Target Nutra

The Hopeful Trials

The Hopeful Trials are trials of new preparations intended to alleviate HSV infections and prevent recurrences.

Current Trials (March 2019)

Volunteers are invited for trials of the HB and HA series. These trials are suitable for those with frequent outbreaks (who are also in greatest need of effective treatment).

To obtain valid results, participation has to be limited to:

  • Upper body (esp. labial) "cold sore" sufferers when symptoms are external (both sexes);
  • Lower body (esp. genital) herpes sufferers (any male and females for whom the affected areas are external or easily accessible);
  • No complications may exist, such as a simultaneous infection or condition at the same site;
  • Participants must have white skin;
  • Participants must fully understand English;
  • Participants must be resident in the UK.

In short, the symptoms and any improvement obtained must be visible.

If you meet the above criteria, please consider participating. The materials are provided free but you must report on the preparation's effectiveness. Based on the data received so far, real progress has already been made. If there is a breakthrough you will be the first to know!

Reports should be made at the beginning and end of each outbreak, otherwise about once per month. Please also report if you get prodromal symptoms (e.g. tingling) but no outbreak. If you agree to make reports, you are invited to register using this link:

or register

Obtaining HF2

HF2C (the latest of the HF2 series) can now be purchased from:

The HVA (
41 North Road
London N7 9DP (Tel. 0207 607 9661)

Quality Health Foods (
3 Westminster Arcade
Parliament St.
N. Yorkshire HG1 2RN (Tel. 01423 541154)

It can be ordered over the phone. HF2 is applied twice daily from the earliest symptoms of viral activity, or can be used once daily to prevent outbreaks. More information about HF2 is below.

The Preparations

Target preparations use a variety of ingredients, many of which have antiviral properties. Typically 25% of the preparation is antiviral. All except HA1 should be applied sparingly.

These formulations are supposed to be in increasing potency, i.e. effectiveness. Whether this is the case is what the trials are seeking to establish. Some very advanced chemistry techniques are used to achieve skin penetration. One thing to note: Target preparations are antiviral, and are likely to impede healing of broken skin. Once a sore has started to heal, paint around the wound.

  • HF2, the original formulation, "Hopefully Final"(!)
  • HF2A, not issued, abandoned
  • HF2B, inferior permeation, few issued, abandoned
  • HF2C, simpler formulation sequence, should be the same or better than the first HF2
  • HB1, unstable formulation, abandoned
  • HB2, more stable version of HB1
  • HB2A, subtle refinement of HB2
  • HB3, skin dryness etc. reported by some participants
  • HB3A, slightly milder version of HB3 to reduce side-effects
  • HA1, according to a report several decades ago, this preparation will be safe and effective. Particularly suitable for intimate areas and children
  • HB4, development started November 2017. Similar to HB3 but includes a natural oil which is kinder to skin. The most complex formulation to date
  • HB4A, considerably milder version of HB4.

Treatment Regimens

Best guesses at the current time.

Preparation Outbreak Prophylaxis

HF2C 2x/day 1x/day
HA1 As required* 1x/day
HB2/HB2A 1x/day 1-3x/week
HB3A 1x/day† 2-3x/week
HB4A ? 1-3x/week

* HA1 is supposed to relieve pain and similar viral symptoms within a couple of hours and can be reapplied if those symptoms return.

† The HB series is designed for longer-term suppression. HB3 in particular can take getting used to, and after an initial period the dosage frequency may be increased.

Averaged Scores

The following results summarise participants' appraisals. Results are updated as they are calculated.

Preparation Summary Score Pain Relief Score

HF2 3.147 (78.7%)N=32 2.060 (51.5%)N=6
HF2C 3.485 (87.1%)N=18 2.594 (64.9%)N=9
HB2 3.203 (80.1%)N=19 1.483 (37.1%)N=12
HB2A 2.875 (71.9%)N=6 1.830 (45.8%)N=8
HB3 3.427 (85.7%)N=21 4.0 (100%)N=1
HB3A 3.455 (86.4%)N=15 1.990 (49.7%)N=8
HB4 2.851 (71.3%)N=7 1.225 (30.6%)N=4
HB4A 3.260 (81.5%)N=9 1.958 (49.0%)N=9
HA1 3.151 (78.8%)N=21 2.007 (50.2%)N=21

Scoring Scheme

The scoring scheme allows comparison between the different formulations independently of the duration of the trial and the number of participants taking part.

Participants are asked "Is the Target preparation any good? Compared to previous treatments you have tried, is this Target preparation more or less effective?" The responses are assigned values as follows:

Selection Value
Better than anything 4
Better than most 3
About the same 2
Less effective 1
Not effective at all 0
Can't say/Don't know Ignored

The appraisals of each participant are individually averaged (e.g. one "Better than anything" and one "Better than most" gives a score of 3.5). Then these averages are themselves averaged over all the trial participants. Finally this number 0 < x < 4 is multiplied by 25 to give the result in the form of a percentage (shown in parentheses).

In this scheme then, if all N participants had appraised the preparation as "Not effective at all" the score would be 0%. If all the participants had appraised the preparation as "About the same" as other preparations, the score would be 50%. If all the participants had appraised the preparation as "Better than anything," the score would be 100%.

This averaging scheme is also applied to the 'Pain Relief' responses. Target preparations contain no analgesics so any pain relief will be due to virus inhibition. The sample sizes are smaller because this question was added later in the trials. Participants are asked, "When you use the Target preparation during an outbreak, does it reduce pain or other viral sensations (e.g. burning, itching) at the skin?" and choose between "Completely," "A lot," "Moderately," "A little" or "Not at all." These are scored as 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 respectively. As it stands, particularly with the shorter duration this question was asked, this statistic may have limited value. It is noteworthy however that the figure is always >1, i.e. pain relief is "More than a little."

Tolerance (Instances & Averaged Averages)

Participants are asked "Did the Target preparation have side-effects? Please rate the irritation the Target preparation caused. 'Inflammation' is when the skin goes red."

Selection Value
Painful, prolonged inflammation or irritation −5
Mild but prolonged inflammation or irritation −4
Discomfort for over ten minutes −3
Significant brief irritation −2
Mild, brief irritation −1
No irritation 0

Selection, Raw Counts HF2 HF2C HB2 HB2A HB3 HB3A HB4 HB4A HA1

Painful, prolonged... 1* 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3
Mild but prolonged... 2 1 0 2 11 3 6 1 1
Discomfort for over... 1 0 3 1 8 3 4 0 0
Significant brief... 5 4 2 0 8 2 4 1 6
Mild, brief... 42 30 55 10 36 45 9 21 27
No irritation 71 66 84 10 72 32 8 21 51

Averaged Averages −0.67 −0.55 −0.50 −0.91 −1.34 −0.85 −2.01 −0.84 −0.56

* One participant applied HF2 to sensitive skin six times in one day.

The raw counts above would only be truly representative if every participant made the same number of reports. Here a participant reporting five times will contribute five counts, a participant reporting ten times will contribute ten. Plus, sometimes a preparation only causes irritation on early use. N sizes are similar to those given in the Summary Scores above (some participants reported on tolerance but not effectiveness).

The Averaged Average scores will be a more accurate representation of general tolerance, providing N is sufficiently large. These averages are calculated in similar manner to the Summary and Pain Relief scores, but negatively. Now a perfect score would be 0 and the worst result would be −5.

Preparation Data Term

HF2/HF2C 19/1/17-15/1/19
HB2/HB2A 5/7/17-15/1/19
HB3/HB3A 10/8/17-15/1/19
HB4/HB4A 23/3/18-15/1/19
HA1 9/3/18-15/1/19

HF2/HF2C Information and Results

The HF2 trial is ongoing but is closed to new participants (see above for details of the current trials). Many thanks to all those who have contributed reports, and to those who continue to report. More HF2 will be provided when you run out.

HF2 is applied twice per day during an active outbreak, starting as early as possible. The quantity provided is small but a little HF2 goes a long way. For sporadic outbreaks, say two a year, the bottle could last several years. If you suffer from frequent outbreaks (i.e. only a few weeks between them) please see the trial invitation at the top of this page.

To prevent an outbreak, particularly useful if there is an important event coming up, HF2 can be applied once daily for a few days beforehand.

HF2 contains a little under 10% Melissa officinalis concentrate (the herb commonly known as Lemon Balm). All the other ingredients can be found in cosmetic products and foodstuffs. There is nothing remotely toxic. Nonetheless the disclaimer at the bottom of this page applies. The chief risk is of an allergic reaction to the Melissa.

It might be mentioned that the vast majority of "Melissa" products are not Melissa officinalis at all. The yield from Melissa officinalis leaves is extremely low so its concentrate is expensive. Even some high-priced "Melissa" products are actually a blend of other herbal oils. "Melissa" seems to have become the generic name for everyone's favourite herbal oil mixture.

HF2 combines the well-established benefits of Melissa officinalis with the results of original research into skin penetration techniques. It may be most effective against HSV-1 (upper body infections, of which cold sores are typical). A minority of participants made comments which suggested that HF2 had achieved a longer-term effect, e.g. "Any outbreaks I've had have been less severe and I'm getting fewer at the moment too" and "I cannot believe I have gone so long without an outbreak." However it is too early to make any claim in this regard.

A summary of effectiveness is given in the Scores section above. Based on the reports, a 50% aggregate reduction in outbreak duration using HF2 is a reasonable claim. This compares to about 15% for topical aciclovir (Zovirax, Virasorb etc.). When the preparation is applied early, complete suppression of an outbreak can be achieved.

Cautions and Disclaimer

Image(s) are a representation only. The formulations use ingredients which are widely recognised as safe and have already been tested on normal skin; these trials are tests of effectiveness. Nevertheless, there will always be a small number of individuals who are allergic to, or intolerant of, a particular ingredient. It is wise to test the preparation on the arm or leg first. Please study the directions provided. Topical application (i.e. application to the skin) is inherently safer than other methods, by a wide margin, but by using a Target preparation you acknowledge that it is impossible to avoid all risk.