Not everyone infected with herpes develops cold sores in their lifetime or even after being infected. How often a person has a herpes outbreak, how severe it is, how contagious it is, and how long it takes for sores to heal all depend on an individual’s immune response. By supporting your immunity naturally, you will be able to limit the expression of the virus and its virulence.

  1. Increase nutrient intake

The first step to 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 replication of the herpes virus. 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 omega-3 essential fatty acids, which help fight inflammation and repair tissue.
  • Clean, 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-caught 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 formulations have been shown to be effective not only for the treatment of cold sores, but also for prolonging remissions of herpes. To increase your intake of zinc-rich foods, eat more protein sources, such as organ meats (like liver), grass-fed beef, pumpkin seeds, nuts, and vegetables like spinach.
  1. Avoid pro-inflammatory foods

Certain foods can cause inflammation, weaken immune defenses 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 make inflammation worse. Added sugar is commonly found in bottled beverages, processed foods, and flavored products like yogurt, cereals, 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, body aches, and skin inflammation.
  • Processed foods: The majority of processed foods contain hydrogenated oils that 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 an eruption is active to prevent acid from touching open sores; otherwise, these foods are healthy and should be included in your diet often.
  • Foods rich in L-arginine: This amino acid could slightly stimulate the replication of the herpes virus. Foods to cut down on when you flare up include those containing wheat (which is the most refined carbohydrate) and chocolate.
  1. Supplement to drive away herpes

Certain natural products can help you limit breakouts, their duration and their intensity.

  • Antiviral herbs: These include elderberry, calendula, echinacea, garlic, astragalus, and licorice root.
  • L-lysine (1,000 milligrams three times daily): May help treat and prevent breakouts
  • Lemon balm extract: Apply as a topical cream for healing.
  • Vitamin C (1,000 milligrams daily): Vitamin C boosts 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 daily): B vitamins help your body deal with stress and may prevent outbreaks.

The best 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 commonly used oils on the skin for its natural antiviral and antibacterial properties. Simply apply these essential oils three times a day to 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 an eruption. 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 sore has healed, consider getting a new toothbrush, as secretions may remain on your brush for some time.

To reduce irritation, use only natural, mild soap and warm water on wounds.

If a sore is causing pain, try pressing a hot 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 over the genitals. You can pass the virus from one place in your body to another.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.