11+ Home Remedies for Herpes That Work and How to Use Them

 

Herpes comes in two types: oral herpes and genital herpes.

Oral herpes is a viral infection that typically affects the mouth and face, and is sometimes referred to as cold sores or fever blisters [1].

In this condition, the area around the mouth is dotted with pus-filled blisters that form a crust after breaking [2].

Caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), oral herpes is transmitted from one person to another through close contact such as kissing or by sharing things that can spread infected saliva like toothbrushes and eating utensils [1].

Genital herpes, on the other hand, is marked by the appearance of blisters in the genital area or rectum but it can also be found in other locations, typically on parts below the waist [1].

This condition is most commonly caused by herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) transmitted through sexual intercourse, but sometimes, it can also be caused by HSV-1 through oral to genital contact [3].

Don’t wait for your herpes viral infection to progress into something more serious before you do something about it.

Control it using these potent home remedies that have been proven by scientific studies to work.

1. Garlic

Many refer to garlic as the wonder herb, and there are many good reasons for this.

One is that garlic is a potent antimicrobial agent, inhibiting the activities of various strains of viruses, bacteria and fungi [4].

Susceptible to its inhibitory effects are E. coli, rotavirus, lactic acid bacteria and many others [4].

Those infected with herpes can also take advantage of garlic’s virucidal properties.

According to research published in the Planta Medica Journal, garlic has active compounds such as ajoene and allicin that works on herpes simplex virus type 1 [5].

Its actions are driven by its ability to prevent viral penetration or adsorption [5].

Using garlic can minimize both the frequency and severity of the infection.

It does so by destroying the cells of the virus and by activating the production of the body’s natural antiviral called interferon.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed

Recommended Directions:

  • Gently press crushed garlic on cold sores for five to 10 minutes.
  • Do this three times a day for two days.

2. Tea Tree Oil

Get rid of unsightly cold sores with the help of tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil has long been used in Australia to cure a myriad of health problems. Traditional healers mostly utilized this oil for relieving minor infections of the skin.

Recurrent oral herpes, which affects up to 40 percent of the population, can be resolved with 6 percent tea tree oil solution, reports a 2001 study [6].

Researchers from Italy report that tea tree oil’s antiviral activity against both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be attributed to the presence of terpinen-4-ol [7].

Various studies have shown that tea tree oil can inactivate this virus in the test tubes.

Keep in mind that test tube results are not always the same as those obtained in human trials.

There have been a few reports of skin irritation among people who use tea tree oil in their mouth and genitals.

Therefore, it’s much safer to consult your doctor first, or to test a small amount on your skin before using it for long-term.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine olive oil and tea tree oil.
  • Gargle mixture for one minute three times a day.
  • For genital herpes, apply a thin layer of mixture on genital area.
  • Repeat remedy once a day for one week.

3. Lemon Balm

There is a comprehensive documentation of lemon balm’s anti-herpes properties [8, 9, 10, 11, 12].

It has inhibitory effects on the penetration, adsorption and replication of the virus [10, 11, 12]. Simply put, it prevents the virus from getting into the system and multiplying to spread to other parts.

Because of its “lipophilic nature”, it can penetrate deeply into the skin and cause immediate effect [12].

All these are good enough reasons to use lemon balm for treatment of herpes, whether you’re suffering from oral or genital infection.

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of lemon balm oil
  • 1 cup of hot water

Recommended Directions:

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  • Let lemon balm oil steep in hot water for 10 minutes.
  • Wait for tea to cool.
  • Soak a cotton pad or ball.
  • Apply on blisters.
  • Do this three times a day for one week.

4. Licorice Root

Historical records show that licorice root has been used for viral infections since the ancient times in Greece, China and India [13].

Its active component glycyrrhizin has been tested and proven effective on viral diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, viral cirrhosis, influenza and pneumonia, among others [13].

It is also highly effective in combating both HSV-1 and HSV-2, according to several studies [14, 15].

A 1994 study reports that this herbal remedy can prevent the plaque formation of the virus, and that its active compounds are highly toxic to viral cells [14].

Researchers explain that glycyrrhizin works by preventing the virus from spreading, and at the same time, inactivating its course of action [15].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 tablespoon of water
  • 1 tablespoon of licorice root powder

Recommended Directions:

  • Mix licorice powder and water.
  • Apply paste on affected area of mouth or genitals.
  • Wait for two hours before rinsing.
  • Repeat three times a day until condition improves.

5. Peppermint

Most people use peppermint to freshen up their breath. But this is just one of the many benefits that you can enjoy from this versatile herb.

A team of German scientists confirm that peppermint has virucidal actions against herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2. In fact, it reduces viral plaque formation by up to 99 percent [16].

It was noted however that the virucidal effects of peppermint occurred before the virus penetrated into the host cell, and not after.

This means that peppermint should be used as a preventive measure, or at least, during the early stages of the infection.

Other studies done on this subject also release positive findings that indicate peppermint’s efficacy as treatment for herpes [17, 18].

The antiviral activity of peppermint depended on its concentration.

However, don’t use peppermint in large doses, as it has been reported to have a few minor side effects.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 drops of peppermint oil
  • 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine the two oils.
  • Apply mixture gently on affected area.
  • Follow this procedure twice daily for one week.

6. Coconut Oil

Coconut is cultivated all over the world for its multitude of practical uses, not only for industries and cosmetics, but also for the health.

Its oil is one of its many parts that are used for their therapeutic properties in traditional medicine [19].

Among the countless diseases that it can help cure is herpes.

An extensive review of antimicrobial studies done on coconut mentions that its oil contains a chemical called monocaprin, which can kill herpes virus within one minute [20].

Topical application of coconut oil, even in large amounts, has been found to be safe and effective.

You don’t have to worry about skin irritation and other adverse side effects.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 quart of virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Drink virgin coconut oil throughout the day.
  • Do this daily until symptoms disappear.
  • Apply coconut oil on open sores around the mouth or in the genital area.
  • Let it sit for at least 10 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
  • Repeat procedure twice a day for one to two weeks, or until infection is cleared.

7. Aloe Vera

For thousands of years, aloe vera has been utilized in Egypt, India, Greece, China, and Japan for its wide range of curative purposes [21].

Its long list of uses includes treatment of herpes viral infection.

Various studies suggest that it is an efficient treatment for herpes affecting the genital area [22, 23, 24, 25].

Clinical data from these studies confirm that it can successfully inhibit the growth and spread of herpes simplex virus type 2 [22, 23, 24, 25].

Because it has wound healing properties, you can be sure that any open lesions that you have on your mouth or genital area will clear more quickly without leaving any scars behind.

Not only does aloe vera help treat herpes infection, it also speeds up the recovery of your skin from wounds and sores.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 leaf of aloe vera

Recommended Directions:

  • Cut aloe vera leaf into two.
  • Squeeze out the gel.
  • Put gel on the sores.
  • Repeat remedy twice a day for three to four days.

8. Echinacea

Most people turn to Echinacea for colds, cough and other respiratory infections.

Did you know that it’s also a practical solution for herpes that you should definitely try if you want to get rid of this problem once and for all?

According to a study that can be found in the Pharmaceutical Biology, the stems, flowers and leaves of this plant have potent antiviral mechanisms that can protect against herpes viruses [26].

Some of its virucidal actions are due to its cichoric acid and polysaccharide components [26].

In another study that was published in the same journal, it was stated that that the root of Echinacea can also fight HSV-1 and HSV-2 [27].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 bowl of water
  • 1 teaspoon of Echinacea

Recommended Directions:

  • Add Echinacea to water.
  • Use a clean cloth to dap on the water, and apply on sores.
  • Use this technique once a day for one week.

9. Olive Oil

If you have heard of the French paradox, then you know about how the French would eat a lot of creamy and rich dishes but still remain slim and healthy.

Many believe that olive oil has something to do with this.

It is a widely held belief that it is the olive oil component of the Mediterranean diet that results in lower morbidity and mortality among those who consume this diet [28].

Needless to say, olive oil is very healthy.

Most of its benefits can be attributed to its oleic acid and phenolic acids that have been proven in scientific literature to be potent anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant agents [28].

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that some people also rely on olive oil to treat herpes infections.

The active compounds in olive oil demonstrate a broad spectrum of antiviral activities, which includes inhibiting the activities of herpes virus [28].

Not only would you benefit from cooking with olive oil, you can also treat viral infections like oral and genital herpes with it.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 5 drops of lavender oil
  • 1 teaspoon of beeswax

Recommended Directions:

  • Warm olive oil in a pan.
  • Add lavender oil and beeswax.
  • Remove from heat.
  • After the mixture has cooled, apply on infection.
  • Do this once a day for one week.

10. Chamomile Oil

Among the essential oils tested for efficacy against HSV-1, chamomile oil was the most potent. Amazingly, it reduced plaque formation of this virus by nearly 100 percent [29].

Another study performed by German scientists validates its inhibitory effects on HSV-2  [30]

It works before the adsorption of the virus, making it a highly viable candidate as topical formulation for the treatment of herpes infections [30].

These results indicate that chamomile oil is indeed a reliable solution for both oral and genital herpes.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 drops of chamomile oil
  • 1 teaspoon of almond oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine almond oil and chamomile oil.
  • Smear gently on infected sores.
  • Cover with cool towel.
  • Repeat remedy twice daily until cold sores are gone.

11. Honey

Honey isn’t just a healthy sweetener that you use in lieu of sugar.

It has long been recognized as an effective remedy for a vast array of health and skin problems, thanks to its antimicrobial, moisturizing and soothing properties.

If you’d like to get rid of recurrent herpes, honey can also help.

In 2003, a group of scientists from the United Arab Emirates conducted a comparative analysis of the efficacy of honey and acyclovir cream in treating both oral and genital herpes [31].

Out of the 16 adult patients who used both remedies, those who applied honey on their lesions reported quicker healing and recovery [31].

Apart from working more effectively, honey also had fewer side effects compared to the cream product [31].

Three of the patients who used acyclovir complained of local itching after a few days of use [31].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 glass of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Spot apply honey on oral lesions for cases of oral herpes.
  • Wait for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing off with cool water.
  • Don’t forget to dry completely afterwards.
  • For genital herpes, dilute honey in water and use it to wash the affected area.
  • Repeat these remedies twice or thrice a day until the sores heal.

12. Oregano Oil

A perennial herb that you can commonly find in North America, Asia and Europe, oregano is a popular spice in Western cuisine, and herbal remedy for many types of ailments [32].

Both traditional healers and modern scientists acknowledge the powerful antimicrobial properties of oregano oil.

It’s for these that oregano oil has become known as an efficient natural treatment for oral and genital herpes.

An experiment featured in Food Chemistry Journal reports that scientists from China and Hong Kong identified six new phenolic compounds from oregano [32].

These newly identified compounds have been found to have strong antioxidant effects [32].

They can also inhibit the activities of various types of viruses and bacteria, including those that cause herpes infections [32].

Researchers conclude that oregano oil is not only beneficial for those with herpes and other viral or bacterial infections, but also for healthy people [32].

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of oregano oil
  • 1 teaspoon of almond oil
  • 3 drops of oregano oil
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Mix five drops of oregano oil and almond oil in a bowl.
  • Soak a cotton ball into the mixture.
  • Spot apply the oil mixture on oral sores.
  • Leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing or wiping off with a clean towel.
  • For genital herpes, add three drops of oregano oil to water.
  • Use this to wash the affected area after bathing.
  • Follow these remedies two to three times a day for one week.

Whether it’s oral sores or genital herpes, you’d surely want to get rid of this problem right away.

Consider using these home remedies, which are not only safe but also effective.