Home Remedies for Herpes: Reducing Outbreaks
A number of at home remedies exist to prevent the likelihood of a herpes outbreak. Outbreaks can be caused by a number of environmental and physiological factors such as:
- Physical or emotional stress
- Weather (UV rays, cold, heat, or wind)
To help reduce the transfer of HSV: minimize the chance of an outbreak by getting good rest, reducing stress, eating healthy foods to help your immune system, and protect yourself from harsh weather (e.g. sun, wind, hot, and cold).
Home Remedies for Herpes: Treating Symptoms
At home treatments and over-the-counter medications can be used to help with symptoms of herpes. Generally it is helpful to keep the affected areas dry to help sores heal over faster. Home remedies for herpes include:
- Painkillers (e.g. acetaminophin, aspirin, ibuprofen).
- Icing the area(s) that are affected or applying a cold compress. Do not apply ice directly to skin.
- Getting sufficient rest.
- Air circulation (wearing loose fitting clothes to dry sores during genital outbreaks).
- Rinsing with warm salt water (dry affected area afterwards with a towel or hair dryer).
- Blistex can help with oral herpes and genital herpes
Home Remedies for Herpes: Natural supplements and medications
Natural remedies are anecdotal and not approved by the FDA, but can be worth a try. These options include:
- Propolis is a waxy substance produced by bees. Early research on using propolis to treat herpes has promising results and it may be more effective than acyclovir
- Prunella vulgaris (also called self-heal or heal-all) is an herb that can fight against HSV due to its anti-viral, immune-supportive, and stress-reducing properties that also help maintain skin health
- Rozites caperata (a mushroom) has been found by a research group from the University of Wisconsin Madison, WI to contain an anti-viral protein that inhibits the herpes virus.
- Echinacea has anti-viral properties and can give the immune system a boost. Echinacea can be taken as a tea, juice, or pill. According to WebMD this supplement does not perform better than placebo.
- Baking Soda can help get rid of sores sooner by drying them out, although there are no scientific studies supporting its use. Apply baking soda with a cotton ball.
- Olive Oil can help soothe sores. It’s active antiviral ingredient is Oleuropein.
- Epsom Salt Baths help dry the skin and relax the body.
- Aloe Vera gel can help heal and soothe sores from herpes and has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties..
- Tea Tree Oil is sometimes used to help heal ulcers in your mouth. It can also help heal blisters and sores caused by the herpes virus, but do not take internally or apply undiluted as it can be harmful.
- Lemon Balm contains acids and flavonoids that might help heal blisters and sores. Teas, ointments and creams can be used to bring relief and help heal.
- Black Tea has some anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties via a compound called theaflavin. You can apply the steeped bags (after letting them cool) directly to sores to help them heal. Other tea compresses can be tried as well including: lemon, peppermint, cinnamon, ginger, chamomile, or mint. Green tea in particular has proven anti-viral properties.
- Black Coffee might help for oral herpes sores and blisters. Topical caffeine has been shown to increase herpes blister healing, but drinking coffee can add to outbreak-inducing stress
Talking to a Doctor
Home remedies for herpes might not accomplish the desired effect, prescription medications also exist that can help heal symptoms, reduce outbreaks, and decrease the severity of symptoms. Talk to a PlushCare doctor today about possible medications for herpes treatment.
Book an appointment with a top US doctor today.
Read More About Home Remedies For Herpes
- How to Get Rid of Cold Sores Fast
- How Long Does a Herpes Outbreak Last?
- What are the Herpes Stages?
- Here’s What You Need to Know About Herpes
- Department of Health (WA). Genital Herpes. Accessed September 29, 2019 at https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/F_I/Genital-herpes
- Harvard Health. Genital herpes: Common but misunderstood. Accessed September 29, 2019 at https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Genital_herpes_Common_but_misunderstood