There is an old misconception Herpes Simplex 1 only infects “above the belt” by manifesting as cold sores. Herpes Type 2 was previously considered “below the belt” and caused genital lesions. However, the medical profession has found oral-genital contact can spread either, so that types of herpes have become virtually insignificant.
Let’s define Herpes. It is very contagious. It is transmitted by bodily fluids. Proper hand washing precautions should be taken to keep the virus from a cold sore from spreading to the genitals. The first time herpes symptoms appear is called the primary occurrence and it worse than recurring outbreaks.
- 1 Oral Herpes Symptoms
- 2 Genital Herpes Symptoms
- 3 Natural Treatments for Cold Sores
- 4 Natural Treatments for Genital Herpes
- 5 Herbal Therapy
- 6 Why does Herpes break out?
- 7 How to Keep Herpes Away Forever
Oral Herpes Symptoms
The classic symptom of oral herpes is the blister on the lip. Before a blister appears, the area will sometimes tingle, feel slightly raised and may appear red and inﬂamed. This pain or tingling sensation is called the prodrome (or warning symptom) and typically occurs 1 to 2 days before the cold sore appears. This doesn’t have to be the case however — I’ve never had any warning symptoms before an oral herpes outbreak.
Herpes can, however, also appear as a tear in one side of the mouth, or as tears on the inside of the mouth, or under your nose, or in your ﬁngers. Many people don’t know this and wonder why they have a cracked side of their lip that hurts, looks really nasty, and won’t heal even after a few days, or why they have a red swollen area around the lip.
How Soon Do Symptoms Occur?
Symptoms generally occur within 4-7 days after contact. Initial symptoms are burning, chronic itch or tingling. In a couple of days, pimply sores pop up on reddish skin. Later, the pimples metamorphose into agonizing blisters. When the blisters burst, they secrete blood and yellowish pus.
Approximately a week after the first symptoms, scabs form, which signals healing has begun. While it is rare, it is possible for Herpes to spread to the eyes. This requires speedy attention of a medical professional. A person can be infected and not know it. Symptoms may not show for some time following contact, yet the person can still be contagious. This is because viral shedding occurs during the tingling stage.
Genital Herpes Symptoms
During a primary genital herpes episode (the ﬁrst outbreak) it is common to feel ﬂu-like symptoms, such as swollen glands, headache or fever. Aching or ‘tingling’ sensations in the groin, thigh and buttocks muscles may also occur.
Itching, pain and tingling sensations typically occur 1 to 2 days before any sores appear. For me, it was always an itching sensation at the exact same spot.
A genital herpes infection will generally appear as a small, ﬂuid-ﬁlled blister which goes through a cycle of phases. The blister will usually open up and leak ﬂuids, then form a scab or ‘crusting’, before healing and disappearing completely.
However as with oral herpes, genital herpes symptoms can vary from person to person and can sometimes resemble blisters, bumps, cuts, sores, or a rash in or around the genital area. I never had an open blister, but more something that resembled a group of small, itchy bumps.
Natural Treatments for Cold Sores
These are small lesions appearing on lips, nostrils, gums and/or roof of mouth. Once a person is infected with Herpes Simples 1, it can remain dormant in the body until fever and/or a cold triggers a flare-up. Extreme temperatures can also cause cold sores. Anyone susceptible to breakouts should limit/avoid foods containing arginine, an amino acid that sustains the virus. Arginine rich foods include: peanuts, chocolate, beer, peas and chocolate.
Lysine counteracts arginine. (Health food stores carry this amino acid supplement.) Some foods are lysine rich but low in arginine, such as figs, apples, pears and papaya. Lentils, soybeans and black beans contain a whopping 2,500 milligrams lysine. There is a good probability cold sores won’t erupt if ice treatment is begun immediately. Just rub an ice cube over the affected area for 10 minutes, 3 times per day. Put a little salt on your fingertip and apply to affected area.
Apply pressure and hold for a couple of minutes. This treatment is the most painful, but also the most effective in speedy healing of cold sores.
Lysine is an amino acid that you obtain naturally through your diet. It is one of the amino acids that can only be acquired through your diet (or by taking a Lysine supplement). Taken in adequate dosages, this amino acid has been scientifically proven to stop the growth of the herpes virus, as well as inhibit viral replication. Viral replication is when the virus grows and multiplies in larger numbers. Studies have shown that supplements of Lysine can reduce the frequency and intensity of herpes and cold sore outbreaks.
The outcome is likely to be more substantial if a supplement is taken that contains Lysine along with other nutrients that are indicated for herpes, such as Vitamin C, Bioﬂavonoids and Zinc, which have been proven in clinical trials to improve healing time and reduce the frequency of episodes.
How does Lysine work?
There are two amino acids that have been found to signiﬁcantly inﬂuence herpes (the virus that causes cold sores and genital herpes), these are Lysine and Arginine.
Lysine can be a valuable weapon in reducing outbreaks and in healing the infection quickly, whereas Arginine can provoke outbreaks and is required by the herpes simplex virus to replicate and cause symptoms.
Tissue culture studies show that Lysine works by repressing the metabolism of Arginine, an amino acid that is essential for the herpes virus to replicate and become active.
Why Lysine is helpful for herpes
- Restricts the function of the herpes virus
- Improves the body’s ability to create antibodies with its immune system
- Improves healing of skin tissue, and is essential for wound healing and building collagen
- May help to signiﬁcantly improve the healing time of an outbreak
- If taken regularly and in high enough doses, Lysine can help to prevent HSV recurrences
Foods that contain high amounts of Lysine:
- Most vegetables and fruit
- Particularly beets, avocados, mangos, tomatoes, apples, apricots, pears, ﬁgs and papaya
- Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheeses
- Brewer’s yeast
- Chicken, Fish, Beef and Lamb
Don’t pass on the Bioﬂavonoids, because they work in synergy with the other nutrients, making them more effectively utilized by the body. Bioﬂavonoids have also been demonstrated to help stop an outbreak before it starts. You can get Bioﬂavonoids from food such as berries, ginkgo bilboa, onions (particularly red onion), parsley, pulses, tea (especially white and green tea), and red wine.
These nutrients work cohesively together and along with Lysine can help to suppress outbreaks and strengthen the skin.
Natural Treatments for Genital Herpes
Genital Herpes occurs in a woman’s cervix and/or vagina. In men, the virus appears on/around the penis. It can materialize around the anus of either sex. Apply Tea Tree Oil to lesions after showering. Use one drop per lesion for quicker resolution.
Aloe Vera gel can also be applied to lesions following a shower. Home grown Aloe Vera is preferable. Cut a few stems and store in fridge until ready to use. The cold gel is comforting to the blister as it reduces pain, itching and redness. Epsom Salt has been used in various home remedies for decades.
Soaking in a warm bath, with a heaping helping of Epson Salt helps calm itching and dry up lesions.
If you currently have a herpes outbreak, the bad news is that it won’t magically disappear in one hour, especially if you are late in the life cycle of the herpes breakout. You need to first eliminate the virus locally, and then the area needs to heal.
When taken internally, oregano oil strengthens the immune system and improves digestion. When applied locally to a herpes outbreak, it eradicates the virus and promotes faster healing of the afﬂicted area.
You will notice that the morning and evening doses are very similar. The only difference is that in the evening, L-Lysine is replaced by olive leaf extract, and the addition of the zinc tablet. The reason for this is that Olive Leaf Extract and L- Lysine cancel each other out, so it’s important to take them separately with at least 2 hours in between doses.
Oregano oil is a very powerful herb. Your genitals may be too sensitive to apply oregano oil directly on them. It works for me and my wife, but I’ve heard of cases where the burning was too much to bear. In this case, replace oregano oil with topical acyclovir cream.
Olive Leaf Extract
Olive leaf extract is growing in popularity as an effective herb for the management of herpes and is now being recommended by many natural therapists, doctors and herpes support groups around the world, and with good reason. This herb is showing impressive results against the whole spectrum of herpes viruses (including HSV-1, HSV-2 and Herpes zoster) in both anecdotal and clinical trials.
Olive leaf extract has been demonstrated to have antiviral properties against both HSV Type 1 and 2 and has even been proven in comprehensive clinical trials to reduce herpes viral shedding and stop viral replication.
Olive leaf extract has also been shown to have the ability to directly penetrate viral infected cells, to neutralize the function of the herpes virus at a cell level and to interfere with the way retroviruses, such as herpes, alter RNA and DNA.
Barley Grass Powder
Barley grass is a potent source of vitamins and nutrients. It offers more protein than a sirloin steak, ﬁve times the amount of iron as broccoli, seven times more vitamin C than orange juice and 11 times more calcium than milk.
Consuming barley grass has also shown to balance the pH of the body. The average western diet is fairly acidic, especially when large quantities of processed foods are eaten. Raised acidity in the body is linked to many diseases and general ill-health. Barley grass is very alkalizing and useful for helping the cells in the body function optimally.
Herpes viruses love an acidic environment. This is why barley grass works effectively in ﬁghting herpes at the root level.
Ongoing research is demonstrating that topical ointments with highly concentrated amounts of Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) may treat cold sores resulting from Herpes. Lemon Balm’s anti-herpes, antiviral properties are tannins, aka polyphenols that cling onto cells viral receptor locations. They prevent infection from spreading by filling in spaces, thus stopping viruses from attaching to cells. A large study consisting of a dermatology practice and three hospitals in Germany concluded when lemon balm cream was used during the primary infection of Herpes Simplex 1 was recorded! In addition, the cream reduced healing time in oral and genital Herpes.
European herbal ointments for treating Herpes contain a super-high concentration of lemon balm. Unfortunately, these herbal preparations are not available in the U.S. Dried melissa officinalis leaves can be used to make teas, or lemon balm tea is available. Use 2-4 teaspoons of lemon balm leaves per one cup boiling water. Soak a cotton ball in tea and apply to affected area several times daily. Give Natural Treatments for Herpes Simplex 1 a chance. They are safer and do not cause dreadful side-effects like mainstream medicines.
Why does Herpes break out?
Once you have contracted the herpes virus, you have it for life. During phases where you have no outbreaks, it hides in your spinal cord. The virus breaks out as soon as your immune system is too weak to keep it dormant. That’s why when you have the ﬂu, it’s common to get a herpes outbreak as well because your immune system is busy ﬁghting the ﬂu virus.
But your immune system doesn’t have to be completely preoccupied with something else for the herpes virus to awaken — it just needs to be weaker than usual. For exmnple, if you are under extreme stress for longer periods of time, or if you live an unhealthy lifestyle and eat lots of junk food and don’t exercise, your immune system isn’t working as well as it could.
If you have recurring herpes outbreaks, it’s important that you don’t just apply some cream locally, or take some tablet — you need to remove the factors that enable herpes to grow in your body in the ﬁrst place. This requires some lifestyle changes that I discuss.
There is no sure cure for Herpes. Certain treatments help relieve pain, burning, itching, etc. But, the virus is subject to reoccur for the person’s lifetime.
How to Keep Herpes Away Forever
Now you know how to ﬁght herpes when you have an outbreak. But just ﬁghting it when you have an outbreak won’t lift the burden from your mind of wondering when the next outbreak will come. In order to do that, you need to eliminate herpes at the root, by strengthening your body.
Strengthening your immune system
No matter what treatment approach you take, your immune system will be one of the most important weapons that you can work with to combat and control herpes symptoms, including cold sores and genital herpes.
Your body’s natural immune system is responsible for keeping you healthy and ﬁghting off invading pathogens, including Herpes simplex virus 1 and 2. The biggest beneﬁt of improving your immune system is that it not only stops herpes outbreaks from ever occurring again — it also keeps you safe from other sicknesses!
Freshly made fruit and/ or vegetable juices are a great source for antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, free-radical scavengers and other “good stuff’ essential for your body to maintain a strong immune system against viruses.
Moderate exercise, preferably at least 4 times per week, can help strengthen your immune system. Blood ﬂow to vital organs, good circulation and mental wellness can improve your immune response. 20 – 30 minutes of brisk walking ﬁve days per week is an ideal training program for maintaining a healthy immune system.
The air you breathe can affect your immunity. Polluted environments are toxic to your system and can affect your health. Try to avoid living or working in polluted areas. If you cannot avoid pollutants, try supplementing your diet with antioxidants, such as fresh fruit and vegetables that are vibrant in color, or an antioxidant formula that contains selenium. Avoid exercising near trafﬁc where you are likely to inhale large amounts of carbon- dioxide and other carcinogens.
Maintain a nutritious diet high in antioxidants, essential nutrients and micro nutrients. An antioxidant supplement may help if dietary needs are not met.
Try to avoid or reduce stress in your life. Substitute caffeine rich drinks with water and herbal teas and supplement your diet with B group vitamins, ginseng and vitamin c to beneﬁt your body in times of stress. Added magnesium can assist in muscle relaxation.