Natural Remedies for Herpes – cold sores
Natural Remedies for Herpes
Understanding Herpes Virus Infection
There are a number of herpes viruses which can cause disease. Herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1) generally causes mild outbreaks of cold sores on the mouth or lips. Herpes simplex 2 (HPV-2) is more severe and causes genital herpes, though the mouth can also be affected.
Both herpes infections can cause painful blisters which are highly infectious. Blisters are contagious until completely healed, which can take from 2-4 weeks. There is a slight chance of transmitting the infection after blisters have healed, however the rate of transmission drops drastically at this point. In rare cases there are no symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
Initially, HSV-1 produces burning & tingling around the lip area, followed by small red pimples which turn to blisters. These symptoms may be accompanied by a mild fever and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck area.
Recurrences tend to occur following a sunburn, or when the immune system is weakened by other infections.
First symptoms of HSV-2 are usually noticed between 4-8 days after exposure. These usually appear as burning and/or itching in the genital area, followed by blisters that turn to painful sores. These sores can easily become infected. There may also be flu-like symptoms and sometimes painful urination. On average, symptoms tend to be more severe in women.
For a small minority of women, the initial outbreak is the only one they ever experience. But most women (around 75 percent) experience recurrent episodes within the next few months and years. Many women report that symptoms get milder with each ensuing outbreak, possibly due to herpetic antibodies being produced as a natural line of defense by the system.
Is Herpes Serious?
HSV-2 can cause complications such as liver damage. It can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during childbirth. This can increase the risk of blindness or brain damage. Genital herpes infections also increase the risk of cervical cancer. It is advised that women with herpes get regular Pap smears.
How is Herpes Treated?
- During acute infection, the herpes virus reproduces and settles in adjoining tissue. Afterwards, it implants in the nerve tissue and does not attempt to reproduce. The virus will reactivate into a disease-causing form only when it is 'threatened'.
- Echinacea is highly recommended as a preventive measure for those prone to herpes. It is taken daily for a period of three months, and thereafter, whenever there are periods of susceptibility in your life. If you are taking Echinacea tincture, the recommended dosage is one-fourth teaspoon, three times daily. If you are taking it in tea form, the recommended dosage is three to four cups daily. If you are taking Echinacea capsules, the recommended dosage is two capsules, three times daily.
Immune Support Tea
- 4 parts pau d'arco
- 2 parts echinacea
- 1 part burdock root
Optional: cinnamon, orange peel, licorice root, or other tasty root herbs to taste.
Prepare an infusion using four to six tablespoons of the herb mixture per quart of water. Strain. Drink three to four cups daily.
Adaptogenic herbs and foods increase the body's ability to respond to the stresses of the environment while calming and relaxing the nervous system. The following nervine adaptogens strengthen, nourish, and maintain the homeostatic mechanisms of the nervous system, enabling it to deal more effectively with stress.
Less Stress Tea
- 4 parts nettle
- 3 parts oat straw
- 3 parts chamomile
- 1 part St. John's wort
- 1 part skullcap
- 1 part passionflower
Prepare an infusion using four to six tablespoons of herb mixture per each quart of water. Drink freely throughout the day for several weeks and whenever there are high levels of stress in your life thereafter.