Not all people infected with herpes develop cold sores throughout their life or even after becoming infected. How often a person has a herpes outbreak, how severe it is, how contagious it is, and how long it takes to heal sores all depend on the individual’s immune response. By supporting your immunity naturally, you will be able to limit the expression of the virus and its virulence.
Increase nutrient intake
The first step in getting rid of herpes is to improve immune function by increasing the intake of specific nutrients. Include these foods in your diet to keep the virus dormant as much as possible:
- Foods rich in L-lysine: This amino acid can prevent the herpes virus from replicating. Foods include legumes, fish, turkey, chicken, and vegetables.
- Orange and Red Vegetables: These vegetables contain antioxidants, such as carotenoids, bioflavonoids, and vitamin C, which aid in skin / wound healing and boost overall immunity.
- Wild fish: Fish provides essential omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight inflammation and repair tissue.
- Clean and Lean Protein: The body cannot heal without enough protein. Some of the best protein foods include those that are organic and lean, such as wild fish, pasture-raised poultry, and grass-fed beef.
- Zinc: Zinc is used in many chemical reactions that help rebuild the skin and protect the body against viruses and infections. Topical zinc formulas have been shown to be effective not only for treating cold sores, but also for prolonging herpes remissions. To increase your intake of foods high in zinc, eat more protein sources, such as organ meats (like liver), grass-fed beef, pumpkin seeds, nuts, and vegetables like spinach.
Avoid pro-inflammatory foods
Certain foods can cause inflammation, weaken the immune system, and make skin irritation worse. Avoid the following foods as much as possible to limit the severity and duration of the outbreak.
- Added sugar: Too much sugar suppresses immune function and can worsen inflammation. Added sugar is commonly found in bottled beverages, processed foods, and flavored products like yogurt, grains, and refined grains.
- Alcohol: Large amounts of alcohol (in addition to smoking tobacco and using other drugs) suppress immune function and can worsen symptoms such as fatigue, aches and inflammation of the skin.
- Processed Foods: The majority of processed foods contain hydrogenated oils which can weaken immune function. These foods tend to cause sensitivities or allergies, worsen inflammation, and essentially provide only empty calories.
- Acidic foods: These foods can irritate cold sores and cause worsening pain or burning. Avoid tomatoes, oranges, vinegar, or other citrus fruits when a rash is active to prevent the acid from reaching open sores, otherwise, these foods are healthy and should often be included in your diet.
- Foods rich in L-arginine: This amino acid may slightly stimulate the replication of the herpes virus. Foods to decrease at the time of the rash include those containing wheat (which is the most refined carbohydrate) and chocolate.
Supplement yourself to ward off herpes
Certain natural products can help you limit breakouts, their duration and intensity.
- Antiviral herbs: These include elderberry, calendula, echinacea, garlic, astragalus, and licorice root.
- L-lysine (1,000 milligrams three times a day): May help treat and prevent breakouts
- Lemon Balm Extract: Apply as a topical cream for healing.
- Vitamin C (1000 milligrams per day): Vitamin C strengthens immune function and improves herpes.
- Zinc (30 milligrams twice daily): Zinc benefits include supporting immune function, protecting against viruses, and rebuilding skin tissue to speed healing.
- B Vitamin Complex (50 milligrams per day): B vitamins help your body cope with stress and can prevent disease outbreaks.
The top essential oils against herpes
Essential oils that can help treat herpes include clove oil, tea tree oil, and myrrh oil. Tea tree essential oil is one of the most common oils used on the skin for its natural antiviral and antibacterial properties. Simply apply these essential oils three times a day to the areas affected by cold sores, taking care to use a very small amount (only one to three drops). If you have sensitive skin, try mixing essential oils with a carrier oil to dilute their strength a bit, including jojoba or coconut oil.
5. A few more useful tips
Try not to touch open sores during or before a rash. Wash your hands every time.
Do not kiss someone if you have an open wound or share drinks and utensils.
Avoid sharing a toothbrush, lip balm, or makeup with other people to reduce the risk of transmission. Once a wound has healed, consider getting a new toothbrush, as the secretions may stay on your brush for a while.
To decrease irritation, use only natural, mild soap and warm water on the wounds.
If a sore is causing pain, try pressing a warm towel against the affected area to reduce it, or sit in a lukewarm bath or shower to let the heat reach the affected area.
Be sure to use a separate towel on the genitals. You can spread the virus from anywhere in your body.
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