Herpes is a kind of infection that has no cure, but certain treatments, including home remedies, can help in relieving the symptoms. The most common symptom of herpes is sores on the skin. This infection commonly occurs in the mouth, genitals, and anal area.
As there is no known cure that can help in preventing its symptoms from occurring again, you can take the help of certain medications and natural remedies for herpes that can give relief to the types of herpes outbreaks.
Many people are able to reduce the inflammation, discomfort, and other symptoms of herpes by making certain changes in their lifestyle and by taking dietary supplements. But, these home remedies for herpes are also very effective in easing the symptoms of herpes.
It is always recommended to consult your doctor before trying any kind of alternative treatment for herpes.
Before moving to the natural remedies for herpes, it would really be good to get some more information about herpes and its symptoms.
What Is Herpes?
Herpes is an infection which is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus, also known as HSV. Herpes infection is of two types – HSV-1 and HSV-2.
- HSV-1 is the most common type of herpes and is also called oral herpes. It usually affects the mouth and is transmitted by oral-oral contact. This infection can lead to cold sores.
- HSV-2 is the most common cause of genital herpes and result in genital sores.
Both types of herpes can occur on the face or on the genitals. When this infection occurs, it activates the outbreak of sores near the area where the virus has entered the body. With time, the sores turn into blisters and make the condition painful and itchy.
If it is your first herpes outbreak, you may also experience bodyaches, fever, or painful lymph nodes. It can occur anytime and usually become less frequent over time. With the help of certain home remedies for herpes and medications, you can reduce the symptoms as well as the frequency of outbreaks.
Symptoms & Signs of Herpes
To diagnose herpes, the doctor will swab the area of active herpes infection, and if it is not active yet, the doctor will take a blood test to measure the number of herpes antibodies present in the body. These antibodies do not determine whether you have herpes or not, but they help in determining the response of your immune system to the presence of infection in the body.
Let’s have a look at some of the common symptoms of herpes. These include:
- Single or cluster of cold sores on the lips, inside the mouth, on the genitals, or on the buttocks
- These sores can be painful and rupture, causing fluid to be secreted out.
- Some sores develop a thin and white coating and give a burning sensation when touched.
- Around herpes cores, you experience pain, tenderness, redness, swelling, and other symptoms.
- Some people experience tingling and itchy sensations on and around the affected area before an outbreak of a sore.
- Some people experience fatigue, irritability, fever, or aches during herpes outbreaks.
Helpful Home Remedies For Herpes
While there is no cure for herpes, as well as, there is no at-home treatment for herpes, there are some natural remedies for herpes that can help in reducing or easing the symptoms of a herpes outbreak. In addition to this, certain changes to your lifestyle and diet can also help in faster healing. They can also be beneficial in preventing future outbreaks.
Hot Or Cold Compress
One of the most effective natural remedies for herpes is to apply a hot or cold compress. This remedy helps in easing the pain and itching sensation of a herpes lesion. If you apply a hot compress to the area around your lips, it will be quite effective in stopping blisters from forming during oral herpes.
Similarly, a cold compress helps in reducing pain and itchiness. You can make a cold compress at home. Simply wrap a smooth cloth around an ice pack and apply it directly to the affected area. You will experience great relief. It is recommended not to apply an ice pack directly onto your skin. It is also advised to wash the affected area gently with saltwater.
In one study, it has been found that applying kanuka honey to herpes sore outbreaks works effectively in treating oral herpes and acts as an antiviral cream for these herpes infections.
Though oral herpes can be improved within 1-2 weeks without any treatment, using honey can help in healing the sores within 8-9 days. Manuka honey can be effective for both types of herpes, HSV-1 and HSV-2. You can use manuka honey directly on the affected area without dilution.
Also Read: Amazing Health Benefits Of Honey
As per the numerous older studies, it has been proved that garlic has properties that can reduce the activity of various viruses, including both HSV-1 and HSV-2.
Allicin, a compound found in garlic, is considered to be effective in treating the symptoms of HSV. Though there is no clear evidence that garlic is helpful in preventing, curing, or treating herpes, it may help in easing the symptoms of herpes.
You can use garlic as one of the beneficial natural remedies for herpes in various ways. Like, consuming fresh garlic directly or in the foods, or you can take garlic capsules.
The various kinds of vitamins can also help in protecting your body against herpes and its symptoms. Due to this reason, taking foods rich in Vitamin D and E is one of the helpful home remedies for herpes. It is believed that if you have a low vitamin D in your body, you are more likely to get a herpes infection, as well as its chances of reoccurrence, also increase.
Vitamin D helps in making your body capable of fighting against infection by improving your immune system. Similarly, vitamin E helps in lowering the stress of herpes infections. The antioxidative properties of Vitamin E help in improving your immune system and hence will lower the chances of getting an infection.
The best way to increase the intake of vitamins is to make some changes in your diet, or you can take vitamin supplements. Try to add vitamin-rich foods to your diet. The choice is all yours. Also, vitamin D levels can be increased by exposing the skin to sunlight.
Apply Petroleum Jelly
If you are suffering from genital herpes, then applying petroleum jelly can be quite effective in reducing the symptoms of herpes as well as the discomfort associated with urinating. You just need to apply petroleum jelly to the affected area only. But, at the same time, keep in mind to wash your hands properly before and after applying this jelly.
Petroleum jelly can easily be available in the pharmacy. You can also buy other gels that are available specifically to treat herpes infections. Still, it is advised to consult the doctor before using any kind of gels on your affected skin.
If we are talking about natural remedies for herpes, then the list is incomplete without mentioning the requirement of dietary changes. Pomegranate has been used as one of the highly beneficial home remedies for infection for centuries. If you are dealing with a herpes infection, then taking pomegranate can help a lot in reducing herpes infections. Pomegranate contains zinc that works great in giving you relief from the symptoms of herpes.
In addition to including pomegranate in your diet, you must also increase the intake of amino acid lysine. The foods with rich sources of lysine include chicken, cottage cheese, pork, etc. You must not consume amino acid arginine. The foods containing this compound include soy protein, walnuts, fish, etc. So, try to avoid these foods when you have a herpes infection.
You must also avoid excessive smoking as well as avoid consuming red wine and caffeine. You must also keep a check on the food products that cause allergies to you. So, identify and remove these foods from your diet.
Use Essential Oils
Do you know that using certain essential oils is also one of the effective natural remedies for herpes infection? The essential oils such as thyme, rosemary, wormwood, cinnamon and basil oils, etc., help greatly in reducing the spread of HSV-1 cells.
In addition to the oral consumption of these essential oils, you can also use these oils in a diffuser and in bathwater. You can also mix them with diluted oil and apply the mixture directly to the affected area. It is important to use diluting oil because using essential oils directly on the sores may cause adverse effects. You can use almond oil and olive oil as the diluting oils.
Some people also found sesame oil, coconut oil, and jojoba oil as effective oils for reducing the symptoms of herpes infections. Thus, using these essential oils and diluting oils can help you to manage herpes symptoms and give you relief from pain and discomfort.
Apply Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a quite effective home remedy for treating various kinds of health and skin problems, including herpes infection. The healing properties of aloe vera may help in soothing and healing herpes lesions. You can use the aloe vera gel directly to the affected area without being diluted.
Simply take aloe vera leaf and extract the fresh gel. You can also use aloe vera gel available in the market, but using fresh gel will be more effective than store-bought gel.
Apply Witch Hazel
The antiviral properties of witch hazel make it one of the helpful home remedies for herpes. You can either use pure witch hazel or can use a diluted solution. Many people use it directly without experiencing any kind of irritation or discomfort. If you have sensitive skin, you are advised to use a diluted solution.
Apply Goat Milk
Just like witch hazel, goat milk also has antiviral properties that make it capable of working against herpes simplex. If you are looking for a natural remedy for herpes and goat milk can easily be available in your area, then you can use it without any second thought. Simply apply goat milk directly to the affected area.
As per the study, it is found that the antiviral properties of garlic help effectively in making your body able to fight against both types of herpes infections. Take a fresh clove of garlic and crush it. Now, mix this crushed garlic clove with olive oil to make a diluted solution. Then, apply this mixture to the sore directly. For best results, it is advised to apply this mixture 2-3 times a day.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is well-known for its anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. These make ACV one of the effective home remedies for various skin problems, including herpes infections. The best way to use apple cider vinegar to treat herpes is to mix one part of apple cider vinegar with three parts of water. Apply this mixture to the affected area.
Keep in mind that you should never use ACV directly on the sores as it may cause extreme irritation and discomfort and can also worsen the condition.
Use Licorice Extract
Licorice extract is also one of the beneficial natural remedies for herpes. It contains antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that help in treating outbreaks of herpes sores. Licorice extract can be applied directly onto the sores without dilution.
Do’s & Don’ts For Herpes Outbreaks
Before going for these home remedies for herpes, there are several things that you must know when an outbreak occurs. When you have oral herpes, these dos will help in easing the symptoms of herpes.
- You must wash your hands before and after you touch a sore.
- You must start using a new toothbrush.
- Try reducing stress as it can worsen outbreaks.
- You must not share your utensils, towels, or even lip balms with others.
- You must not kiss anyone while you have a sore.
- Do not try popping up or draining cold sores.
- You must boost your immunity by eating lots of fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep at night and drinking plenty of fluids.
These home remedies for herpes can help in lowering the frequency and severity of herpes symptoms. Also, making dietary changes can help a lot in this regard.
Also, keep in mind that these remedies are not a substitute for clinical treatment. So, you must also make an appointment with the doctor for the right treatment plan.