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Herpes Simplex

Herpes Simplex


Herpes simplex refers to a recurrent viral infection caused by one of the most ubiquitous of viral infectious agents. It is characterized by single or multiple clusters of small vesicles filled with clear fluid, found on slightly inflamed bases. A primary childhood infection may be generalized or localized. The herpes simplex virus then becomes dormant in the nerve ganglia or the skin despite the formation of an antibody. As a lifelong carrier, the person is susceptible to further infection although later symptoms are not generally as severe as those of the initial attack. Attacks are usually more severe in adults and may even go unnoticed in children.

There are two herpes simplex strains; Type I which is more commonly transmitted orally, and Type II which is usually genital and ordinarily transmitted venereally.

It is estimated 20-40% of the population of the United States has been infected by the herpes virus, with up to 95% of primary infections occurring in children under the age of five. Herpes simplex is equally common in men and women. The herpes simplex virus has an incubation period of from 2 to 12 days; generalized infections run their course in 4 to 10 days. Complications of herpes simplex include infections of the eye and the development of encephalitis.

Herpes Simplex is not a problem for mild cases which need no treatment. In more severe cases rest, gentle cleansing with soap and water, anesthetic mouthwashes, analgesics such as aspirin and antipyretics to relieve pain and reduce the fever and topical antibiotics, in the case of a secondary infection, are prescribed. Topical idoxuridine and acyclovir are widely available, and effective, chemotherapeutic agents.


Primary Factors
The primary cause of herpes simplex is the infectious microorganism herpes virus hominis
(HVH) of which some 70 different strains have been identified.

Predisposing Factors
Transmission by:

Skin lesionsPurulent eye exudate

The trigger mechanism in recurrent infections is unknown in many instances. Some known mechanisms are:

Emotional stressPhysical stress
Certain foodsCertain drugs
FatigueSexual activity (Type II)
Overexposure to heat, cold, wind, or sun

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of herpes simplex may overlap depending on the particular aspects of each infection. General symptoms include:

Pharyngitis with erythema

Typically, primary lesions erupt as vesicles on a red, inflamed base. These can erupt and leave painful ulcers followed by yellow crusting. In a Type I infection these vesicles may form on any part of the oral mucous membranes, especially the tongue, gums, and cheeks.

Submaxillary lymphoadanopathy
Increased salivation
Furred tongue resulting from herpetic stomatitis
Severe dehydration resulting from herpetic stomatitis

Herpetic keratoconjunctivitis (herpes of the eye)
Symptoms are unilateral and local, including:

Vesicle formation of the eyelid
Conjunctivitis with regional adenopathy and blepharitis
Purulent exudate
Fever and other symptoms are possible but uncommon

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function:
        Immune System Support &

General Supplements

Bee propolis*
Bioflavonoids 200 - 1,000 mg 100 - 300 mg
Lysine 500 - 1,000 mg 200 - 800 mg
Vitamin C1,000 - 6,000 mg 500 - 2,000 mg
Vitamin E 200 - 600 IU 100 - 300 IU

* Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.


Bee propolis in one therapy involves its topical application.

General nutritional recommendations apply: a good diet, rich in antioxidants, is recommended. Several antioxidant materials have been recommended in the "underground" literature for this "incurable " disease.

Also, it is often recommended to avoid foods rich in arginine e.g. nuts (cashews, peanuts) while boosting the intake of foods rich in lysine e.g. brewer's yeast, beans and seafood.

Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.

Dietary Considerations

No diet is specifically prescribed for herpes zoster by the American Dietetics Association. Barring any underlying health condition, a Low Arginine Diet should be followed to provide all the nutrients necessary for building a sound and disease-resistant body. Care should by taken to avoid consumption of arginine-rich foods such as seeds, nuts, or chocolate, as they are thought to antagonize the therapeutic effect lysine might have.

Growth of the herpes virus is dependent on the availability of arginine which is needed as a building block for the viral protein capsule. In the laboratory, herpes virus grew extremely well if extra arginine was provided in the culture medium.

In contrast, when the antagonistic amino acid lysine was added in abundance to the medium, viral growth was inhibited, no viral multiplication occurred and the infection did not spread from cell to cell.

Lysine therapy for the suppression of chronic recurrent herpes lesions and accelerated healing of sores was proposed by Kagan in 1974. The rationale for this was that some individuals showed relief with therapeutic doses of lysine hydrochloride and there was no toxic effect from taking the drug. There is continuing controversy as to its efficacy. In a double-blind placebo controlled trial of oral lysine hydrochloride therapy (400 milligrams, three times per day) it was concluded that it is unlikely that treatment improves recurrent herpes simplex infection.

Another study funded by a national vitamin/health food corporation, 88% of the 1,543 individuals who responded to a survey felt that lysine was effective in reducing the symptoms, frequency of occurrence, or duration of their herpes attacks. However, 2,457 people (two-thirds of the total 4,000 asked to respond) did not return the questionnaire. It is conceivable these individuals failed to reply because lysine proved ineffective against their infections. In both papers, a dosage of 1,000 to 1,200 micrograms of lysine hydrochloride per day was ingested.

Homeopathic Remedy

Herpes - simplex, 1, 2

1.* Rhus Toxicodendron - 30C
2. Tellurium - 15C - 30C
3.* Natrum Muriaticum - 30C (cold sores mouth)
4.* Capsicum annuum - 15C
5. Urtica urens - 1M especially for type 2
6. Petroleum - 30C

Treatment Schedule

Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.


X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency

Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.


Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.

Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.

Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.

Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.

Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.

Herbal Approaches


Melissa officinalis
Mullein (flowers)
St. John's wort

Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.


10 highly effective Chinese herbs for HSV 1 were Aristolochia debilis, Artemisia anomala, Lindera strychnifolia, Patrinia villosa, Pinus massoniana, Prunella vulgaris, Pyrrosia lingua, Rhus chinensis, Sargussum fusiforme and Taraxacum mongolicum. (Zheng, 1990)

The Chinese herb, Astragalus, may be the most suitable for long-term use in persons suffering chronic, long-term outbreaks.

For fresh outbreaks, when lesions are present, the fresh-pressed juice of echinacea is recommended, as is garlic, although the latter may demand a degree of isolation!

Lemon juice

Special formulations are available from some companies, although the constituents are usually shrouded in mystery.

Recently released in the US after successful use in Europe (notably Germany) is a topical cream derived from the mint: Melissa officinalis.

An infusion of Mullein (flowers) prevented the replication of HSV.

St. John's wort exhibits strong antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 as well as Epstein-Barr virus.

Women, in particular, may have difficulty differentiating herpes from other vaginal conditions with itching as a symptom. Indeed, they are not mutually exclusive and may coexist, while a herpes episode may also be triggered by the stress of other infections. It is, perhaps, only of academic importance, whether the first infection leads directly to the secondary one, or the secondary infection is merely opportunistic and strikes when the immune system is compromised by the first infection.

Some anecdotal reports exist of relief by applying natural yogurt. In most casual reports, it is difficult to establish the precise form of relief which may be accrued by another sufferer. The episode may be less severe, recurrence may be less frequent, healing may be more rapid etc. Certainly, in the case of the German studies, involving 3 hospitals, recurrence was terminated when the cream was available for the initial outbreak; chronic infections occurred more than 31/2 months apart; and healing took place within 5 days (rather than the usual 10 - 14).

The notable American herbalist, Dr. John Christopher recommended a black walnut compress.

Louis J. Marx, M.D.: Healing Dimensions of Herbal Medicine. Neo-Paradigm. Ventura, CA.

Has developed a system of diagnosis related to kinesiology which assists in the selection of a particular formula from a range of several. These include powdered capsules, as well as tinctures. Rather than the traditional alcohol base for tinctures, these use e.g. apple cider vinegar and apricot kernel oil. (Note: Apricot kernel oil is used in alternative medicine as a natural form of letrile.)

One form of herpes virus results in symptoms like "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" for which the following principal herbs are taken, in mixed capsule form:

Mulberries, Pau D'arco, Periwinkle, Scutellaria barbata, Shepherd's purse, Trichosanthis root, Turmeric.

Herpes Simplex requires slightly different mixtures, featuring :-

Calendula, Condurango bark, Cumin seeds, Gardenia, Mulberries, Nutmeg, Platycodon root, Red clover, Rubiae, Smilacis glabrae root, Solomon's seal, St. John's wort, Trichosanthis root, Viticis, White oak, Wood betony, Yarrow, Yellow sophora root and Zedoarea root.

One Herpes Simplex tincture contains the following herbs:-

Celandine herb, Rhizoma acorus, Rubiae, Shepherd's purse, Siberian milkwort, Trichosanthis, Viticis, Wood betony and Yarrow.


Cohen, RA et al., Antiviral activity of Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) extract. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 1964, 117:431-434.

Dimitrova, Z et al., Antiherpes effect of Melissa officinalis L. extracts. Acta Microbiol. BUlg. 1993, 29:65-72.

Hayashi K et al., Yucca leaf protein (YLP) stops the protein synthesis in HSV-infected cells and inhibits virus replication. Antiviral Res, 1992 Apr, 17:4, 323-3.

Lavie, D: Antiviral pharmaceutical compositions containing hypericin or pseudohypericin. European Patent. 1987.

Marx, Louis J: Healing Dimensions of Herbal Medicine. Neo-Paradigm. Ventura, CA.

Slagowska, A: Inhibition of herpes simplex virus replication by Flos verbasci infusion. Polish J of Pharmacology, 1987, 39:55-61.

Vogt, M et al., Melissa extract in herpes simplex. A double-blind placebo-controlled study. Der Allgemeinarzt, 1991, 13:832-841.

Wolbling, RH & Milbradt, R: Clinical therapy of herpes simplex. Therapiwoche, 1984, 34:1,193-1,200.

Wolbling, RH & Milbradt, R: Local therapy of herpes simplex with dried extract from Melissa officinalis. Phytomed. 1994, 1:25-31.

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Cold sores:

Chamomile Essence,Eucalyptus Essence,
Tea Tree Essence.

Related Health Conditions




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