Lana Farson, M.S., L.Ac., Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist

Foods to Reduce a Herpes Outbreak

There are two amino acids (protein building blocks) which have a significant impact on the herpes virus.  This includes both herpes simplex (mouth or genital) and herpes zoster (shingles).  The amino acid Lysine can reduce the strength of a herpes outbreak, while the amino acid Arginine can actually increase the intensity and duration of the condition.  During an outbreak and to prevent one from coming on, it is helpful to increase your intake of foods that contain Lysine.  Likewise, it is important to reduce your intake of Arginine loaded foods.  Another possibility is to increase the intake of Lysine by taking a supplement in pill form.

Listed below are foods high in Lysine, and those high in Arginine. They are listed in descending order of milligrams, the highest to lowest.

Beneficial Foods (Foods rich in Lysine to add to your diet during a break-out)

  • Fishswiss cheese
  • Shark
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Goat milk
  • Cow milk
  • Lamb
  • Mung beans
  • Pork
  • Cheese
  • Beans (especially mung beans and lima beans)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Sprouts
  • Crustaceans
  • Cooked soy beans
  • Eggs

Non-Beneficial Foods (Foods high in Arginine – to eliminate from diet during a break-out)


  • Hazel nuts
  • Brazil nuts
  • Peanuts & peanut butter
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Cocoa powder
  • Sesame
  • Cashews
  • Carob powder
  • Coconut
  • Pistachios
  • Buckwheat flour
  • Garbanzo beans or chickpeas
  • Brown rice
  • Pecans
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Oatmeal
  • Raisins
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Corn


  1. sophia Arise says:

    Hi. I don’t see corn on the avoid list for herpes outbreaks. Should it be there?

  2. This website certainly has all of the information I needed about this subject
    and didn’t know who to ask.

  3. Anjali says:

    Thanks for the help.
    Is Milk ok?
    Please tell about fruits also.
    I’m taking Mung Dal Sprouts with Tomato and Apple in breakfast. I hope doing right.

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    Foods to Reduce a Herpes Outbreak | In Good Health Blog


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    Foods to Reduce a Herpes Outbreak | In Good Health Blog

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