Health and Fitness Tips

How to Treat Cold Sores?

Ruth Robinson from Clitheroe, Lancs has problem with cold sores. She have been suffering from recurrent cold sores, and have had two bad viral infections. These gave her terrible headaches and general flu-like symptoms. “Is there any advice to help me get out of this cycle of being run down and picking up new bugs” her said .

Jane says: Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, which most people are infected with as children. The virus can lie dormant for years and then, when you’re run down or stressed, an unsightly blister pops up. Once you have the virus you won’t be able to get rid of it, but boosting your immune system nutritionally will reduce the likelihood of the cold sores recurring. Make sure you are having at least five portions of fruits or vegetables a day ? this will ensure you have adequate vitamin C, which is vital for your immune system.

It’s important to eat a variety of fruit and vegetable as they all have their selling points: some are higher in vitamin C, others are better for beta-carotene or selenium (both help the immune system). Zinc is also important, as a deficiency can compromise the immune system. Good sources are lean red meat, nuts, tofu, chicken and wholegrain breads.

The body absorbs most nutrients better from food rather than pills, so provided you stick to a healthy balanced diet, there is no need to start popping supplements. There are some old-fashioned remedies that will help. The best is rubbing the sore with a cut clove of fresh garlic. Garlic is a traditional remedy, containing a compound known as allicin which is generally good for the health.

If those around you can stomach the odor, include as much raw garlic as possible in your diet (cooking reduces its potency). And although I say there’s no need in general for supplements, the body absorbs garlic supplements very well. Try a daily allicin supplement, which is available in a capsule.

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