14 Home Remedies for Herpes That Work and How to Use Them

Herpes comes in two types: oral herpes and genital herpes. Today you’ll learn some simple home remedies for herpes viral infections.

These natural remedies will help you get rid of herpes outbreaks both oral and genital ones.

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.

In this post, you’re going to learn more about the following:

  • Some information on herpes, and how do you get herpes
  • Who are at more risk of contracting it
  • 14 Home remedies for relieving herpes outbreak
  • How to prepare them
  • How to use these home remedies for best results

RELATED: 18 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Cold Sores Naturally

Some Info On Herpes

Both type of herpes infections are highly contagious.

The first type can be transmitted through kissing or sharing of utensils, while the second one can be passed on through sexual intercourse [1].

It’s important to know that herpes may exist with or without symptoms.

Apart from the blistering sores in the body parts mentioned, other indicators of infection include:

In some cases, the viral infection can affect the eyes, resulting in a condition known as herpes keratitis.

Some of its symptoms are:

RELATED: 18 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Pinkeye

Who Are At Risk?

Herpes can affect people of all ages.

In the case of genital herpes, the following factors up the risk of contracting the infection:

  • Sexual intercourse with different partners
  • Weak immune system
  • Sexual intercourse without the use of condoms
  • Another sexually transmitted disease

14 Home Remedies for Herpes Outbreaks

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:

  1. Gently press crushed garlic on cold sores for five to 10 minutes.
  2. Do this three times a day for two days to get rid of oral herpes on lips.

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:

  1. Combine olive oil and tea tree oil.
  2. Gargle mixture for one minute three times a day.
  3. For genital herpes, apply a thin layer of mixture on genital area.
  4. Repeat remedy once a day for one week to get rid of mouth herpes.

RELATED: 11 Effective Ways to Use Tea Tree Oil for Warts

3. Lemon Balm

Lemon-Balm-for-cold-soresThere 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 as a home remedy for genital herpes or or oral herpes simplex.

What You’ll Need:

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

Recommended Directions:

  1. Let lemon balm oil steep in hot water for 10 minutes.
  2. Wait for tea to cool.
  3. Soak a cotton pad or ball.
  4. Apply on blisters.
  5. Do this three times a day for one week to get rid of herpes bumps.

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:

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

RELATED: 11 Natural Remedies for Pneumonia Plus How to Use Them

5. Peppermint

peppermint-oil-for-cold-soresMost 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:

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

RELATED: 12 Uses and Health Benefits of Peppermint Oil

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. Coconut oil is one of the best home remedies for vaginal 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:

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

RELATED: Coconut Oil for Herpes: How Effective?

7. Aloe Vera

Sliced of aloe vera leaf

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:

  1. Cut aloe vera leaf into two.
  2. Squeeze out the gel.
  3. Put gel on the sores.
  4. Repeat remedy twice a day for three to four days o get rid of herpes sores fast.

RELATED: 11+ Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Oil (Backed by Scientific Evidence)

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:

  1. Add Echinacea to water.
  2. Use a clean cloth to dap on the water, and apply on sores.
  3. Use this technique once a day for one week to get rid of herpes naturally.

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 as a home remedy for herpes outbreak.

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:

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

RELATED: Olive Oil on Face: 6 Benefits + How to Use It

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:

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

RELATED: 14 Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea (Backed by Science)

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:

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

RELATED: 10 Health Benefits of Honey (Backed by Science)

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:

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

Indeed, herpes can be a big boulder stopping you from doing many activities. It surely can hamper your day-to-day as well as your nocturnal activities.

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.

13. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar or ACV is a panacea or cure all home remedy. The powerful kitchen ingredient is a combination of acetic acid and alcohol.

Apple cider vinegar contains astringent, antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties to inhibit the growth and spread of herpes simplex type 1 and 2. This natural disinfectant can reduce the breakouts of herpes and the pain and irritations caused by the infectious disease.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of raw or mother ACV
  • Cotton swab or ball
  • Lukewarm water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Soak the cotton swab on undiluted ACV.
  2. Apply the ACV soaked cotton swab on the herpes sores .
  3. Let the ACV work on the affected area for 30 minutes.
  4. Rinse off the skin area using lukewarm water.
  5. If you experience too much of skin irritation, you can dilute ACV with a little bit of water.
  6. Repeat the home remedy for herpes 3 to 4 times daily for 3 days and get rid of herpes.

RELATED: Top 10 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for the Skin

14. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another natural disinfectant and works just as effectively as apple cider vinegar.

The oxygen molecule in hydrogen peroxide has antiviral effects on the herpes virus. The chemical can fight off the virus in the quickest possible time and relieve the associated symptoms of the medical condition.

You can either use hydrogen peroxide topically or as a mouthwash to get rid of herpes. Here are the methods to follow.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of food grade hydrogen peroxide
  • Cotton ball
  • Water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Soak a cotton ball on hydrogen peroxide and dab it on the herpes sores.
  2. Allow the chemical to work on the inflammations for 15 minutes.
  3. Wash off using water.
  4. Alternatively, dilute hydrogen peroxide on 1:3 ratio of clean water.
  5. Rinse your mouth with the solution to get rid of herpes cold sores.
  6. Repeat the treatment 3-4 times daily to get rid of herpes overnight.

Some Q&A About Herpes

Q. How common is herpes among the general public?
A. In the US, more than 50 percent adult has oral herpes or cold sores. On the other hand, genital herpes occurs in those who are sexually active and some groups of people are at higher risk than another.

Q. After the herpes virus has entered the body, next to what?
A. Herpes simplex and other herpes viruses create a small but permanent colony of viral particles in the body after they enter it. This colony is there for a lifetime, though, mostly inactive. The virus attacks suddenly. Outbreaks happen when an irregular lesion forms on the skin and then the problem continues.

Q. How do I self-diagnose genital herpes?
A. Usually, herpes stays in the body in an inert state. That is why people do not show any symptoms. However, mild symptoms may appear which can be mistaken for something else. Herpes sores usually appear as blisters around the genital areas. If these blisters break away and leave painful sores and if they take more than a week to heal then be sure that you have contracted genital herpes.
For starters, you can try using home remedies to treat herpes. However, if the symptoms really go bad then you should go and get yourself examined by a doctor.

Q. Does herpes affect pregnant woman gravely?
A. If you are an expecting mother, then it is very rare for you to pass on herpes to your child. Usually, a mother passes on the antibody to the child during pregnancy but they usually don’t pass on herpes. However, women who contract genital herpes during the third trimester of their gestating period are at a higher risk of passing herpes to their babies. Therefore, you should be very careful about it!

Wrapping Things Up

In order to prevent yourself from contracting herpes, you should abstain yourself from having sex with someone who may have it. If your partner and you are both herpes-free then you will not get herpes. Also, trying a healthy way to safe sex can help you from contracting or getting infected with herpes.

Let us know how you progress with the home remedies discussed here to get rid of herpes. Write your feedback in the comment section. Stay safe!

READ MORE: 12 Most Effective Home Remedies for Vaginal Itching