Cold sores and mouth ulcers are a real pain… They always happen at the most inappropriate time and it feels so unfair that some people just never get them!

They are caused by the HSV-1 ( type 1 herpes virus), which the majority of people carry.

You can get over the counter medicine which I do not find effective, prescription medicine (more effective) and I thought I would share a few tips to minimize their recurrence.

1- SLEEP. Just make sure to get those 8 hours. 7 hours has been proven scientifically to not be enough for brain function, cell regeneration, mood, nervous function etc. If you sleep enough, not only you will be physiological more performant but you will be able to deal with the next point better, namely, stress.

2- STRESS. It’s easy to say that we should stress less but it’s not as easy to put it in practice. I try to have more positive thoughts than negative thoughts daily. It is a simple trick which has been shown to make people happy (who needs a pay rise?!). I will do a full post on this but sticking to a maximum 2 cups of coffee a day helps to not kick in anxiety, and breathing deeply is crucial for lower cortisol levels. When you feel you are doing shallow breathing, make a conscious effort to breathe normally again, maybe by taking a couple of deep breaths.

3- REDUCE ARGININE rich foods and supplements. L-Arginine is an amino acid which has been shown to activate HSV-1. Sadly, some healthy foods like spinach, nuts, pumpkin seeds contain L-Arginine. Cola, beer, chocolate, and gelatin (candy) contain it too.

4- EAT HEALTHY to support your immune system. You need a variety of nutrients for your body and immune system to function well. Following a low inflammation and healthy diet supports that.

5- SUPPLEMENTS. Vitamin C, zinc and L-Lysine (an amino acid) can help reduce the recurrence of cold sores. Liposomal vitamin C is easier absorbed too. If you take zinc, I would recommend zinc picolinate as it is better absorbed. And as with everything I recommend, please make sure to check with your doctor before taking it 🙂