A cold sore which caused by the herpes simplex virus can be both painful and unattractive, and may last for weeks. The blister is contagious until after it is completely dried and crusted over. Caution must be practiced, as the herpes virus itself can still be spread - even after the sores and skin are healed - through contact with infected body fluids or by sharing utensils or other personal items.

The most common place that it occurs is on the lip, but it can develop inside the mouth or on the gums, on the chin, and fingers. A sore that is on the tongue or inside the cheek is usually a canker sore and not a cold sore. This often blistering sore can be triggered from stress, fatigue, hormonal changes, illness and immune disorders.

Some herbal remedies may help with a cold sore. Andrographis can help to ease the pain and diminish cold sores.

What Andrographis Is

Andrographis is an herbaceous plant native to India and Sri Lanka. It has been used for many years in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine. There are 28 different species of Andrographis, but only a few are medicinal, from which A. paniculata is the most popular. Andrographis was most commonly used to treat digestive disorders, cardiovascular disease, liver and HIV problems, but is now becoming more popular to help to treat other ailments such as the common cold, the herpes virus and for cold sore treatment.

How Andrographis Helps Cold Sore Treatment

Andrographis has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that can help cold sore treatment.

It is important to boost the immune system to help to fight the virus, when trying to get rid of cold sores. This amazing herb strengthens and boosts the immune system, thereby assisting to prevent further herpes virus outbreaks and help a cold sore disappear faster.

Illnesses such as colds or the flu may trigger a cold sore. Since studies show that Andrographis may prevent the common cold and flu, it may also help to ward off cold sores.

Risks of Andrographis

When taking any medicine or herbal remedy, there is always a risk for an allergic reaction. Always inform the health care professional of any allergies. Watch for any signs of an allergic reaction such as a rash, hives or swelling, and report any of these symptoms immediately. If there are any breathing difficulties or tightness of the chest or throat, this is an emergency and medical treatment should be sought without delay.

Medical human studies have not found any risks to be associated with Andrographis, if taken in a low dose. Animal studies found a reduced production of sperm with the potential for infertility, but with a human trial, there was no change in sperm quality or number.

Andrographis stimulates the immune system. If the immune system becomes too active, autoimmune diseases can occur such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, asthma and multiple sclerosis.

Because long-term use may increase levels of liver enzymes in the body, monitoring should be done periodically with a medical professional. Persons with a gallbladder or liver disorder should not consider Andrographis as a cold sore treatment.