Stress and Cold Sores

cold sores,reduce stress,relieve stress,stress reduction,stress relief,stress management,total healthDuke University researchers have discovered some things about colds sores. For instance, they now know where the dormant virus responsible for cold sores hangs out, which means in the future they may find a way to disable it when it decides to flare up. According to Bryan Cullen, Duke professor of molecular genetics and microbiology, “We have provided a molecular understanding of how HSV1 hides and then switches back and forth between the latent (hidden) and active phases.”

Besides knowing where the virus hides, researchers have also learned stress triggers cold sores. So, the next time you feel a cold sore coming on, the solution to stop it in its tracks is to reduce stress. To help you, here’s some stress-busting tips:

  • Breath Properly. There are a number of effective strategies to reduces stress by breathing properly. This one is adapted from the yogis and calms the nervous system. Place the tip of your tongue against the back of your upper front teeth, and keep it there as you perform this exercise. 1) Exhale, making a loud whoosing noise; 2) Close your mouth, breathe normally through your nose, to the mental count of four exhales; 3) Hold your breath to the count of seven; 4) Exhale through your mouth to the mental count of eight. Repeat steps 1 through 4, three more times. Do this exercise three times during the day.
  • Drink Tea. Chamomile tea is an age-old curative used since the time of the Egyptians. It relaxes smooth muscle tissue, reduces inflammation, and promotes relaxation.
  • Eat Stress Reducing Foods. Foods that contain A, B complex, C, and E vitamins, as well as magnesium, copper, potassium, zinc, and essential fatty acids, help reduce the body’s stress levels and aid in the destruction of free radicals. So, enjoy anti-stress foods as almonds, anchovies, avacados, bananas, cashews, clams, dairy products, osyters, peanut butter, potatoes, poultry, pumpkin seeds, salmon, spinach, sunflower seeds, turkey, and walnuts.
  • Hot Shower. Take a hot shower or bath using a lavender and chamomile body wash, such as Pharmacopia Body Wash, Lavendar. Lavender is an antispasmodic, and chamomile has sedative properties, so, you’re bound to relax.
  • Set Limits. Too often people overwhelm themselves. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have solve everyone’s problems. Know when to say “no” to everyone else, and know when to say “yes” to yourself.
  • Try Yoga. Yoga reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn creates an atmosphere for relaxation. Hatha yoga is particularly helpful in reducing stress because its designed to encourage a calm mind and is suitable for anyone of any age. If you want to learn the five basic stress-reducing yoga poses, a video showing these poses is available by clicking here.


See a doctor if you have frequent recurrent cold sores, a cold
sore doesn’t heal within two weeks, symptoms are severe, or if you
experience eye irritation in conjunction with a cold sore.

Additionally, chamomile is an herb and member of the daisy
family, which includes ragweed. If you have allergies to ragweed,
or if you are pregnant, avoid chamomile.

If you want to learn more about stress, and how you can you reduce it, there are several good articles you can read:

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