When you are dealing with herpes infection, it is important that you have a positive attitude, balance, and reality to help you in managing your life. Negativity and over thinking induces feelings of stress that can cause outbreaks instead of inhibiting them. Taking care of your physical body and your mind will help you in the treatment of the herpes infection faster and more effectively.
Let’s have a look at different approaches to reduce and control the herpes infection and outbreaks:
Since herpes is a viral infection, many of the medicines available are antivirals. These medications are described below.
Topical medicines combine antivirals with active ingredients that inhibits the spread of herpes and speed up the healing of the sores.
The most common and easily available topical medicines for oral herpes is Docosanol, which is sold over the counter as Abreva, and Lipactin gel. Both of these medications can speed up the healing process of cold sores outbreaks. They are however, not recommended as treatment for genital herpes sores.
The Penciclovir cream, which is marketed as Denavir, is an antiviral cream available by doctor’s prescription. It provides some relief from the itching and pain of oral herpes lesions, as well as aid in their healing process. Zilactin gel contains the anesthetic benzocaine, which relieves pain and itching, and creates a barrier that helps prevent spreading of the virus.
Also, taking an analgesic like aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen can also help to relieve the discomfort of active herpes sores, and is a good way to ease the pain of genital herpes outbreaks.
Prescription antiviral medications
The prescription medications on the other hand are probably the most effective way to prevent active herpes outbreaks from manifesting. When orally ingested, a number of antivirals have been proven to cut down on the frequency of outbreaks, and lower the severity and duration of outbreaks when they do occur.
All the antiviral medications perform almost same functions which is to slow down the virus’ reproductive activities. This gives your body’s immune system a chance to defend against the attack.
The original antiviral used in combating the herpes virus is aciclovir, which is marketed as Zovirax. Also, Valtrex (valaciclovir) is very similar to aciclovir and appears to be more readily absorbed into the body. Penciclovir was developed as a topical medication, but its sister Famvir (famciclovir) has given good results when taken orally.
Note: the doctor may prescribe different dosages of antiviral medications depending on some considerations like; whether you are taking them to treat the first outbreak, or recurring outbreaks, or for suppression of outbreaks before they happen.
There are some herbs and natural elements that have been shown to help slow down herpes viral replication and reduce HSV activities. By incorporating these natural remedies into your daily routine you could discover a safe and natural way to reduce the frequency and severity of outbreaks.
Olive Leaf Extract (OLE)
Olive Leave Extract contains a natural substance called oleuropein, of which research has revealed that oleuropein has significant effects on herpes. It helps to isolate the infected cells and prevent it from contaminating nearby cells. It also dismisses the production of critical amino acid needed to keep the virus alive.
Olive Leaf Extracts for herpes are also available, and are typically taken in capsule form. It is recommended that you ingest potent OLE of about 700-750mg to get the benefits.
This is an immune-boosting herb, and can be taken in either tablet, capsule or liquid form. This popular herb is known to help beat herpes outbreaks by boosting the immune system to stop the infection.
Thus, by providing your body with a daily supplement of echinacea, you can ward off herpes outbreaks with longer dormant periods, while the physical outbreaks on its own are less severe and painful.
Raw honey was a popular and common form of treating genital herpes until conventional medications took over in the 20th century. Only raw honey is recommended for the treatment since commercial honey can actually make the condition worse.
Honey can be applied as an ointment and helps by significantly reducing pain and crusting. Clinical studies have shown raw honey can effectively destroy 250 different clinical strains of bacteria, including stubborn antibiotic-resistant strains.
Some other popular and commonly used herbal remedies, that are used to fight off outbreaks and reduce severity of symptoms include:
- Aloe Vera
- Lemon Balm
- Bee products with propolis
- Siberian ginseng
Supplements and Vitamins
Once you discover that a particular supplement agrees with your body, it is advised that you stick with it for a certain period of time and take it consistently according to the dosage instructions.
Most compounds require some time before they release their full potential and set to work. They may not be able to prevent an outbreak if you occasionally take the supplement.
The Korean ginseng is a powerful herb which can help to rejuvenate the body from stress. It also help the body to recover from illnesses, as well as fight against the effects of toxins, such as alcohol and drugs.
Ginseng will help you if you:
- Have suffered from an illness, either now or in the past which may have left a significant effect on your body
- Are under a lot of stress and pressure
- Drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or take other toxins like recreational drugs regularly
- Don’t get enough quality sleep
- Regularly work your body to the point of exhaustion
When the body is stressed and the immune system is compromised, the body utilizes all available vitamins and minerals from your diet to help get it back to functioning at its optimum ability again.
Thus, when there are vitamin deficiencies, herpes outbreaks can occur frequently and be severely difficult to deal with. Ensure to include diets with lots of vitamins and minerals in your menu.
Also, fruits and vitamin supplements can perform this role of keeping your body in constant supplies of vitamins.
Diet and Lifestyle Changes
Taking good care of yourself and paying attention to any strain on your health is the first step to reducing the herpes virus outbreaks.
Research has found that certain foods can even trigger an outbreak for some people because of the high concentration of Arginine that such food contains. Some of such foods include nuts, chocolate, gelatin, brown rice and lentils.
Eating a lot of junk food and not enough fruit and vegetables can also affect your immune system, which can then affect your outbreaks. It is a good idea to maintain a healthy and nutritious diet to help keep outbreaks away.
In a situation when you consume immune-boosting foods, you are not only getting anti-viral benefits, but you are also getting the nutrition needed to maintain optimum health and wellbeing. Herpes-destroying foods includes:
- Fruits:apples, pears, figs, apricots, mangoes
- Vegetables:broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, potatoes, beans, beats
- Yogurt:without corn syrup or gelatin
- Meat:lamb, fish, beef
The Alkaline Diet
Furthermore, Outbreaks can be related to an imbalance of the acid-base relationship in your body. Drinking lemon water and reducing caffeine can help to improve the alkalinity levels of your system, which tone down the nasty effects of an acidic pH condition. Alkaline Diet helps to ward off severe outbreaks.
Acidic Foods to Avoid
An acidic pH level can trigger nasty and painful outbreaks and make outbreak symptoms worse. Cutting down on the following foods can help to keep your pH in balance:
- Junk/processed foods
- Added sugar
- Processed, white flour products
- Additives, artificial sweeteners, chemicals
- consumption excessive red meat
Do not underestimate the effect of stress on the body, because stress can be a big contributor to outbreaks. Thus, anything that may relieve stress and pressure can be helpful.
Engage in activities such as deep breathing, taking a vitamin b group supplement, herbal teas, reducing caffeine, meditation and yoga to help relieve your body of stress.
Sometimes stress are unavoidable, but one approach that may help, is to take a small daily dose of Korean Ginseng (Panax ginseng) or similar stress reducing supplements.
Also, eat Stress-Relieving Foods and empower your body with a healthy diet that can help you to manage stressful events in your life. Eat more of:
- B vitamin-rich foods:berries, prunes, whole grains, brown rice, mushrooms, bananas
- Antioxidant-rich foods:lemon, berries, prunes, green tea, ginger, kale, spinach, coconut oil
A herpes outbreak can be a sign that you are neglecting yourself in one way or the other and you need to get back to putting yourself first. So, the bottom line is for you to simplify your life, be positive, and be nice to yourself.