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Top tips for avoiding cold sores during the frosty season

It‘s the time of year when the weather is cooling and the sniffles are sneaking up on us that the cold sore virus likes to play havoc, raising its not so attractive head for all the world to see.

Before that cold sore gets a chance, learn about the various tools available for you to utilise to help minimise the ugly and sometimes painful effects of cold sores.

Lifestyle Tips to Reduce Cold Sores:

• Avoid supplements or protein shakes that contain added Arginine (an amino acid)
• Reduce Arginine rich foods such as chocolate, oats, nuts and beer
• Eat a diet rich in natural foods; cut down on white and refined sugars, white flour, dairy, processed meat products, alcohol, caffeine, saturated animal fats and foods with additives
• Increase the amounts and variety of raw fruits and vegetables in the diet
• Avoid artificial sweeteners
• Drink lots of quality water every day (at least 6 to 8 glasses). Choose filtered, alkaline water where possible
• Avoid steroid based medications if possible, such as cortisone
• Address hormonal imbalances or underlying health issues
• Reduce alcohol and recreational drug consumption
• Meditation – try to clear the mind and let go of negative emotions and attachments
• Try to avoid getting sunburnt or chaffed lips; use an SPF 15+ sunscreen or lip balm, wear a hat while in the sun and limit excessive UV exposure
• Moisturise your lips regularly to help prevent cracking and dryness
• Topically attack each breakout to help reduce viral population
• Take beneficial supplements to help prevent a cold sore recurrence when needed

Natural Remedies to help ward off a Cold Sore:

Andrographis – this wonder herb can inhibit cold sore virus activity in vitro and improve the level of killer T-helper cells (cells in your immune system that are essential to control cold sores). Combine with the herbs Echinacea and Olive Leaf for best results.

Lysine – this is an amino acid that is shown in studies to reduce the frequency of cold sore breakouts and accelerate healing. It does this by naturally restricting another amino acid called Arginine, which the cold sore virus needs to become active.

Broccoli, Cabbage and Brussel Sprouts – these vegetables are naturally high in a compound called indole-3-carbinol (I3C) which clinical studies show may have the potential to interfere with the way the cold sore virus reproduces, so eat plenty of these veges to help keep breakouts away.

Engystol – this is a homeopathic remedy made by a reputable German brand named Heel. Engystol can be beneficial in strengthening an immune response against the cold sore virus, and may be particularly helpful in persistent cases.

Panax ginseng – if needed can help to counteract the effects of stress, past or present illness, alcohol and other strains on the immune system. This in turn can help to prevent a cold sore.

By educating people about Cold Sores, and the tools and knowledge that can be used to keep them away, it not only helps to ease the pain and embarrassment but can also help to reduce the incidence of cold sore infections.

Here’s to a happy, clear and peaceful winter.

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