rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


Recently I have been testing propolis cold sore ointment from Herstat on a cold sore that crept up on me in the night.

Herstat Propolis cold sore care ointment

Herstat Propolis cold sore care ointment

I have been using their LipCare Stick as a preventative measure but you know when you feel that tingling just when you’re dozing off to sleep? You know you should get up, find the ointment and apply a good dose immediately but you’re so nice and cozy in bed. It’s late. It’s dark. You’re tired… so you turn over and drift off to sleep. Meanwhile the herpes simplex virus is having a party on your lip!

It was a Saturday morning and I woke up with, yup you guessed it, a cold sore.
I wanted to test this new propolis ointment out so in a way I was pleased. Really I was. I know, I know I’m weird. But I’ve just hosted a guest blog about the healing powers or propolis for cold sores so I wanted to see if it was really all that good.

I was away that weekend, so for starters, the tube I had been using at the tingle stage was nearly empty. I was also sleeping in a strange room in my neices tiny bed. My bag was who knew where in the darkness and I hadn’t slept well anyway. I had been applying this ointment for a couple of weeks and up till that fateful night, no cold sores had managed to thrive on my propolis smothered lip, despite feeling numerous warning tingles.

I’ve been really quite run down and having horrible red, angry, painful sore, allergic reactions on my face almost every week for about two months now. As soon as I start to recover another reaction begins. I suspect possibly eggs, soya in some chocolate and maybe peppers but I’m still reacting to something. Elimination diet began today so hopefully it will calm down soon.

So my body was vulnerable. Cold sores love it when you’re down.

Firstly, apologies for the awful photos. How did I manage to take so many different shades?

Testing propolis - cold sore diary day one

Testing propolis – cold sore diary day 1

Day 1 – propolis on cold sore

Can you just see the swelling of a cold sore at the ready?

I started applying propolis ointment as often as I could and the most noticeable difference is that it smells amazing and tastes great too if you happen to get any on your tongue or lick your lips.

Most over the counter cold sore treatments are man-made and aren’t that appealing to smell or taste but propolis on the other hand is completely natural and tastes and smells good enough to eat.

Testing propolis - cold sore diary day two

Testing Propolis cold sore diary – day 2

Day 2 – propolis on cold sore

What you notice next about using propolis on a cold sore is that it doesn’t hurt. You know how painful cold sores can be? Well propolis kind of dulls any pain.

The other thing I enjoyed a lot with this stuff is that I haven’t wasted any. What comes out of the tube is a useful amount and I use it. Not like those little metal tubes of Zovirax – take off the lid, pierce the end and half the tube ejaculates all over your hand. Not this stuff. It’s easy to use and no waste.

Testing Herstat propolis cold sore ointment - day 3

Testing Propolis cold sore diary – day 3

Day 3 – propolis on cold sore

I’m not sure I noticed much difference in the first few days. What I did see though was that it didn’t grow. The cold sore didn’t form into a blister.

It was a raised bump, was reddish and a bit swollen but it never quite blistered into that annoying phase where the scab is so fragile and keeps getting knocked off or damaged when you shower or accidentally get it wet or eat or drink or dry yourself after the shower. (nb. always keep your own separate towel to dry your face/cold sore, don’t share towels when you have one, they are very contagious.)

Testing Herstat cold sore ointment - day 4

Testing Propolis cold sore diary – day 4

Day 4 – propolis on cold sore

This was a crunch point. It felt like the sore was well and truly on the mend. The swelling was almost gone, when I applied the propolis ointment I could hardly feel it but I could still see it in the mirror. However as you can see, it’s far less of an eye sore than the horrible yellow blisters you can get.

If you look very carefully you can now also see the spot that is growing nicely. I hardly ever get spots but it’s sods law when I do get one it’s often a whopper and this one is right in line of the cold sore photo!

I slowed down using the propolis, but almost immediately, after about half a day, I could feel both my lips tingling all over. The way propolis works, as well as almost eradicating any pain, is to stop the virus replicating, which it always loves to do. You often find you’ll get a cluster of sores and rarely just one. Needless to say I carried on using the ointment again, not slowing as I had been and thankfully, no other cold sores appeared, despite my lips looking a little like there might be an outbreak on a few redder patches.

It’s important to keep on using the ointment. Herstat also provide a propolis stick to use between outbreaks, which should ensure, if you use it regularly, that you don’t get one or at least get fewer than before.

Herstat told me that, “The virus can’t live on the stick. The propolis component stifles virtually everything. Our manufacturer has tested a batch of used ones and tried to grow all sorts of nasties on them in laboratory conditions but nothing is capable of propagating.

You need to keep up the application even at this stage as the wool fat/propolis combination will aid and continue to accelerate the healing process whilst continuing to fight the virus which may still be trying to replicate and invade the skin cells around the sore before retreating back to your sensory ganglia. Send it back with some nano-particles of propolis clinging to the virus which will destabilise and weaken it for the next time it decides to come back…”

Nano-particles eh? I like the sound of that.

Testing Herstat cold sore ointment - day 6

Testing Propolis cold sore diary – day 6

Day 6 – propolis on cold sore

It’s nearly gone and despite the slightly visible redness, it feels flat and like it’s gone completely when I apply the ointment. I think I’ll keep on applying for just a few more days till it’s totally gone but all in all, a very positive test.

This photo isn’t the same size as the others, my bad! I might post another tomorrow just to show that it’s gone, gone, gone. Shame about the spot and allergy face, which actually don’t look as bad as they do in the flesh thank goodness. Don’t want to scare you!

“For me, propolis is by far the best thing I’ve ever used to treat a cold sore. No pain, it tastes amazing, is totally natural and best of all, it works.” Ruth, What Allergy?

Your immune system health could effect how well any treatment works

This wasn’t really a fair test for propolis for a few reasons. Firstly I thought I would see what JUST propolis could achieve, on its own, despite the fact that I normally take L-lysine and multi-vitamins, echinacea and Vitamin C and all sorts of other things. I bombard cold sores into submission. I usually use tea tree oil which works well but not as well as this stuff. Now I am using all known and available supplements as well to bolster the propolis and make sure the cold sore virus doesn’t come back.

The other reason is that my skin is pretty inflamed at the moment and has been now for a month or so. I’m in the grips of a pretty nasty allergy reaction to something or things that I haven’t quite pinpointed yet. Now food always always triggers cold sores for me, processed food can trigger one, alcohol can trigger one and certain allergens, as well a face of red swollen itchyness will deposit a cold sore on my lip at the same time.

So Herstat propolis cold sore ointment has had quite a lot to contend with and all things considered, my immune system is a pretty low ebb at the moment. My face is hurting as I type. I am taking pain killers, anti-histamines and eating a very basic diet and yet, still, I have been spared the added pain and anguish of a family of cold sores. Thank you Propolis!

Has anyone else used this to treat a cold sore? What did you think?



An allergy and health writer and freelance copywriter, Ruth is passionate about helping those with allergies and food intolerances take control, embrace their condition, and learn to live with and love who they are. It can be very lonely finding you have allergies and discovering what helps you can be a life long journey. What works for one person won't work for another, so after trying nearly every allergy treatment under the sun and finding hours of research necessary to keep abreast of what's going on, Ruth started writing her blog, What Allergy? in April 2009. Ruth has life threatening allergies herself to all nuts, all diary, tomatoes and celery and knows first-hand what it's like to have an anaphylactic attack. Voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK in 2011, What Allergy is packed full of interesting articles, hints and tips and product reviews which are a must read for anyone with allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, asthma and eczema. From subjects such as "What is celery allergy?" to "Surviving a holiday abroad with allergies", it's packed with useful and interesting information. You can register free for a weekly newsletter by visiting her website and also keep in touch by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

One Response to Testing Herstat propolis on cold sores – it works

  1. Helen

    Thank you, this looks really good.

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