Name the herb recommended for cold sores on a recent Dr. Oz Show repeat that has also been recommended to support sleep, stress reduction, and thyroid function.
C. Lemon balm
D. Kava kava
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A. Chamomile - 59%
B. Passionflower - 10%
C. Lemon balm - 15%
D. Kava kava - 14%
The Answer: Lemon Balm
Dr. Oz recommends using lemon balm tea to tame a cold sore outbreak. He explained on the 5/8/12 episode title Health Myths Exposed, to brew a cup of lemon balm tea and using a cotton ball apply it to the effected area. Dr. Oz said the lemon balm will soothe the area and boost healing time too.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, lemon balm tea has been used to support sleep, mood, and even digestion. It has also been used as support for thyroid issues so people on thyroid medication should talk to their doctor before trying it. Tea lovers and sleep pursuers often pair lemon balm tea with valerian and holy basil. Lemon balm can be found under the name “lemon balm” or by its Latin name “Melissa” in tea, pill, or liquid form.
On the 5/4/12 episode of The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Oz discussed his one hour plan for sleeping. He explained that what you do in the final hour before bed effects how well and how long you sleep. At nine o'clock, Dr. Oz recommends drinking a cup of chamomile tea mixed with 18 drops, or ½ mg, of melatonin. He calls it his Tired Tea and said it will make you tired and help to calm the brain.
[If you're allergic to chamomile tea, like me, there are many other herbal teas that could be enjoyed at night to help calm and relax: passion flower, lemon balm, holy basil just to name a few.]
On the 5/30/12 episode, OMG Questions, passionflower tea was called one of the best tea for stress. Dr. Pina LoGiudice, Co-Medical Director of Inner Source Health, explained that passionflower has been studied and found to act much like pharmaceutical medications to support the body during times of anxiety. Passionflower can calm the nerves like medications do, she explains. To reduce anxiety she recommends drinking passionflower tea at night for it's sedative qualities, after an anxious-filled day, when feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
To make passionflower tea, Dr. LoGiudice explained, add 1 tablespoon of the loose herb to boiling water and enjoy.
The University of Maryland Medical Center says, “Kava is said to elevate mood, well being, and contentment, and produce a feeling of relaxation. Several studies have found that kava may be useful in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and related nervous disorders.”
There have several cases of liver damage reported and even death with the use of kava sparking a great deal of controversy. One one side, the Polynesian's have been using kava daily for generations without reported liver problems, or any other issues. On the other side, several American's reported liver damage while using kava.
Working in the health food industry at the time, we had to post warnings near the product – and the company I worked for still has warnings posted near the product. The controversy comes from the knowledge that Polynesian's
It is possible that the people who experienced issues with taking kava already had existing liver issues or were taking pharmaceuticals that effected the liver at the same. That said, it's important to talk to a doctor or pharmacist to determine if kava is suitable.
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