Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) is a phytochemical found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage. This compound has many benefits, with hormone balancing being the most studied. However what caught my attention a few years ago was that a clinical study showed it was effective at inhibiting the virus from reproducing.
Human and monkey cells were infected with a strain of the virus resistant to Aciclovir. I3C showed that it was able to block reproduction of the virus by up to 99.9%. This was fantastic news, I had found the holy grail to curing my pests for good, or at least keep them under control without resorting to prescription drugs. At the time I was suffering from another outbreak and usually dive deep into the web to find the next best cure!
I immediately headed down to the drug store to obtain my bottle of I3C made by Solal. I remember thinking it was quite pricey, especially when added to the growing list of chemicals (the bottled "nutrients") I take to try prevent my outbreaks. But if something worked effectively and was safe, I would sell the house to get it! Hopefully it never comes to that :)
5 months on I3C, and sadly I noticed no benefit. I had 2 or 3 outbreaks during that time and the recovery period was the same. 2 weeks of pain, embarrassment and disappointment. I think any placebo effect had been washed out by my pessimism in constant failure with the countless supplements, herbs and remedies I've tried. I really thought this one would work though.
I'm sorry I can't offer better news regarding this compound, but I suggest leaving this one on the shelf. It's proven all the time that lab results don't always hold up in the real world and I3C treating HSV is no different I'm afraid. If you've had a different experience I'd be glad to hear it! Leave a comment below.
There is no end to the stupid remedies I've tried. Nail polish remover is definitely one of them. Again many people swear by this as it dries out the cold sore. My experience with it is excruciating pain! This goes for all alchohol based solutions too, dabbing them onto a raw cold sore could bring you to the point of collapse and if not, a teary eye or two and a Chuck Norris award.
I've tried this remedy countless times usually out of complete desperation, a wedding the next day, job interview or blind dates! The list goes on. But I've never noticed a decrease in healing time. In fact I've often noticed the opposite.
Damaged tissue is infected more easily and will always result in slower healing times.
The theory behind using this is that acetone or alcohol will dry up the sore and destroy the virus. What you are in fact doing is destroying the tissue that's trying in vain to repair itself from the damage caused by the virus. Your poor lip is being attacked on two fronts!
My personal tip. If it's a fluid filled blister get a clean sterlised needle and gently pop the sore and gently drain the excess fluid. You can use the acetone to sterilise the needle but I'd prefer you use something a little less toxic. Don't damage the surroudning tissue of the cold sore by trying to squeeze everything out. Damaged tissue is infected more easily and will always result in slower healing times.
I'm going to start off with one of the more drastic remedies I've tried. It seems to be gaining popularity so I think it is important to address it.
Butylated Hydroxytoleune (BHT). It sounds wonderful right? BHT is most commonly found in cosmetics as a preservative but it is also found in many processed foods for the same reason: they get to stay on the shelf longer! It's structurally similar to vitamin E with similar traits but a host of others aswell. I had been researching BHT a couple years back and had read a lot about how effective it was at preventing cold sore outbreaks.
That point in my life was extremely stressful. The company I worked at was laying off staff left right and center. Needless to say, my "friends" where a permanent fixture on my face. I was desperate and sick and tired of feeling like some monster. I researched this compound until I was blue in the face. There were people using it to extend their lives. What harm could it do?
I'll give you a quick breakdown of how BHT works against the virus. This is the theory anyways. The Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is a lipid (fat) coated virus. This lipid coating allows the virus to travel along your nerve cells completely undetected by your immune system. BHT has been shown to break down this lipid coating making the virus vulnerable to your immune system. Pretty simple?
Back to me :) I ordered my bottle of BHT from Vitamin Research Products, the fact that it was being sold by them made me feel much more comfortable about taking it. So I started off with 350mg a day. I didn't experience any of the bad symptoms such as nausea, and hives which some people have experienced. To my surprise it seemed to be working and I was outbreak free for longer than I remember. Placebo effect? I don't know.
The fact that this chemical is sold by vitamin companies and over-hyped by life extension enthusiasts doesn't make it safe.
This was great, but about 8 months into taking BHT I was beginning to notice strange effects. First of all was the mental fog which I had attributed to stress at work and the normal goings of every day life. I then started having these weird spacy feelings with memory loss I knew was not normal. During that time to my dissapointment I got a cold sore and only then did I put two and two together when I took a larger dose of BHT. It was one of the most terrifying experiences. I had numbness in my face and hands and was extremely dizzy I could barely stand up this lasted for a couple hours but luckily subsided. Needless to say, the BHT was safely thrown away the next day never to be touched again.
I've noticed others have had similar negative experiences whilst using BHT (I'll post more about others experiences at a later date). The fact that this chemical is sold by vitamin companies and over-hyped by life extension enthusiasts doesn't make it safe. I had the same "positive" effects as everyone else but in the end that was not the case. I strongly suggest you stay away from this one. Even if it WERE effective your health is far more important.
The first post is always the most daunting. I've rewritten this line I don't know how many times. Anyways, this blog is about the endless battles I've had with cold sores. Speaking of which I have one developing in the right corner of my mouth, they usually tend to be the most painful for me. Oh happy days! I want to share with you what I've tried, what has worked and what has been a complete waste of time and money. I have tried almost everything, some of which are down right ridiculous. All of which I will get to in good time.
To most people not suffering (symptomatically) from cold sores the virus may seem just like a superficial disease. Which is partially correct, you can't actually get closer to the meaning as they appear on the surface of the skin. However, to anyone that has experienced them, they are so much more than that! They are extremely painful and sadly the emotional pain associated with them can be even greater, and not just for preteens and adolescents. Brings back fond memories of Biology class during an outbreak whilst the lesson being... you guessed it! The emotional scars can linger long after the physical ones have disappeared.
I'm very passionate about bringing more awareness to this virus. Yes, I know there a far greater diseases. But everyone of them needs a voice.
I'm very passionate about bringing more awareness to this virus. Yes, I know there a far greater diseases. But everyone of them needs a voice. If no one speaks, no one is heard. The fact that HSV has been linked to Alzheimer's stresses the importance of this. So this blog is my voice, my story and I hope you will join me along the way.