Herpes simplex is an infectious virus having two types of HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 is commonly known as “cold sore” (because it produces cold sores) and HSV-2 is called “genital herpes” (because it infects the genitals). Watery blisters in the skin or epithelium of the mouth, lips, nose or genitals are the usual symptoms of herpes.
It is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. According to WHO, 67% of the world’s population under 50 has HSV-1.
For so many years herpes simplex has been untreatable. It has not only left people with painful physical context but also has caused them brutal psychological torture. But today, we have some natural, effectual, and economical remedies that may not completely destroy herpes but can hand round to treat herpes by enhancing our immune system, pacifying pain and swelling, and by dropping the rate of the extent of the cold sores.
Antiviral herbs can be used to tackle herpes virus and hinder its replication inside the body. These herbs may include elderberry, calendula, echinacea, garlic, astragalus, and licorice root. Echinacea can be helpful in aiding a weakened immune system. Drinking echinacea tea boosts your immune system, reduces inflammation and alleviates pain too.
Licorice root has been found to supply crucial vitamins to the body thus it helps to fight viruses including herpes. It contains glycyrrhizin which is antiviral in nature and delivers down the virus. It could be used as a paste on the infected area by mixing licorice powder with water or petroleum jelly.
Aloe-Vera herbs can be used against herpes in the form of a gel. It consists of antioxidant vitamins and enzymes that reverse the growth of the virus anyway. Lemon being the member of the mint family is also applied in the form of a balm on the infected area. It soothes the painful sores and reduces inflammation.
Prunella vulgaris herbs have been described as a hot water infusion to treat sores in the mouth and throat and as an herbal remedy to lower high blood pressure.
Foods associating with Herpes’ treatment
Cold sores target the immune system mainly. A nutritious intake can aid the immune system to fight herpes.
Foods with probiotic effects like yogurt, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, and natto can boost the immune system naturally and may serve as a potential rival against herpes. Garlic has various antiviral properties. It could be used as a component in supplements against herpes. Moreover, garlic paste applied to the infected areas can soothe the pain and swelling too.
Orange and red vegetables are rich sources of carotenoids, bioflavonoids, and vitamin-C. They are antioxidant in nature. They not only heal wounds but raise the overall immunity of an individual.
Vitamin C improves blood count helping the organism to wrestle the foreign invaders and Vitamin E reduces inflammation and revitalizes skin. So, foods rich in vitamin “C” and “E” like oranges, grapefruits, broccoli, red and green peppers, spinach, almonds, potatoes, and avocados etc. can be helpful against herpes due to their antioxidant nature.
Foods rich in L-Lysine e.g. legumes, fish, turkey, and chicken can help with herpes. It is an essential amino acid and is involved in preventing the herpes virus to replicate. 1000 mg of lysine should be taken in three times a day.
High zinc foods like organ meat, pumpkin seeds, nuts, and beef can be beneficial to fight herpes because zinc protects the tissues against viral infection efficiently. It speeds up the healing process and keeps the virus dormant for as long as possible. Zinc oxide or Glycine cream is found to be a powerful ointment for oral herpes.
Baking soda helps to dry the painful sores not allowing the virus to grow further.
A living body needs enough protein to heal wounds. Herpes patient should take at least four to five ounces of quality protein per meal. Wild-caught fish, pasture-raised poultry, and grass-fed beef are the best, natural sources of organic, lean proteins.
Omega-3 fatty acids help with inflammation and tissue repair. Foods rich in omega-3s can also help with the situation.
Foods to avoid during Herpes
There are certain foods that elevate inflammation, weaken your immune responses, and make irritations go worse. You must avoid these foods in order to ease your pain and sufferings, especially if you have herpes. These foods are as follow,
Adding excessive sugar to your diet can suppress your immune functions. It can even make inflammation worse. This can be harmful to people with herpes. They are instructed to avoid foods with added sugar in them. These food items include bottled drinks, packaged snacks, and flavored products like yogurt, cereal, granola bars, and refined grains.
People with herpes should avoid alcohol at maximum. A high amount of alcohol also suppresses the immune functions and can make symptoms like fatigue, aches and skin inflammation worse.
Herpes can go worse with processed and packaged foods because they contain genetically modified ingredients (GMOs), hydrogenated oils and grains. These foods can weaken your immune system and tend to cause sensitivities or allergies.
Acidic foods can irritate herpes cold sores. They can cause worsened pain or burning. Avoid tomatoes, oranges, vinegar or other citrus fruits to keep acid from touching open sores.
L-arginine is an amino acid that might stimulate the replication of the herpes virus. Herpes’ patients must avoid foods employing L-arginine. Wheat, refined carbohydrates, pumpkin seeds, soybean, and chocolates are rich in L-arginine.
Essential oils are also used as an effective remedy against herpes. This is because of their antiviral and antibacterial actions. The oils are simply applied to the infected areas to cure the disease. In case of a sensitive skin, a carrier oil must be used too.
The essential oils that are commonly used against herpes are,
Peppermint oil is actively reported to kill the virus that’s been actively infecting. A lab study on HSV supported this fact. It stated that peppermint oil could clam the strains of herpes, even the ones resistant to drugs. Peppermint oil can directly be applied to the cold sores for effective results.
According to a lab study, lemon balm oil can inhibit the penetration of herpes’ viral cells by 96 percent. However, the mechanism of how lemon balm oil effects the herpes infected cells is still under examination. You can apply diluted lemon balm oil directly to your cold sore up to four times per day for effective results.
The components of ginger oil have been found to reduce cold sore infection. The ginger oil feels warm on your skin. It can soothe the irritation from your cold sore. You can apply a diluted mixture of ginger oil topically. It may help your cold sore to heal fast.
Sandalwood oil is also reported effective against cold sores. You can apply diluted sandalwood oil directly to a cold sore when it appears. The scent of the sandalwood oil can be irritating, so you must use a carrier oil with it.
These remedies may not get you rid of herpes completely but can serve to keep the virus dormant and to avoid the spreading of infection for as long as possible.