Herbs to Cure Herpes: Do They Exist?
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are 572,000 new cases of genital herpes every year.
Despite this staggering number, a herpes diagnosis still comes with a debilitating social stigma that many sufferers report is harder to deal with than the actual symptoms of the illness. Once you’re diagnosed, you may fear your loved ones will look at you differently, or that you’ll never find romantic acceptance.
Though understandable, these fears are unnecessary, as there are many ways to treat and prevent herpes outbreaks, as well as techniques and treatments that significantly reduce your chance of passing herpes to another person. But what about a cure?
If you’ve heard about the role herbs can play in the treatment of herpes outbreaks, you may wonder, are there herbs to cure herpes?
Let’s explore the relationship between herbs and the herpes virus.
What Causes Herpes?
It’s important to understand what causes herpes and how it spreads.
The herpes simplex virus (HSV) causes people to develop herpes. Two types of HSV lead to herpes outbreaks:
- An infection from HSV type 1 (HSV-1) usually causes herpes sores to form around the outside of your mouth, commonly referred to as cold sores. An oral herpes outbreak is contagious and can be passed to another person through oral contact.
- An infection from HSV type 2 (HSV-2) usually causes genital herpes. The symptoms of genital herpes are sores on the genitals or around the genital area, including the pubic area, anus, and even the upper thighs. HSV-2 spreads from one person to another through sexual contact.
It’s possible to spread oral herpes to the genitals and vice versa.
A diagnosis of genital herpes comes with a greater social stigma than oral herpes, but even a common cold sore can lead to feelings of shame and fear of social ostracization.
Are There Herbs to Cure Herpes?
So, are there herbs to cure herpes?
As of this writing, there is no cure for the herpes simplex virus, whether medical, herbal, or otherwise. However, many common herbs may help manage outbreaks and control symptoms caused by HSV.
Herbs to Treat Herpes
Some of the herbs in your kitchen cabinet could help relieve the symptoms associated with herpes outbreaks. These home remedies may reduce the severity of future sores and extend the time between outbreaks.
Many herbs and herb oils have emerged as natural solutions to managing herpes symptoms. The main benefit of herbal treatments, compared to prescription medications, is that they usually come with few side effects, if any.
Due to their antiviral properties and ability to strengthen your immune system, adding certain herbs and herbal supplements to your diet may manage herpes outbreaks. Many of these herbs are common ingredients found in most kitchens. Others may be harder to find, but all are accessible through specialty shops or online stores.
Here are some herbs and natural ingredients to add to your diet that can help manage your herpes symptoms:
- Lemon balm
- Chinese rhubarb
- Maca root
- Green tea
- Siberian ginseng
- Tea tree
- Pau d’arco
- Olive leaf
- Rozites caperata
- Prunella vulgaris
- Cat’s claw
If you choose to use herb oils or other natural topical treatments, be cognizant of the effects of these oils on your skin, such as breaking down your skin’s natural barrier.
Most oils require dilution in a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, to avoid negative side effects. Other effective carrier oil options for dry skin include argan and avocado, while jojoba or pomegranate oils may work better for oily skin.
Here are a few examples of diluted oils used to treat herpes sores:
- Lemon balm
- Tea tree
- Witch hazel
- Mexican oregano
- Zataria multiflora
- Sweet orange
Below are examples of oils and topical treatments that don’t need to be diluted before being applied to a herpes sore:
- Echinacea liquid extract
- Sage and rhubarb extract
- Licorice root extract
- Aloe vera
- Manuka honey
Some herbs and herb oils are not safe for pets, so keep these substances out of reach if you have a cat, dog, or other pet who may be able to access them.
It’s also important to watch for signs of an adverse reaction, even when dealing with strictly natural substances like herbs. If you develop an unexplained rash, notice the herpes sores worsening, or experience severe pain, swelling, redness, or itching, contact your doctor right away.
Herbs to Cure Herpes: Final Thoughts
While there are no herbs to cure herpes, medical advancements and breakthroughs occur all the time. Many skilled, dedicated researchers and physicians are working hard to develop new tools, techniques, and treatment options for people suffering from HSV, as well as vaccines that may prevent infection in the first place.
Remember, even though there’s no cure as of this writing, people with herpes still live happy, healthy lives. And research continues to show that herbal remedies can help!