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Altern Med Rev. 2005 Jun;10(2):123-7.

Safety and effectiveness of an L-lysine, zinc, and herbal-based product on the treatment of facial and circumoral herpes.

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Southern California University of Health Sciences, SCU Research Division, 16200 E. Amber Valley Drive, Whittier, California 90604, USA.



L-lysine, an essential amino acid, inhibits normal replication of Herpes simplex virus (HSV), shortening the normal course and duration of the disease. This study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of a combination of L-lysine with botanicals and other nutrients in relieving the symptoms of facial and circumoral herpes.


This small pilot study was conducted using an outcome (open-label) model. Thirty male and female participants (15 in each group) meeting the inclusion/exclusion criteria were admitted to the study. The 10 outcome measures used to monitor the sores were tingling, itching, burning, tenderness, prickling, soreness, bump/swelling, small blister(s), oozing blister(s), and crusting, as well as before-and-after photographs of the lesion, and a daily diary.


At the end of treatment the ointment produced full resolution in 40 percent of the participants by the third day and in 87 percent by the end of the sixth day. A cold sore episode may last up to 21 days without treatment.


Overall data indicated significant improvement in participants by the sixth day of treatment for all but two participants. There were no adverse effects reported during this study.

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