Herpes – Treatments & Home Remedies

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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If you have ever suffered from a cold sore, then you have been exposed to the herpes virus. The word herpes can be confusing to some, therefore, it is important to fully understand this virus, as well as the causes, symptoms and potential treatment options.

Treatments for Herpes

There are a number of trusted pharmaceutical treatments for herpes including topical antiviral creams and oral antiviral medications.

Antiviral Creams

Antiviral creams are particularly popular for oral herpes, such as the acyclovir ointment and penciclovir cream. These topical applications are considered more effective than oral antiviral medication, such as what is prescribed for genital herpes.

Oral Antiviral Medication

 In the case of genital herpes, it is important to take oral medication, as topical creams or ointments can often prevent airflow and promote a damp environment on the genitals, which can worsen the condition. Keeping the area dry and using antiviral medications like acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir is the best approach to the rapid treatment of herpes.

Home Remedies for Herpes

Using antiviral medication to neutralize the viral infection may be effective, but if you suffer continuous outbreaks or flare-ups, your body may become less responsive to the prescribed medication, which is why many people seek out more natural remedies.

Ranging from lifestyle changes to herbal supplements, some of the best home remedies for this infection include lowering stress levels, avoiding steroidal medications, reducing exposure to light, eliminating genital friction and eating a proper diet, along with the use of tea tree oil, aloe vera gel, manuka honey and oregano oil, among others.

Stress Levels

Eliminating stress is a known method of preventing herpes outbreaks; excess stress hormones have been directly linked to flare-ups of herpes, particularly the oral variety.


If you regularly use steroidal medications, such as an inhaler for asthma, this can stimulate the growth and reoccurrence of the herpes virus. And if you suffer from chronic herpes infections, this could be the reason.

Tea Tree Oil

Known as one of the most powerful antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal substances on the planet, a few drops of tea tree oil diluted with water or in a carrier oil can help to speed the recovery process following an outbreak.

Light Exposure

Excessive UV radiation on the face or lips  can cause a flare-up of these symptoms, so if you spend a lot of time outside, using sunscreen or UV chapstick is essential.

Oregano Oil

The active ingredient in oregano oil, thymol, is known to have powerful antiviral effects on the body, so even a diluted amount placed on the site of oral or genital herpes can eliminate the infection or cause it to return to a dormant state.

Genital Friction

Restrictive clothing that promotes perspiration in the genitals or constantly rubs against the skin will increase the level of inflammation in that area, making it easier for the infection to reappear.

Dietary Changes

 If you are deficient in any key nutrients, it can compromise your body’s immune system functionality, leaving you vulnerable to infections and flare-ups of this common virus.

Aloe Vera

The anti-inflammatory power of this gel is well known, and it can eliminate much of the pain and discomfort associated with this infection, while also neutralizing the underlying viral infection.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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