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Cold Sores (Herpes Simplex Type 1) Contributions by ColleenO

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Hmmm, good question! If it's been hanging around so long, and it's not painful, it's probably not a cold sore. It might be a case of a clogged pore or pimple (see acne), or an ingrown hair. (This is more likely if it's on the skin surrounding your mouth, rather than on one of your lips.) If it sticks around and is bothering you, get it checked out by a dermatologist.

Hmmm, good question! If it's been hanging around so long, and it's not painful, it's probably not a cold sore. It might be a case of a clogged pore or pimple (see acne), or an ingrown hair....

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Supplementing regularly with lysine, an amino acid, might reduce the number and intensity of cold sore outbreaks.

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Stress on the body due to illness or excessive exercise can weaken the body’s immune system and lead to an outbreak of cold sores. Be aware of physical stressors such as:

  • Infection, fever, or cold
  • Physical injury
  • Dental surgery
  • Menstruation
  • Medication (such as steroids) or illness (such as HIV) that suppress the immune system
  • Eczema
  • Excessive exercise
  • Exposure to sunlight or other ultraviolet light
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Cold sore outbreaks commonly occur during times of emotional stress. The type of stress that activates cold sores is typically negative stress, instead of stress due to positive or normal life-changing events. Finding ways to manage negative stress may cut down on the frequency and intensity of your cold sore outbreaks.

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  1. Carlucci MJ, Ciancia M, Matulewicz MC, et al. Antiherpetic activity and mode of action of natural carrageenans of diverse structural types. Antiviral Res. 1999;43:93-102.
  2. Benencia F, Courreges MC. Antiviral activity of sandalwood oil against Herpes simplex viruses-1 and -2. Phytomedicine. 1999;6:119-123.
  3. Carson CF, Ashton L, Dry L, et al. Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil gel (6%) for the treatment of recurrent herpes labialis. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2001;48:450-451.
  4. Saller R, Buechi S, Meyrat R, et al. Combined herbal preparation for topical treatment of Herpes labialis. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2001;8:373-382.
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Herb-based remedies have shown significant promise for treating cold sores.

Both lemon balm (melissa) and aloe vera can help lessen the intensity and duration of a cold sore outbreak. Eleutherococcus senticosus may help prevent outbreaks.

A cream made with sage and rhubarb proved as effective as a conventional antiviral ointment (Zovirax).26

Other herbs that are sometimes recommended for herpes infections, but currently lack significant research evidence, include astragalus, cat's claw, elderberry, kelp,22 sandalwood,23 tea tree oil,25 and witch hazel.

... (more)
  1. Carlucci MJ, Ciancia M, Matulewicz MC, et al. Antiherpetic activity and mode of action of natural carrageenans of diverse structural types. Antiviral Res. 1999;43:93-102.
  2. Benencia F, Courreges MC. Antiviral activity of sandalwood oil against Herpes simplex viruses-1 and -2. Phytomedicine. 1999;6:119-123.
  3. Carson CF, Ashton L, Dry L, et al. Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil gel (6%) for the treatment of recurrent herpes labialis. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2001;48:450-451.
  4. Saller R, Buechi S, Meyrat R, et al. Combined herbal preparation for topical treatment of Herpes labialis. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2001;8:373-382.
... (more)

Herb-based remedies have shown significant promise for treating cold sores.

Both lemon balm (melissa) and aloe vera can help lessen the intensity and duration of a cold sore outbreak. Eleutherococcus senticosus may help prevent outbreaks.

A cream made with sage and rhubarb proved as effective as a conventional antiviral ointment (Zovirax).26

Other herbs that are sometimes recommended for herpes infections, but currently lack significant research evidence, include astragalus, cat's claw, elderberry, kelp,22 sandalwood,23 tea tree oil,25 and witch hazel.

... (more)

Herb-based remedies have shown significant promise for treating cold sores.

Both lemon balm (melissa) and aloe vera can help lessen the intensity and duration of a cold sore outbreak. Eleutherococcus senticosus may help prevent outbreaks.

A cream made with sage and rhubarb proved as effective as a conventional antiviral ointment (Zovirax).26

Other herbs that are sometimes recommended for herpes infections, but currently lack significant research evidence, include astragalus, cat's claw, elderberry, kelp,22 sandalwood,23 tea tree oil,25 and witch hazel.

... (more)

The typical recommended daily dosage of eleutherococcus Eleutherococcus is 2-3 g whole herb or 300 g to 400 mg of extract daily. The study cited in this article featured daily doses of 2 g.

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  • Herbalist
  • Naturopathic doctor
  • Integrative MD
  • Other health practitioners who specialize in herbology
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A 6-month, double-blind trial of 93 men and women with recurrent genital herpes infections found that treatment with Eleutherococcus (2 g daily) reduced the frequency of infections by almost 50%.^18 ^ 18

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The effect of Eleutherococcus on cold sores herpes is not clear. The herb is generally regarded as an adaptogen, or something that helps the body adapt to stresses of various kinds, whether heat, cold, exertion, trauma, sleep deprivation, toxic exposure, radiation, infection, or psychological stress. Adaptogens are also believed to cause no side effects, be effective in treating a wide variety of illnesses, and help return an organism toward balance no matter what may have gone wrong.

... (more)

Eleutherococcus senticosus is popularly and incorrectly called Russian or Siberian ginseng, and has shown strong potential to significantly reduce the number of outbreaks in people with genital herpes. Although cold sores (oral herpes) are not caused by the same virus, the viruses are related, and therefore Eleutherococcus may be useful in reducing cold sore outbreaks.

... (more)
  1. Williams M. Immuno-protection against herpes simplex type II infection by eleutherococcus root extract. Int J Alt Complement Med. 1995;13:9-12.
... (more)

The typical recommended daily dosage of Eleutherococcus is 2-3 g whole herb or 300 g to 400 mg of extract daily. The study cited in this article featured daily doses of 2 g.

... (more)

A 6-month, double-blind trial of 93 men and women with recurrent genital herpes infections found that treatment with Eleutherococcus (2 g daily) reduced the frequency of infections by almost 50%.18

... (more)

Enter section content.. The effect of Eleutherococcus on herpes is not clear. The herb is generally regarded as an adaptogen, or something that helps the body adapt to stresses of various kinds, whether heat, cold, exertion, trauma, sleep deprivation, toxic exposure, radiation, infection, or psychological stress. Adaptogens are also believed to cause no side effects, be effective in treating a wide variety of illnesses, and help return an organism toward balance no matter what may have gone wrong.

... (more)

The typical recommended daily dosage of Eleutherococcus is 2-3 g whole herb or 300 g to 400 mg of extract daily. The study cited in this article featured daily doses of 2 g.

... (more)

Eleutherococcus senticosus is popularly and incorrectly called Russian or Siberian ginseng, and has shown strong potential to significantly reduce the number of outbreaks in people with genital herpes. Although cold sores (oral herpes) are not caused by the same virus, the viruses are related, and therefore Eleutherococcus may be useful in reducing cold sore outbreaks.

... (more)

The effect of Eleutherococcus on herpes is not clear. The herb is generally regarded as an adaptogen, or something that helps the body adapt to stresses of various kinds, whether heat, cold, exertion, trauma, sleep deprivation, toxic exposure, radiation, infection, or psychological stress. Adaptogens are also believed to cause no side effects, be effective in treating a wide variety of illnesses, and help return an organism toward balance no matter what may have gone wrong.

... (more)