Cold sores are usually a manifestation of exhaustion. Once our body has reached its maximum capacity for dealing with daily stressors, from traffic jams to stressful jobs to low nutrient diets all exerting their negative influence, our body’s defenses lower to a point where previously suppressed viruses are once again able to flourish. Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus which -after initial exposure- lies latent in our body until our immune system is no longer able to keep it under control. L-lysine (an essential amino acid) inhibits normal replication of herpes, shortening the normal course and duration of the disease. Arginine on the other hand (also an amino acid) facilitates viral replication. It is therefore essential that treatment – aside from supporting a healthy stress response through lifestyle modifications and nutrient support- involve the elimination of arginine rich foods along with supplementation of L-lysine. Treatment can also include lip balms containing l-lysine and anti-viral herbs including licorice and goldenseal.
Arginine rich foods include seafood, watermelon juice, nuts, seeds, algae, meats, rice protein concentrate and soy protein isolate.