Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Herbal Remedies To Treat Cold Sores

Happy Hump Day!

We all get them; the dreaded cold sore, that despite trying, people just can't hep but stare at. Day 2 or 3 despite all your wishing it gets big enough you swear it has it's own zip code.

Instead of running to the store and paying up the ying yang, try using herbal treatments just might surprise you!


Herbal Remedies To Treat Cold Sores

Some people are prone to cold sores - the painful, blister-like sores that usually occur around the lips, but can spread to other parts of the body. They are caused by a common virus called herpes simplex, which is dormant most of the time but flares up when the sufferer is emotional or physically run, illness, stress and fatigue are usual triggers, while exposure to wind or the sun can bring on an attack.

The most effective way to avoid colds sores is to stay fit and healthy. a diet rich in iron and vitamins is helpful, and maintaining a balance of work and rest will reduce tiredness and stress. Try taking immunity-building herbs to support your immune system, increasing your resistance. Other herbs can reduce the ability of the virus to  replicate or, once a cold sore blister has erupted, it will reduce its duration and the discomfort it causes.

How Your Body Can Help Combat Viruses

Viruses are tiny micro-organisms that invade your body, using your own proteins to replicate. The symptoms can be persistent and severe, so your body must work hard to fight them. A strong immune system is thus the cornerstone to health.

Fighting A Virus~Antibiotics are designed to treat bacterial infections and are not effective against viruses. The herbal way to combat viruses, however, is to strengthen and support the immune system, rather than to relieve the symptoms. Tonic herbs, such as echinacea, boost the  number and activity of white blood cells to fight infection. Adaptogenics, such as licorice, calm or stimulate the immune system as required.

Herbs That Help Treat Cold Sores

Lemon Balm~This perennial has potent antiviral properties, believed to be due to the presence of tannins and polyphenols. Take lemon balm internally as a tincture or as an infusion of dried or fresh leaves. You can also apply it externally as an herbal ointment. Both methods will reduce the tingly symptoms of cold sores and speed up the drying of blisters.

Olive~The small, leathery leaves of the evergreen olive tree are an effective prevention against cold sores. Take olive laves as a tincture to boost the body's immunity. Olive leaves have antiviral properties, working by interfering with amino acids , the protein building blocks viruses need in order to replicate. Olive leaves can also help you prevent cold sores and cold.

Lomatium~Lomatium is a tall perennial herb, related to carrot and fennel and native to the Pacific coast of North America, Native Americans have made use of its antiviral properties for centuries. Take it as a tincture at the start of an outbreak of cold sores to provide relief from symptoms and to reduce the length of the outbreak. Be aware that lomatium sometimes causes a rash, so you should always  perform a patch test.

Licorice~Licorice is a shrubby perennial member of the pea family, the roots of which are harvested. Licorice stimulates the immune system and has antiviral properties. Take a decoction of licorice or use it as an ointment for anti-inflammatory pain relief from blisters, which will also speed healing.

Oregon Grape~A decoction of tincture of this shrub will lessen the duration of an outbreak of cold sores. An evergreen shrub, native to North America, it contains berberine, which is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Use as a cream to dry up blisters and to reduce the sensation of tingling.

St. John's Wort~This attractive, five-petalled, yellow-flowering plant grows as a weed in temperate regions. Apply St. John's Wort as a cream to reduce the pain and inflammation caused by cold sores. It will also help blistered skin to heal. An infusion of the plant is an excellent tonic for the nervous system, helping to reduce the risk of an outbreak of blisters.

Immune-Boosting Infusion

Gather the following items:
  • 1 tbsp Dried Lemon Balm
  • 1 tbsp Dried Echinacea
  • 5 tbsp Dried Marigold
  • 1 cup boiling water

1. Mix equal quantities of these herbs in a teapot.

2. Slowly pour 1 cup of boiling water over the herbs.

3. Steep the herbs in the water for 10 minutes before straining, reserving the liquid in an airtight tub to be stored in the fridge.

4. Drink a small cup of the infusion three times a day until the cold sores have healed.


Have a fantabulous day everyone!

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