Ayurvedic Herbs for Genital Herpes

A chronic condition, genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a slightly different strain of the Herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores. It can stay inactively dormant for long periods of time in the DNA of nerves, and occasionally flare up and cause painful lesions on the genitals. Triggers for reactivating the virus include stress and infections. Typically lesions are treated with antiviral medication.34

Herbs commonly used in Ayurveda to treat skin conditions, such as aloe and lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) have produced promising results in modern clinical studies for the treatment of herpes:

  • Aloe (Aloe vera). In a 2-week study involving 60 adult males with active herpes lesions, those who used aloe cream containing 0.5% aloe three times a day for five days significant reduced healing time. In addition, almost 67% of the group who used the aloe treatment was fully healed at the study end, compared to less than 7% of those using placebo.37
  • Lemon Balm. A double-blind study involving 116 people with either oral or genital herpes found that those who used a treatment cream containing lemon balm experienced a significantly shorter recovery time than those given placebo.34
  • Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus). Commonly called Russian or Siberian ginseng, this herb is only a distant relative of actual ginseng (Panax ginseng and Panax quinquefolius) and is in fact substantially different chemically. Regardless, a well-designed 6-month clinical trial demonstrated that 2-g/day Russian ginseng significantly reduces the number of recurrent herpes flare-ups (by about 50%). Additionally, studies show that Russian ginseng causes no significant adverse effects.38
Blisters on the mouth.
A type of basil.
Meaning that neither the study participants nor the researchers knew which patients were given the herbal cream and which were given the placebo
until the study’s end.
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