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Natural Remedies For Cold Sores
3/30/2008

Effective Solutions To Get Rid Of Cold Sores

By: JoBeth Levina

That tingling sensation is the first hint that you have a cold sore on the way; within a couple of days you know that a spot around your mouth will blister, which will burst leaving a raw looking lesion that takes up to 10 days to heal. So far the medicines designed to counter the cold sore virus have limited effect in countering outbreaks or healing and with some danger of side effects it is little wonder that many people look to alternative treatments to get rid of cold sores, which have been shown to be just as effective.

Stress relief

One important contributing factor to cold sore attacks is stress, and by taking positive actions to counter that stress you can reduce the number of outbreaks. Simply taking regular exercise can be hugely beneficial in reducing stress, and increased fitness can help boost the immune system, which also helps.

Walking for 30 minutes per day will help towards this goal, but you might also like to consider yoga, with its emphasis on mind and body harmony. In addition to helping reduce stress levels, yoga also provides a great way to stretch tired muscles and improve posture and general fitness levels.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy practitioners claim to be able to speed up the healing process, by applying essential oils such rose, tea tree, geranium, lemon balm and bergamot.

Food Therapy

Research dating from the 1950s indicates that certain foods can help us to get rid of cold sores whereas others act as triggers for cold sore due to the presence of specific essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are required by the body for healthy function, yet must be ingested, as the body is unable to produce them itself. For instance, yogurt contains lysine, which is associated with healing cold sores, as well as a natural antibiotic called acidophilus which may help prevent secondary infections.

On the other hand arginine rich foods such as nuts, chocolate and gelatin may trigger the cold sores as they are rich in an amino acid called arginine, which helps the herpes simplex virus thrive. It is therefore advisable to avoid eating arginine rich foods if you suffer from frequent cold sores, particularly during an outbreak.

Herbal Therapy

Cold sore sufferers in Europe commonly treat their lesions with an ointment made from lemon balm, which is a member of the mint family. The flower tops and leaves have anti-viral as well as anti-bacterial properties and therefore us are useful in the treatment of cold sores. As this type of ointment is unavailable in the United States, washing the sores with strong lemon balm tea produces similar results.

Ice

The application of ice to the affected area as soon as the tingling sensation is felt can work wonders according to many; simply apply ice direct to the spot where you get your cold sore and hold it there for as long as 30 minutes. It seems that the cooling action of the ice can prevent the virus from replicating and results is a much less severe attack, with some people claiming it prevents their cold sore from appearing altogether.

As you can see there are many remedies to help get rid of cold sores when they occur, as well as prevent them in the first place. While none of the natural remedies is guaranteed to work, this is also true of the over-the-counter and prescription drugs currently on the market. With unpleasant side effects to consider, not to mention the considerable cost of these products, natural cold sore remedies offer a realistic alternative to the many people who want to regain control of their own health from the misery of cold sores.