Do You Have Frequent Cold Sore Flare Ups?




Both males and females


From 18

to 65 years



Research Centre: NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University 
Location: Online and via phone. No face to face contact is required with any member of the research team.
Lead Doctor:  Dr Mike Armour, Dr Carolyn Ee, Dr Alex Semprini
Ethics Committee: This study has been reviewed and approved the Western Sydney University Human Research Ethics Committee.


Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a common infection that causes painful sores in and around the mouth, commonly referred to as “cold sores”. Current topical treatments like creams need to be applied regularly to slightly reduce the symptoms and duration of cold sores. 

This research study explores if a new natural topical treatment containing herbs (Hypericum perforatum and Calendula officinalis) and a mineral (copper sulfate) could potentially reduce the severity of symptoms and duration of cold sores after one application, compared to a placebo (a treatment that looks the same but does not contain any active ingredients).

This study seeks men and women 18-65 who currently suffer from frequent flare ups of cold sores. Participants are required to attend phone calls/video calls via Zoom over a 1 month period and will be compensated with a $60 voucher to cover the time involved in participating in this study.

Why Participate? 

  • You may see a reduction in the duration of an herpes episode
  • You may feel a relief in symptoms relating to oral herpes 
  • You will be helping to explore better options and faster relief for those diagnosed with oral herpes
  • You will be helping to advance medical research.


Your Rights

  • If you decide to participate in the study and later feel that you no longer wish to be part of it, you may withdraw at any time.
  • Your records relating to this study and any other information received will be kept strictly confidential, except as required by the law.
  • Qualified health professionals will monitor your health as it relates to the study.


Who Can Participate?

  • Men and women aged 18-65 
  • Diagnosed with oral herpes (cold sores) and have had at least 3 prior flare ups.
  • Must be willing to refrain from using other topical treatments, antiviral therapy and steroids for the duration of the study 
  • Able to attend four phone calls/video calls via Zoom (5 to 20 minutes) and complete a daily diary for each day (2-3 minutes)


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Approved By: Western Sydney University Human Research Ethics Committee              

Clinical Trial Registry Link: