Tea bags are one of the best ideas for a cold sore home remedy. Just about everyone has some tea bags in the house, so the great thing about this treatment is that you likely won’t even have to leave the house to get it. The tea bag first of all acts as a compress to relieve inflammation and discomfort. But it’s the tannic acid in tea, which is considered to be an antioxidant, which seems to suppress the virus and dry out the cold sore to help it heal faster.
Start by placing a tea bag in some hot water for a few minutes. This is important in order to release the tannic acids. Pull out the tea bag and squeeze out the excess water. Let it come down in temperature until it’s warm but not hot enough to burn you, then place it on the cold sore and leave it there for about 20 minutes to half an hour. This will dry up the sore and relieve the pain, although it will still need to finish the scabbing process. Have some paper towel handy because it can get messy.
Some people believe that Earl Grey tea is more effective than other types of tea due to the bergamot oil that it contains. People who use this method recommend that you completely cool the steeped tea bag in the fridge before applying it to the cold sore.