Causes & Remedies
by Nikki Moses
© August 2014
Cold sores (sometimes called fever blisters) are small blisters that form on the lips and/or edge of the mouth. Cold sores are caused by a virus called the Herpes Simplex Virus. There are several strains of herpes viruses, and two of them (herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2) can cause cold sores. Many people have these viruses in their bodies, although some of them will never get outbreaks of cold sores, especially if their immune systems are strong. The virus stays dormant in the nervous system during which time the person will not have symptoms. Under certain types of stress, the viruses can re-activate and flare up and cause a cold sore outbreak.
Cold sores are contagious when active, so be sure to exercise caution in not touching the cold sore and in not allowing another person to touch the cold sore.
Triggers for a flare-up of a cold sore:
- Emotional Stress.
- Not getting enough sleep which weakens the immune system.
- Tissue damage, such as chapped lips or too much sun. In addition to causing tissue damage which weakens the skin, excessive sun exposure appears to trigger cold sores in another way as well. Sun exposure creates vitamin D production. Vitamin D draws calcium to it. If the person is not taking enough calcium or not getting enough from the diet, the vitamin D can draw calcium from the skin, thereby weakening it and leaving it vulnerable to the virus.
- Eating too much sugar which weakens the immune system.
- Eating too many nuts. Nuts are generally high in the amino acid arginine and low in the amino acid lysine. Arginine favors replication of the herpes virus, while lysine helps to stop the virus. What is important in any given food is the ratio of lysine to arginine. Ideally, you want to avoid over-eating foods with a very low ratio of lysine to arginine. Or if you are eating foods with a low ratio, also eat foods with a high ratio in the same meal. In my opinion, the foods to avoid most are nuts and seeds. Small amounts of these are okay, but over-eating on them can definitely cause an outbreak. Here is a link to a list of foods in regards to the lysine to arginine ratio: http://www.herpes.com/Nutrition.shtml. Foods at 1.00 or above (the far right column) won’t pose a problem. Foods below 1.00 could be trouble if you eat a large amount of those foods at a time when some other weakness is also present in your immune system. There are many healthful foods, including vegetables, below 1.00 on this scale, so please don’t avoid these foods. As you’ll see, most nuts are near the bottom of the list (the worst offenders).
Generally, people on our full health program gain immune system strength and better overall health, and this usually results in fewer and fewer outbreaks. But there are occasions when you may trigger an outbreak with one or more of the above stressors, and sometimes a healing reaction will trigger an outbreak. For example, some healing reactions use up a large quantity of calcium in a very short period of time. At the same time, the immune system might be very busy fighting off some other old infection in the body. These two factors combined can trigger a cold sore outbreak.
If an outbreak occurs, start the Cold Sore Protocol right away, as it usually dramatically shortens the healing period of the cold sore.
Anyone can follow the below protocol, even if not on a full health program. Of course, be sure to review the ingredients of any products taken for allergens and/or contra-indications or interactions with any medications being taken.
Cold Sore Protocol
At the very first sign that a cold sore is forming, immediately take the following:
- 3 Cyruta Plus (a Standard Process food-based product that is helpful for all types of herpes viruses — we carry this here and can ship to you)
- 2 St. John’s Wort* (a Medi-Herb herb that is helpful for all types of herpes viruses — we carry this here, but in a pinch you can stop at a health food store to purchase. Not all brands of St. John’s Wort are effective, so if you have frequent outbreaks, you may want to have us send you some.)
- 2 Cataplex F Tablets (another Standard Process product. It contains oil from flax along with bovine liver fat and bovine orchic extract that help drive calcium into the skin tissues. Calcium in the skin helps to prevent cold sores. This is a very important nutrient when dealing with cold sores.)
- 2 L-Lysine [= 1,000 mg.] (an amino acid that helps to suppress herpes viruses. We carry this here but you can also find it at health food stores.)
- 2 Paramin** (Each tablet contains 250 mg. calcium and 150 mg. magnesium in very bio-available forms. It also contains small amounts of vitamin D and Boron. If you do not have Paramin to hand, get any brand of calcium and magnesium at the health food store and take 500 mg Calcium and about 300 mg. Magnesium. It is more important to match the calcium dose than the magnesium dose.)
Repeat the above later that same day.
The following day, take a total amount as follows broken up into 2 or 3 doses:
Total for the day:
- 3 Cyruta Plus
- 2 St. John’s Wort
- 2 Cataplex F Tablets
- 2 L-Lysine
- 3 Paramin** (if you are already taking 3 Paramin per day, do take extra the first day of the cold sore per the above instructions but you do not need extra of this on the following days.)
Continue the above daily until the cold sore is gone.
*Caution: do not use St. John’s Wort along with prescription medications without first checking with a doctor of pharmacist for interactions. It is usually quite safe, but it can interact negatively with some prescriptions. Do not use St. John’s Wort while pregnant.
**If you do not absorb all of the magnesium in Paramin, the magnesium draws water to it in the intestines and can cause diarrhea. So if you get diarrhea while following this protocol, simply cut back on the Paramin until the diarrhea is gone. You may use plain Endo-met Calcium or other-brand calcium to replace any amount of Paramin you have to cut out.