Herpes is a painful and potentially embarrassing condition which can have a serious impact on the lives of those who have it. While there is no scientifically accepted cure for herpes, a variety of measures can be taken to help prevent and treat outbreaks when they occur.
Many prescription drugs are effective at combating the herpes virus and help alleviate some of the symptoms (such as sores) that occur during outbreaks. But for those looking for a more natural and at home way to treat the condition, what options are available?
Keep reading as we search for the best way to treat herpes from home by examining some of the available treatment options that can be utilized to help cope with the condition. While some of these methods may be helpful, they are not medically approved treatments for herpes, and you should always seek medical attention for serious cases of the disease.
It is important to be well grounded in the principles of basic care for herpes if you plan on trying to address the condition yourself at home. The U.S. National Library of Medicine internet service MedlinePlus has an excellent guide on herpes self-care.
The basic plan calls for gently washing sores with soap and water before patting them dry. Sores should be kept dry and not bandaged as air helps the healing process. Do not pick at the sores as this can lead to infection, and avoid using any creams or ointments not medically prescribed, as they may further irritate the condition.
The guide recommends taking common pain relief drugs such as ibuprofen to alleviate the pain. Applying a cold rag to the area (cool compress) can also help alleviate burning and itching.
The basic guidelines above are great for dealing with active cases and helping to minimize the suffering from a herpes outbreak. However, none of these basic solutions help to actually address the underlying problem. But there are a few at home remedies which hone in on the root causes of herpes and might be helpful with treatment and prevention.
The substance propolis forms on the buds of cone-bearing trees like poplar. Obtained from beehives, this resin-like substance has been used as a medical tool and healing remedy since ancient times. Studies suggest that a 3% propolis ointment may be more effective at treating herpes than traditionally prescribed acyclovir ointment. MedlinePlus considers propolis “possibly effective for [the treatment of herpes]”.
Propolis is readily available online and at health food stores. Another readily available supplement is the herb Prunella vulgaris, which has been shown in studies to combat the herpes virus by fighting both HSV-1 and HSV-2 antigens.
Because herpes is a virus, the immune system plays a massively important role in preventing outbreaks and combating them once they occur. As such, it is extremely important for those with herpes to keep their immune system healthy and functioning at a high level. An extremely comprehensive article available on the Harvard Health Publications website outlines excellent and scientifically backed recommendations for how to promote immune system health.
As it turns out, keeping the immune system up to snuff is quite the undertaking, with facets interlinking into nearly every aspect of the body’s health. The blueprint laid out by Harvard Health Publications is a recipe for a healthy lifestyle as much as a healthy immune system. It includes everything from exercise to diet to a laundry list of supplements for immune health, including popular items like ginseng, garlic, echinacea, and newer ideas like probiotics.
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