Cold sores (also known as fever blisters) are common problems caused by the Herpes Simplex virus. They are contagious - any contact, including shared eating utensils, razors, and towels may spread the virus to other people. Early symptoms include tingling or itching followed by swelling or raised area of skin on the lip or around the mouth. Small fluid-filled blisters appear next and usually last from seven to ten days. A formation of yellow crust signals the healing stage. Fever blisters and cold sores don't usually leave scars.
Frequent cold sores may indicate a chemistry imbalance or food allergy. Outbreaks usually occur after a fever, illness, or stressful situation. They can be caused by reduced immunity, nutrient deficiencies, and hormone imbalances. Cold sores occur most often in women and are more prevalent in winter.
Cold sores may indicate a vitamin B, iron, or folic acid deficiency. They may also be caused by using toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate. Another cause is a diet of overly acid foods. Always use sunscreen on lips and mouth area as sunburn can also cause cold sores.
To avoid cold sores, add more cultured foods to the diet such as yogurt and sauerkraut. Avoid coffee, peanut butter, nuts, seeds, and corn.
Salves containing St. Johns wort, white oak extract, chamomile, mint, lemon balm, or red sage are beneficial. Lemon balm, also known as Sweet Melissa, makes an excellent remedy for cold sores. Combine a tablespoon of melted beeswax with a quarter cup of olive oil and add crushed lemon balm leaves to make a salve. Apply before bed every night until sore is healed.
Propolis or zinc lozenges are also excellent remedies. Rinsing the mouth with yellowroot solution or myrrh every few hours can bring relief. Vitamin C mixed with water and applied directly to the sore may speed healing. Grapefruit seed extract is also recommended.
Applications of castor oil or diluted essential oils can also help heal cold sores. A combination of eucalyptus and bergamot essential oil at first sign of outbreak can work wonders. A mixture of rose oil and lemon balm oil applied directly to the cold sore also gives excellent results after just one or two applications.
The tannins in many fruit juices can help prevent and heal cold sores. Apple, cranberry, grape, pear, prune and strawberry juice contain properties that help kill the herpes virus.
* Dilutet essential oils with carrier oils such as olive oil, grape seed oil, or almond oil. Wash hands well after applying ointments or other treatments to cold sores. Always consult with your healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy.
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