Are there any home remedies for herpes that actually work? Whether you have fever blisters/cold sores or genital herpes, all of the sores are caused by variations of the same virus. It is usually passed on by physical contact, e.g. kissing a person with a fever blister/cold sore, or having unprotected sex with a person with genital herpes. However, these are different strains, so you will not develop genital herpes by kissing somebody with a fever blister.
The bad news about the herpes simplex virus is that once you have it, you cannot get rid of it. It will always be latent in your body, waiting for a moment when your immune system is low to strike you with a new outbreak. This can be at times of stress or when the immune system is busy dealing with another illness. The blisters around your mouth are called ‘cold sores’ by some people because they often appear when you have just had a cold, flu or another virus.
But the good news is that you can often prevent outbreaks and become symptom-free. The best way to do this is to stay healthy, with a good diet based around plenty of fruits and vegetables. Avoid stress by practising meditation and other stress reduction techniques.
You can get prescription medications, but they don’t work for everybody. There are plenty of natural remedies that you can try, after taking appropriate medical advice. Here are some home remedies for herpes that may help to prevent sores forming.
- Lysine: this is an amino acid that has an important role in preventing herpes sores. It occurs naturally in the diet but can also be supplemented for short periods (e.g. you might start taking it when you feel yourself getting a flu-type illness).
Lysine seems to work by blocking arginine, another amino acid that feeds the herpes virus. You can help your body fight herpes all of the time by eating more foods high in lysine (especially beans/legumes except for soy; also meat, fruit and vegetables) and avoiding foods that are high in arginine (e.g. chocolate, nuts, wheat, soy).
- Zinc - a mineral supplement that boosts the immune system has been shown to help control herpes in several studies. Be careful not to take too much zinc, as it can be toxic in large quantities. Good with vitamin C, especially if you are feeling run-down.
- Licorice has anti-viral properties. Take licorice root tea regularly to help keep outbreaks away.
- Many people say that if they apply lemon juice to the area when they first feel the tingling that comes before a blister around the mouth, the blister never develops. This is probably an effect of vitamin C and you might want to increase your vitamin C intake at the same time.
There are also several home remedies for herpes that you may want to use topically when you have an outbreak of sores:
- Zinc sulfate creams seem to help heal sores and stop them growing.
- Lemon balm (melissa) can act as an anti-viral against the herpes simplex virus. Look for lemon balm essential oil or a cream prepared from lemon balm/melissa extracts to treat sores. If using the essential oil, apply it with a clean Q-tip to prevent possible damage to surrounding skin.
- Tea tree oil and aloe vera juice are natural remedies that may help to heal all types of lesions, including fever blisters and genital herpes sores. Again, if you are using undiluted essential oil, keep it away from surrounding skin in these sensitive areas of the body.
Hint: when using Q-tips to apply anything to your sores, take a clean one each time and throw them away immediately after. Don’t use the same Q-tip to treat more than one sore with home remedies for herpes.
Had Herpes? Found a remedy that helps? Please share what you know below!
- 30 Handy Home Remedies for Cold Sores
- The Recommended Anti Cancer Herbs
- Herbs for Gout
- Best Herbs for Hair Growth
- 5 Herbal Remedies For Acne