Cold Sores (Herpes Simplex)
Cold sores are small, often recurring fever blisters
that can appear anywhere around the mouth, and which
are caused by the virus herpes simplex 1 (HSV1). Groupings
of cold sore blisters are called a cluster.
The first outbreak of cold sores may be accompanied
by flu-like symptoms, with fever, neck pain, lymph node
enlargement, and fatigue, or it may go unnoticed. After
the first attack, the virus remains dormant in nerve
cells, and can be reactivated later by stress, colds,
hot weather, anxiety, nutrient deficiencies, or other
illnesses, especially ones with accompanying fever.
Prolonged cold sore outbreaks may occur in people suffering
from compromised immune function or in healthy people
who are under high levels of stress. Recurring outbreaks
usually start with a burning sensation that is quickly
followed by blisters that itch and can be very sore.
Within a few days to several weeks, they burst, dry,
encrust, and disappear.
Nearly all people experience cold sores at least one
time during their lives.
What To Consider
Herpes zoster, Coxsackie virus, low thyroid, and health problems that suppress
immune function can all contribute to cold sore outbreaks,
and must be addressed before long-term relief can be
Cold sores are very contagious, and can be spread from
the mouth to the genitalia via oral sex. The drug acyclovir
is typically prescribed (both orally and topically)
to treat cold sores. However, it may cause an increase
in symptoms when it is discontinued. In addition, antiviral
drugs can be hard on the body and especially the liver,
making natural, alternative treatment approaches more
a whole foods diet that emphasizes raw vegetables and
cultured, fermented products such as yogurt and sauerkraut.
Avoid citrus fruits, including pineapple.
During times of outbreak L-lysine cream applied directly
on the blisters, and L-lysine supplements (4 grams daily
for the first four days, then 500 mg three times daily
for two weeks) can also be taken orally. Do not take
L-Lysine on a daily maintenance basis, however, as it
may create an imbalance among other amino acids. (If
continual daily lysine is the only way for you to prevent
recurrent attacks, then decrease wheat and add other
grains to your diet and take lysine in smaller dosages
with amino acid blends. Also consider amino-acid testing.)
Other useful nutrients to help prevent and treat cold
sores are vitamin B complex, vitamin C with bioflavonoids,
vitamin E, and zinc gluconate. Acidophilus and thymus
extract can also help, as can the flavonoid quercetin,
which has been shown to inhibit the herpes virus.
two amino acids that appear to be important in herpes
infections are lysine and arginine. Arginine stimulates
the growth and reproduction of the herpes simplex virus,
while lysine inhibits it. What's important is the ratio
of arginine to lysine. The higher the arginine to lysine
ratio, the more herpes virus is likely to grow. Conversely,
if lysine is high with respect to arginine, the growth
is inhibited. Chocolate, peanuts, most cereal grains,
nuts, and seeds have more arginine than lysine.
Geranium, lemon, chamomile, tea tree, and/or lavender essential oils applied
topically can help speed the healing process.
The most useful flower essences for dealing with the accompanying emotional/mental
stress of cold sores are Rescue Remedy, Rescue Remedy
Cream, and Crab Apple.
that boost resistance to cold sores by strengthening
the immune response include the tinctures of echinacea,
Siberian ginseng, nettle, and goldenseal. Combine in
equal parts and take 1/2 teaspoonful of this mixture
three times a day. You can also externally apply diluted
tincture of myrrh or calendula. Licorice root tincture
applied topically has been shown to inactivate herpes
simplex particles and inhibit the growth of the virus.
During early stages, use an ice application (on ten minutes, off five
minutes) on the outbreak area.
Apply vitamin E ointment or saturate gauze with vitamin E oil and apply
for 15 minutes over the area of outbreak.
BHT, a natural food preservative, added to an alcohol
solution is another effective topical solution.
If your symptoms persist despite the above measures,
seek the help of a qualified health professional.
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