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If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
There's no cure for herpes, but antiviral medications can help suppress the virus, which is dormant in nerve cells 2. Once the immune system is run down or stressed, the virus comes out of hiding.
For those who don't want to take medication, there are natural ways to help with herpes 2.
A healthy diet is the most natural way to combat herpes and lessen your chance of outbreaks 2. Eat a diet that is full of fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products and lean protein. Aim to eat foods high in lysine, since they will help inhibit the virus. Foods high in lysine include beef, chicken, cheese and yogurt. Alcohol and caffeine should be limited or avoided.
- A healthy diet is the most natural way to combat herpes and lessen your chance of outbreaks 2.
- Aim to eat foods high in lysine, since they will help inhibit the virus.
Home Remedies for Herpes Outbreaks
Proper rest is very important for herpes sufferers 2. They should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night and keep their stress levels to a minimum.
There are many herbs that can help herpes naturally 2. They include:
- red marine algae
- cat's claw
- licorice root
- red clover
burdock. Some herbs have side effects or shouldn't be used by pregnant women. Please seek the advice of a health-care practitioner.
- There are many herbs that can help herpes naturally 2.
- Some herbs have side effects or shouldn't be used by pregnant women.
Ginger & Herpes
Gel from the aloe vera plant can be used on herpes lesions to soothe and calm the area 2. It can also help heal the skin. You can grow your own plant or use gel bought from the store.
Cornstarch and Baking Soda
Cornstarch and baking soda can be used as powders to help soothe and control itching. They can be sprinkled into the underwear or dabbed on with a moist cottonball or Q-Tip.
Use black tea bags to help control inflammation. They also have anti-viral properties. Use the tea bags as a compress a few times a day.
Some people with herpes can tell when an outbreak is going to occur 2. They may feel a tingling or itching sensation. They can apply an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables to help numb the area and inhibit the virus.
- Some people with herpes can tell when an outbreak is going to occur 2.
- They may feel a tingling or itching sensation.
Essential oils such as vitamin E and calendula can help repair damaged skin. Tea tree oil can also kill germs and help dry up the outbreak.
Magnesium sulfate, commonly known as Epsom salts, can be used in a warm bath for those with genital herpes 2. Epsom salts help soothe and control itching and inflammation.
Home Remedies for Herpes Outbreaks
Ginger & Herpes
Joint Pain from Herpes
Herbs for Postherpetic Neuralgia
How To Heal a Really Bad Cold Sore
Herpes Medications to Buy Without a Prescription
Causes of Tongue Blisters
How to Stop HPV Itch
Vitamins for Mononucleosis
Vitamin E & Genital Warts
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Herpes
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing; Fourth Edition"; Phyllis Balch; 2006
- McQuillan G, Kruszon-Moran D, Flagg EW, Paulose-Ram R. Prevalence of herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 in persons aged 14–49: United States, 2015–2016. NCHS Data Brief. 2018;304.
- Tronstein E. Genital Shedding of Herpes Simplex Virus Among Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Persons With HSV-2 Infection. JAMA. 2011;305(14):1441. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.420
- World Health Organization (WHO). Herpes simplex virus. Updated January 31, 2017.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Genital Herpes - CDC Fact Sheet (Detailed). Updated January 31, 2017
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Genital Herpes - CDC Fact Sheet. Updated August 28, 2017.
- Chun H, Carpenter R, Macalino G, Crum-Cianflone NF. The role of sexually transmitted infections in HIV-1 progression: A comprehensive review of the literature. Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 2012;2013(176459):1-15. doi:10.1155/2013/176459
- Heslop R, Roberts H, Flower D, Jordan V. Interventions for men and women with their first episode of genital herpes. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Aug 30;(8):CD010684. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010684.pub2
- Jin F, Prestage GP, Mao L, Kippax SC, Pell CM, et al. Transmission of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 in a prospective cohort of HIV-negative gay men: the health in men study. J Infect Dis. 2006 Sep 1;194(5):561-70.
- Schulte JM, Bellamy AR, Hook EW 3rd, Bernstein DI, Levin MJ, et al. HSV-1 and HSV-2 seroprevalence in the united states among asymptomatic women unaware of any herpes simplex virus infection (Herpevac Trial for Women). South Med J. 2014 Feb;107(2):79-84. doi:10.1097/SMJ.0000000000000062
Vicki L. VanArsdale is a freelance writer with a B.A. in communications from Rowan University and an A.A.S. in print and broadcast journalism from Ocean County College. She is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and a nutrition and wellness consultant through American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA).