anonymous on September 16, 2011

Are there any natural remedies for herpes outbreaks?

I’d like to know if genital herpes outbreak can be controlled with any natural or organic remedies that you know about?

answered by Terri Warren, MS, RN, ANP on September 16, 2011

That’s a great question that a lot of other people are probably asking, too. 

To answer your question directly, no...there are no known natural remedies to effectively treat herpes outbreaks. That said, some people find that they can soothe herpes symptoms in these “natural” ways: 

  • Applying ice to either a genital or oral herpes outbreak may provide both pain relief and a shortening of the outbreak...or it stop an outbreak altogether. The theory is that the virus needs a warm environment to grow and replicate. Some people think the ice interferes with that. 
  • Applying a moist, cool tea bag applied to herpes sores or lesions may also provide pain relief. 
  • Tea tree oil is another commonly used substance to soothe outbreaks. 
  • And what about lysine? It’s an essential amino acid that has been studied for herpes treatment...but its benefits are inconclusive. A small study from the Indiana University School of Medicine found a potential benefit, but other studies have not shown significant results. However, many people ask me about it, and some say it’s helpful in reducing the duration of an outbreak, or stopping an outbreak as it begins to develop. So, given that it’s a safe and inexpensive intervention, I don’t find it concerning when someone tells me they are giving it a try. 

While these or other methods may ease the discomfort of an outbreak, I would still encourage you to see a doctor for proper medical treatment and management of a herpes infection...depending on your unique circumstances.

Thanks again for your question. I wish you the best of health.

Related Info: 

Terri Warren, MS, RN, ANP

Warren is a Nurse Practitioner and owner of Westover Heights Clinic in Oregon. She is a renown expert and author in the field of genital herpes research, diagnosis and treatment. Warren was educated at Oregon Health and Sciences University and the University of Portland.

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