As if one weren’t enough, I have two huge cold sores on my lip. My normal procedure for cold sores is to take vitamin C, vitamin B and apply a lip balm that I made that contains lemon balm infused oil. Although I did that yesterday it has gotten worse. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. This virus will reside in a dormant state in the nerve tissue. In the case of cold sores on the lips the virus is typically in the trigeminal nerve ganglion (a collection of nerve cell bodies). For some unknown reasons this virus will travel down the nerve to the skin and start to replicate there cause fluid filled vesicles. Things that trigger these outbreaks include stress, sunshine, menstruation, injury or an immune deficiency. In my case it is typically stress that causes a cold sore. In the past few weeks I have been busy planting Nanking cherries, choke cherries, roses, lavender, cedar trees, roses, raspberries and some miscellaneous herbs. I am also finishing up teaching for the semester and getting grades done. Then the normal animal care and family activities that increase towards the end of the school year. Together, these and unnamed things have caused me a little stress.

Since this cold sore has gotten worse overnight I think I will have to do more than my normal regimen. Although there are antiviral drugs available to treat herpes, there have also been an increasing number of resistant viruses as a result of this. I would hate to think that virus’s will develop this life threatening condition that has occurred in bacteria due to overuse of antibiotics. I will pass on the antiviral drugs and try some other herbal treatments I don’t normally use. Perhaps I will apply lavender oil to the sore or Echinacea extract. I might also drink lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) tea or sage tea and have some garlic toast (my favorite cold remedy). I may use myrrh essential oil to relieve the pain as well. And what about relaxing a little? It’s a somewhat rainy day today which decreases what I can do outside so maybe I’ll sit around with my cup of lemon balm/sage tea for awhile.