15 Effective Natural Remedies To Treat Herpes July 26, 2016

Do you know someone suffering from herpes? Or are you suffering from a herpes infection yourself? Just the word ‘herpes’ can send people into panic mode. The pain and discomfort that are associated with this condition are definitely not pleasant. Not to forget, the clearly visible outbreaks that it can cause on your face and genital regions. You, obviously, do not want to be in the ‘herpes victims’ list.

Don’t be disheartened. There are certain natural remedies that can help you treat herpes. Would you like to know them? Continue reading to know more about herpes and how you can use simple home remedies to treat the infection.

What Is Herpes?

The name of this infection is eponymous to the virus that causes it – the Herpes simplex virus (HSV). When the herpes virus comes in contact with your body, it can easily enter the lower layers of your skin or even the bloodstream and cause infection. Oral herpes is characterized by sores on the mouth or face, where as genital herpes causes sores on the genitals and anal areas. Other parts of the body can also be affected by this infection and can develop sores, but this is not as common as the oral or genital forms of herpes (1).

Home Remedies For Herpes

While there is no specific cure for herpes, doctors administer antiviral medications and pills to prevent its intensity and recurrence. However, using some natural remedies can also help you deal with the symptoms and live in comfort. Listed below are the best natural remedies for herpes:

Treat Herpes With These Effective Home Remedies
  1. Lysine
  2. Tea Tree Oil
  3. Oregano Oil
  4. Baking Soda
  5. Lemon Balm
  6. Echinacea
  7. Epsom Salt
  8. Aloe Vera Gel
  9. Olive Oil
  10. Cornstarch
  11. Goldenseal
  12. Herbal Tea
  13. Green Tea
  14. Licorice Root
  15. Domeboro Powder

1. Lysine For Herpes

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Image: Shutterstock

What You Need

Lysine capsules

What You Have To Do

Take 500mg dosage of lysine thrice a day.

How Often You Need To Do This

Continue taking the capsules thrice a day until the infection clears. After that, take one capsule every day for three months to prevent recurrence.

Why This Works

This simple treatment works excellently, even for recurring HSV infections. Lysine stops the virus from replicating and infecting the human cells. It has been shown to reduce the severity and healing time of herpes (2). Please keep in mind that this remedy does not work for genital herpes.

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2. Tea Tree Oil For Herpes

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Image: Shutterstock

What You Need
  • Tea tree oil
  • Cotton ball
  • Eye dropper
What You Have To Do
  1. Apply a small amount of this oil on the affected area using a cotton ball or the eye dropper.
  2. Leave it on.
How Often You Need To Do This

Reapply the oil thrice a day.

Why This Works

Tea tree oil has been used since ancient times to treat numerous skin problems. It can be used to alleviate the pain caused by herpes sores. It is also an antiviral agent and will kill the virus (3).

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3. Oregano Oil For Herpes

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Image: Shutterstock

What You Need
  • Oregano oil
  • Cotton ball or eye dropper
What You Have To Do

Apply a drop or two of this essential oil with a cotton ball on the affected area. Leave it to air-dry.

How Often You Need To Do This

Repeat this twice or thrice a day until the herpes infection subsides.

Why This Works

The carvacrol component of oregano oil is responsible for its antiviral activity. This remedy has been proven to work even for herpes viruses that have developed a resistance to the aciclovir, a commonly used antiviral for herpes treatment (4). Oregano oil also has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties (5).

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4. Baking Soda For Herpes

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Image: Shutterstock

What You Need
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • Cotton balls
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the baking soda in the water to form a solution.
  2. Gently rub cotton balls soaked in this solution on and around those sores.
  3. Do not wash away the solution. Use different cotton balls every time to prevent further infection.

For genital herpes, you can also add a medium-sized cup of baking soda to warm water in your bath tub and soak in it for 10 to 15 minutes, twice a day.

How Often You Need To Do This

Repeat this three to four times in a day.

Why This Works

If the herpes sores on your body are oozing, you may resort to using baking soda to dry them up. This ingredient can dry the skin surface quickly and heal the sores (6). Baking soda also soothes the skin and is a natural antiseptic (7, 8).

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5. Lemon Balm For Herpes

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Image: Shutterstock

What You Need
  • 2-3 ml lemon balm tincture
  • A cup of warm water
  • Cotton ball
What You Have To Do
  1. Add the lemon balm tincture to the water and apply this to the affected area using the cotton.
  2. Leave it on.

You can also brew some lemon balm tea and drink it twice a day.

How Often You Need To Do This

Apply this twice or thrice a day.

Why This Works

Lemon balm is extremely soothing for the skin, and at the same time, it exerts antiviral effects on the herpes virus. It also reduces the healing time for both oral herpes and genital herpes (9).

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6. Echinacea For Herpes

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Image: Shutterstock

What You Need
  • Echinacea tea bag or dried herbs
  • A cup of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Steep the tea bag in hot water for a few minutes and then remove it.
  2. Sip on this decoction in between meals.
How Often You Need To Do This

Drink up to four cups of echinacea tea in a day.

Why This Works

The herpes virus is susceptible to the antiviral activity of this herb (10). Echinacea also works indirectly on the herpes infection by stimulating the body to produce a strong antiviral effect on the virus (11).

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7. Epsom Salt For Herpes

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Image: Shutterstock

What You Need
  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • Warm water
  • Bath tub
What You Have To Do
  1. Add the Epsom salt to the bath tub water and mix well.
  2. Soak in this for about 15 minutes. Shower as usual.
How Often You Need To Do This

Repeat this twice a day.

Why This Works

This relaxing home remedy works well for genital herpes. The salt soak will soothe the itching and pain caused by the sores (12). It will also dry out the sores because of its hygroscopic nature (13).

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8. Aloe Vera Gel For Herpes

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Image: Shutterstock

What You Need

Fresh aloe vera gel

What You Have To Do
  1. Take out fresh gel from an aloe vera leaf and with a clean finger, apply it on the affected area.
  2. Let it dry.

You can also use organic aloe vera gel that you find in the market.

How Often You Need To Do This

Do this thrice a day.

Why This Works

Aloe vera has more than 70 potentially active components that exert multiple beneficial effects on the skin. Application of this gel will reduce inflammation, soothe and moisturize the skin, have antiseptic and antiviral effects, and also quicken the healing process (14).

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9. Olive Oil For Herpes

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Image: Shutterstock

What You Need
  • A cup of olive oil
  • 10 drops of lavender oil
  • 2 tablespoons beeswax
  • Cotton ball
What You Have To Do
  1. Warm up the olive oil and blend with the lavender oil. Then, add some beeswax.
  2. Heat it up and after some time, remove from heat.
  3. When it cools down, apply on the sores using a cotton ball.
How Often You Need To Do This

Apply this twice or thrice during the day.

Why This Works

This home remedy will give immense relief from the pain and itching that accompany the sores. Olive oil has proven antimicrobial and antiviral properties (15). It is not only good for cardiac health, but can also be used to treat herpes infection. Lavender oil will soothe the inflamed skin, while beeswax will moisturize it (16, 17).

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10. Cornstarch For Herpes

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Image: Shutterstock

What You Need
  • Cornstarch
  • Moist cotton ball
What You Have To Do

Dab the cornstarch on the herpes sores using the moist cotton ball.

How Often You Need To Do This

Reapply every few hours.

Why This Works

Cornstarch will dry out the sores and reduce the itching and chaffing (18).

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11. Goldenseal For Herpes

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Image: Shutterstock

What You Need
  • Goldenseal tincture
  • Q-tip
What You Have To Do

With the help of the Q-tip, apply the tincture directly on the sores and leave it on.

How Often You Need To Do This

Do this thrice a day.

Why This Works

Like echinacea, goldenseal is an immune-boosting herb. Its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties will give long-term relief from the herpes infection (19).

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12. Herbal Tea For Herpes

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Image: Shutterstock

What You Need
  • A few sage leaves
  • A few thyme leaves
  • A cup of boiling water
What You Have To Do
  1. Steep the herbs in hot water for a few minutes.
  2. Strain and drink this herbal tea.
How Often You Need To Do This

Drink two to three cups in a day.

Why This Works

Sage is an antiseptic and an astringent, and thyme is an effective antiviral that was tested and tried against the herpes virus (20, 21). This is a potent herbal combo to eliminate the herpes virus from your body.

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13. Green Tea For Herpes

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Image: Shutterstock

What You Need
  • Green tea bag or leaves
  • A cup of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Steep the green tea for a few minutes. Strain and drink the decoction.
  2. Add a dash of honey and lemon juice for flavor.
How Often You Need To Do This

Drink three to four cups in a day.

Why This Works

Green tea has profound health benefits. Its active antioxidants help prevent outbreaks and recurrence of the herpes virus. Studies suggest that green tea also has antiviral properties, and hence, naturopaths recommend a cup of green tea instead of coffee to patients suffering from herpes (22).

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14. Licorice Root For Herpes

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Image: Shutterstock

What You Need
  • Licorice root powder
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix enough water with the licorice root powder to form a paste.
  2. Apply this on the herpes sores and let it dry.
  3. Leave it on for about 20 to 30 minutes. Then, rinse with water.
How Often You Need To Do This

Apply this twice a day.

Why This Works

Licorice root is useful in treating herpes because of its antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties (23). You should ideally opt for the standard variant over the de-glycyrrhizinated one for maximum benefits.

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15. Domeboro Powder For Herpes

What You Need
  • Domeboro powder sachet
  • Water
  • Clean cloth
What You Have To Do
  1. Follow the instructions on the packet to make a solution with the domeboro powder and water.
  2. Dip the cloth in this and place it on the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes.
How Often You Need To Do This

Repeat this every few hours.

Why This Works

Domeboro powder is a commonly used astringent in hospitals, especially for ulcers, sores, and lesions. It also relieves the pain and itchiness (24).

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Let us now take a look at a few frequently asked questions regarding herpes.

FAQs

1. Are cold sores the same thing as herpes?

Yes. Cold sores are the same thing as herpes because they are caused by the herpes virus. However, when it comes to genital herpes, it is a different subtype of the herpes virus that causes it. But, both of these fall under the herpes infection.

2. What are the symptoms of herpes?

The sympoms of oral herpes are:

  • Mouth ulcers
  • Sores around the mouth or on the face
  • Swollen glands
  • Pain during swallowing
  • Itching and burning sensation of the lips and/or mouth area (25)

The symptoms of genital herpes differ from oral herpes and are as follows:

  • Painful blisters containing a clear or straw-colored fluid in the genital and anal area
  • Painful blisters on other parts of the body like the tongue, mouth area, eyes, fingers, etc.
  • Tingling and burning sensation around the genitals
  • Swollen lymph glands in the groin
  • Feeling ill
  • Fever
  • Muscle pain in the lower half of the body like the thighs, lower back, knees, etc. (26)

3. What does genital herpes look like?

Genital herpes infection starts off with a red, itchy spot in the genital area that develops into a blister in a few hours. These blisters or lesions soon swell up to form small vesicles, which contain either a clear or a pale yellow liquid that can ooze out. If these blisters burst, they can easily form scabs and scars.

Drink plenty of fluids and follow a healthy diet. The herpes virus attacks people with a weak immune system. Try to keep the elements of stress at bay as stress can induce acid levels in the stomach and impact your immune system in a negative way. Try measures like yoga and meditation and take adequate rest to stay stress-free as much as possible.

While herpes may not be completely curable at home, these remedies can provide a lot of relief from the condition. Try these remedies in conjunction with your normal course of treatment for a speedy recovery.

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