Understanding Your Options for Herpes Treatment
Herpes has been around practically since the dawn of humankind. Modern (a.k.a. “Western”) medicine has been around since the late 1700’s. Traditional medicine has been around at least for a couple of thousand years, if not longer; and the use of botanical (plant) remedies dates back at least 60,000 years according to the University of Minnesota.
When we have been diagnosed with herpes, most of us are offered pharmaceuticals to help calm an outbreak or use as a prophylactic so we do not give it to a sexual partner. Commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals for herpes include Acyclovir (Zovirax), Famcyclovir (Famvir), and Valacyclovir (Valtrex).
Pharmaceuticals can help with an outbreak once you have it, but they cannot make the outbreak just “go away.” Once an outbreak has begun, it has to run its course. Taking a pharmaceutical can reduce the duration and severity of the outbreak, but the efficacy can vary dramatically from one person to the next. That means that it may help one person significantly more than it helps the next.
In terms of prophylaxis (prevention), pharmaceuticals are not recommended for long-term use due to potential harm to the kidneys. For people with herpes who are sexually active with a partner who does not have herpes, this causes an ethical dilemma. Do you put your own health at risk by taking antiviral pharmaceuticals long-term, or do you stop taking them and put your partner at a higher risk for contracting herpes?
Technically, most otherwise healthy people do not need treatment for herpes in terms of their own health. Outbreaks happen and they run their course. They are unpleasant, but that’s about the worst of it. Exceptions to this are pregnant women and people who have compromised immune systems. These people should consult with a physician regarding appropriate pharmaceutical treatments. For pretty much everyone else, there are other options.
It is possible to help control the frequency and severity of herpes outbreaks through modifying nutritional intake – either through food selection and/or taking a supplement.
Yes, it sounds too easy, but it is backed up by actual science. This article published on the National Institutes of Health library website confirms that taking the supplement L-lysine can help to reduce the number of outbreaks, reduce the symptoms experienced during an outbreak, and speed up the healing time of lesions.
You can learn how lysine helps prevent herpes outbreaks here.
Botanical products have recently been rediscovered as a treatment for herpes outbreaks. One of the most effective plants is Melissa officinalis, also commonly known as “Lemon Balm” for its lemony scent. Lemon Balm has been scientifically studied (See article at Nation Institutes of Health here.) and has been shown to act directly on exposed herpes virus and has been suggested as an effective topical treatment.
Likewise, tea tree oil not only has been shown to have anti-viral properties against the herpes virus, but it also has pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties to boot. Peppermint oil has also been shown to be an effective essential oil in the external treatment of herpes lesions (See National Institute of Health article on tea tree and peppermint oils here.)
Understanding Your Options for Herpes Treatment
So, while pharmaceutical products exist to help with herpes, they are not the only source of assistance. For people who do not like to take pharmaceuticals, can’t take pharmaceuticals, or need a break or supplement for pharmaceutical treatments, natural alternatives for herpes such as taking L-lysine and using externally the essential oils of Lemon Balm, Peppermint, and Tea Tree can help significantly.
Calming Your Mind
Most of us don’t realize that we have a lot of stress that this can counteract our other best efforts to control our outbreaks.
Most of us do not rest well, and we carry around a lot of stress in the forms of negative self-talk and just keeping up with our crazy-busy lives.
My personal journey led me to The Gupta Program. The Gupta Program helps you calm your mind and body. It teaches you how to take advantage of the brain’s neuroplasticity, or ability to change.
Identifying our thought patterns that we have that do not serve us and only add to our existing stress levels – we are able to reprogram our brains through simple exercises.
The Gupta Program helps you identify those patterns. It also teaches you how to train your brain to have new, healthy patterns of thought that do not obsess over the condition.
It seems too simple to be truec, but once you learn these techniques, your stress levels drop, your sleep improves, and your body is less likely to experience outbreaks as often.