Genital herpes can be caused by either Herpes simplex virus (HSV) Type 1 or Type 2 but is primarily caused by Type 2.
Like any virus in this family these can remain latent in the body. Recurrence of genital lesions will be greater if due to Type 2 and can reoccur after any stimuli, including fatigue, stress, sexual activity, menstruation, food allergies etc. If a lesion is present then
the virus is in its active stage.
See page on ‘Cold sores’.
The best defence against recurrence is to improve the body’s immune system and all the usual points apply, i.e. a good diet, adequate rest and avoidance of chemicals, colourings, preservatives etc. However, extra precautions can be taken specifically to keep the body resistant to the Herpes virus.
Supplementing the diet with Zinc, vitamin C, vitamin A and lysine are all helpful. Of these, lysine is probably the most effective once it becomes apparent that a flare up is imminent. Lysine works by inhibiting the growth of the Herpes virus. Take up to 2 -3 gms daily if the virus is active and 500mg otherwise but it is not a good idea to take this continually.
Some herbals can also help prevent herpes virus becoming troublesome. A study reported in 1990 found that Hypericine (St. John’s Wort) was virucdial to enveloped viruses, such as the herpes family of viruses, some types of influenza, common cold, mumps and measles. (Tang J.et al: Antiviral.Res 1990).
I have definitely found that while a person is taking St John’s Wort for perhaps
other reasons they are unlikely to be bothered by cold sores.
Other herbals such as rye grass extract and Astragalus also appear to help prevent
Externally an extremely effective application is extract of Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm), which can be made up as a cream (usually mixed with Licorice or Glycyrrhizic acid) or used direct to the skin.
This generally reduces the pain and swelling very quickly. It can also be used internally at a dose of 2-3ml taken in water twice daily. Both Licorice and Melissa have the effect also of inhibiting the growth of the herpes virus.
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