Cold sores and fever blisters are caused by a virus. Also known as fever blisters, cold sores 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. Keep herbal ointment on hand to use at the first sign of a cold sore.
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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 do not usually leave scars.
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 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 to make a salve. Add a few drops of tea tree essential oil or lavender essential oil for extra strength. 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 essential oil is also recommended but should be diluted before application.
Applications of castor oil can also help heal cold sores. A combination of eucalyptus essential oil and bergamot essential oil at first sign of outbreak can work wonders. A mixture of rose essential oil and lemon balm essential oil applied directly to the cold sore also gives excellent results after just one or two applications.
Apple, cranberry, grape, pear, prune and strawberry juice contain properties that help kill the herpes virus. Citrus juice may cause burning and is best avoided during outbreaks.
* Dilute essential oils with carrier oils such as olive oil, grape seed oil, or almond oil. Wash hands well after applying herbal remedies to cold sores. Always consult with your healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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