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Cold Sores & Herpes
Cold sores are painful blisters on the face – usually on or around the mouth. They are caused by a virus known as herpes simplex. There are two types of herpes simplex virus: type 1 usually causes cold sores; types 1 and 2 can both cause genital herpes. Treatment is the same for both types and intimate contact including kissing is best avoided to prevent the quick and easy viral spread.
Viral herpes remains latent in the body for years by hiding at the ends of nerves. Re-emergence of symptoms can be triggered by stress. Stressors include infection, strong sunshine, hormone swings, prolonged poor diet, constipation and unmanaged emotional factors including depression and insomnia.
The aims of treatment are to prevent the spread of infection, minimise discomfort and boost immunity.
Foods & herbs for the home
- Olive leaf is an excellent herb because of its antiviral properties.
- Foods rich in vitamins A, B and C and the mineral zinc can help to maintain a healthy immune system and may help to reduce the frequency of attacks.
- The full range of B vitamins can be obtained at quite a modest price by purchasing Engevita yeast flakes at any good health food store. B vitamins will support immunity and they are essential for bringing balance to frayed and depleted nerves. Dr Richard Schulze's Superfood Plus is also a rich source of B vitamins and many other nutrients, and was created to ensure that optimum food-based nutrition is easily achieved – even when feeling unwell.
- Seeds such as pumpkin have reasonable zinc levels.
- Arginine-rich foods appear to trigger outbreaks and so it may be best to avoid wheat products, carob, chocolate, animal gelatine, coconut, oats, peanuts and soya beans.
- During an outbreak you will want to avoid coffee, alcohol, sugar, fried foods and hot cooked spices as these will worsen symptoms.
- Soothe nerves with simple herbal teas such as Organic Chamomile. You can also soak cotton pads in the tea and apply as soothing compresses to sores.
- Boost immunity gently and over the long term with Nettle Herb Tea or ImmuGold Herb Tea.
- The amino acid lysine may be helpful to reduce the severity and duration of open sores.
- Rest and sleep are very important especially during the first few days of an outbreak; there are many herbal remedies that can assist sleep. Call the helpline for additional information.
- A simple and effective start to adequate rest is to avoid caffeine; replace coffee and tea with Evening Peace Herb Tea.
- Strict hand washing will reduce spread.
- Organic manuka honey with a high activity factor is soothing and healing. Apply when the cold sore is not open and weeping.
- Aloe vera gel will cool, soothe and heal.
Additional help is available by phoning the free product advice line at Herbs Hands Healing between the hours of 9.00am to 1.00pm. Tel: 01379 608201.
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To learn more about natural healing for this and other ailments, visit Dr Schulze's blog.
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