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Medicinal honey can treat cold sores and is just as effective as antiviral creams, a study from New Zealand has found

Honey is & # 39; as effective as treating cold sores as antiviral creams & # 39 ;, scientists say

  • Participants in a major study used either antiviral cream or honey on their lip
  • Both treatments removed cold sores within nine days with no side effects
  • Researchers said that people who prefer natural remedies can trust that it works
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It is already used as a topping for breakfast.

But scientists say that honey is also able to fight cold sores.

Notoriously difficult to remove, cold sores are normally treated with anti-viral creams bought over the counter.

But honey from a tree in New Zealand has proven to be just as effective in healing the sore spot in a trial.

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Medicinal honey can treat cold sores and is just as effective as antiviral creams, a study from New Zealand has found

Medicinal honey can treat cold sores and is just as effective as antiviral creams, a study from New Zealand has found

Test participants used either cream or honey, which both cleared the pain and wound within nine days.

The substance produced by bumblebees has a long history of therapeutic use and some studies have shown that it has antibacterial properties.

The trial of 952 participants was led by researchers from the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand (MRINZ).

They compared the treatment of cold sores with honey to anti-viral aciclovir cream, branded as Zovirax and Viraben.

The honey was derived from the native kānuka tree in New Zealand before it was sterilized and fortified with additional antimicrobial ingredients.

WHAT IS HERPES?

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Herpes viruses cause cold sores, which usually occur on the lips or genitals.

About seven in ten people in the UK are infected with viruses.

Only about one in three is experiencing symptoms.

In the US, about half of young adults are infected with the virus that causes cold sores around the mouth.

One in eight has the virus behind genital herpes.

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Cold sores on the lips are usually passed on by kissing someone with an active cold sore.

They begin as a little red spot that blisters before they burst, leaving an unprocessed area that crust.

Cold sores that appear on the face are usually caused by the herpes simplex type 1 virus.

Type 2 mainly affects the sexual organs.

It is rare for cold sores to spread from the place where they first appeared.

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And they are only transmitted through direct skin contact, not by sharing items such as towels or cutlery.

Oral sex is a common way of passing cold sores from someone's mouth to the sexual organs of another or vice versa.

Once infected, patients may initially experience fever and flu-like symptoms.

Cold sores can reappear if they are caused by stress, illness, alcohol or too much sunlight.

This is because the virus remains in a nerve connection near the spinal cord.

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Many feel itching, tingling or pain before a cold sore reappears.

Antiviral medication can be prescribed if someone often suffers from outbreaks.

If you keep your wounds hydrated, you can make them crack and become sore.

Source: Herpes Viruses Association

All patients were asked if they wanted to participate when they went to one of the 76 public pharmacies in the first 72 hours after their cold sore period.

They were then randomly assigned to five percent aciclovir cream or the Honevo honey cream, which was mixed with ten percent glycerin.

While they applied their treatment five times a day, they were asked to register data for pain and cold themselves.

Their entrances were followed for 14 days or until the cold sore was completely healed.

The researchers discovered that those taking the aciclovir had symptoms for an average of eight to nine days with an open blister for about two days.

Honey proved to be just as effective without any change in healing time, the findings in BMJ Open showed.

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The authors wrote: & # 39; Both treatments had similar efficacy in all outcome variables, including time to cure, pain resolution, and the proportion of discontinued episodes between treatment groups. Both treatments were considered very acceptable by the participants. & # 39;

Leading research, said Dr. Alex Semprini, proves that the results show that patients can opt for an alternative, scientifically substantiated option.

He said: & # 39; This means that patients with a preference for natural and alternative medicines, as well as pharmacists selling these treatments, can have confidence in the effectiveness of this kānuka honey formulation as a further treatment option for cold sores. & # 39;

The study had a few reservations, one of which was that the recovery time for cold sores was not compared with no treatment at all.

It was also funded by a New Zealand company called HoneyLab, whose product was tested.

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Herpes viruses cause cold sores. About seven in ten people in the UK are estimated to be infected with viruses.

Approximately 30 percent of people suffer from recurrent cold sore attacks, usually caused by the type one virus.

Cold sores on the lips are usually passed on by kissing someone with an active cold sore.

They begin as a little red spot that blisters before they burst, leaving an unprocessed area that crust.

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