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Does Apple Cider Vinegar Speed up Cold Sore Recovery?

Apple cider vinegar for cold sores

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has long been a fan favorite in the natural health and wellness community.  From weight loss and detoxification to dandruff and insect bites, it seems there’s nothing ACV can’t do.

Can it even speed up cold sore recovery? Hype and old wives' tales aside, let’s dig into the truth behind the real healing capabilities of apple cider vinegar cold sore remedies.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is made by exposing crushed apples to yeast. This ferments the sugars into alcohol. Next, bacteria are added to accelerate fermentation and turn the alcohol into acetic acid, the main active compound in vinegar. Acetic acid is the hallmark of vinegar; it’s to thank for that unmistakably pungent odor and flavor.

Depending on how it’s produced, ACV also offers a benefit that other kinds of vinegar don’t. Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains “the mother”, a substance containing strands of proteins, enzymes, and healthy bacteria. “The mother” creates a murky vinegar appearance and is credited for a wide range of health benefits.

What’s the Science Behind Apple Cider Vinegar Cold Sore Remedies?

Unfiltered ACV has become known as a panacea in natural health circles. It only takes a few seconds on Google to browse through articles claiming apple cider vinegar can relieve sunburn, alleviate acne, improve cardiovascular health, reduce blood pressure, and everything in between.

But is there science to backup the hype surrounding ACV? Like most other home remedies, evidence of ACV’s healing powers are mainly anecdotal. Clinical research is limited, so there’s little evidence directly supporting the efficacy of apple cider vinegar’s healing powers. But no studies exist that indicate ACV is inefficient, either!

The truth is that anecdotal evidence often precedes scientific validation. Apple cider vinegar cold sore treatment is a popular natural alternative for people suffering from the pain and discomfort of a herpes outbreak. It can’t cure cold sores or create an overnight miracle, but apple cider vinegar cold sore remedies may provide some extra relief.

ACV cold sore treatment

Can ACV’s Alkalinity Fight the Cold Sore Virus?

Proponents of apple cider vinegar believe that the substance’s alkaline nature helps it combat the herpes virus. Since ACV is fermented from apples, not diluted alcohol, it contains a higher quantity of alkaline nutrients like potassium, calcium, and magnesium, when compared to pure white vinegar.

Despite these alkaline nutrients, ACV is still a mildly acidic substance with a pH of 2-3. No evidence suggests that apple cider vinegar can alkalize your body. It’s possible that the nutrients in ACV can alleviate active cold sores, but there’s no guarantee.

Is There Evidence That ACV Combats Infections?

There’s no cure for the herpes virus that causes cold sores, but there are ways to minimize the potential for the herpes virus to become active and cause unwanted outbreaks.

Some evidence suggests that the antimicrobial and antiviral properties of ACV help combat infections in the body, including herpes. Vinegar kills pathogens, which is why it’s popular in cleaning and disinfecting applications. The same rules may apply to the herpes virus, which is why some people address outbreaks by applying ACV onto their cold sores.

The Link Between ACV, Probiotics, and a Healthy Immune System

Probiotics are critical to a healthy immune system. These live, helpful bacteria support your digestive system, which significantly influences your immune function. Though apple cider vinegar is not a probiotic food like yogurt or kombucha, it may have probiotic effects.

ACV is most likely to provide probiotic benefits if it’s unfiltered and contains “the mother”. As soon as “the mother” is filtered out, ACV loses its main source of nutrients and other protective properties.

ACV cold sores

How to Try ACV To Heal Cold Sores

Even though academic journals aren’t overflowing with evidence of apple cider vinegar cold sore treatment results, it can’t hurt to give this natural remedy a try! You may be surprised to experience expedited cold sore relief after strategically applying ACV to your outbreak.

Just be sure to use ACV safely. These tips can help:

  • -Dilute apple cider vinegar with water in a 1:10 radio, then soak a cotton ball in the solution. Apply to your cold sore once or twice a day until the scab heals
  • -Make a paste by blending honey and diluted ACV. Apply the paste once or twice daily for up to ten minutes. Gently remove with a soft cloth to prevent disruption to your cold sore scabs. 
  • -Blend ACV with tea tree essential oil for ultra-powered antibacterial and antiviral action against the herpes virus. Apply daily with a cotton ball and repeat until your cold sores disappear. 

The Bottom Line: Does ACV Speed Up Cold Sore Recovery, Or Not?

Apple cider vinegar isn’t proven to treat or manage herpes, but if you’re seeking a simple home remedy for your cold sores, ACV may be able to help. Just don’t expect an overnight miracle!

For clinically proven results that you can count on, try the Luminance RED instead. The Luminance RED device harnesses breakthrough LED technology to beat cold sores at their own game. In fact, patients who received treatment in clinical trials experienced a 49% reduction in healing time compared to those who weren’t treated.

ACV will always remain in your pantry when needed in a pinch, but the Luminance RED can shorten healing time and prevent future outbreaks altogether.

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