What better way to manage and treat herpes outbreaks than with prevention? Many natural herpes remedies consist of immune-boosting, antiviral herbs and supplements, and have studies to vouch for them. But others are based on rumors and speculation alone.
Natural Herpes Remedies: How Valid Are They?
Note: We’ve improved this information and sorted the remedies by topical applications and oral supplements. The new articles also explain studies. See them here:
Aloe Vera (Studied)
Research from 1999 showed that Aloe Vera cream helped heal genital herpes ulcers when applied to the infected area, and fast, in 70% of study participants. Aloe cream seems to work best, but freezing pieces of aloe and using them topically is another soothing choice. (Read more about Aloe Cream).
Baking Soda (Disputed)
Some say baking soda can improve the alkalinity of the body’s pH, which helps prevent outbreaks. Others use it topically for faster healing of sores, but warn that it burns. We’re not sure we recommend this one.
BHT is usually used as a food preservative for fats and oils, and that’s the only thing it’s approved for by the FDA. However, it has documented anti-viral properties and some herpes sufferers report success using it to stop outbreaks by taking it in small doses. Others warn that it may be toxic in higher doses. This is a remedy that is more controversial than others.
A derivative of cayenne, Capsaicin ointment, may help relieve pain of herpetic neuralgia when applied topically (only to other skin, not to genitals). A teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a glass of warm water is sometimes said to help stop outbreak symptoms.
Coconut Oil (Studied)
Coconut oil is a popular natural remedy. Its lauric acid is proven to have antiviral effects. The body converts it to monolaurin, which destroys the coating around lipid-enclosed viruses. Specifically, it has been shown to disintegrate the herpes simplex virus in in vitro testing. (Try: Nutiva Coconut Oil).
Another controversial home remedy for herpes that is inadvisable.
Epsom Salt (Pain Relief and Healing)
Most people know that Epsom salt can be added to baths to relieve muscle cramps. It’s also sometimes used as a natural herpes remedy to make herpes blisters heal faster. Just soak in a tub of it for 10-30 minutes. Epsom salt has lots of other health benefits, too. (Read more about Epsom Salt for herpes).
Grapefruit seed extract
Grapefruit seed extract is a natural disinfectant that also kills viruses, bacteria and fungi. It is generally considered to be safe for people who are not allergic. It is used by mixing one part of the extract with nine parts water and then dabbing this mixture onto the affected area with a cotton swab.
Hydrogen Peroxide (Disputed)
Some people report results from diluting food-grade hydrogen peroxide in distilled water. It’s doubtful that doctors would recommend this.
Lemon balm can be used by soaking a cotton ball with lemon balm extract and dabbing it on any signs of a herpes outbreak. Lemon balm tea can be used to wash the area as well. It’s available as a tincture, a tea, or in pill form (like these lemon balm softgels). Adding a bit of lemon balm to water everyday may even cut back on the amount of times you have a herpes outbreak. (Read more about Lemon Balm for herpes and where to buy).
Lysine and arginine are amino acids found in foods. Of all the natural herpes remedies, earmark this one now. It’s important to balance these in your diet so you are consuming more lysine than arginine if you want to have fewer herpes outbreaks. Read the comprehensive guide to Lysine for herpes here.
Manuka Honey (Studied)
High-grade manuka honey is the only type of honey discussed for natural herpes treatment. A 2002 review of Manuka honey’s antibacterial properties concluded that it was potentially useful for many types of wounds. It is used by dabbing it on the infected area several times per day. (Read more about and buy Manuka Honey for herpes).
Monolaurin supplements have been shown to reduce viral loads in test subjects. The body can also make this helpful substance by consuming coconut oil.
Neem is a medicinal herb that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine and is nicknamed “Nature’s Drugstore”. Neem oil is applied topically, and drank as neem tea. (Read more about Neem Oil).
Olive Leaf Extract (Studied)
Olive leaf extract is used to treat herpes by taking 500mg tablets. It contains elenolic acid, which has the ability to inhibit viruses. The tablets are reputed to relieve outbreak sores, increase healing time, and restore energy levels that may have been depleted by the virus’ active phase. One private study showed that olive leaf extract tablets treated an outbreak more effectively than prescription acyclovir, which just goes to show the usefulness of natural herpes remedies. (Read more about Olive Leaf).
Oil of Oregano
Reputed to kill viruses, this beneficial (but funny tasting) oil can be used by taking drops under the tongue and by applying it to the affected area. Dr. Cass Ingram’s book, “The Cure is in the Cupboard,” even recommends rubbing it over the area of the spinal column to help fight off genital herpes. Oil of Oregano is said to make the body’s pH level more alkaline. The highest grade oil of oregano will be labeled “P73” on the bottle.
Red Marine Algae
Specific types of red marine algae are immunity boosters with antiviral properties, especially known for being effective for virus sufferers. Red algae is usually taken orally in capsule form to prevent or stop herpes outbreaks from HSV-1 and HSV-2. (Read more about Red Marine Algae).
Tea Tree Oil
Of all the natural herpes remedies, tea tree oil seems to be the most popular and well-known. This herpes remedy has a reputation for relieving both oral herpes and genital herpes within hours. It’s a natural antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal that can boost immunity and fight off infections. (Read more about Tea Tree Oil).
Visarpa clay is an Ayurvedic treatment for herpes meant to stimulate the healing process and relieve pain. It is applied to the infected area as a paste, and is sold primarily online. (Read more about Visarpa Clay for herpes).
Vitamin C can be taken orally on a regular basis to stop herpes outbreaks, and applied topically to areas affected by herpes outbreaks. Read more about Vitamins for Herpes.
Zinc is used as a supplement or as a topical zinc cream. Studies have shown that zinc cream can deactivate the herpes virus and can inhibit the virus’ reproduction. There are also many zinc-rich foods you could add to your diet. (Read more about Zinc for herpes and where to buy).