Do Certain Vitamins or Supplements Treat Genital Herpes?

Genital herpes is a chronic condition caused by exposure to the herpes simplex virus, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Both Type 1 and Type 2 herpes simplex can cause this condition, although most cases of genital herpes are caused by herpes simplex Type 2. This virus is spread through sexual contact, and you can contract this virus even if your partner has no visible sores or other symptoms. Although there is no cure for genital herpes, certain vitamins and supplements may help control outbreaks and other symptoms of this condition.

Vitamin supplements (Image: Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Talk to your doctor before taking any supplement or vitamin to treat genital herpes.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an important supplement for treating genital herpes, according to Dr. James Balch and Phyllis Balch, authors of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." This vitamin is necessary for the production of healthy skin cells, and may speed the healing of sores and other lesions. It is also an infection fighter and immune system booster, which may help the body stave off the effects of the herpes simplex virus. Talk to your doctor if you plan to use vitamin E supplements to treat genital herpes.


Garlic supplements may help reduce the severity and frequency of genital herpes outbreaks. According to Michael Castleman, author of "The Healing Herbs," Garlic contains chemical compounds called ajoene and allicin, which have immune system building properties. These chemicals may help prevent the spread of the herpes simplex virus. Garlic is also an antioxidant, which may prevent free radical molecules from causing additional damage to skin cells. Consult your physician before addressing genital herpes symptoms with garlic supplements.

Vitamin C

Like garlic, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, according to the Balches. This vitamin also enhances the function of your immune system, and may help minimize the spread of the herpes simplex virus. Vitamin C may help reduce the occurrence of genital herpes outbreaks. Talk to your physician before treating genital herpes with vitamin C.


Supplements containing the herb goldenseal may help improve the symptoms of genital herpes, according to the Balches. This herb offers antiviral and antibacterial properties, which may reduce the effects of the herpes simplex virus. Check with your doctor if you plan to treat genital herpes with goldenseal.

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