Immune, Stress | September 7, 2019 | Author: Naturopath
It's been a busy time and you are feeling over-whelmed and a bit run-down, and then you get the tell-tale tingling on your lip…. A cold sore!
Cold sores (herpes labialis) are caused by infection with the herpes simplex virus (HSV1). It can enter the body through close contact with an infected person via saliva, (such as kissing).
Infection can occur in anybody and is frequently seen in childhood with mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Once infection has occurred, the virus remains latent (or resting) in nerve cells of the spinal cord. If the virus becomes active again, the result is usually seen in the appearance of painfull, fluid-filled blisters on a red base and most commonly on the lip or face. These blisters can appear in moist, thin skin (called mucous membranes) such as nose, external and internal mouth and throat and genitals (genital herpes can be caused by HSV1 or HSV2). Incubation is between 2-12 days of infection and once the blisters form crusts and heal, resolution can take from 14-30 days.
The first symptom of a cold sore is often felt by a tingling, burning or painfull sensation often accompanied by anguish as these little lesions can be unsightly and embarrassing. The quickest way of getting symptom relief and resolution is often sort.
Certain things can cause the herpes virus can become active again.
There is no cure for herpes once infection with the virus has occurred. Treatment is based on quick resolution, symptom relief and reduced reoccurrence.
Astragalus is a traditional Chinese medicinal herb. Active substances called polysaccharides (APS) in Astragalus can regulate the immune system and have been shown to offer protection against HSV-1 cell proliferation.
Licorice (glycyrrhiza glabra). Is a Chinese medicinal herb with antiviral and antimicrobial activity effective against HSV. It does this by weakening the virus activity, preventing replication and adhesion.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is antiviral activity against HSV1 and is an approved herbal medicine to treat symptoms of upper respiratory infection.
Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) Has vulnerary, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity and has been shown to have antiviral activity against HSV1 and 2.
Lysine is an amino acid which can be useful in the prevention of reoccurring cold sores. Doses need to be in excess of 3 grams daily to help prevent re-activation of the virus.
Zinc is an inhibitor of HSV replication and can enhance cell-mediated immunity. Topical application with zinc sulphate solution ameliorates symptoms and inhibits infection re-occurrence.
Vitamin C and bioflavonoids. 1000 mg water-soluble bioflavonoids and 1000 mg vitamin C taken 5 times daily at first sign of infection and for continued 3 days has shown to reduces outbreak of lesions and increase resolution.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) – applied topically can improve and shorten healing of herpes simplex, prevent spread and offer relieve of symptoms.
Aloe vera gel is anti-inflammatory antibacterial and antiviral and study has shown it offers an inhibitory effect to herpes simplex 1.
Manuka honey-based products can be helpful due to the anti-inflammatory, wound healing, anti-microbial action.
Manuka honey can stimulate healing and prevent secondary bacterial infection.
Essential Oils which have shown to help topically to prevent and treat infection include: Tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint, german chamomile, oregano and sandalwood oils. Add 3-5 drops to a carrier oil such as almond oil and apply topically.
Though herpes simplex 1 infection usually resolves itself, with or without treatment, for some health conditions and people, infection can have serious consequences.
Cold sores: Overview https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK525782/
Honey, Propolis, and Royal Jelly: A Comprehensive Review of Their Biological Actions and Health Benefits https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5549483/
A series of in vitro and human studies of a novel lip cream formulation for protecting against environmental triggers of recurrent herpes labialis https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6432897/
Fisher, Carole; 2009, MATERIA MEDICA OF WESTERN HERBS, Vitex Medica, New Zealand.
Local therapy of herpes simplex with dried extract from Melissa officinalis https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S094471131180019X
Melissa officinalis L: A Review Study With an Antioxidant Prospective https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5871149/
Assessment of Anti HSV-1 Activity of Aloe Vera Gel Extract: an In Vitro Study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26966709
Lysine for Herpes Simplex Prophylaxis: A Review of the Evidence. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30881246
The antiviral and antimicrobial activities of licorice, a widely-used Chinese herb https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4629407/
Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/
A review on the immunomodulatory activity of Acanthopanax senticosusand its active components https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6670126/
Anxiolytic Effects of Acanthopanax senticosus HARMS Occur via Regulation of Autonomic Function and Activate Hippocampal BDNF–TrkB Signaling https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6337493/