Lemon balm for treatment of cold sores

Preliminary studies suggest lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) may shorten the healing time of cold sores. Some people also use it to prevent outbreaks, but there is not much evidence to support how well it works.1 More research is needed.

Most cold sores heal on their own without prescription medications or complementary therapies.


  1. Murray MT, Pizzorno JE Jr (2006). Herpes simplex. In JE Pizzorno Jr, MT Murray, eds., Textbook of Natural Medicine, 3rd ed., vol. 2, pp. 1723–1726. St. Louis: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.

Last Updated: March 13, 2008

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