Living Down the Stigma of Herpes: Dr. Paul Stallone shares some natural prevention and treatment options.
May 31, 2013 11:37AM
By Paul Stallone, NMD
It's unfortunate that something that affects nearly 80 percent of adults often leaves the victim ashamed, frustrated and quiet about their condition. Anyone that has ever suffered through a herpes outbreak can attest to the roller coaster of emotions that can make the situation worse than it needs to be.
Having a cold sore can feel like the entire world is staring and judging you. Herpes can leave us physically scarred, but it's the psychological scars that can cause the most damage. Children can be ridiculed, adults rejected, and because the virus has the ability to remain with us for a lifetime, the emotional pain can be experienced during all phases of life.
Most herpes outbreaks happen when the immune system is compromised, and the virus is able to cause an outbreak. The virus typically lies dormant without showing symptoms until a person is exposed to certain stressors, such as overexposure to the sun, personal stress, illness and fatigue. Any time the body is weakened, the herpes virus may become active and form a cold sore.
Herpes sufferers are usually left with limited options. While having the ailment can be difficult, treating the condition conventionally can be outright disheartening. Conventional medicine states that there is no cure for the herpes virus, yet there are many prescription drugs that attempt to reduce outbreaks or speed up recovery time. Few of them work, and the ones that do can be expensive or cause serious side effects.
Natural prevention and treatments include careful hand washing and mostly importantly, supporting the immune system, so that the body is able to defend against all invading viruses. There are several natural options for controlling the herpes virus. One person with herpes is different than the next, so most find that a customized approach is much more effective than the conventional, one-size-fits-all mentality.
Tea tree oil has been hailed as a veritable cure-all when it comes to any ailment that involves open sores. Most tea tree oil is concentrated and distilled for maximum potency, so only a small amount is needed for its effects to occur. It is commonly used to treat canker sores, sore throats (take a small glass of water with a few drops of the oil in it and gargle) and with healing herpes sores outbreaks. Simply use the eyedropper that comes with the bottle and use a single drop of the oil on the infected area.
Lemon balm provides relief for some when applied as a topical ointment. A 1993 study involving 115 people afflicted by fever blisters or genital ulcers applied a cream containing lemon balm extract to their affected areas, five times a day. Eight days later, the subjects were examined and it was determined that healing of the infected lesions took place in 96 percent of the group. It is believed that the presence of caffeic, rosmarinic and ferulic acids present in lemon balm lends the herb its antiviral properties. Also, thuja cream and propolis can be put directly onto the skin to soothe the irritation caused by the blisters, as well as combat herpes itself.
To reverse herpes, as well as defend against its return, a healthy immune system is vital. Echinacea, vitamin C and zinc are some of the nutrients that help build healthy immunity. Another thing to note is that anyone fighting the herpes virus should refrain from eating foods that contain high amounts of L-arginine, as is found in peanuts and peanut butter, chocolate and caffeinated drinks. It actually feeds the virus and encourages more rapid growth and spreading.
In order to get the right dose and combination of nutrition, it is important to see a practitioner that can ensure the treatment is tailored for each individual. While two people can have exactly the same symptoms, they may need entirely different treatments. Those suffering from this virus need to find a practitioner experienced in treating genital herpes.
The natural treatments described above are effective, safe, and without the unpleasant side effects often experienced with synthetic medications. The standard allopathic treatment for herpes simplex is, most often, topical applications of the drug acyclovir (Zovirax), but the rate of healing is often the same or even less accelerated than is experienced with herbal therapies. An integrative approach usually works best.
Paul Stallone, NMD, founded the Arizona Integrative Medical Center, located at 8144 E. Cactus Rd., Ste. 820, in Scottsdale. He combines natural/alternative/conventional treatments to best fit and benefit each individual patient’s needs. For more information, call 480-214-3922 or visit DrStallone.com.