Cooling detoxifying herbs may help to slow or reduce herpes outbreaks. What makes the outbreak worse? Inflammatory foods — caffeine, hot spice, alcohol, and stress. Here is the latest study results on herpes drugs: “Anti-herpetic agents reduce recurrence of herpes simplex-2 (HSV-2) symptoms but do not completely block subclinical shedding of virus, even at high doses, researchers reported. In three complementary crossover trials, short episodes of genital shedding occurred despite daily therapy, according to Christine Johnston, MD, of the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues.” Read the article from Medpage Today.
Here is an excerpt from my upcoming book Naturally Pain Free on useful herbs to reduce herpes inflammatory discomforts.
Useful Herbs for Herpes
Andrographis, a shrub, is used in China, India and throughout subtropical and Southeast Asia. In traditional Chinese herbalism, it is used to support healthy digestive, cardiovascular and urinary systems. In Sweden, it is a used for immune support. Research has shown andrographis to be a useful anti-inflammatory for diabetes, fevers, upper respiratory tract infections, cancer-prevention and treatment, herpes, malaria, and rheumatoid arthritis. Andrographis extract calms behavior and reduces spontaneous motility in animals, and apparently peri-menopausal women. It may be useful for nervous tics. The herb improves sleep and lowers body temperature. Great for menopausal hot flashes.
Shingles (herpes zoster)
My favorite anti-bacterial, anti-viral tea for detoxifying the body, reducing feverish conditions, irritability and skin rashes is Prunella vulgaris (AKA xia ku cao in Chinese). Some herbal experts say it reduces a herpes outbreak and reduces shingles pain. It grows wild in your lawn, like a spiral of little purple flowers and round green leaves. But I buy it dried in Chinatown. The tea is tasteless, easy to brew, and feels cooling and relaxing. I especially enjoy its calming effects as a bedtime tea in Spring. Overtime it helps reduce cholesterol and improves circulation. Steep about 2 tablespoons in a tea pot and drink it warm or cool. Do not sweeten it, unless you add a pinch of stevia. You may combine prunella with dandelion herb to increase the cleansing effects.
(NOTE: If you have active herpes zoster, avoid Chinese herbal formulas that contain rehmannia (AKA shou di huang) which may aggravate an outbreak.)
Skullcap herb is a CNS depressant, useful for fever, anxiety, insomnia, and hot flashes; skullcap was originally used as a treatment for rabies because of its tranquilizing effect on the central nervous system. Clinical studies have demonstrated skullcap’s ability to improve blood flow in the brain, inhibit muscle spasms, and act as a sedative. Some alternative health practitioners use skullcap to treat symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Skullcap is used in the treatment of a wide range of nervous conditions including epilepsy, insomnia, hysteria, anxiety, delirium tremens, withdrawal from barbiturates and tranquilizers.
Caution: A medicinal infusion of skullcap is used to promote menstruation, it should not be given to pregnant women since it can induce a miscarriage, and the infusion is also used in the treatment of throat infections. The infusion is given for nervous headaches, neuralgia and in headache arising from incessant coughing, pain, and inducing sleep when necessary, without any unpleasant symptoms following. If you have never used skullcap or are very sensitive to herbs, start by adding 3 – 5 drops of the liquid extract to a cup of water and observe the results. You may feel more relaxed.
If you feel your heart thumping at your temples when tired, if you have low blood pressure and backache, you more likely need an adrenal-supportive herb instead of skullcap for recovery from illness or fatigue. For example, ashwagandha promotes muscle strength. Dan shen regulates heart action and strengthens weak heart muscles.
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