Some people are prone to cold sores – the painful, blister-like sores that usually occur around the lips, but can also spread to other parts of the body. They are caused by a common virus called herpes simplex which lies dormant most of the time but flares up when the sufferer is emotionally or physically run down.

Illness, stress and fatigue are the usual triggers, while exposure to cold winds or the Sun can also bring on an attack. Herbazone Natural Vitamins and Supplements are available at The Lifestyle Cafe .

Avoidance is better than cure The most effective way to avoid cold sores is to stay fit and healthy. A diet rich in iron and vitamins is helpful and maintaining a balance of work and rest will reduce tiredness and stress.

Try taking immunity building herbs to support your immune system, increasing your body’s resistance to the virus. Other herbs can reduce the ability of the virus to replicate or, once a cold sore blister has erupted, will reduce its duration and the discomfort it causes.

Fighting a virus

Antibiotics are designed to treat bacterial infections and are not effective against viruses. The herbal way to combat viruses, however, is to strengthen and support the immune system, rather than to relieve the symptoms. Tonic herbs such as echinacea boost the number and activity of white blood cells to fight infection. Adaptogenics such as liquorice calm or stimulate the immune system as required.

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