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Choose an Effective Cold Sore Remedy

Updated on April 12, 2010

Cold sores are contagious blisters that are filled with fluid. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus and affect the gums, lips or the roof of the mouth. They are typically small but can be quite painful.

Peppermint Can Be Effective Against Cold Sores
Peppermint Can Be Effective Against Cold Sores

 When a cold sore is about to erupt, there may be signs such as tingling or pain near the site where it will appear. Typically, resolution of a blister can take from a week to 10 days.

Sometimes confused with one another, canker sores and cold sores are quite different. Although they may appear similar, the canker sore is not contagious where the cold sore is. Relief from eruptions can be found by using any of the following home remedies for cold sores. They are easy to find in health food stores or drug stores.

Lysine – is an essential amino acid as our bodies cannot produce it on its own. We can find it in certain foods such as eggs, cheese, milk, wheat germ, brewer's yeast, fish and red meat. It can also be taken in supplemental form. Studies have shown that the herpes simplex virus stops spreading when lysine is introduced. When using lysine to treat cold sores, avoid the amino acid arginine. Lysine and arginine actually compete in the intestines for absorption. When less arginine is present, more lysine will be absorbed. Foods that contain arginine and should be avoiding during treatment are: peanuts, almonds and chocolate.

Lemon Balm - assists in the healing process due to its antiviral properties. It can reduce the recurrence of cold sores when taken regularly.

Reishi - known to improve immune function, this mushroom has roots in Asian medicine. Found in supplement or powder form, it can be taken up to twice per day in 600 milligram doses. Reishi has been shown to stop the herpes virus from spreading.

Resveratrol - derived from red grapes, the health benefits of resveratrol are mounting. Topically applied in cream form no more than 6 hours following an eruption will speed the healing process.

Peppermint Oil - tinctures and ointments containing this essential oil work effectively against the herpes simplex virus. For immediate soothing relief, hold a cooled peppermint tea bag on the eruption.

Propolis - found in health food stores, this substance is collected by bees from the buds of poplar trees and conifers, it is used to keep their hives sterile and hold them together.

Self-Heal - shown effective against the herpes simplex virus 1 and 2. Seal-Heal is a perennial plant that resembles snapdragons.

To promote healing and soothe discomfort and painful eruptions, a cold sore remedy just might do the trick. Contact a qualified health professional prior to trying any herbal remedy to rule out allergies or interactions with other medications you may be taking.

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    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 7 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      a lot of good info and advice here.....thx