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Natural Ways to Help With Herpes

author image Vicki L. VanArsdale
Vicki L. VanArsdale is a freelance writer with a B.A. in communications from Rowan University and an A.A.S. in print and broadcast journalism from Ocean County College. She is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and a nutrition and wellness consultant through American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA).
Natural Ways to Help With Herpes
Fresh fruit is part of a healthy diet, which helps combat herpes outbreaks. Photo Credit fruits image by dead_account from Fotolia.com

Herpes is a highly contagious virus and sexually transmitted disease. Cold sores are caused by herpes simplex type 1 and genital herpes is caused by herpes simplex type 2.

There's no cure for herpes, but antiviral medications can help suppress the virus, which is dormant in nerve cells. Once the immune system is run down or stressed, the virus comes out of hiding.

For those who don't want to take medication, there are natural ways to help with herpes.

Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is the most natural way to combat herpes and lessen your chance of outbreaks. Eat a diet that is full of fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products and lean protein. Aim to eat foods high in lysine, since they will help inhibit the virus. Foods high in lysine include beef, chicken, cheese and yogurt. Alcohol and caffeine should be limited or avoided.


Proper rest is very important for herpes sufferers. They should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night and keep their stress levels to a minimum.

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There are many herbs that can help herpes naturally. They include red marine algae, astragalus, cat's claw, licorice root, spirulina, myrhh, red clover, St. John's wort, echinacea and burdock. Some herbs have side effects or shouldn't be used by pregnant women. Please seek the advice of a health-care practitioner.

Aloe Vera

Gel from the aloe vera plant can be used on herpes lesions to soothe and calm the area. It can also help heal the skin. You can grow your own plant or use gel bought from the store.

Cornstarch and Baking Soda

Cornstarch and baking soda can be used as powders to help soothe and control itching. They can be sprinkled into the underwear or dabbed on with a moist cottonball or Q-Tip.

Tea Bags

Use black tea bags to help control inflammation. They also have anti-viral properties. Use the tea bags as a compress a few times a day.

Ice Packs

Some people with herpes can tell when an outbreak is going to occur. They may feel a tingling or itching sensation. They can apply an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables to help numb the area and inhibit the virus.

Essential Oils

Essential oils such as vitamin E and calendula can help repair damaged skin. Tea tree oil can also kill germs and help dry up the outbreak.

Epsom Salts

Natural Ways to Help With Herpes
Photo Credit Salt image by lefebvre_jonathan from Fotolia.com

Magnesium sulfate, commonly known as Epsom salts, can be used in a warm bath for those with genital herpes. Epsom salts help soothe and control itching and inflammation.

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