Article by Angela Haldane
Q. I keep getting cold sores and as I am getting married soon, I'm worried I'll get a cold sore on the day. How can I prevent this with natural therapies?
A. Cold sores belong to the herpes simplex enveloped virus family – type 1 (HSV1). They usually occur on and around the lips as single or multiple clusters of small blisters. These blisters eventually burst, leaving small, painful ulcers that heal in 10-21 days. The virus then reverts to its dormant state. Outbreaks commonly occur at times of stress, or after exposure to sun or cold winds.
Avoid chocolate and nuts as these are rich in arginine which can accelerate the cold sore virus.
Taking lysine as an amino acid supplement limits the occurrence and severity of cold sores. Zinc also helps heal sores.
Treat your stress leading up to the wedding with B complex vitamins and relaxing herbal tonics such as the Natural Ange Ltd "Stress Less" herbal formula available on this website. You can also treat the cold sore specifically by using herbs which kill enveloped viruses (herpes viruses). Topical herbal creams containing lemon balm and licorice have been shown to inhibit the virus and accelerate healing. There are other herbs which have also proven effective against HSV1 – as have green tea polyphenols.
It would be best to seek professional advice from a medical herbalist.