What and Why?

Cold sores are painful blistering spots around the mouth which you either have repeatedly or don’t have at all. They are supposed to be infectious originally, but once you have been infected they can be stirred from dormancy into new life by any kind of upset. The challenge for regular victims is not just to heal each crop of blisters but to get rid of them altogether.

The first sign that a cold sore is likely to develop is the upset itself — a cold, fever, stress, shock or emotional problem. Within a few days the skin begins to feel very sore and ultra-sensitive. Another four days later redness appears, followed closely by blister formation. The fluid in the blister is teeming with virus particles, so that you are rather infectious at this stage because each blister eventually bursts, shedding its contents and forming a mildly infectious scab. Sometimes germs take up residence on the scab, adding the typical golden incrustations of impetigo; this too is very infectious. Either way the scab eventually heals, taking at least 7-10 days even in the most straightforward instance.

Doctors associate cold sores with a virus called herpes simplex which behaves a bit like the virus of shingles and has nothing to do with genital herpes. In particular this virus is supposed to lie dormant between bouts, not in the skin where the blisters will appear but in the junction boxes of the nerves which supply the skin. The pain you feel means that the virus has woken up in the nerve and is causing you a false sensation of pain where the nerve was coming from: the four day lapse before blisters start is reckoned to be the time it takes for virus particles to travel down the nerve to its endings in your skin. By this reckoning there is nothing to stop infection recurring at regular intervals, because the virus continues to occupy the nerve junction box throughout: the best that medicine offers is to abort each attack in your skin as you feel it coming on, using a rather expensive virus inhibiting agent called Acyclovir cream.

This story is a bit hard to credit however, and may be another instance the current theory of infection cannot really cope with. The full story could be that, given a trigger factor such as stress of some kind, certain of your cells transform themselves to produce virus particles from within their own substance; these particles then multiply and behave in the usual way of infections. Bechamp’s work, which predates and goes deeper than Pasteur’s, clearly suggests this possibility. In that case we need not wait until the virus is reproducing in your skin - we only have to stop your cells from changing under stress. This is much more hopeful since we can take the positive approach of building you up, instead of putting the virus down.

What can I do?

Advice to maintain and maximise health

1. Anything which keeps your immunity at its peak will protect you from cold sores — and from the cold, for that matter! Fresh live raw food such as grated carrot, eaten every day at the beginning of at least one meal, is most important. bionatured or food-state Vitamin C, 250mg daily in health and twice daily whenever under pressure, is also very cost-effective. Vitamin B complex or good quality Brewer’s Yeast tablets are worth considering, especially if you cannot often recall your dreams when you wake up. Bionatured or food-state trace mineral supplements are the next most useful, but a little more expensive. replete’s own bionatured formula combines antioxidants and minerals in an affordable, comprehensive protection.

2. The balance in your system of two particular amino-acids — the bricks of which proteins are built — seems critical to the changes which lead up to cold sores. These are arginine and lysine. Too much arginine favours cold sores, but a predominance of lysine tends to prevent them. Therefore avoid arginine-rich foods such as chocolate, nuts, seeds and cereal grains during periods of stress, or take a supplement of lysine (500mg daily) to counterbalance it. Even after cold sores seem to have begun, lysine supplements (up to 1000mgms daily) can cut them off and heal them up rapidly.

3. Live yoghurt works powerfully against cold sores on or near the lips, and can be used to prevent as well as treat them. You need to have some live yoghurt with nearly every meal, however, to achieve this.

4. Frequent smears of vaseline stop the air getting to a sore while it is healing, as well as preventing the scab from cracking painfully. This is hard work but has helped some people to eradicate the condition — the virus evidently needs air to become dormant successfully.

5. Tincture of myrrh is useful treatment for the pain of established sores, and regular dabs of surgical spirit help to keep them hygienic and prevent impetigo.

6. Do not neglect impetigo if it occurs. It is very conspicuous and highly infectious. It will however respond very quickly to applications of iodine or an antiseptic cream, which will save you being blamed for every outbreak in your neighbourhood for months afterwards!

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