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Cold Sores

Also indexed as:Fever Blisters, Herpes Simplex 1
As soon as a cold sore appears, you’re ready for it to disappear. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

Supplement Amount Why
Lemon Balm
Apply a 1% 70:1 herbal extract four times per day 3 stars [3 stars]
Lemon balm, with its antiviral properties, appears to speed the healing of cold sores and reduce symptoms when applied topically as a cream.
Lysine
1 to 3 grams daily 3 stars [3 stars]
Supplementing with lysine may reduce recurrences by suppressing the virus that causes sores.
Vitamin C and Flavonoids
200 mg with 200 mg flavonoids, three to five times daily 2 stars [2 stars]
Vitamin C plus flavonoids may help speed cold sore healing.
Vitamin E
Apply cotton saturated with oil for 15 minutes every three hours on day one, then three times daily on days two and three 2 stars [2 stars]
Applying vitamin E oil directly to a cold sore appears to accelerate healing.
Witch Hazel
Apply a cream containing 2% extract six times daily for three to eight days 2 stars [2 stars]
Witch hazel has been shown in one study to reduce the size of cold sores and the spread of inflammation.
Zinc
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner 2 stars [2 stars]
Topically applied zinc appears to inhibit the replication of the herpes virus and help prevent future outbreaks. Use topical zinc only under a doctor’s supervision.
Boric Acid
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Boric acid has antiviral activity and has been shown to shorten the duration of cold sores.
Chaparral
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
In traditional herbal medicine, tinctures of various herbs including chaparral have been applied topically to herpes outbreaks in order to promote healing.
Echinacea
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
In traditional herbal medicine, tinctures of various herbs including echinacea have been applied topically to herpes outbreaks in order to promote healing.
Goldenseal
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
In traditional herbal medicine, tinctures of various herbs including goldenseal have been applied topically to herpes outbreaks in order to promote healing.
Licorice Topical
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Licorice in the form of a cream or gel may be applied directly to cold sores in order to speed healing and reduce pain.
Myrrh
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
In traditional herbal medicine, tinctures of various herbs including myrrh have been applied topically to herpes outbreaks in order to promote healing.
St. John’s Wort
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
In traditional herbal medicine, tinctures of various herbs including St. John’s wort have been applied topically to herpes outbreaks in order to promote healing.

Copyright © 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.


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