If you suffer from cold sores, you know how painful and unsightly these lesions are. Unfortunately, there?s no way to completely stop cold sores. That?s because they?re caused by a virus, the herpes simplex virus HSV-1. And you probably know you can?t eradicate any virus (you can only keep it in remission). But I?ve got great news for you...
I?ve found an easy way to reduce the painful, blistering effects of a cold sore. And this remedy can do so in just one or two days. Since it usually takes 7 to 10 days for cold sores to run their course, that?s a huge improvement.
HSV-1, which is related to Epstein-Barr and cytomegaloviruse (CMV), is not a benign virus that just causes cold sores. It can also lead to serious eye infections. And while it?s different from genital herpes (HSV-2), these two viruses are so closely related that one can actually trigger the other. So if you are able to prevent cold sores, or even shorten their duration, you could be preventing more dangerous viral infections.
Most doctors will tell you Acyclovir (Zovirax) or a number of popular pharmaceutical topical anti-virals can treat herpes. They may reduce its pain and itching, and promote healing. However, they don?t prevent cold sores. But my favorite natural remedy does.
I?m talking about the extract of Melissa officinalis, also known as the herb lemon balm. Researchers tested this herb in a 1999 study. They found it effectively reduced the duration of cold sores when applied topically four times a day as soon as they appeared. I use it at the first sign of a prodrome, that little tingling that precedes a blister. And I rarely get an outbreak any more.
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You should be able to find topical creams with Melissa
extract in your local health food store. I have successfully used Cold Sore Relief, formerly called Herpalieve, made by PhytoPharmica, both for myself and for my patients. If you can?t find it, call 800-376-7889.
Want even more protection? The amino acid l-lysine is anti-viral and often prevents cold sores when you take 500 mg every day. Then, at the first sign of an outbreak, increase the dosage to 1,000 mg (1 gram) three times a day in between meals.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Mackowiak, ED, PhD. "Prevention and treatment of cold sores," U.S. Pharmacist, Dec 2003.