There are several different viruses that cause herpes. The two most common are herpes simplex 1, which causes cold sores on the lips or mouth and herpes simplex 2, which causes genital herpes. Both forms cause painful blisters and are highly contagious when active. Once infected, we now have no way to completely cure herpes. Treatment consists of strengthening the immune system and reducing stress to ward off flare-ups. Topical treatments can provide soothing relief during outbreaks. There are several effective herbal remedies available.
Avoid herpes outbreaks with a strong immune system.
Three herbs are especially effective in boosting your immune system. To make a tea, mix one part burdock root, two parts Echinacea, and three parts pau d’arco. You can add cinnamon, orange peel, fruit, or ginger for flavor. Brew five tablespoons of the mixture in one quart of water. Drink about four cups each day. For anti-viral action add blue-green algae, wheat grass, and chlorophyll to your diet each day.
Reduce stress to avoid herpes outbreaks.
There are several herbs that calm the nervous system and relieve stress. To make a tea, mix three parts each of nettle, oat straw, and chamomile, and one part each of St. John’s Wart, skullcap, and passionflower. Drink several cups each day of a tea made with four tablespoons of the mixture brewed in one quart of water.
Relieve cold sores with topical applications of herbal remedies.
Aloe vera gel will soothe the blisters, keep them moist, and help them heal. Some people have better luck with drying agents. Make a paste with one part each of goldenseal, black walnut hull powder, and Echinacea root powder. Apply directly to the sores to dry them and speed healing.
Relieve genital herpes with herbal baths.
Blend together three parts chamomile and one part each dry oatmeal, hops, comfrey leaf, calendula, and comfrey root. Tie the mixture in a cloth bag and float in the bath water.
Relieve genital herpes with herbal applications.
Prepare lemon balm by brewing three tablespoons cut up leaves in one-half cup boiling water. Wash the sores several times each day with cotton balls dipped in the lemon balm mixture. One drop tea tree oil can be applied to the sores to soothe and heal. Aloe vera gel is also very soothing. Apply the gel directly from the plant, or use one of many lotions available on the market.
Although most episodes of herpes are not serious and heal within a few weeks, you must guard against infection and against transmitting the disease to anyone else. Genital herpes can be transmitted during childbirth and can cause blindness or brain damage in the newborn. It can also trigger liver damage and cervical cancer. Women with genital herpes should, therefore, have regular Pap smears. At the first sign of infection or if you are pregnant, see your doctor. Most herbal remedies for herpes are safe with few side effects. For a simple outbreak herbal remedies may effectively relieve your symptoms and heal the lesions within a few weeks.