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Herpes infections are a type of viral infections that causes skin eruptions, specifically on the mouth and genitalia. There are two types of herpes virus strains that cause infections, HSV-1 and HSV-2. The infection starts with a fever, body ache, headache, a sick feeling and tiny red blisters appearing in clusters. There is tingling, burning, discomfort and itching in the area involved. HSV-1 causes lesions in and around the mouth and lips (cold sores or herpes labialis) and sores in the cornea of the eye (herpes simplex keratitis). HSV-2 causes genital lesions in and around the cervix, vagina, vulva, anus, groin, buttocks; these are painful, especially in the first infection. The virus can sometimes affect the eyes, brain or gastrointestinal tract. Although herpes infections are usually mild, occasionally, they may be life-threatening, especially in the case of a newborn baby or those with a weak immune system or with HIV infection. 

A herpes simplex infection can spread through contact via the mouth, saliva or genitals of the infected person even if no active lesions are present. HSV-1 can sometimes cause genital lesions through oral-genital contact. HSV-2 is exclusively transmitted through sexual contact. An HSV-2 infection increases the risk of acquiring and transmitting an HIV infection.

After the first infection, HSV virus remains latent inside the body for the entire life. During latency, it may not cause symptoms. However, it may reactivate periodically by multiplying again, causing blisters and eruptions in the same area. Reactivation may be triggered by fever, emotional stress, menstruation or suppression of the immune system through drugs, physical trauma, dental procedure or overexposure of the lips to sunlight.

A herpes simplex infection is easily recognisable by its skin eruptions; however, in case of uncertainty, a swab is taken from the sore and sent for identification of the virus. Blood tests help to identify antibodies to HSV and to distinguish HSV-1 from HSV-2.

Homeopathic treatment helps relieve the acute lesions of herpes or the primary infection. Long-term treatment also reduces the recurrence of subsequent outbreaks. Common homoepathic remedies that are employed for the treatment of herpes include arsenic album, hepar sulphuris, graphites, mercurius solubilis, natrium muriaticum, petroleum, rhus toxicodendron and sepia officinalis. The dosage of a remedy is prescribed on the basis of each individual case.

  1. Homeopathic medicines for herpes
  2. Dietary and lifestyle changes for herpes patient as per homeopathy
  3. How effective are homeopathic medicines and treatments for herpes
  4. Side effects and risks of homeopathic medicine and treatments for herpes
  5. Takeaway
Doctors for Homeopathic medicine, treatment and remedies for Herpes

Some of the most important homeopathic remedies that are helpful in treating herpes simplex are listed below. The symptoms mentioned under each remedy prompt a homeopathic physician to choose the said remedy.

  • Arsenicum Album
    Common name: Arsenic trioxide
    Symptoms: Patients who benefit from arsenicum album have some of the following symptoms:
    • Ulceration in mouth and tongue with a burning, heat-like sensation
    • Dry, scaly and rough skin eruptions, which worsen with the application of cold and on scratching
    • Burning pain in the vagina from the slightest exertion along with an acrid, thin and offensive discharge
    • Swelling, cracking, and bluish discolouration of the head of the penis in case of genital herpes
    • Extreme restlessness
    • Anxiety, especially about health
    • Weakness and exhaustion with the slightest exertion
    • Thirst for small quantities of water at short intervals
  • Graphites
    Common name: Black lead
    Symptoms: Belladonna works on the nervous system and blood vessels. Patients having the following symptoms respond well to belladonna:
    • Blisters on tongue with excessive salivation and bad breath
    • Ulcers and fissures on the inner surface of lips and corners of the mouth
    • Scab-like eruptions on the chin and around the mouth
    • Thin, profuse, watery, and corroding vaginal discharge along with weakness in the back
    • Herpetic eruptions on penis
    • Vesicular eruptions on the vulva with corrosion between the thighs
    • Discharge from the lesions is thick, honey-like
  • Hepar Sulphuris
    Common name: Sulphuret of lime
    Symptoms: Hepar sulphuris is indicated in cases of the following symptoms:
    • Eruptions and ulcers at the corners of the mouth that are extremely painful to touch
    • Sensitive abscesses on genitals. The discharges smell like old cheese
    • Itching worsens during menses
    • Itching on the head of the penis and scrotum with ulcers. Herpetic eruptions are very sensitive, and they bleed easily
    • Patients are extremely sensitive to cold air 
    • The patient has a tendency for swelling and inflammation of glands and formation of pus
  • Mercurius Solubilis
    Common name: Quicksilver
    Symptoms: Mercurius solubilis is suitable for those exhibiting the following symptoms:
    • Pustular yellow scabs and small ulcers on lips and chin
    • Fissures and ulcers at the corners of the mouth
    • Salty taste on lips
    • Dry, rough and cracked lips. They burn when touched
    • Profuse salivation, perspiration and thirst
    • Swelling, inflammation and eruptions on  genitals that itch and burn severely
    • Burning in urethra during sexual intercourse
    • Vesicles and ulcers on genitals that have a cheesy, lard-like base, are painful and have a raised margin
    • Discharge from the vagina is greenish, corroding, itching, burning and increases at night
  • Natrium Muriaticum
    Common name: Common salt
    Symptoms: Natrium muriaticum is well suited to sensitive and brooding individuals with a tendency to weep easily. It also works well in individuals who have an oily skin, anaemia, loss of weight, a tendency to catch a cold easily and a strong craving for salt. The following symptoms are relieved by this remedy:
    • Eruptions on tongue and around the mouth with a burning sensation,
    • Pearl-like vesicles on lips, especially the lower lip, which is swollen and has a burning sensation
    • Corners of the mouth are dry, cracked and ulcerated
    • Numbness and tingling of  tongue, lips and nose
    • Itching and excoriation between the scrotum and thighs
    • Offensive odour from genital organs
    • Thick, transparent mucus discharge from vagina and itching on the vulva with loss of pubes
  • Petroleum
    Common name: Crude rock-oil
    Symptoms: Petroleum is suited to those experiencing the following symptoms associated with herpes simplex infection:
    • Scabby pimple-like painful eruptions on lips and corners of the mouth, boils on lower lip
    • Itchy herpetic eruptions around the anal region and thighs. The skin of the genitalia is red, cracked, bleeding, rough, dry or moist
    • Profuse albuminous white discharge from vagina
    • Symptoms are worse during winters
  • Rhus Toxicodendron
    Common name: Poison ivy
    Symptoms: Rhus toxicodendron is a remedy suitable to those who experience the following symptoms:
    • Fluid-filled lesions, which are yellow in colour with stinging, burning and itching
    • Fever blisters around the mouth and chin
    • Ulceration on the corners of the mouth
    • Dry, cracked and sore tongue along with the presence of a red triangular region on the tip that has an imprint of teeth
    • Genitals are inflamed, swollen with itchy red eruptions
  • Sepia Officinalis
    Common name: Inky juice of cuttlefish
    Symptoms: Sepia officinalis is a very effective remedy for herpes simplex in individuals with the following symptoms:
    • Yellow-coloured herpetic eruptions around the mouth and
    • Dryness and exfoliation of lips with painful ulcers on the inner side
    • Itching and eruptions around genitals
    • Ulcers on penis with pain in testes
    • Burning, shooting, sticking pains in cervix; yellow, green discharge from the vagina which is itchy and corrosive
    • A tendency towards abortion after the fifth month of pregnancy

Do’s

  • Since homeopathic medicines are given in very small doses, take the utmost care to preserve the medicines well
  • Exercise in the open air in all kinds of weather
  • Go for daily walks and perform light manual labour to strengthen muscles Some exercises also help to relax the mind
  • Consume healthy and nutritious food (Read more: Balanced diet benefits)

Don’ts

  • Anything in the your diet and daily regimen that can potentially react with the medicines should be avoided, e.g.:
    • Strong-smelling foods and drinks like coffee, herb teas, fine liquors prepared with medicinal spices and spiced chocolate
    • Medicinally compounded tooth powders and mouthwashes
    • Perfumed sachets
    • Strong-scented flowers in the room
    • Highly seasoned foods and sauces
    • Frozen foods like ice creams
    • Raw herbs on soups, medicinal herbs in foods
    • Celery, parsley, stale cheese and meats
  • Sedentary lifestyle should be addressed immediately. Long afternoon naps will have a harmful effect and must be avoided
  • It is important to avoid mental strain to achieve proper health

Herpes simplex is an extremely common contagious infection. Worldwide, about 3.7 billion individuals under the age of 50 have HSV-1 infection, while 417 million individuals between 15 and 49 years of age are infected with HSV-2. Once contracted, no drug can completely eradicate the infection. Antiviral drugs can only relieve and shorten the duration of symptoms and reduce the recurrent episodes if taken daily (suppressive therapy). Treatment of the first infection does not prevent chronic infection and maximum benefit is obtained if it is started early (i.e., within a few hours of the onset of symptoms). Anti-viral drugs do not prevent the transmission of infection either. Furthermore, long-term safety in the use of anti-viral drugs such as acyclovir, valaciclovir, famciclovir, and penciclovir has not yet been ascertained.

Patients are often disappointed with the frequent use of anti-viral drugs in conventional medicine, which does not provide a permanent solution for herpes. Not only can herpes cause complications but it is also responsible for psychological stress to the patient as it is considered to be a social stigma.

Homeopathy offers a simple and safe way to manage the primary as well as the reactivated herpes infections. It treats the condition at a deeper level instead of suppressing symptoms and thus provides long-term relief. These medicines heal the sores, prevent complications and boost the patient’s immunity, thus preventing the recurrence. It also helps in relieving the psychological impact on the patient. 

In a study conducted on 53 patients with genital herpes, it was observed that those who were undergoing treatment with homeopathy showed improvement and fewer episodes of relapses even after a follow up for four years.

Homeopathic medicines are highly diluted and potentised; hence, these are essentially safe and are not known to cause side effects. However, it is important that one seeks help from a qualified homeopathic physician for a correct and genuine homeopathic remedy and its dosage.

Herpes is a common viral infection that causes painful and itchy skin eruptions. Conventional treatment is usually unable to achieve permanent or long-term cure for this condition. Homeopathy is a very safe mode of medication without any noted side effects that can be taken to relieve acute episodes as well as to prevent recurrences of herpes. For effective and safe treatment it is always best to check in with a doctor before taking homeopathic remedies. A detailed history of the patient guides the physician to the appropriate remedy for the individual. 

Dr. Ram Kumar

Dr. Ram Kumar

Homeopathy
11 Years of Experience

Dr. Ajit Prasad Singh

Dr. Ajit Prasad Singh

Homeopathy
10 Years of Experience

Priyanka Gupta

Priyanka Gupta

Homeopathy
6 Years of Experience

Dr. Varun Kapadia

Dr. Varun Kapadia

Homeopathy
2 Years of Experience

References

  1. Whitley RJ. Herpes simplex virus infection.. Semin Pediatr Infect Dis. 2002 Jan;13(1):6-11. PMID 12118847
  2. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. [Internet]. Kenilworth, NJ, USA; Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Infections.
  3. World Health Organization [Internet]. Geneva (SUI): World Health Organization; Herpes simplex virus.
  4. Fatahzadeh M, et al. Human herpes simplex virus infections: epidemiology, pathogenesis, symptomatology, diagnosis, and management.. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007 Nov;57(5):737-63; quiz 764-6.
  5. William Beoricke. Homeopathic Materia Medica.. Homeopathic Materia Medica. Médi-T,2000.
  6. Wenda Brewster O’really PhD. Organon of the Medical art. Dr Samuel Hahnemann, 1st edition 2010 , 3rd impression 2017, pg 227, 228 and 229, aphorisms 259, 261 and 263.

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