Herpes outbreaks can be genital and oral. That is why herpes falls into the group of sexually transmitted diseases. There are two types of herpes viruses, simplex-1 and simplex-2.
The latter is the one causing sexually transmitted diseases. When we talk about home remedies for herpes, however, we are mostly talking about oral herpes.
After all, the oral herpes is something that affects most people. That is not to say that genital herpes is rare. It happens, but generally speaking, most people protect themselves with condoms during sex.
Oral herpes, often manifested with mouth sores and fever blisters, is something that nobody wants to experience https://www.centerwatch.com/clinical-trials/listings/condition/80/herpes-simplex-infections/. Even small herpes can ruin your self-esteem, and your confidence for going out of a home.
What we need to understand is that the herpes virus can live dormant inside a person’s immune system for a lifetime. The virus can periodically cause blisters that burst and turn into open cold sores or ulcers.
The ulcer might heal on its own over a period of time thanks to our immune system reacting, but most of us want to speed up the healing process. And this is where home remedies for herpes come into play.
What are those remedies?
Table of Contents
13 proven and effective remedies for herpes
Ice pack, or a cold compress will help you relieve the pain and discomfort caused by the herpes. It will also speed up the healing process.
All you have to do is wrap an ice cube in a cloth or towel, and then place it on the affected area for 10 minutes. Repeat several times per day.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular home remedies when it comes to bacterial or viral infection https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5788933/. ACV has anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, all of which helps with germs and microbes.
For this remedy, you need a cotton ball. Dip it into apple cider vinegar, and then dab on the affected area three times per day. Repeat for two to three days, and the infection will be gone.
Just make sure you add apple cider vinegar as soon as you notice the initial symptoms of a herpes outbreak.
Fair warning: apple cider vinegar can sting a little.
Alternatively, you can drink water with apple cider vinegar, to help your body fight off any infections.
Similar as apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide has disinfectant properties https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3016051. That makes the liquid solution a popular remedy for infections like herpes.
Apply 3% hydrogen peroxide solution on the affected area using a cotton ball. Leave the solution on the area for few minutes, and then wash it off. Repeat the process every 2 hours for three days, or until the herpes is gone.
If you have oral sores, you can mix hydrogen peroxide and water in 1:3 ratio. Use the solution as a mouthwash few times per day to get rid of oral sores.
Oregano oil is one of the best antiviral essential oils on the market. The remedy has been proven to work with herpes viruses.
Oregano oil is even more potent and better than traditional medicine, because some herpes viruses have developed resistance against antiviral treatments https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4400296/.
Use a cotton ball to apply one or two drops of oregano essential oil to the affected area. Leave the oil to air-dry to the area. Repeat the process two or three times per day until the infection subsides.
Any list of home remedies for infection has to include baking soda. This miracle powder is one of the best remedies for herpes infection https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12017929.
And all you need is just a tablespoon of it. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda, three tablespoons of water, and prepare a solution. Use a cotton ball to apply the solution on and around the herpes spores. Do not wash away, let it dry on its own. Repeat three to four times per day.
You can also use baking soda for genital herpes. All you have to do is add a medium-sized cup of baking soda to warm water in your bathtub. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes, two times per day.
This superfood is praised for its natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4784133/. Most of the benefits of garlic derive from a chemical called allicin.
This chemical has antiviral effects, and it is present in all garlic products, be it raw vegetable or garlic oil.
If you want to use raw vegetable, crush a garlic clove, and place it on the affected area. Leave it there for 10 minutes, and then repeat it two to three times per day until you see improvement. Be warned, garlic can cause burning sensation on the spot.
If you want to use garlic oil, use a cotton ball to apply garlic essential oil to the spot. Alternatively, you can produce your own garlic oil. Cook fresh garlic cloves in olive oil for few minutes until they turn brown. Strain the oil afterward.
This is one of the most commonly used and popular remedies for herpes outbreaks. Lemon balm can reduce the intensity of the outbreak, and also provides antibacterial and antiviral properties to the spot.
You can use it in a number of ways. First, and foremost, you can apply lemon balm oil or tea bags to the affected area three times per day. You can wash the area with lemon balm tea. Or you can drink lemon balm tea several times per day to relieve the pain and discomfort.
Epsom salt can work well both for oral and genital herpes https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2135706/.
You need 1 cup of Epsom salt for your genital herpes. Add the cup into a bath tub with warm water, and soak for 15 minutes. Repeat two times per day.
For oral herpes, prepare a paste of Epsom salt and little water. Apply on the affected area, and let it dry on its own. Wash afterwards.
Licorice will help you improve your immune system and fight off the herpes infection from the inside https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3870067/.
Combine half a tablespoon of water and a tablespoon of licorice root powder. Dab on the affected area, leave for few hours, and then repeat the process two more times per day. Do not take the herb internally if you have high blood pressure.
Peppermint can be used as a tea to reduce the severity of herpes outbreaks(https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878535211000232). It will also help you soothe the pain and inflammation caused by the virus. Drink a cup of peppermint tea two times per day to find relief.
Alternatively, you can use peppermint essential oil. Dip a cotton ball in water, and then in peppermint oil. Apply on the affected area three times per day.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is known for its very potent antimicrobial properties, which make it perfect remedy for herpes outbreaks https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11338678. One thing to note: you have to dilute before usage.
Dilute the oil by adding one-half ounce of a carrier oil (coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil) to 10 drops of tea tree oil.
If you want more potent solution, you can even add five drops of geranium, two drops of peppermint, and five drops of myrrh essential oil to the mix. Shake well. Once you have the solution ready, apply on the affected area using a cotton ball three times per day until the outbreak is cleared.
Coconut oil has natural antiviral and antibacterial properties. Using coconut oil will help you clear the herpes sores outbreaks, but also kill the herpes virus https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5109859/.
All you have to do is drink 10 to 30 ounces of organic coconut oil per day.
Aloe vera is one of the most used ingredients in cosmetic products. The reason is simple, aloe vera has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and many other properties that help our skin https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198455/.
For this remedy, you need to extract gel from the aloe vera leaf. Apply the gel on the affected area, and then allow it to dry on its own. Wipe off with a washcloth soaked in water. Repeat few times per day.
What to avoid if you have herpes?
IN addition to using home remedies for herpes, when you have a spores outbreak, you have to be careful what you eat. Or more precisely, what you should not eat.
Certain foods can raise inflammation, weaken your immune system, and make herpes worse or harder to heal. Avoid following foods during herpes outbreaks, or even when there are not, just so you can prevent herpes.
- Added sugars, processed sugars, and any sugar can lower your immune function and make inflammation worse. Added sugars are commonly found in packaged snacks, flavored products, and bottled drinks
- High amounts of alcohol suppress immune function and can make symptoms like skin inflammation (one of the causes of herpes) worse
- Packaged and processed foods contain genetically modified ingredients like hydrogenated oils and grains that can also weaken your immune system
- Acidic foods can irritate the existing herpes cold sores and worsen the pain or burning sensation. Avoid acidic foods like vinegar, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and oranges when you have an active outbreak
- Foods rich in L-arginine, an amino acid, can stimulate replication of the herpes virus. Foods high in L-arginine include chocolate and wheat products
When to seek a doctor’s opinion?
In most cases, homes remedies for herpes can help you heal the infection. However, if the cold sores symptoms do not improve within a few weeks, or if the symptoms are severe and the sores continue to weep, it is time to call on a doctor.
Complications from herpes virus simplex-1 are rare, but they are possible. If you have a weakened immune system you should definitely schedule an appointment with your doctor.
A physician will then prescribe you anti-viral tablets and creams.
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