It could be said that cold sores effect us all at some point during our lives no matter what we do. Whether it is from contracting the virus that gives it from someone else to self inflicted infection from cuts on your lips etc. Depending on who you are you may be more prone to contracting cold sores than others, this can be due to lifestyle choices (avoiding the potential to be infected/staying clean) but mostly relates to someones immune system being stronger than normal. As I have mentioned virus, you may be thinking, “What? A virus? sounds serious”, but that’s what a cold sore is. It is an infection derived from herpes. That’s right, herpes. The technical term is Herpes simplex virus (HSV). This should give you a better understanding of why cold sores are highly contagious and can be easily carried from person to person.
According to the World Health Organisation,
More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 – or 67% of the population – are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).
You have noticed from our quote that the WHO stated type 1, meaning there are types of herpes virus. There are two to be precise, categorized as type-1 and type-2 with both similar (up to 50%) and differentiating characteristics. Cold sores to be precise are a version of HSV Type-1 which you can find inside the mouth and out side the mouth, usually on the lips but on very rare occasions on the nose. HSV-2 relates to genital herpes which is located in the genital area, but does have the ability to spread to other parts of the body but is usually found below the waist as one of defining characteristics.
There are various triggers for cold sores other than the obvious such as long time spent in the sun, stress, fevers, tiredness, menstruation (for women) and as mentioned before a weak immune system. It is important to know that, if you have a cold sore, you should try to improve your current hygiene to avoid spreading the virus via things like door handles, keyboards, phones etc, which will result in it spreading to someone else. This will help contain the virus within yourself until you have it treated.
According to Pizzorno in his” Natural Medicine Handbook” the herpes simplex virus requires amino acid arginine to multiply within the body and it can prevent replication. So foods low in lysine (an α-amino acid) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysine can be effective when treating the herpes virus and can treat cold sores. A diet that contains, organic, preservative free, fresh fruits, vegetables and meats are recommended as they contain low amounts of lysine. Foods to avoid, due to containing high amounts of lysine are peanuts and the majority of nuts, chocolate and seeds like sunflower seeds. Then the obvious foods to avoid are alcohol, sugar and anything with caffeine like tea, coffee and energy drinks. lysine can also be purchased in a cream form and applied directly to the area where the old sore is located.
Lip Balms for Treating Cold Sores
Lips balms can be effective on cold sores if they have medicinal properties, i.e contain anything that may fight off the virus. Lip balm that contains lemon balm can help prevent and fight the virus. When you are stressed or are suffering from a low immune system, taking lip balm (with more than 1% of lemon balm) could help prevent a cold sore breakout. It can help rebuild the immune system and strengthen the nervous system which is very similar as to how CBD (cannabidiol) works.
CBD Oil (Cannabidiol)
CBD oil before it is created can be found in either the hemp plant (not potential for THC Traces) or the cannabis plant (potential to have traces of THC) in great numbers. It has been shown that it has medicinal benefits when it comes to treating the herpes simplex virus. The evidence from both clinical studies and anecdotal evidence is suggesting that CBD oil can be considered as a new natural alternative for treating cold sores (HSV-1). This is due to the inflammatory causes of the herpes virus going up against the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol (CBD).