Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are painful lesions that develop in the mouth. While cold sores resolve on their own, home remedies—such placing a tea bag on the sore—can help control the pain and duration.
According to the Mayo Clinic, cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1. They appear as red blisters on your lip and can quite painful. The normal duration for a cold sore is a week and a half to two weeks.
Tea is filled with tannic acids, which have virus-fighting properties, according to Animated-Teeth.com. In fact, many over the counter cold sore gels contain tannic acids to help reduce the severity and duration of the lesion.
As cold sores begin to form, you will feel a tingling on your lip for a day or two. When you experience this sensation, place a moist teabag on the region for a few minutes every hour. According to Animated-Teeth.com, black tea is the most effective for cold sores.