HSV (herpes simplex virus) is the main cause of Herpes. It causes sores on genitals and /or mouth. Two different viruses cause herpes. One is named herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and the other herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2). HSV-1 usually causes oral herpes whereas the other causes genital herpes.
Herpes can easily be spread from people to their sex partners. People with genital herpes do not get any immediate symptoms or have only mild symptoms while people affected with oral herpes witness mouth sores.
In the initial stages of the infection, the virus is inactive and travels along the nerve path. The virus becomes active time to time and whilst traveling along the nerve path to the skin it leads to the production of new virus over the surface.
CURE 1: Home Remedies for Herpes
When it comes to treating herpes, home remedies can, to a very large, can prove helpful. You can try these remedies at your home very easily, and they are completely natural. Some of these natural home remedies are:
1. Warm and Cold Compress
Warm or cold compress is an effective home remedy of getting rid of the pain and irritation which come with herpes sores. If you see a sore forming, you can use heat in order to avoid the pain and uncomfortable sensation.
Similarly, you can also use a cold compress to reduce the swelling and redness. You can use an ice pack and see the results. Try either warm or cold compress after every four hours and that will make you feel comfortable.
2. Green Tea
Rich in antioxidants, green tea can be an effective way of fighting against a herpes outbreak. You can drink around three to four cups of green tea, and it can help you in dealing with your condition. Just make sure that you are not allergic or intolerant to green tea.
3. Licorice Root
The antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties of licorice root make it a useful remedy against herpes(1). You can make a licorice root paste mixing licorice root powder with water and apply it to the affected areas of your body.
Let it dry for thirty minutes and rinse it off with water. Repeat this process at least two times a day, and you will see the results very soon.
4. Aloe Vera Gel
When it comes to soothing properties, nothing can beat aloe vera gel. It is one of the most natural extracts used for various infections. Applied on herpes affected body parts, it can reduce the inflammation and soothe the skin.
You can apply it to your body and let it stay overnight. It will help you beyond your imagination.
5. Corn Starch
Sores come with herpes as a bonus, and they can create much trouble for you. Corn starch can help you get rid of those sores caused by herpes. Make a paste of cons starch; apply it on the wounds and wash it off after twenty minutes in order to get relief from them.
This straightforward remedy will help you with the itchiness and inflammation caused by herpes.
6. Epsom Salt for Herpes
Epsom salt works very effectively when it comes to genital herpes. Herpes can be behind the swelling, constant itching and redness in the genital area and such cases Epsom salt may prove helpful. Mix Epsom salt in the bathtub and soak yourself in it for at least fifteen minutes to see the best results.
Home remedies can help you from outbreaks to some extent but always consider consulting physician. Clinical procedures cannot match the results of natural home remedies.
There are different treatments available for treating herpes is it oral herpes or vaginal herpes such as Episodic therapy(2), Suppressive therapy, Alternative therapy.
CURE 2: Foods for Herpes
Food to Take While Infected by Herpes
Certain food can trigger the growth of the virus remarkably. Since herpes cannot be cured entirely, certain habits can ease the amount of outbreak. According to a survey, it is suggested not to take food high in amino acid; Arginine. Therefore, the rule is to limit the intake of the foods with a high amount of Arginine in them.
Foods containing high amounts of Arginine do not mostly contain high amounts of lysine which can counter the virus growth. It is better to eat food that contains the amino acid called lysine rather than amino acid Arginine(3) to reduce the number of outbreaks of the herpes virus.
You should only take foods with the lowest amount of Arginine and with the maximum amount of Lysine to prevent an outbreak of the herpes virus. It is important to eat foods like:
- Grass-fed beef
The above three foods are well-known sources of protein, and all these foods are rich in lysine rather than Arginine.
- Dairy products
Dairy products have three to four times higher Lysine content than Arginine which is good to minimize the production of herpes virus. Eating yogurt that does not contain gelatin is a must to prevent any outbreaks. Since gelatin contains Arginine.
Fruits and vegetables do not possess much protein so taking them will not be an issue. Also, try to induce foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acid into your diet. Such Omega 3 rich foods are salmon, flaxseeds, chia seeds, etc. Omega 3 can be a help to your immunity system when it comes to fighting against inflammation.
These foods contain a high amount of amino acid lysine than amino acid Arginine, so it helps control the outbreak of herpes virus. There is no cure for herpes virus; rather you can choose to manage the outbreaks by altering your diet and your lifestyle. Avoiding stress is an important factor in reducing the outbreak to a greater extent. Learn stress management techniques to manage your stress levels.
[Read: Benefits of Arginine Foods]
Foods to Avoid
Just like including the right foods into your diet, excluding the harmful foods from your diet can help you to a considerable extent dealing with herpes effectively. Here are some foods which you must avoid if you want to prevent a fatal disease like herpes.
1. Acidic Foods and Drinks
It is always good to avoid the intake of food and beverages with very less pH content such as alcohol, caffeine(4), junk food, red meat, processed white flour, artificial sweetener (8). It is commonly known fact that acidic foods weaken the immune system making you an easy target for virus infections.
Turkey breast contains a high amount of Arginine with about 16 grams of Arginine in 200 grams of serving. This can undoubtedly cause frequent outbreaks. Therefore, actively avoid turkey even if you love turkey.
It is the third best source of Arginine following pork loin, and a chicken piece contains 9 grams of Arginine that is 7 grams less than pork loin.
Even some plants do have ample amounts of Arginine that help in the progression of the herpes virus. The protein-rich plants and seeds containing Arginine should be avoided at any cause.
Some of these plant sources of Arginine are:
4. Pumpkin seeds
Who does not like pumpkin seeds? They are a healthier and a cheaper way of getting your protein right which might not be a good thing for a person affected by herpes. A cup of these seeds contains approximately 7 grams of Arginine and, therefore, you know why one should avoid them.
It is again one of the highest consumed nuts in the world. Be it after a food ball match or before a gyming session; it is consumed every day in one form or the other. However, be careful not to take much of it if you suffer from herpes because a cup of this nut has 4.7 grams of Arginine.
It is a blue-green alga that grows in the sea, and it is brought in the form of powder. It is mostly added in health shakes and smoothies in order to enhance the taste. Additionally, a cup of spirulina has about 4 grams of Arginine which can help the virus growth to a greater extent.
You may love chocolate and staying away from it may seem difficult but when you are suffering from herpes, chocolates are a potential enemy to you. Chocolates are guilty of containing a higher amount of Arginine and thus, a threat to your body if you are infected with the herpes virus.
Coffee may, sometimes, provoke herpes outbreak in some people. In some people, excessive caffeine may act as a trigger and can worsen the condition. It is wise to avoid coffee or any caffeinated drink while battling with the herpes virus.
9. Gelatin and Bone Broths
Most of the gelatin and bone broths contain a significant amount of Arginine than Lysine. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid gelatin and bone broths if you are having herpes.
It is better not to take any of the above to prevent frequent outbreaks of herpes virus as your food habit can heavily affect your immunity system and, thus, the healing process.
CURE 3: Herbs for Herpes
Herbs can also become useful when it comes to getting rid of the herpes outbreak. Some of such valuable herbs are:
1. Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis)
Lemon balm is a well known antiviral herb which belongs to the mint family. This herb has many compounds which can effectively block the activities of the herpes virus and can give you relief from the herpes outbreak.
[Read: Health Benefits of Lemon Balm]
2. Sage (Salvia Officinalis)
Sage is another antiviral herb which can be useful against herpes. Sage contains many healing and antioxidant compounds and sage cream has a long history of treating herpes successfully.
3. Tannin-Rich Herbs
Tannin-rich herbs have the reputation of working as anti-herpetic remedies. Pomegranate pericarp, heal all, wild thyme, rosemary, peppermint are some examples of tannin-rich herbs which can have healing effects on herpes. Sage cream combines with Chinese rhubarb can be an easy way to get relief from herpes.
CURE 4: Essential Oils for Herpes
Consuming food or additional supplements can reduce the pain, and sore to some extent it is always advised to apply the oil directly over the affected areas to prevent the growth of virus to a larger extent. Direct contact of the vitamins and minerals over the infected area can increase the rate of healing.
Many oils can cause burning sensation hence it is advised to dilute the oil to prevent so. These oils can reduce the healing time, relieve itching. Some of the commonly used oils for herpes are
1. Tea Tree Oil for Herpes
Tea tree oil is extracted from a tea tree plant which almost looks like a grass. It has the antiviral compounds which help in treating herpes. Do not forget to dilute oils like these before applying it over the wounded areas. Perform a patch test before using over the infected area.
2. Chamomile Essential Oil
This is extracted from daisy-like flowers of the Asteraceae plant family. People have been consuming this for centuries for various health issues. You can make this extract in your home by adding the dried flowers in boiling and infusing in it.
It is must to dilute to extract with the help carrier oil. It helps in reducing inflammation that is caused by the herpes virus.
[Read: Essential Oils for Herps]
3. Eucalyptus Oil
You get bottled Eucalyptus oil in the market, or you can even make it yourself. Get your Eucalyptus leaves crushed and add it to boiling water to let the oil diffuse in the water.
Always dilute the oil before using it on any infected spot using a carrier oil. It is said to act as an antiviral agent preventing the production of herpes virus.
4. Lemon Balm Extract
Lemon balm extract has the potential to suppress virus growth. Few lemon balm leaves are soaked in water and kept in a closed jar with higher alcohol and place it in a dark place for about 4 to 6 weeks. It helps in lesser outbreaks of the herpes virus.
5. Neem Extract
It is one of the best anti-viral and anti-fungal and antibiotic agent. Use of neem extract is highly preferred due to its very nature. Pure neem extract can cause irritation when applied, dilute the extract with a carrier oil.
6. Thyme Essential Oil
This oil has the potential nutrients and vitamins to help fight the herpes virus to a greater extent. Dilute the oil by adding carrier oil along with it.
7. Ginger Essential Oil
The ginger essential oil has the nutrients to kill the herpes virus cell on direct contact with it. Since this oil is acidic in nature, it is recommended to dilute it with a carrier oil before use.
Ginger oil capsule can also be made for intake into the metabolic system. It can also be directly applied to the wounded region for quicker healing. Add 2-3 teaspoons of ginger oil into a cup of warm water to ingest.
8. Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme is one is an herb that is used as a flavoring agent in food and also has the potential to cure certain infection such as herpes. Thyme essential oil should be diluted before applying over the infected area. This dilution can be done by using a carrier oil.
9. Licorice Extract
Licorice extract is ingested for various digestive problems ulcer, inflammation in the stomach. It also doubles as an antiviral agent preventing the growth of the herpes virus.
CURE 5: Supplements for Herpes
When dietary foods do not provide you with enough nutrients which can suppress the virus, it is important to ingest external supplements. These supplements boost your immune system and help you reduce the outbreaks of the virus in your body.
Before taking any of the supplements mentioned, it is mandatory to consult your physician because some supplements may interfere with the bodily functions if you are under certain medication.
1. Zinc for Herpes
Zinc supplements can help you control your outbreak. Taking 30 mg of zinc supplement is sufficient to fight herpes. Also, you can try including foods like wheat germs, chickpeas, lamb, and pork into your diet. They are rich sources of zinc, and they can help you to a very great deal.
2. Vitamin B Complex
These vitamins help you boost your energy; maximize metabolism and supports cell growth which is essential to fight against the virus that is causing the herpes outbreak. Natural supplements are available like broccoli, brown rice, an avocado that provides the much-needed B complex vitamins.
External supplements are also available in the market that can aid in preventing outbreaks of herpes virus. Always consult a physician before taking any supplements.
We have dealt with eating lysine-rich food to counter the outbreak of herpes in the food section. This supplement or nutrient is a visible remedy for the herpes virus. Eating food or taking supplements that are rich in lysine is considered to reduce any development of herpes virus.
According to the experts, 500mg – 3000mg of lysine can be beneficial for fighting the herpes virus. People with high cholesterol or triglyceride level should always consult a physician before taking Lysine supplements as it is known to increase the level of cholesterol and triglyceride.
4. Probiotics for Herpes
Some probiotics have been effective in fighting herpes. Yogurt is abundant in probiotics that strengthen your immune system. Consider consuming gelatin less yogurt for maximum results. Probiotics contain Lactobacillus rhamnosus which are proven to improve your immune defense system.
It is a floral extract that relieves pain and inflammation in the virus affected area. It is proven effective in slow healing wounds caused by the herpes virus.
It is a resin derived from a bee that can be a natural remedy for sores in different parts of the body. Since it is rich in antioxidants which aids it in building a robust immune system, it can help fight against the virus.
7. Siberian Ginseng
This is reported to reduce any outbreak of the virus while using it continuously. All the above food and supplements should be taken regularly to reduce the frequency of outbreak.
This is available in the form of capsules or even drops where you can apply directly on the skin. Siberian ginseng has many side effects it is always recommended to consult the physician before using any supplements.
8. Vitamin C for Herpes
Vitamin C can help in boosting immunity and in fast forwarding the healing process. Taking vitamin C supplements along with vitamin c rich fruits and vegetables may prove beneficial if you are infected with the herpes virus.
Always consult a physician before taking additional supplements without proper supervision; it can worsen the case. And body condition should also be considered before supplements because your body can cause allergic reactions which can increase the growth of herpes virus.
What is Herpes?
Herpes is a genital infection caused by a virus called Herpes simplex. This virus can be o two types: herpes simplex type I & herpes simplex type II. Both of them can be transmitted through vaginal sex, anal or oral sex.
What are the Symptoms of Genital Herpes?
There are no specific symptoms of genital herpes, and even if there are some, they are not very prominent. Initially, one can have sores and ulcers in the genital area accompanied by burning sensation during urination. These sores can be very itchy and painful if not taken care of well.
Can Herpes be Cured?
Herpes is something which has no cure in particular. However, outbreaks can be prevented through proper medication. Your lifestyle and food habits also contribute to limiting the herpes outbreak and in the healing process.
Does Food Habit Affect Herpes Outbreaks?
Food habit is a crucial part when it comes to treating herpes. One should be very careful while taking protein-rich foods as the food high in an amino acid called Arginine can trigger the growth of the herpes virus and, thus, can prove fatal to one suffering from herpes. On the other hand, Lysine, another amino acid can be very helpful in treating the herpes outbreak.
Are there any Home Remedies for Herpes?
There are many available home remedies for herpes. You can use green tea, licorice root, aloe vera gel, corn starch, and Epsom salt in order to get relief from the itching and burning sensations caused by herpes sores.
Can Essential Oils Help in Fighting Herpes?
Essential oils may prove helpful when it comes to herpes sores. Essential oils like tea tree oil, chamomile oil, lemon balm extract, thyme essential oil, ginger essential oil can be beneficial in relieving the pain, inflammation, and itchiness of the sores.
How Many Supplements can Help to Deal with the Herpes Outbreak?
Along with proper foods, taking supplements can boost the healing process and gives you the energy to battle against herpes. Supplements like Zinc, Lysine, Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin C, Probiotics, etc. are very much essential while you are witnessing a herpes outbreak.
Herpes virus can spread even if you have protected sex; it is advised to not have sex whilst suffering from herpes virus since there is a chance of spreading.
Always use clean plates and cups to prevent the spreading of the infection and most importantly do not share a spoon, plate, or glasses with an infected person that increases the chances of you getting infected, too.
While infected with herpes virus, eating healthy and taking enough supplements can help you with the outbreak. So eat healthily and stay fit.