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Herpes is triggered by two different viruses: herpes simplex type 1 (HSV1) and herpes simplex type 2 (HSV2). HSV1 is responsible for cold sores, HSV2 for genital herpes, although other parts of the body can generally also be affected by the viruses.
Home remedies for herpes mainly help with the first signs, but can also be used for prevention. When talking about herpes, it is generally meant to affect the lips. The agents listed below can also be used to increase the immune system in genital herpes. However, the tips for external treatment are only intended for type 1, cold sores. If you have an infection in the genitals, you should definitely consult a doctor.
Herpes is spread from person to person through the so-called smear infection. The saliva of a sick person gets on the mucous membrane of a healthy person, for example through kissing or sexual intercourse. In other parts of the body, the contents of a scratched cold sore can infect a healthy person's skin. This disease can also be transmitted by drinking from the same glass. The herpes viruses need moisture to be contagious. If they dry out, they die. The first infection, the so-called primary infection, usually occurs in childhood. The herpes viruses have the gift to remain in the body after a disease that has already passed through. If the immune system is weakened, for example by a cold, stress or menstruation, these little beasts can come back to life. Disgust is also repeatedly discussed as the cause. It is not primarily disgust that is responsible here, but the immune system weakened by disgust.
A primary infection, especially in children, is reminiscent of a severe viral infection with a high fever, headache, malaise and fatigue. The typical herpes symptoms may be missing. Reactivation is much weaker. Often there are no general symptoms. The affected areas itch and tingle in the initial phase. Then pain occurs - the blisters wet. This can be very uncomfortable at times. Eating and drinking is made more difficult. The lymph nodes in the area of the jaw are swollen.
With genital herpes, pain occurs when urinating - here the lymph nodes in the groin area are swollen.
The various home remedies
Herpes breaks out when the immune system is "in the basement". However, if the defense is intact, the viruses continue to persist without causing mischief. Home remedies for herpes should primarily serve to strengthen the immune system. In the following lines, means are presented that strengthen the immune system but are also used in acute cases. Furthermore, the most diverse home remedies are described that can relieve herpes and shorten the outbreak.
Manuka honey is a very special honey. It can be used both internally and externally. It strengthens the immune system, helps with inflammation in the mouth and has a positive effect on the intestinal flora. This healthy honey is a good home remedy for herpes. To strengthen the immune system, one teaspoon is taken three times a day. The honey should slide down the throat very slowly. In addition, the bubbles are dabbed. Do not lick - even if it is difficult. This helps best if the honey can act overnight.
Propolis is the cement resin of bees. This has an anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and healing effect. Propolis can be taken, but can also be used externally. Propolis increases defense and is also used as a home remedy for herpes when blisters are already visible. The drops are taken and additionally dabbed onto the affected areas. Ointments and gels containing propolis are also available for external use.
Everyone is talking about lemon balm when it comes to treating herpes. Melissa has an antiviral effect and additionally protects against the ingress of viruses. In the pharmacy, ointments are available that contain a highly concentrated lemon balm extract. However, if you prefer to work yourself, you can make a lemon balm. A quarter liter of boiling water is poured over 25 grams of lemon balm leaves. After about ten minutes, the strain is removed and the affected area is dabbed several times a day. At the same time, the tea should also be used from the inside. To do this, a heaping teaspoon of fully dried lemon balm leaves is brewed with a quarter liter of boiling water and strained after about seven minutes. Three cups of the tea are drunk daily If you have the lemon balm in the garden, you can of course use it fresh. A little more is always needed from the fresh leaves than from the dried version. The leaves can also be plucked in the garden and applied as they are to the affected area.
Black tea is one of the old and very easy to use home remedies for herpes. The tannins it contains have an anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect. To tackle the uncomfortable cold sores, a tea bag of black tea is brewed, taken out of the water after about five minutes, cooled and then placed a little in the refrigerator. This cool black tea compress, placed several times a day on the affected areas for a few minutes, takes away the pain and has a healing effect.
Tea made from chamomile, lemon balm and thyme
Together, these three herbs are an effective home remedy for herpes. They are mixed in equal parts and a tablespoon full of a quarter liter of boiling water is scalded. The tea is ready after ten minutes. If this is lukewarm, the painful areas can be dabbed several times a day. It is best to use a compress or a small cloth.
Echinacea, also known as the coneflower, boosts the immune system and works against inflammation. This is a home remedy that has its right to exist both for prevention and in the acute phase. To strengthen the immune system, Echinacea is best used in a so-called rocking therapy: three days in a row - three days break - three days in, etc. After three weeks there is a week break. Then a treatment cycle can follow again.
In the acute phase, Echinacea should be taken daily, but not continuously for more than two weeks.
Garlic is an ancient home remedy - also applicable to herpes. The application is very simple. One toe is cut open and pressed gently on the affected areas several times a day. Doesn't smell good, but can provide relief.
Black cumin oil
Black cumin oil is used today effectively in the treatment of allergies, neurodermatitis, psoriasis (psoriasis) and to strengthen the immune system. This oil is also helpful for gum diseases, such as periodontitis. For herpes blisters, a cream that contains this substance and is available in any pharmacy is also worth trying. It is best to also take black cumin - ideally in capsule form.
Aloe vera is a medicinal plant that is now known as a versatile home remedy. So also with the treatment against herpes. Aloe Vera has an anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant and healing effect. The aloe vera gel cools and soothes the annoying blisters on the skin. When buying, it is essential to pay attention to purity.
Myrrh is an ancient healing and home remedy. Myrrh has a disinfectant and astringent effect. Myrrh tincture, dabbed several times a day, burns a little, but contributes to healing. Myrrh tincture can also be mixed well with chamomile tincture.
If you don't like the taste of myrrh, you can use clove oil. This oil is especially known for use in toothache. However, the essential oil is also worth trying for herpes. This is best applied in the smallest quantities using a cotton swab.
A healthy gut
A healthy intestine is a prerequisite for a healthy body. Most of the human immune system sits there. If the intestinal flora is in imbalance, that is, pathogenic germs gain the upper hand and thus drive away the healthy, vital bacteria, the immune system suffers. Then the herpes virus also has the freedom to break out.
To prevent this, care should be taken to ensure healthy intestinal flora. If you suffer from herpes infections frequently, a stool examination is recommended to uncover a possible imbalance in the intestine. If this is the case, an intestinal rehabilitation is recommended in naturopathic practice. Simple home remedies for a healthy intestinal environment are fiber-rich food, lots of fruits and vegetables, little meat and sausage, yogurt with right-handed lactic acid, pot of bread drink, sauerkraut and teas such as fennel, chamomile, anise and coriander.
Vitamins and trace elements
The trace element zinc is indispensable to prevent the outbreak of a herpes infection or to bring it to a quick end. Zinc ensures a healthy defense. Especially during stress and / or intensive sports, a lot of it is needed.
This extremely important trace element is contained in the following foods: Dark meat, eggs, dairy products, whole grains, legumes and nuts. Often, however, the zinc ingested through food is insufficient and zinc must be taken in the form of a dietary supplement. In the case of herpes, the blisters are additionally supplied with a suitable zinc ointment.
Furthermore, vitamin C and the B vitamins are important to prevent and fight herpes. Vitamin C is contained in citrus fruits, rose hips, currants, strawberries, kiwis, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, radishes and potatoes. In times of increased need, such as during stress or after surgery, a substitution in the form of a dietary supplement may be required. Here are acerola teas, which contain the vitamin C from the acerola cherry, a healthy and tasty variant.
The vitamin B complex is especially important for the nervous system, metabolism, psyche and cell protection. Since the herpes viruses are mainly in the area of the nerves, those affected should be adequately supplied with vitamin B. This is contained in whole grains, dairy products, wheat germ, legumes and yeast. But also here an additional intake of a vitamin B complex may be necessary. Doctor, pharmacist or alternative practitioner are available to provide advice.
The vitamins and trace elements mentioned serve to maintain a healthy defense, but are also recommended in the event of an outbreak of herpes, ideally with the first symptoms.
Minimize stress - combat susceptibility to stress
Minimize stress - that's easy to say. However, stress, if it is perceived as negative, can put a lot of strain on the body and bring the immune system to its knees. Recurring rest phases, relaxation techniques such as yoga or autogenic training can reduce the susceptibility to stress. Regular walks and moderate sports, which should above all be fun, also help. Lavender tea calms, clears your head a little and helps to relax.
Herpes in naturopathic practice
Herpes therapies such as autologous blood therapy, acupuncture, Schuessler salts and phytotherapy are used in naturopathy. Patients are also recommended home remedies for herpes, such as the aforementioned Manuka honey or propolis.
Prevention includes all measures that strengthen the immune system. In order not to get infected with herpes, you should not drink from the same glass, not use the same towels and - even if this is difficult - kissing should be reduced. However, if any caution has failed and the herpes virus reports, the home remedies for herpes mentioned can serve well.
Treatment by conventional medicine
When treating herpes, conventional medicine may also use antivirals to alleviate the course. In parallel to this treatment, home remedies for herpes are also very useful. They alleviate the pain, stimulate healing and thus additionally shorten the duration of the illness. (sw)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Susanne Waschke, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
- Petra Koczy, propolis against lip sores, short and sweet studies, Carstens Foundation, Carstens Foundation
- Anti-infectives - guidelines for therapy and prophylaxis, medication commission of the Ulm University Hospital, status 2009
- Hermann Trinkkeller: Dermatological and medical cosmetics, 2nd edition, Springer Medizin Verlag, 2007
- Ben-Erik van Wyk, Coralie Wink, Michael Wink: Handbook of Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Guide, Scientific Publishing Company, 2003