Immune function is central to the treatment of cold sores (herpes simplex virus Type 1). The cold sore virus is an opportunistic virus, rearing its ugly head when our bodies are placed under stress, or when our immune function is under. Unfortunately carriers of the virus are carriers for life. However there are a few simple steps that you can take to prevent outbreaks and to heal outbreaks faster when they occur.
1. L Lysine is an amino acid that prevents the replication of the cold sore virus. If your outbreaks are severe you can utilise lysine on a daily basis in small amounts to prevent outbreaks. Or you may wish to take it at high risk times eg; if you are under increased stress, feeling rundown, or experiencing severe weather changes. When you experience an outbreak taking higher doses of Lysine may minimise the severity and duration of the outbreak.
2. Vitamin C: Useful for tissue healing and aiding in an effective immune response.
3. Zinc: Important for normal immune function, tissue healing, cell replication and wound healing.
4. St Johns wort: A potent antiviral. St Johns wort may affect the way other medications work so it is best to discuss its use with your doctor or naturopath.
Some manufacturers will combine all or some of these nutrients in a cold sore specific supplement.
Avoiding foods that are high in the amino acid arginine may lessen your outbreaks of cold sores. Arginine facilitates the cellular reproduction of the cold sore virus. Foods that are high in arginine include chocolate, coconut, soya beans, nuts and oats.