HSV-1 – the herpes simplex virus causes cold sores which is spread by exchanging saliva with a person who is infected. It looks painful and it is even a little embarrasing. These painful cold sores can also appear as a result of a hormonal or amino acid imbalance, un under-siege immune system and stress.
The negative side of cold sores is the fact that once you have contracted oral herpes, the virus will stay with you for the rest of your life. However, the good news is that you can reduce the number of cold sores and the frequency of breakouts. Melissa Gallagher, ND, in St. Petersburg, Florida says: “Since cold sores can be stimulated by the imbalance of two amino acids called arginine and lysine. Try to avoid arginine-containing foods such as chocolate and nuts.”
You should increase your intake of lysine. Another important thing Amy points out is that sun exposure can also trigger an outbreak so make sure to protect your skin with a hat or sunscreen.
In the case of a flare-up, here are five natural ways to neutralize the virus and speed healing:
In order to produce infection-fighting enxymes and antibodies, our body needs lysine. As Gallagher says: “People with lower levels of lysine have a greater chance of viral infection.” When you feel the outbreak coming on or when you are sick or stressed, make sure to take 1000 mg of lysine which will create an unsuitable environment for HSV-1 outbreaks—and as a result it will decrease the duration of the outbreak by as much as two-thirds. The Southern California University of Health Sciences conducted a study which discovered that a lysine-based topical ointment can also significantly reduce lesions.
Apple Cider Vinegar
You need to heal your breakout as soon as possible since open lesions contain the contagious HSV-1 fluid. All you have to do is to soak a cotton ball in ACV and apply it on the affected area. “This topical solution dries out the gooey lesions and speed recovery,” Wells explains. This method will help the sore to heal three to five days faster, says Gallagher.
As you all now, bees secrete propolis in order to sterilize their hives and it is a germ-killing substance which has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antiseptic and antibiotic properties. According to a recent research conducted at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, propolis is also potent when used topically. All you have to do is to rub it directly on a sore 2 times per day, or supplement with 1,000 mg daily.
This antiviral supplement reduces the levels of stress hormone cortisol and it can battle outbreaks. Licorice root contains glycyrrhizin which also reduces pain and promotes faster healing. During breakouts, people should drink a mug of warm water with 15 to 20 drops of a licorice root tincture three times a day. It should also be mentioned that constant use of licorice root may cause high blood pressure, so before taking it, you should definitely consult your doctor.
David Riley, MD, a Santa Fe, New Mexico–based integrative medicine practitioner and Natural Solutions’ medical editor, says that ionic zinc when taken as homeopatic remedy, dietary supplement or applied topically, has the ability to decrease the severity and duration of cold sore symptoms. Alternative Therapies published a study which showed that ionic zinc (also known as zinc oxide) helped heal cold sores more quickly than placebo when it was applied every two hours.