Once infected, herpes is a viral sexually transmitted disease that cannot be cured, however the symptoms of the infection such as the sores, pain and itching as well as the frequency of recurrent outbreaks can be effectively managed and prevented with the following cures and remedies at the comfort of one’s home.
- Applying baking soda and cornstarch to the infected area will take away excessive moisture to promote faster healing as well as help relieve any itching one may experience.
- Putting an ice pack onto the infected area can work to numb and soothe the area. It also lowers the temperature of the infection to help inhibit the virus.
- Black tea leafs contain tannis, a compound that have antiviral properties so placing moist black tea bags directly to the sores is said to help soothe the pain and inflammation.
- Individuals with painful genital sores can get some degree of relief from the pain and itching by taking a warm Epsom salt bath. Add a handful of salt to the bath water and bathe for 10 to 30 minutes.
- During an outbreak of genital herpes, it is best to avoid wearing tight fitting clothes. Instead, wear loose underwear made out of fabric such as cotton can help to reduce the risk of chaffing and give the sores room to “breathe” and heal faster.
- Simple household painkillers such as acetaminophen, aspirin or Ibuprofen may also be used to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with a herpes outbreak.
- A hair dryer set to ‘cool’ can provide temporary relief from the pain and itching of sores. Hair dryers can also be used after a bath to dry the body – as opposed to using a towel.
Foods That Can Help
Other than inexpensive home remedies, consuming foods high in Lysine, an essential amino acid have been known to help minimize the recurrences of future herpes simplex outbreaks.
Examples of foods that are high in Lysine to fight herpes include meat, milk and soya bean. Foods high in Omega-3 or calcium such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are also good choice. Other foods that can help include garlic, most legumes, fresh fruits (citrus non-inclusive) and fresh green or yellow vegetables. Seaweeds such as kombu, hijiki, dulse and arame have been shown to be effective in inhibiting the reproduction of the herpes virus.
On the other hand, consuming foods that contain arginine, another amino acid have been known to trigger the recurrence of herpes outbreaks. So avoid foods such as walnuts, peanuts, cashew nuts, almonds, dairy, chocolate and whole-wheat products which contain high amounts of arginine.
Vitamins and Supplements
Certain vitamins and supplements have been shown to be effective in managing and controlling the frequency of herpes outbreaks.
One of the primary triggers for herpes outbreaks is stress. Vitamin B supplements can be used to prevent this. The vitamins in the B group are vital for a strong and healthy nervous system. Taking daily vitamin B tablets relaxes and help calms people, making one less likely to have outbreaks due to anxiety or stress.
Vitamin C offers antioxidant properties. It also boosts the body’s immune defense system making people more resistant to infections. In the event of an outbreak, Vitamin C supplements can quicken the rate at which open wounds heal and prevent the formation of scars. Examples of foods that are also high in vitamin C include strawberries, citrus, broccoli and cauliflower.
Vitamin E is a useful supplement that can be used in treating the symptoms associated with herpes outbreaks. Its strong antioxidant properties can aid in the healing of ulcers, wounds and scars. Vitamin E supplements can also help reduce the nerve pain left in the aftermath of an outbreak.
Diet and supplements that are high in zinc are crucial for a healthy immune system. Infected individuals with low zinc levels have reported to experience more outbreaks. As well as optimizing the body’s resistance, zinc also assists with the healing of wounds and scars. Zinc can be found in foods such as wholegrain cereals, legumes and most sea foods.
Monolaurin has strong antiviral properties that reduce the risk of an outbreak recurring. Monolaurin is naturally found in coconut milk and breast milk (it is a derivative of dodecanoic acid).
Lactoferrin is a protein which is high in colostrum. Colostrum can be found in breast milk and plays a vital role in developing the immune system of a child. There are suggestions that lactoferrin supplements can actually be used to block the entry of the herpes virus into host cells.
Lysine is an essential amino acid that has been proven to be effective in restricting the replicating abilities of the virus. Good sources of lysine include vegetables, beets, mangos, eggs, yoghurt and sprouts. Chicken, beef and fish also contain high amounts of lysine. As well as restricting the growth of the virus, lysine supplements improve the rate at which skin tissue heals and elevates the growth of antibodies.
It is important to note that herbal treatments are not exactly natural cures for herpes but provide natural medical avenues that can be used to treat or curb herpes outbreaks. Common examples of homeopathic remedies include;
- Propolis – Available in bee pollen products, this cure is showing great promise and is commonly used as an ointment on sores and can be used to enhance the rate at which the sores heal.
- Licorice Root – the active ingredient glycyrrhizic acid has been shown to slow the multiplication and spreading of the virus.
- Echinacea – Extract of the Echinacea plant is popularly believed to be an immunostimulator, said to boost an individual’s immune system increasing the body’s ability to fend off viral infection.
- Raw Garlic – when this is eaten on a consistent basis it can help strengthen the body’s ability to defend against illness that may trigger a recurrent outbreak due to a weakened immune system.
- Calendula – also known as the Marigold, this herb is used to fight off viruses and promote the healing of sores.
Other than pain killers, individuals who suffer from painful outbreak symptoms may choose alternative treatment options for their pain. Alternative therapies can also be used to improve the physical and emotional well-being of people infected with the virus. Some of the popular alternate treatment options include:
Factors such as fatigue and emotional stress are potential triggers for recurrent outbreaks. With the aid of hypnosis, it is possible to use it as an effective tool to reduce stress and promote one’s overall state of mind and being to reduce or even completely stop the recurrence of symptoms.
People who are depressed or stressed are more prone to herpes outbreaks. Aromatherapy is an effective way of preventing this. The sweet fragrance of aromatic herbs or oils may be used to improve the moods as well as relax tensions and anxiety in people.
The traditional technique of acupuncture has originated over 3000 years ago as part of a holistic healing system. As a complementary therapy, acupuncture can be used to balance the general wellness of a body to prevent recurrences as well as help relieve the pain and inflammation of an outbreak.