The herpes simplex virus-1 is the culprit behind those red, painful, blistery sores you may occasionally experience. Oral herpes can occur on your lips, gums, roof of your mouth, on the lining of your cheeks, and you can even experience herpes on the tongue. Beyond just being painful and unattractive, sometimes herpes can even bring on other added and uncomfortable symptoms such as a fever and achy muscles. Unfortunately, you often cannot prevent an outbreak and often you do not even realize an outbreak is on its way until it shows up. This article gives you tips on combating herpes on the tongue and other oral herpes by promoting faster healing in the comfort of your own home.

woman sticking out tongue

1. Ice

Ice has the ability to temporarily relieve pain associated with herpes on the tongue because it reduces inflammation and can numb the area giving you a little relief.

How to Apply

  • For herpes on the tongue, place a small ice cube inside your mouth.
  • Allow the cube to slowly melt over the affected area.
  • You can use this remedy as often as you need to in order to get some temporary relief.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It can be used topically for herpes occurring outside of the mouth or as a rinse for herpes on the tongue, roof of mouth, and inside cheeks.

How to Apply

  • Use only raw, unfiltered vinegar.
  • Place a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in your mouth and gently swish it as you would regular mouth was.
  • Continue to swish the liquid or even hold it over the affected area for a few minutes.
  • Because apple cider vinegar is full of minerals, vitamins, and enzymes, it is safe to swallow. However, if you prefer, you can spit out the liquid after use.
  • Repeat this two to three times daily.

3. Lemon Balm

Another great anti-viral remedy can be found in lemon balm. German researchers have done studies that prove the effectiveness of lemon balm on the herpes simplex virus. Lemon balm will promote faster healing and can even be found in some herpes medications. It is also known to help alleviate pain because of the eugenol it contains.

How to Apply

  • Lemon balm can be found in over the counter teas.
  • Add honey for flavor and to add a soothing quality to the tea.
  • Sip the tea slowly.
  • The tea will work topically as you drink it and internally as well.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide

This remedy provides antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Due to this, peroxide is able to kill bacteria and promote healing while also reducing inflammation. Using a rinse regularly will help maintain healthy bacterial levels and help relieve pain.

How to Apply

  • Use one part hydrogen peroxide to one part water.
  • Place the rinse in your mouth and gently swish it for a few minutes. Then spit the used rinse out.
  • Avoid eating or drinking for an hour after use.
  • You can also add small amounts of salt and baking soda to help with more severe pain and neutralize acids.
  • Use this as a rinse a few times daily for two or three days.


Be sure to avoid swallowing hydrogen peroxide as it will cause an upset stomach.

5. Garlic

According to research, garlic contains enzymes that counteract bacteria, viral infections, and efficiently treats microbial infections. Since oral herpes is caused by a virus, it is commonly used as a means to speeding up the healing process by fighting the virus itself. Though this remedy may not help with your breath, it can give you some relief.

How to Apply

  • Use a raw garlic clove and crush it to get the helpful compounds flowing.
  • Place it directly on the sore for ten minutes. You may feel a burning sensation while you use it.
  • Repeat this process twice daily for a few days until you see progress.
  • You can also use garlic oil by cooking cloves in some virgin olive oil. Dab the oil onto your sore several times daily.

6. Licorice Root

Licorice root has a fairly strong taste that many cannot palate. It can be found in time release adhesive patches that can help treat oral herpes and canker sores. They are much milder than raw licorice root and even pleasant in flavor. They will also even dissolve in your mouth. The root itself has been used for healing remedies for thousands of years. It has the ability to soothe irritation, minimize pain, and speed up the healing process.

How to Apply

  • Use supplement quality licorice not the candy kind.
  • You can find patches, powders, or chewable tablets (use the tablets that say DGL because these remove the naturally occurring glycyrrhizin that can raise blood pressure) at health food stores.
  • Follow the directions with whichever option you choose.


  • Stay away from capsules since you want the licorice to react with your saliva and come in contact with your sores.
  • Do not use if you are pregnant, nursing, or if you are diabetic.


Herpes on the tongue can be painful and makes eating, talking, and other normal activities difficult. Caused by a virus, the herpes simplex virus-1, many remedies not only offer pain relief but antiviral aspects too. These remedies are natural alternatives to prescription drugs and can be implemented at home. However, if you experience severe pain or are unable to find relief, a visit to a medical professional is probably in order. There you will be given the option of prescription grade remedies.

What are some other remedies to treat herpes on the tongue that you have found to be effective? Do you have other suggestions that may help in preventing the frequency of having an outbreak? Please leave any helpful comments or tips in the section below.