What causes cold sores? They are a form of herpes. Did you know there are over 100 different types of herpes? Thankfully not all of them infect humans!
However, 8 routinely infect only humans:
- herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2,
- varicella-zoster virus
- Epstein-Barr virus
- human herpesvirus 6 (variants A and B)
- human herpesvirus 7
- Kaposi’s sarcoma virus or human herpesvirus 8
People often assume that if you have a cold sore (simplex virus type 1) you have the genitalia form of herpes (simplex virus type 2) which is not the case. Although you can have both. They are caused by two different strains albeit of the same virus that also causes chicken pox.
The bigger question for some concerns what to do about it.
- When you start feeling the tingling on the nerve prior to a cold sore outbreak – try putting ice cubes on the area – for many it stops the outbreak
- Whether or not you get the outbreak a number of herbs have been used to kill the virus:
- oil of oregano in some coconut oil and spread on the area several times a day
- John’s wort
- Siberian ginseng
- Aloe vera
- While all of these work for some, not all of them work for everyone. My favourite is neem – either as a cream or an oil – neem is not only a fantastic nutrient dense herb but also a broad spectrum anti microbial. It is fantastic for plants – inside and outside – as well as our bodies. Neem toothpaste is also great for oral hygiene.
Sometimes, whichever herb you decide on has to be used on a couple of outbreaks to get the full elimination. But they are effective. From my perspective anything that gets rid of the root cause is more effective than something that just manages the symptom or the event.