Natural treatments for herpes simplex virus

February 23, 2012

Herpes, Natural therapies

Any time the body is weakened, the herpes virus may become active and form an outbreak.

by Dr. Paul Stallone — 

Anyone who has ever suffered through a herpes simplex virus (HSV) outbreak can attest to the roller coaster of emotions that can make the situation worse than it needs to be. It is unfortunate that something that affects nearly 80 percent of adults often leaves infected individuals feeling ashamed and frustrated about their condition.

Having herpes can feel like the entire world is judging you. HSV may leave you physically scarred, but it is the psychological scars that can cause the most damage. Children can be ridiculed, adults rejected and, because the virus can persist for a lifetime, the emotional pain may never subside.

Did you know?

  • Eighty percent of American adults have the type of herpes that is responsible for cold sores or fever blisters, 25 percent have genital herpes.
  • Fifty to 80 percent of people infected with HSV are undiagnosed and have no obvious physical indications.
  • Whether or not you have displayed physical symptoms, chances are you are a carrier.
  • The virus is contracted through direct contact.
  • There are eight identifiable types of herpes that contribute to a plethora of other health disorders.
  • The Epstein-Barr virus, also known as chronic mononucleosis, is a member of the herpes family.

There are two types of herpes viruses — HSV-1, which usually causes cold sores on the mouth and HSV-2, which is responsible for genital outbreaks.

Most herpes outbreaks occur when the immune system is compromised, which allows the virus to multiply. The virus typically lies dormant without showing symptoms until a person is exposed to certain stresses, like overexposure to the sun, personal stress, illness and fatigue. Most people are unaware that chronic stress can significantly weaken their immune systems. Any time the body is weakened, the herpes virus may become active and form an outbreak.

Herpes sufferers are usually left with limited options. While having herpes may be difficult, treating the condition conventionally can be outright disheartening. Conventional medicine claims there is no cure for the herpes virus, yet many prescription drugs are available that attempt to reduce outbreaks or speed up recovery time. Few work, however, and the ones that do can be expensive and/or cause serious side effects.

Natural prevention and treatments include careful hand-washing and most importantly, supporting the immune system so that the body is able to defend against all invading viruses. Several natural options are available for controlling the herpes virus. One person with herpes reacts differently to treatment than the next person, and most find a customized approach is much more effective than the conventional one-size-fits-all mentality.

Many people find comfort and a faster recovery time with the topical salves listed below. Both types of HSV respond well to the following alternative treatments, and anyone suffering from herpes should consider trying them.

Tea tree oil — This powerful, yet natural, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal substance has been hailed as a reliable and dependable remedy when it comes to any type of open sores. Diluted tea tree oil speeds up recovery, soothes the area almost instantly and can even be used as a preventative measure to help control outbreaks. A few drops of this oil applied directly to the area can provide instant relief, but it should not be taken orally.

Lemon balm — This balm has a long reputation for having calming properties. It is antibacterial and antiviral. Apply the cream directly to the outbreak, or brew lemon balm tea bags and place on the area.

To orally defend against outbreaks, a healthy immune system is essential. Echinacea, vitamin C, L-lysine and zinc are some of the nutrients that help strengthen your immune system. Many sufferers find inexpensive relief by taking L-lysine daily, which may prevent outbreaks by suppressing the herpes virus.

As stress can severely weaken the immune system, many find relief by managing their stress. Those living with the herpes virus should refrain from eating foods that contain high amounts of L-arginine. This is found in peanuts and peanut butter, chocolate, caffeinated drinks and others. L-arginine actually feeds the virus and encourages more rapid growth and spreading.

In order to get the right dose and combination of nutrition, it is important to work with a knowledgeable physician who can tailor an individualized supplement plan. The natural treatments described above are effective, safe and lack the unpleasant side effects often experienced with synthetic medications.

While supplements can be extremely helpful in preventing outbreaks, increasing recovery time and providing relief to an existing outbreak, they must be carefully selected and recommended by a trained practitioner.

While two people can have exactly the same symptoms, they may need entirely different treatments. Your physician may even recommend a treatment like intravenous ozone, which can control the virus. This time-tested treatment has given some sufferers a chance to be outbreak free for years.

Paul Stallone, N.M.D., founded the Arizona Integrative Medical Center, located at 8144 E. Cactus Road, Ste. 820, Scottsdale, Ariz. He combines natural, alternative and conventional treatments to best fit each patient’s needs. www.drstallone.com or 480-214-3922.

 

Reprinted from AZNetNews, Volume 30, Number 6, Dec/Jan 2012.

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