Herpes labialis

About the Disorder

By their very nature and owing to their specific functions, the lips are often prone to disorders related to aggressions by external agents, such as weather (wind, sun, etc.) or by microorganisms. Among the most frequent affections involving the lips there is herpes labialis, a recurring pathology.

The dietary aspect: Lisina and ArgininaIl virus: Herpes simplex

Of the over 70 viruses belonging to the Herpes viridae family, only seven are responsible for pathologies affecting the human body: among these there is Herpes simplex (HSV). Using serological methods it is possible to distinguish two types of HSV, namely Herpes simplex type 1 (HSV -1) and Herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2).

 Current estimates suggest that about 40-45% of Western population is subject to recurring episodes of herpes labialis and that almost 100% of adults have been infected by at least one of the two varieties of HSV, with a percentage of infection by HSV-1 that involves a remarkable 90-95% of the population (HSV-2, instead, has a much lower prevalence at serum level).

Such a high distribution of specific antibodies in the bloodstream indicates that the vast majority of the population has experienced at least one “encounter” with the virus, perhaps even undetected, i.e. without the typical herpetic sores: these patients are therefore healthy carriers of of HSV-1 and as such they are potentially responsible for its wide dissemination.

HSV-1 and HSV-2 viruses can be serologically distinguished, with antigenic as well as pathogenic differences. Both infect epithelial cells: infection by HSV-1 mainly affects orofacial tissues, whereas HSV-2 , cells of the genital area.

Type 1 Herpes Simplex can therefore be considered as responsible for labial infections, generally acquired asymptomatically during early childhood, transmitted directly (kiss) or indirectly (cutlery, glasses, etc.) by herpetic sores or even from saliva of healthy carriers; genital infections, on the other hand, are mainly caused by Type 2 Herpes Simplex (only 10% of these are caused by HSV-1).

Herpes labialis: a relapsing infection

Herpes labialis, an infection caused by the Type 1 Herpes Simplex virus, is characterized by the appearance of single or multiple groups of small blisters on an erythematous area on and surrounding the lips. Clinical signs on the skin and mucosae are characterized by a particular sequence, that can be schematically summarized in the following triad: primary infection, latency phases and recurring relapses.

 What triggers off relapses are factors reducing the individual’s immune functions,   so that HSV-1,  no longer opposed, has the chance to multiply, proliferate and flow out of the nervous ganglia, where it had previously taken refuge, and therefore appears again at epidermal level. As is clear, reinforcing the immunological condition of the host represents the key to control relapses of herpes labialis.

In subjects experiencing recurring herpes labialis, relapses, occurring at variable intervals from individual to indivual (5% with one episode monthly, 34% every 2 – 11 months, 61% every year), are due to the fact that following healing after the first episode, the virus ascends through the sensitive nervous fibres, reaching the dorsal nervous ganglia where it remains during latency phases.

In other words, the Herpes Simplex virus takes refuge in a fortified environment, where neither medicines nor antibodies gain access. The implication of this is that following initial contact, the virus remains in the body forever, ready to re-emerge whenever the organism is particularly vulnerable. Exposure to risk factors (for instance to sunrays, intense atmospheric agents, abuse of medicines, intake of certain foods to which there is an intolerance or an allergy), situations of intense stress and overfatigue or during particular phases of the menstrual cycle can, in fact, act as “triggers” and the virus manifests itself once again with the typical skin lesions.

Among the many different factors playing a key role in  the development of relapses, one of the most decisive ones is surely linked to eating habits. Besides foods that may provoke allergy or intolerance, thereby putting a strain on the the immune system,  it has been pointed out that a diet rich in the amino acid arginine, abundant for instance in nuts, peanuts, chocolate and red wine, can act as a trigger encouraging viral reactivation (replication of HSV, in fact, requires synthesis of proteins rich in arginine). On the contrary, integration with supplements of lysine, an amino acid competing against intestinal absorption of arginine, has shown to be useful in inhibiting relapses of herpes labialis.

Treatment of herpes labialis using conventional medicine

Herpes mouth infection lasts 8/10 days on average, characterized by troublesome symptoms often causing psychological unease as a consequence of the aesthetic alterations. Patients affected will therefore obviously tend to seek local treatment that can rapidly solve the unpleasant feeling and skin imperfection.

In this respect, conventional medicine provides for the administration of ointments based on antivirals, that however frequently lead to sensitization, besides causing the insurgence of resistance problems. Hence the importance of having valid alternatives available for the treatment of herpes labialis: for this purpose, nature can once again come in useful, offering elements of proven efficacy.

Nature can help you in case of herpes labialis

Our Approach

A natural and effective approach

The most widespread pathology affecting the lips is herpes labialis, an infection that often turns out to be relapsingdue to the presence of Type 1 Herpes Simplex virus. (ERRORE DI BATTITURA NELL’ITALIANO: Herpes simpex tipo 1)Resolving this infection without resorting to synthetic medicines based on antivirals is possible, as well as desirable, thanks to the extraordinary properties of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE), which is both effective and safe.

GSE and herpes labialis

Grapefruit Seed Extract has  broad spectrum antimicrobial efficacy: in fact, it has been proven that besides being active against bacteria, fungi and parasites, GSE is also effective against viral strains.

Researches have been conducted by the team coordinated by Dr Willian Shannon, director of the laboratory of  virology-microbiology at the Southern Research Institute: surveys have shown that GSE can inactivate HSV-1 virus (Type 1 Herpes Simplex virus), after exposure of only 10 minutes at a dilution equal to 1:256.

Apart from this direct action carried out against the HSV virus, its inclusion in formulations is essential, because of GSE’s widely acknowledged ability to act against pathogenic microorganisms without having a significantly negative impact on intestinal microbial flora, as confirmed by a study published in the “Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine” n° 3 Vol. 5 of 1990. This selectivity, a property that is unique of its kind, eases the task of the immune system: by being less burdened, its efficiency is enhanced and it can preserve the mechanisms of cell immunity that are at the root of the development and maintenance of the HSV virus’s latent state.

In addition, even when used for formulations aimed at local use, since it is a “selective cleanser”, it acts against pathogens without having a significantly negative impact on physiological flora of skin and mucosae, thereby preserving its essential defensive function.

Due to the above-mentioned considerations, GSE therefore represents the cornerstone of an effective and complete approach for the prevention (in relapses) and resolution of herpes labialis, through the following activities:

PREVENTION OF RELAPSES

  1. By contrasting the recurrence of HSV virus through a systemic action aimed at containing the proliferation of the virus, enhancing the potential and efficiency of the immune system and integrating amino acid lysine (from natural sources);
  2. By effectively preventing relapses of herpes labialis through the daily application of a specific product for the lips and adjacent parts , with a targeted antiviral and naturally protective action, while avoiding unprotected exposure to sunrays or sun lamps;

RESOLUTION (to accelerate the healing process of sores)

  1. By contrasting the occurrence of HSV virus through systemic action aimed at containing the proliferation of the virus, enhancing the potential and efficiency of the immune system and integrating amino acid lysine (from natural sources);
  2. By treating herpes labialis at local level with an antiviral, emollient and protective action, contrasting the development of herpetic sores right from the very first symptoms, while promoting rapid resolution.

This approach, combined with a healthy lifestyle (in terms of diet, but not only), includes the use of natural remedies that are well known in folk tradition and the efficacy of which in providing a definitive solution has been confirmed by recent studies.

PREVENTION OF RELAPSES

  1. In order to contrast the recurrence of HSV virus, through a systemic action aimed at containing the proliferation of the virus, enhancing the potential and efficiency of the immune system, besided integrating amino acid lysine (from natural sources)…

Nature can help you with…

Grapefruit Seed Extract: as already highlighted, results obtained regarding the efficacy of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) against the virus responsible for herpes labialis confirm its extraordinary potential.

Uncaria: a plant recognised for its antiviral properties, Uncaria is also powerfully effective as an  immune system regulator. Its use leads to an increased resistance in the organism against infection, improving its response in case of illness.

Dulse Seaweed: a red algae growing wildly along the Northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, it is remarkable for its high lysine content (whereas it lacks arginine completely). In addition, it has a high content of group B and C vitamins, acting as anti-stress factors and strengthening the organism against HSV.

Lysine: an essential amino acid for the human body, which is unable to produce it autonomously and which must therefore be supplied from food;  lysine can contrast viral replication, since is it as an antagonist of arginine (an amino acid widely present in proteins involved in viral replication).

The above mentioned vegetable components are best conveyed in swallowable tablets.

  1. To prevent relapses of herpes labialis effectively, via daily application of a specific product for the lips and adjacent parts, with a targeted antiviral and naturally protective action, while avoiding unprotected exposure to sunrays or sun lamps…

Nature can help you with…

Grapefruit Seed Extract: as already highlighted, results obtained regarding efficacy of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) against HSV-1, responsible for herpes labialis, confirm GSE as the ideal remedy to treat this specific lip infection, including  prevention of relapses.

Prunella: a member of the Labiatae family, Prunella has proven antiviral properties particularly against both types 1 and 2 herpes simplex virus. It inhibits viral infection from the very early stages, hindering access of HSV in cells and their replication. This action makes it the prime ingredient to be employed in preparations for topical use, as a preventive measure to avoid relapes of herpes labialis.

Melissa: also a member of the Labiatae family, thanks to its marked action against the herpes simplex virus, Melissa is used externally for both prevention and treatment of herpes labilias; it moreover prolongs the interval relapses of herpes.

Glycyrrhetic acid: a triterpenic compound from liquorice extract, with well-known skin soothing and emollient properties. Moreover, it has marked antiviral properties that inhibit both the growth and cytopathic effect of the virus and is therefore useful in the prevention and treatment of herpetic lesions.

Camellia sinensis (Green Tea): rich in polyphenolic compounds, it is considered to have higher protective power compared to vitamins C and E. It prevents the inflammatory response, immunosuppression and oxidative stress from UVB radiations.  It therefore reinforces epidermis of the lips and adjacent parts, thanks to is marked skin photo-protective and immunoregulating action.

Vitamin E: applied locally, it acts as a sun filter; in addition, it exerts an anti-herpes action, considerably reducing the extension and development of herpetic lesions, as well as limiting their duration and severity.

Beeswax and Shea butter: the association of these two ingredients completes the natural, protective action against external agents, enhancing tone and elasticity to the skin and safeguarding it from the harmful effects of sun exposure and from the deriving risks of herpes labialis relapse.

The ideal means to convey these vegetable components is a dermatological lip balm in a practical lipstick containing 5,7 ml.

RESOLUTION (to accelerate the healing process of sores)

  1. In order to contrast the recurrence of HSV virus through systemic action aimed at containing the proliferation of the virus, enhancing the potential and efficiency of the immune system  while integrating amino acid lysine (from natural  sources)…

Nature can help you with…

Grapefruit Seed Extract: as already highlighted, results obtained regarding the efficacy of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) against the virus responsible for herpes labialis confirm its extraordinary potential.

Uncaria: a plant recognised for its antiviral properties, Uncaria is also powerfully effective as an immune system regulator. Its use increases the organism’s resistance against infections and improves its response in case of illness.

Dulse Seaweed: a red algae growing wildly along the Northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans,  remarkable due to its high lysine content (whereas it lacks arginine completely). In addition, it has a high content of group B and C vitamins, acting as anti-stress factors and strengthening the organism against HSV.

Lysine: an essential amino acid for the human body, which is unable to produce it autonomously and so it must be supplied from food;  lysine can contrast viral replication, since is it as an antagonist of arginine (an amino acid widely present in proteins involved in viral replication).

The above-mentioned vegetable components are best conveyed in swallowable tablets.

  1. In order to treat herpes labialis at local level with an antiviral, emollient and protective action, contrasting the development of herpetic sores right from the very first symptoms, while promoting rapid resolution…

Nature can help you with…

Grapefruit Seed Extract: as already highlighted, results obtained regarding the efficacy of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) against several viruses and in particular against HSV-1, responsible for herpes labialis, confirm GSE as the ideal remedy to treat this specific lip infection.

Melissa: also a member of the Labiatae family, thanks to its marked action against the herpes simplex virus, Melissa is used externally for both prevention and treatment of herpes labilias; it moreover prolongs the interval relapses of herpes.

Glycyrrhetic acid: a triterpenic compound from liquorice extract, with well-known skin soothing and emollient properties. Moreover, it has marked antiviral properties that inhibit both the growth and cytopathic effect of the virus, useful in the prevention and treatment of herpetic lesions.

Camellia sinensis (Green Tea): rich in polyphenolic compounds, it is considered to have higher protective power compared to vitamins C and E. It prevents the inflammatory response, immunosuppression and oxidative stress from UVB radiations.  It therefore reinforces epidermis of the lips and adjacent parts, thanks to is marked skin photo-protective and immunoregulating action.

Vitamin C: an effective antiviral, both for internal and for external use. Its activity against the herpes simplex virus has been investigated during numerous studies, showing promising results also against viruses that are resistant to acyclovir (acyclovr). In a double blind study, use of a formulation containing vitamin C, applied with a wad of cotton three times a day for two minutes, has led to a general improvement of symptoms, ensuring more rapid healing of sores; topical application of vitamin C increases the percentage of recovery from herpes ulcers.

Porphyra umbilicalis: this algae, typically found along the the rocky coasts of Brittany, is rich in amino acids and has extraordinary filtering power, particularly against UVA radiations. If UVB radiations are the most dangerous ones in inhibing the skin’s delicate immune system due to their high level of energy, UVA rays penetrate more deeply and reach the dermis, damaging skin reparative systems in charge of forming collagen and elastin. Considering the problem of herpes labialis, an effective anti UVB protection is particularly useful as a preventive measure, whereas protection aimed against UVA in particular is indicated to promote the healing process of sores.

Squalane: extracted using sophisticated technologies from the unsaponifiable fraction of olive oil, it is well known for its eudermic properties. A triterpenic substance which, due to its similarity to components forming the hydrolipidic film of the skin, can penetrate through the deepest layers of the skin, carrying out an emollient, restructuring and protective action. In addition, it forms a thin film that limits skin dehydration and protects from UV radiations, thereby promoting a more rapid resolution of the problem.

The above-mentioned vegetable components are best conveyed in a dermatological cream.

The association of the above-described ingredients, essential for an effective approach both as  a preventive measure and to provide a solution to herpes labialis, can be further supported by a specific remedy indicated for:

– an action providing integration of the intestinal microflora with immunostimulant activity: single use vials with patented cap, based on probiotics (B. bifidum, L. acidophilus, L. bulgaricus), fructo-oligosaccharides, GSE, Uncaria and Morinda citrifolia (Noni).