Cold Sores and Cankers

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I used to be plagued with mouth cankers, but not any more. I'm glad. They were extremely painful and lasted for days. And they appeared when I least expected them and at inconvenient times, like when I was invited out to a special dinner and couldn't eat without wincing.

Canker sores are small ulcers that occur in the mouth, usually on the inside of the cheek, on the gums or even the tongue and lips. They can be triggered by an allergic reaction to chocolate or other foods.

I think mine were the result of fatigue and/or stress but it could also have been a vitamin deficiency. I didn't take vitamins in those days. Deficiencies of iron, vitamin B[12] and folic acid have all been linked to canker sores. It's important to have a body chemistry that is well balanced in acidity and alkalinity as well as vitamins and minerals. Mouth ulcers are also contagious and they occur most often in females, probably as a result of a weakening of the immune defense during menstruation.

Prevention and treatment for canker sores first of all depends on maintaining a healthy balance of intestinal flora (friendly bacteria). For this you should add live yogurt to your diet and take a high potency acidophilus. A vitamin B complex with additional B12 and folic acid is a basic aid to immune function and the amino acid L-lysine helps to heal sores in the mouth. So do L-cysteine, L-cystine and L-methionine. fortunately, amino acids are among supplements that are hard, possible, to get in Canada due to government regulations.)

Also make sure you are getting enough vitamin C with bioflavonoids. The flavonoid family nourishes and heals the tiny capillaries on the skin surface and are always indicated for surface bruises, skin infections and sores.

Eat plenty of salad greens with onions. The onions can be small green ones or the sliced red and white variety. The sulfur in onions contains healing properties. Sulfur is an acid forming mineral that is part of the chemical structure of some amino acids. It disinfects the blood, resists bacteria and protects the protoplasm of body cells. It also aids in oxidation reactions and stimulates bile secretions in the liver. An interesting side benefit of sulfur is that it protects against the harmful effects of radiation and pollution and therefore slows down the aging process!

Other sulfur foods are Brussels sprouts, dried beans, cabbage, kale, soybean products, turnips, garlic and eggs.

And, of course, include soured milk products such as buttermilk, kefir, quark and yogurt in your meals to keep intestinal bacteria strong and avoid all sugar, processed and refined foods. These feed the bad bacteria, like candida. Citrus fruits will only aggravate the ulcers.

Healing herbs for mouth ulcers are burdock, goldenseal, pau d'arco tea and red clover - all herbs that are also recommended for cancerous tumors!

Cold Sores

You can get these "fever blisters" in the winter as a result of winter colds and in the summer from too much sun. They are actually caused by the herpes simplex virus which most or all of us carry in our bodies and manifest as a result of fever, infection, stress or too much exposure to sun and wind. In other words, when the immune system is depressed.

The first unmistakable sign of a cold sore is that local prickly tenderness accompanied by a small bump. It can, however, be nipped in the "bump" with a topical application of L-lysine cream (if you can get it!), tea tree oil (which is definitely available) or a dab of goldenseal and/or echinacea tincture. Powdered goldenseal is good, too.

To fire up your immune defense against this virus, again take acidophilus, garlic and vitamin C. And get onto a cleansing, building diet: fresh vegetables, vegetable juices, yogurt and other soured milk products.

The Common Cold

The same dietary advice goes for treating the common cold, or even better, avoiding colds altogether. Yes, colds are contagious and you often hear people saying they "caught" a cold from someone in the family or at work, that colds are "going around" and imply that they couldn't avoid "catching'" the bug.

Not necessarily true!

Cold viruses are always around us. It depends on the strength of your own immune defense whether or not you will be a victim. December is a good month to start taking large doses (5,000 to 10,000 mg) of vitamin C daily, along with zinc, garlic (fresh or capsules) beta carotene and echinacea tincture. (See Defend Against Disease article 2)

And if you should succumb to the bothersome bacteria, the health food store has potent tinctures that can lay them flat. I know this is true because a colleague of mine demonstrated this more than once. He would come to work sick and feverish, take hi herbal medicine and almost overnight he was free of headache congestion, sneezing, wheezing aches and pains.

The Function of Minerals

Minerals are coenzymes. Along with vitamins they enable all parts of the body to perform their function quickly and accurately. They aid in the proper formation of blood am bone and in the maintenance of healthy nerves.

Minerals are available in a chelated form to enhance absorption. This means they are attached to a protein molecule that transports them to the blood stream. When mineral supplements are taken with a meal they are usually automatically chelated in the stomach during digestion.

Once a mineral is absorbed it must be carried by the blood to the cell and then transported across the cell membrane in a form that the cell can utilize. After the mineral enters the body it competes with other minerals for absorption. That's why minerals should always be taken in a balanced formulation. For example, too much zinc can deplete the body of copper and excessive calcium can affect magnesium absorption.

Fibre decreases the body's absorption of minerals so supplemental fibre and minerals should be taken at different times during the day.

Recommended reading:

International Health News Yearbook 1995-96 by Hans Larsen (sc) 106pp $8.95

Echinacea: The Immune Herb by Christopher Hobbs (sc) 40pp $11.95

Health Through God's Pharmacy by Maria Treben (sc) 88pp $19.95

Herpes: a Nutritional Approach by Louise Tenney (bklt) $5.50

Tea Tree Oil by S Drury (bklt) $13.50

Nutrition and Stress by H Rosenberg (bklt) $2.95

Foundations of Health: The Liver & Digestive Herbal by Christopher Hobbs (sc) 334pp $18.95

Garlic: The Miracle Nutrient by Earl Mindell (sc) 134pp $7.50

How Natural Remedies Work by Jo Sorrento (sc) 239pp $14.95

Give your friends and relatives books for health this Christmas. There's a book to fit every need and every price. They're available at your local health food store or from alive books PO Box 80055 Burnaby BC V5H 3X1. Please add $3 for p&h and 7% GST when ordering from alive books.

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By Doris Doerksen

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