, this is how you can prepare it at home:
- Boil water in a saucepan. Measure the water based on how much tea you would like to prepare.
- Add a single ounce of licorice root for roughly every 4-5 ounces of water.
- Once the water comes to a boil, allow the tea to sit away from the heat for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the liquid to steep.
- Pour the tea through a liquid strainer. This will allow on the tea to pass through while catching any pieces of the actual root.
- Consumption of licorice tea should be done in moderation. If you are dealing with an active cold sore, it is wise to stop consumption once your sore has healed. While effective, licorice tea is quite potent.
Are there Any Side Effects or Risks?
Licorice root can cause side effects if too much is consumed within a short period of time. Similar in many ways to alcohol, many of the side effects are based on high consumption rather than the actual makeup of the root itself.
The high intake of licorice root can cause potassium levels to decline. This can introduce a muscle weakness condition known as hypokalemia. Fluid build-up in the legs and feet, as well as abnormal metabolism, is also a side effect.
Another issue concerning intake involves high blood pressure and heartbeat irregularities. Similar to that of an energy drink, too much licorice root can send your body into overdrive. Young children, especially under the age of 10, should never consume high levels of licorice root due to the threat of severe hypertension. Women who are pregnant are advised to avoid it entirely.
- Important: the same possible side effects are also caused by heavy tea consumption. Licorice tea containing glycyrrhizin can be dangerous if consumed on a regular basis for longer than 7-10 days. It should be used in moderation and for a limited timeframe.
- Licorice root and tea can cause a host of issues if consumed on a regular basis.
- Some of these issues include a decline in potassium, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and swelling of the legs.
- Children under the age of 10 should avoid high consumption, and pregnant women should never consume it.
- Root tea containing glycyrrhizin should be consumed no more than 7-10 days consecutively.
How to Treat Cold Sores Naturally
The best way to treat cold sores naturally is through the use of similar natural remedies, such as essential oils for cold sores. Tea tree oil and peppermint oil are very common fever blister treatments. Both can be used as a beverage selection or a lip balm.
On average it takes roughly 10-14 days for a cold sore to heal if FDA-approved medication is not administered. If you have the patience, you can just allow your cold sores to heal in their own time. Cold sore scabs should never be removed early as it could leave a red mark when it’s gone.
- The best natural treatments often involve essential oils and plant-based remedies.
- Cold sores will likely heal in less than two weeks. If you can maintain a “hands-off” approach the notion of implementing a no-treatment approach could work.
- Licorice root extract is used in top medical products, such as HERP-B-GONE cream. This would be the right choice for those who want to benefit from all-natural ingredients.
Although there is, unfortunately, no such thing as a proven cold sore healer of the natural variety, licorice root is beneficial when used correctly. If applied and consumed in moderation, it can reduce inflammation and boost your immune health. Your objective should always be to treat your fever blisters healthily.