Herpes Simplex Virus is the name given to the viral infection which typically produces 'cold sores' or blisters around the mouth and/or genitals.
The herpes virus most commonly comes in two variations - Herpes Simple Virus#1 (common cold sores) and Herpes Simplex Virus #2 (commonly genital herpes.) The herpes virus can also cause chicken pox, shingles, Cytomegalovirus,encephalitis. We will concern ourselves with Herpes #1 and #2 in this article. Also, be aware a herpes viral infection is life-long, and incurable, at the time of this writing.
The symptoms are similar regardless of type.Typically a cluster of small, painful, itchy blisters on the mouth, or in the genital area.When the blisters burst they form a soft, open sore which is usually acutely painful, and contagious!. You may also experience feverishness, and general feeling of un-wellness (flu like symptoms) and swollen glands.
Genital herpes is usually sexually transmitted and can be transmitted to others even if no active symptoms are even present (called viral shedding.) Both variations of the herpes virus can be spread through skin on skin contact, especially if are present.
Women contract it more often than men, and often experience feelings of anger and embarrassment, sometimes depression. Because you haven't built up any antibodies your first attack will normally be the worst and an untreated outbreak will last anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks.You must avoid any sexual activity whilst you have sores or you may transmit the virus to your sexual partner.
Predisposing or triggering factors contributing to outbreaks may include localised irritation/trauma, sunlight, stress, hormonal disturbances including menstruation and pregnancy. Emotional trauma or other infections can contribute to a lowering of resistance and an increased likelihood of an outbreak.
Treatment with herbs can be highly beneficial as it is possible to address all the contributing factors with a synergistic combination of Herbal ingredients.
One herb that warrants special mention is St Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum). It has a particular affinity for the nervous system and the pain associated with inflamed nerve endings.The herb can be taken internally and can also be applied externally. As mentioned previously you may suffer from feelings of depression and St Johns Wort has been clinically proven to assist with depression. I believe there may be a direct link between the herpes virus and depression. Other herbs to consider are Echinacea, Cleavers, Pokeroot, Red Clover, Myrrh, Calendula and Golden Seal or Berberis.
You might consider removing any processed/ denatured foods from your diet as these tax your digestive system, which indirectly places a strain on your immune system as well. Drink 6 glasses of spring water daily if you can and cut out any alcohol, coffee or caffeinated/carbonated drinks.
If you are overworking or stressed try and slowdown and become aware of your breathing. Most of us breathe shallowly when we are stressed. Practise taking your breath down into your belly and holding for a count of 4 before breathing out as slowly as you can. Do this for a few minutes 2 to 3 times daily and you will feel your whole body relax.
You could also try using essential oils (Aromatherapy) to aid healing and relaxation. Bergamot, Lavender, Tea tree, Geranium, Chamomile,Thyme and Lemon are all useful.
You can add them to your bathwater or you can dilute them in a carrier oil such as Almond oil / Olive oil and dab them directly onto the affected area. Remember the skin around your genital area is quite sensitive so I would suggest a dilution of 1 drop essential oil to 2mls of carrier oil.Try and combine at least 3 of the above.If you are new to Aromatherapy then go and smell the oils and choose the 3 you most like.
Cell Salts are also useful and I would recommend Natrum Mur. Just use as directed on the bottle.
The amino acid Lysine is has also been shown to assist with herpes outbreaks. As soon as you notice any symptoms start taking the Lysine as directed on the bottle.Some people find it beneficial to take a daily tablet on an ongoing basis to help prevent is also very useful to boost immunity and you can usually buy a product which combines lysine and zinc and perhaps Vit C, just do a search while at Amazon.com.
If you think you've contracted the Herpes Virus the first thing you should do is visit your personal health care practitioner, to be diagnosed.