Herpes is the common name of Herpes Simplex Viruses or HSV. If you have sores around your mouth and lips, it can be herpes caused by Herpes type 1 (HSV-1). There is one more type of herpes, Herpes type 2 (HSV-2) which causes genital herpes. It is not that herpes type 1 cannot cause genital herpes but most commonly, it is caused by the type 2 virus. Persons infected with HSV-2 have sores around their genitals or rectum. Sores due to HSV-2 may also occur elsewhere but are usually found below the waist. Confused! Just understand that if you have sores in any part of your body, they may be Herpes caused either by HSV-1 or HSV-2. Sometimes genital warts are mistaken for herpes. The difference between herpes and genital warts is that while herpes is caused by HSV, genital warts are caused by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). Also, herpes shows in form of blisters and sores while genital warts look like skin tags or cauliflower tops. You can check out best remedies for genital warts here. As this article is about herpes, here are some home remedies for herpes.
Herbal Remedies for Herpes
1. Tea Tree Oil for Herpes
The natural antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal tea tree oil derived from the plant that is native to Australia has established itself as one of the best remedies for herpes and other sores. If you apply tea tree oil at the first sign of an outbreak, you may prevent the outbreak altogether.
- Tea tree oil- 1-2 drops
- Olive or almond oil (optional)- 1-2 tsp
- Wash your hands properly with a mild soap and water and then dry out completely.
- If you are using tea tree oil on your skin for the first time, use a carrier oil like olive or almond oil.
- Mix the carrier oil with 1-2 drops of tea tree oil.
- With the help of a dropper or a cotton swab, apply the oil on your sores. Take care not to apply in other areas.
- If you are used to using tea tree oil, you may omit to mix it with other oil and apply it directly over your sores.
- After applying the oil, wash your hands again.
- Do this 2-4 times a day.
2. Aloe Vera Gel for Herpes
Traditionally the gel taken out of the aloe vera leaf has been used for various medical purposes, one being skin conditions. Now many clinical researches too have proved that aloe gel can heal the herpes lesions effectively and fast. Aloe vera is composed of various antioxidants and is particularly helpful in reducing inflammation. It also contains natural salicylates which can help relieve pain. However, it is always advisable to use fresh aloe vera gel, from leaf itself if possible instead of the products that claim using aloe vera gel.
- Fresh aloe vera leaf (if you can’t get this, buy pure aloe gel and not the products labeled “contains aloe vera”)
- Wash the aloe vera leaf properly with water and your hands with mild soap and water.
- Using the knife, cut a slice out of the thick juicy aloe leaf.
- Know using the knife again, cut open the aloe leaf slice and take out its sticky thick juice.
- Apply this juice on your herpes blisters and sores.
- If required, you may use a sterilized gauze or cotton swab.
3. Goldenseal Herb for Herpes
Goldenseal has this dependable reputation in traditional medicine as a healing agent due to its components alkaloids berberine and hydrastine. Modern researches have shown berberine to have antibiotic, immune strengthening and anticancer properties. Goldenseal is particularly beneficial in treating viral skin diseases such as genital herpes and even shingles. It can be taken internally as a tea or applied topically in powder or tincture form.
How to Use Goldenseal for Herpes?
1st way to use goldenseal for herpes remedy: Tincture for compress
- You may either use tincture undiluted or diluted with water for herpes lesions.
- To use it in undiluted form, apply goldenseal tincture on your herpes affected area 3 times a day.
- Make a compress by soaking a gauze in tincture.
- You may also apply this compress on your lesions before going to sleep at night. You may use a tape to keep it in place.
- Remove the compress in the morning.
- If using on sensitive areas like genital areas, dilute the goldenseal tincture by adding 3-5 drops of it into a cup of water.
- Now soak your compress and apply on your genital herpes lesions.
2nd way to use goldenseal for herpes remedy: Dried goldenseal powder
- This can also be used for both type 1 and type 2 herpes.
- Take a small amount of dried powder of goldenseal herb.
- Apply this powder directly on the herpes sores and rub it into it with a gentle hand.
- Do this three times a day.
Warning: If you are a pregnant woman, don’t use goldenseal. Also, do not use this herb for more than two weeks at a time. Once used, give a break of at least 2 weeks before again using goldenseal.
4. Oregon Grape Root for Herpes
Oregon grape root can, in fact, be called a substitute of goldenseal herb. It is a strong anti-microbial herb containing the germ-killing component berberine. It also contains the same alkaloids as goldenseal. Chinese medicine uses this herb extensively. Today, medical herbalists use Oregon grape root but its dried leaves too had been used traditionally to treat various ailments including herpes.
- Oregon grape tincture- ½ – 1 tsp
- Water- ¼ – ½ cup
- Mix Oregon grape tincture with water.
- Soak the gauze in this water.
- Place this compress on your herpes lesions.
- Repeat 3-4 times a day.
5. Garlic for Herpes Remedy
Even Hippocrates, the father of western medicine, used garlic to heal a variety of infections. Garlic, the humble herb readily found in any kitchen, is one of nature’s best anti-microbial that kills a host of bacteria, viruses, and parasites, not to name herpes simplex 2 virus too. Researches indicate that allicin- ajoene is the plant chemical found in raw garlic which is effective in killing viruses. While you may use garlic daily in your meals, remember to use it in raw form too. Here are some ways on how can you use garlic to heal herpes.
How to Use Garlic for Herpes?
1st way to use garlic for herpes: Sitz Bath
- Garlic bulb- 1
- Boiling water- 1 liter
- Shallow basin or tub- 1
- Chop the garlic cloves from the bulb of garlic.
- Pour hot water over the garlic.
- Let the water cool down to room temperature.
- Transfer this water to basin or tub. The level of the water should be enough to immerse your genital region. If needed use a little more water.
- Now sit in this water for about 15-20 minutes.
2nd way to use garlic for herpes: Eat Raw Garlic
- Garlic cloves- 3-5
- Honey- 1-2 tsp
- Take the garlic cloves and mince them finely. You may even grind them or crush them to get a paste.
- Mix this raw garlic minced or paste with honey.
- Have 2 tsp of this mixture every day.
- After putting the mixture in your mouth, hold the garlic there as long as you can and then swallow it.
- As a preventive measure, you may have 1 tsp of raw garlic-honey mix every day to keep outbreaks at bay. Just when you see the first signs of the infection, start having two tsp daily.
After having raw garlic, follow it with a cup of echinacea tea which is also our next herbal remedy for herpes.
6. Echinacea for Herpes
Echinacea herb has been shown to be antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal along with having anti-inflammatory and immune strengthening properties. Hence, this herb can help you in treating as well as preventing infections due to herpes viruses. If taken after garlic and along with goldenseal, echinacea works faster to increase immunity, reduce inflammation and heal sores. Many researches have shown that echinacea may alleviate pain and discomfort due to by virus. A topical microbicide which contained phytochemicals obtained from Echinacea proved to be a good antiviral against strains of both HSV-1 and HSV-2 viruses. You may have echinacea in form of juice or tea.
How to Make Echinacea Tea for Herpes Remedy?
- Dried echinacea herb- 1 tsp
- Fresh ginger (grated)- 1 tsp
- Boiling water- 2 cups
- Place echinacea and grated ginger in a teapot. As ginger is an excellent anti-inflammatory, it will increase the effectiveness of this herbal tea.
- Pour boiling water over them.
- Steep for 15 minutes
- Add one tsp of lemon juice and honey each if using.
- Mix well and drink.
- You may have 3 cups of this tea in a day.
Start having echinacea tea at the first signs of an outbreak.
Warning: Avoid having echinacea if suffering from autoimmune diseases or if you are pregnant. If you are taking immunosuppressive drug corticosteroids, then also this herb should be avoided.
7. Lemon Balm for Herpes
Lemon balm also called Melissa Officinalis or just Melissa belongs to a mint family. Lemon balm oils and extracts have tannins in them. Tannins have strong antiviral properties. They also contain eugenol, which is an antibacterial compound. Eugenol alleviates symptoms of herpes by giving relief from painful sores. When you apply lemon balm topically, you get instant relief from swelling, itching, and pain. What’s more important is that lemon balm herb combats the outbreak or reactivation of herpes viruses.
How to Use Lemon Balm for Herpes?
1st way to use lemon balm for herpes: Tea for Compress
- Fresh lemon balm leaves- 3-4 sprigs OR Dried lemon balm leaves- 2 tbsp
- Boiling water- 2 cups
- Place the lemon balm herb in a pot.
- Pour hot water over it.
- Let it steep for 10 minutes or till it cools down to room temperature.
- You may drink the tea after 10 minutes or use it as a soaking tea for your compress.
- When the lemon balm tea cools down, take a gauze and soak it in the tea.
- Apply this compress to your herpes lesion.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day.
2nd way to use lemon balm for herpes: Lemon balm oil
- Fresh lemon balm leaves- 4-6 sprigs
- Olive oil Or Almond oil- 2 cups
- Glass mason jar with lid- 1
- Place the lemon balm leaves in the mason jar.
- Pour the oil that you are using over the leaves.
- Cover and let it infuse for 2-4 weeks.
- Strain the oil and store in a bottle.
- Apply this oil on your herpes sores whenever required.
8. Tulsi- Holy Basil for Herpes
Tulsi or the holy basil has been used since ages in India for general well being. Among its various properties, Tulsi can be mentioned here for herpes for its adaptogen, anti-microbial, antioxidant, immunomodulating, and analgesic properties. It is one of the best natural anti-viral herbs for herpes. Stress triggers an outbreak of herpes and as an adaptogen, tulsi helps your body adapt to stress along with promoting energy and endurance. Due to its anti-microbial properties, holy basil herb is used topically as well as internally to cure bacterial, viral and fungal infections including genital herpes.
Make Holy Basil Tulsi Tea for Herpes
- Fresh Tulsi leaves- 5-6 OR dried tulsi leaves- 1 tsp
- Water- 1-2 cups
- Boil the water.
- Add tulsi leaves to boiling water and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Put off the flame and let it steep for another 5 minutes.
- Strain and drink. You may add some honey if you want to sweeten it naturally.
- Drink 2-3 cups of this tea in a day.
If you want to use tulsi topically, just crush 4-5 holy basil leaves to make a paste. Apply this paste on your sores.
9. St John’s Wort for Herpes
Traditional herbalists have written praises for this herb, St John’s Wort. It is one of the best anti-viral herbs which is also good to cure nerve damage. You can use this herb if you already have those sores on your body. This herbal remedy will get you rid of itching, pain and discomfort within minutes to hours depending upon how your body reacts to it. You can even get rid of your sores marks and scars within days. While you can have St John’s Wort tea internally to build your immune system, for immediate relief you can apply herbal oil made from this herb.
Make St. John’s Wort Oil for Herpes
- St John’s Wort dried herb- 2 tbsp
- Olive oil- 1 cup
- Glass jar with lid
- Place the herb in the jar.
- Pour oil over it.
- Cover and infuse for 2-4 weeks.
- Strain and store in a bottle.
- Apply topically over your sores to get relief.
10. Prunella Vulgaris for Herpes
Prunella vulgaris herb also known as “self-heal” or “all heal” herb, is high on flavonoids due to which it gets its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-viral properties. Traditionally, Prunella vulgaris has been used to treat sore throats and gum diseases in the form of a mouthwash. It is one of the very effective herbs used by Chinese medicine and has come to be known as a soothing remedy for herpes by modern herbalists too. Prunella vulgaris has tannins in it which helps in reducing the moisture thus making it difficult for a virus to stay alive. If you want to cure your herpes naturally, you may make Prunella vulgaris oil for topical application.
How to Make Prunella Vulgaris Oil?
- Prunella vulgaris dried herb- 1 cup
- Olive oil- 1 cup
- Glass jar with lid
- Chop the dried herb.
- Place the chopped prunella vulgaris in the jar.
- Pour olive oil over it so that all of it is covered with the oil.
- Put the cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar.
- Now cover the lid.
- Place the jar out in sun or at some sunny spot of your home.
- Let the herb sit in oil for 3-6 weeks.
- Every day, open the jar and stir the herb. Then close and put in a sunny place again.
- After 3-6 weeks, strain and store prunella vulgaris in a bottle.
- Apply on your cold sores whenever needed.
11. Elderberry for Herpes
The flowers and berries of the elderberry plant have flavonoids in them. This makes elderberry an excellent antioxidant and immune system booster. While this herb has been used since ages for preventing and curing inflammation, cough, cold, and flu, modern herbalists have been using it also for curing herpes. It is especially beneficial in combating tough viruses like HSV-1 and HSV-2. Modern researches have shown elderberry components smooth out the minute spikes that are on the outside of viruses. This stops them from entering the body cells where they reproduce and grow just to burst the cell and replicate themselves. Thus, if you want to prevent viruses from penetrating and infecting your healthy cells, you may like to make this elderberry syrup which also includes other herbs that fight off herpes.
How to Make Elderberries Syrup?
- Fresh elderberries- 1 cup OR dried elderberries- ½ cup
- Dried echinacea- 2 tbsp
- Dried ginger root- 1 tbsp
- Cinnamon sticks- 1-2
- Honey- ½ – ¾ cup
- Water- 3 cups
- Cheesecloth/ fine sieve/ French press/ coffee filter
- Place all the ingredients except honey in a pan and heat it.
- Simmer the mixture for 30-45 minutes or till it reduces to half its quantity.
- Stir in between, now and then. Also, use the back of your spoon or spatula to squeeze the elderberries so their juice is fully extracted into the syrup.
- Once the syrup reduces to half, put off the flame and strain the liquid with the help of cheesecloth, sieve or your coffee filter.
- Let it cool down for 10-15 minutes.
- While it is still warm, stir in the honey.
- Store in a glass jar with a tight lid. You may want to keep the elderberries syrup in your fridge where it will stay for about 2 months.
While you can always have 1 tsp of this syrup daily to boost your immune system, increase the amount to 2-3 tsp daily once you see the onset of a herpes outbreak.
12. Licorice Root for Herpes
There are at least two components in this sweet tasting herb licorice root that help in healing herpes. One is glycyrrhizin which is an anti-inflammatory compound and the other is flavonoids that combats the growth of the herpes simplex virus. Chinese medicine has long used licorice root to treat viral infections. While the licorice root extract is easily available which can be applied to herpes lesions and sores, you can make your own licorice root infusion and tea to wash the affected area. Here is a recipe to make licorice root oil for healing herpes.
Make Licorice Root Oil for Herpes
- Dried licorice root herb- 2 tbsp
- Olive or sweet almond oil- 1-2 cups
- Glass jar with lid
- Place the licorice root in the jar.
- Pour the oil over it.
- Close the jar with lid.
- Let the herb sit in the oil for 2-6 weeks.
- Stir occasionally, at least twice a week.
- After 2-6 weeks, strain the oil and store in a bottle
- Apply on your cold sores whenever required.
These herbal remedies for herpes have used commonly available herbs so that you may be at ease while selecting and applying your choice of herbs to cure herpes. However, not all herbs will suit everyone. You need to experiment with one or multiple herbs for herpes and find out the best natural remedies that work for your herpes!