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Cold sores

General characteristics

General characteristics

Cold sores are generally thought of as being caused by the herpes simplex virus and as such are considered to be contagious whilst in their active form, when a blister is visible.
When the blister has subsided the virus is then assumed to remain dormant until re-activated by a suitable trigger such as sunlight, cold winds, menstruation, colds, low immunity, infections, stress or physical trauma to the area of the mouth, nose, tongue or lips where the blister first appeared.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Base your diet on a wide variety of good quality organic fresh fruit, vegetables, natural yoghurt, grains, seeds, nuts, sprouted seeds and plenty of water and herb teas.

Add a few sorrel leaves to salads each day as it inhibits the activity of the herpes virus.

Eat plenty of broccoli and cabbage type plants like brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale, as they almost entirely inhibit the activity of the herpes virus so include plenty each day. You could make a herpes busting juice from them and drink a glass daily.

Include plenty of foods that are rich in zinc, vitamin C,vitamin E and vitamin B12. See 'vitamins' and 'minerals' in the 'natural healing' section of this site for ideas on foods containing these nutrients.

Include lots of fresh garlic in your cooking for its anti-viral properties.

The amino acid lysine is showing beneficial results for cold sore healing and prevention so include foods rich in lysine in the diet. These include red meat and poultry, cheeses, buttermilk, eggs, seaweeds, cod, sardines, nuts and legumes (peas and beans).

Eat plenty of broccoli and cabbage type plants like brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale, as they almost entirely inhibit the activity of the herpes virus so include plenty each day. You could make a herpes busting juice from them and drink a glass daily.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Lemon balm speeds up the healing and resolution of cold sores. Make a strong tea of the dried or fresh leaves (a tablespoon of dried or 2 tablespoons of the chopped fresh herb), leave to brew for 20 minutes. Apply the tea as a wash or compress or  mix a teaspoonful of the tea with just enough slippery elm powder (or something similar like arrowroot) to make a paste and apply to the cold sore and leave on for as long as possible. Repeat with fresh applications every few hours. Drink a cup of the tea daily while you have an active cold sore to speed up healing and help prevent any new blisters appearing.
Self heal (Prunella vulgaris) is a common wild flower that has been shown to have anti-viral properties. Use in the same way as lemon balm.
Chamomile tea and chickweed is also useful.
Make a formula consisting of equal parts (50ml for example)of echinacea, siberian ginseng, st johns wort, elderberry and astragalus tinctures and half a part (25ml for example) of liqourice root tincture and take a teaspoon in water up to 3 times daily at the first sign of a cold sore. Add 10 drops of black walnut hull tincture to each prepared dose for a deep cleansing, anti-viral action. This will support and strengthen your immune system and speed up the healing process.
Fenugreek seed tea is a good source of lysine so drink a cup daily during and for a week or so after an attack of cold sores. You can also add a pinch of fenugreek seeds to your herb teas from time to time for a preventative effect.
Dab a mixture of equal parts of myrrh and thuja tincture on to the area of the cold sore.
Apply fresh aloe vera gel to the area to relieve irritation and speed healing.
Cut a clove of garlic in half and wipe the cut surface over the cold sore. Wild garlic (or ramson) leaves have a similar effect when crushed or chewed and rubbed into the area regularly.
Apply distilled witch hazel to the cold sore to dry it out and speed resolution.
If the lymph glands in the neck or chin become swollen make a tea using a teaspoon of chickweed dried herb and drink 3 cups daily.
Make a tea from the dried bark of cascara and use it as a wash.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Bee products such as honey and propolis tincture or extract have excellent anti-viral and healing abilities. Use a dab of either honey or propolis neat on the cold sore and add a little honey to your herbal drinks.
Grapeseed extract can be applied directly to the cold sore or the area where you feel the first signs of one developing.
Taking a good quality, live acidophillus product has produced rapid healing and prevention of cold sores for many people.
Apply an ordinary soaked, warm teabag to the area as soon as you suspect a cold sore. Leave on for a few minutes and repeat several times a day.
Dip a wet cotton bud in some bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and dab on the cold sore to dry and shrink it and relieve itching.

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