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Cold sores

The main goal of a cold sore sufferer is to make sure those unsightly and sore blisters are absent more than they are present.

Whats wrong

Cold sores are usually caused by the herpes simplex virus and follow the same pattern:

1 – A tingling sensation around the mouth heralds the sores imminent arrival.

2 – A day or two later, a painful, fluid filled blister will appear.

3 – The blister swells, bursts, oozes fluid, crusts over and fades within 7-10 days.

After the initial infection a number of factors can encourage their re-activation, usually along the same nerve route. These can be sunlight, stress, menstruation and fatigue.

Vanquish the virus

The amino acid, lysine is a helpful blocker and can help to prevent reacitivation of the virus. Another amino acid, arginine, has been implicated in activating the virus, and foods high in this amino acid should be avoided for sufferers.

Research in Germany, found that those with recurrent cold sores who used Lemon balm essential oil/tincture, had less frequent outbreaks and some stopped developing the sores altogether.

Dab the sore with tincture of myrrh on a cotton bud up to 10 times a day. Myrrh directly attacks the herpes simplex virus.

Bolster your defences.

Echinacea – during an attack, take 1200mg of Echinacea a day. Studies have show that the herb can boost the immune systems ability to fight off the virus. Alternatively, a good combination in tincture of Echinacea and Elderberry. Elderberry is a fantastic anti-viral and can help reduce the duration and severity of viral illnesses.

Apply manuka honey to the sore. Tea tree is a natural powerful antiseptic and the honey will aid the healing process.

The power of prevention.

Lysine . If you get more than three cold sores a year, it may well be worth taking 500mg of Lysine daily.

Arginine. As mentioned earlier, avoid arginine rich foods such as chocolate, cola, beer, peas and nuts.

Take 15mg of zinc daily. In test tube studies, this nutrient has been shown to block the replicationof the virus. Zinc also boosts the immune system and fortifies the tissue on the lips, making it more difficult for the virus to take hold.