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Cold Sores

You might recognise the beginning of a cold sore by the familiar tingling feeling on your lip indicating that a small lump will soon develop and morph into a painful fluid-filled blister. Most people eventually become infected by the Herpes simplex virus (which causes Cold Sores) at some point in their lives, and once infected, the virus is never cured – it simply lies dormant in the nerves until triggered again. Cold sores usually reappear when you’re run down, stressed, fatigued or may be triggered by hormonal changes or exposure to sun and wind.

One of the most effective treatments is to temporarily reduce arginine containing foods in your diet (nuts, chocolate, whole grains, gelatin) and to take the amino acid lysine. Lysine can help to suppress the growth of the virus and reduce the duration and frequency of attacks. You can take up to four Ethical Nutrients Lysine Viral Cold Sore Defence a day when you have an active cold sore. Melrose Vitamin C plus Bioflavonoids , Ethical Nutrients Zinc Fix and Ethical Nutrients Inner Health Plus probiotics are also suggested to reduce the healing time of the Cold Sore, as they boost the viral-fighting part of the immune system and prevent free radical damage to the area. The herbs Tea tree, Echinacea, Olive leaf, Cat’s Claw and Golden seal may also help, as they strengthen immune responses and are anti-viral both topically and internally. Herbs of Gold Herbiotic Goldenseal Complex is a nice complete formulation of herbs for treating cold sores. And instead of using nasty chemical products, help your body to heal (whilst decreasing the virus) by applying Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Cold Sore Cream or Botani Phytoseptic Natural Anti-Fungal Skin Cream to your lip.

Updates - 24 October 2014

Wozniak, M et al (2009), ‘Herpes simplex virus infection causes cellular β-amyloid accumulation and secretase upregulation’, Neuroscience Letters, Volume 429, Issues 2-3, pp: 95-100.

Geddes, L (2009), ‘Cold-sores linked to Alzheimer's disease’, The New Scientist, Volume 196, Issue 2628, pp: 12.


Interesting research suggests that cold sores may be linked to the development of Alzheimer’s Disease. Mice infected with the Herpes simplex virus -1 (HSV-1) (which is responsible for cold sores) had an increased amount of amyloid beta protein (the major constituent of plaques that form in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s) in their brains. The scientists also found that brain cells infected with HSV-1 produced significantly higher amounts of this same protein.

This same team of people did another experiment on brain slices from people who had died with the condition. They found that the plaques in the brain were associated with DNA from HSV-1 in those with the virus.

Whilst this is not likely to be the only factor in the disease, it is an interesting thought, and may pave the way for anti-viral treatments as a novel prevention/treatment for Alzheimer’s.


Vive Health Naturopaths recommend the following products for Cold Sores:

Products Suggested Dosage
2. Herbs of Gold Herbiotic Goldenseal Complex (30 Tabs) 1tb x 3 daily with food.
3. Melrose Vitamin C plus Bioflavonoids (125g) ¼ tsp up to 8 times a day.
4. Ethical Nutrients Lysine Viral Cold Sore Defence (30 Tabs) 1 tab daily on empty stomach (increase to four when you have a cold sore).
5. Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Cold Sore Cream (10g) Apply to lips as often as needed.
6. Botani Phytoseptic Natural Anti-Fungal Skin Cream (30g) Apply a thin layer of ointment as needed.
7. Nutra Life Oliviral (50 Caps) 2 caps daily with food
8. Ethical Nutrients Zinc Fix (100g) 1/2 tsp x 3 daily when you have a cold sore.
9. Ethical Nutrients Inner Health Plus (30 caps) OR
Ethical Nutrients Inner Health Plus Dairy Free (30 Caps)
1 cap before bedtime (away from food).

NOTE: Consideration should always be given to individual requirements.  Please consider seeing a qualified practitioner before commencing a new treatment protocol or when combining supplements with pharmaceutical medication.

For more information on Cold Sores or to ask a Qualified Naturopath a question Click Here.

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