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Genital Herpes: Symptoms & 4 Natural Treatments

Not familiar with genital herpes yet? Well, you should be! This sexually transmitted disease is widespread and has no cure. In fact, in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control estimates about a 12% infection rate for those under 50. (1) Unfortunately, according to the World Health Organization, a staggering 67% of the world population under age 50 may be infected. (2) Why? The problem may be that the genital herpes simplex virus can live dormant inside a person's immune system yet still be transmitted. Still, genital herpes symptoms such as painful cold sores can appear periodically. Fortunately, we can look to natural remedies to help protect against this disease. Natural genital herpes treatment focuses on practicing safe sex, strengthening the immune system, and naturally reducing pain.

Overview of Genital Herpes (3)

Genital Herpes Risk Factors and Causes
  • Oral sex with a partner who has cold sores
  • Any form of unprotected sex
  • Having sex with multiple partners
  • Having other illnesses that lower immune function
Genital Herpes Symptoms
  • A single cold sore or a cluster of multiple cold sores that form on the genitals, buttocks, upper thigh, or near the groin
  • Cold sores that become exposed and painful, develop a white coating, and burn for a period of time before healing
  • Pain, tenderness, and other symptoms of a rash around the cold sores
  • Symptoms of a viral infection such as fatigue, aches, or a fever
  • In men, sores usually occur on the base of the penis and the surrounding area
  • In women, sores occur on the vulva, vagina, and cervix
genital herpes sores

Genital Herpes Treatment

1. Practice Safe Sex

Yes, unprotected sex is a major risk factor for genital herpes. Unfortunately, even if your partner doesn't have any noticeable symptoms, they can pass the virus to you. As an added precaution, avoid any type of intimate contact with someone who has an ulcer, a canker sore, or other symptoms of oral or genital sores. In fact, research has shown that most HSV-2 infections are acquired from people who didn't know they had herpes and report having no symptoms. (4) Therefore, practicing safe sex can help better protect you from the disease.

2. Improve Immune Function

As with any virus, strengthening your immune system can help keep genital herpes symptoms at bay. A strong immune system will be able to fight off the virus much more quickly than a weak immune system. Therefore, consider taking the following steps to help improve your overall immune system for genital herpes treatment:
  • Cut out sugar and processed foods from your diet
  • Avoid smoking or using drugs
  • Limit or avoid the use of antibiotics and unnecessary medications
  • Limit exposure to toxic chemicals in packages foods, chemical cleaners, or synthetic beauty products
  • Eat plenty of anti-inflammatory foods loaded with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants
  • Exercise regularly
  • Manage stress levels
  • Get plenty of sleep (5)
genital herpes - improve sleep

3. Use Antiviral Herbs

As you now know, genital herpies is a viral infection, so treat it as you would any other virus. Antiviral herbs can help treat genital herpes symptoms by lowering inflammation and helping the body attack the virus. For example, antiviral herbs and antioxidants that you can use as part of a genital herpes treatment plan include (6):
  • Astralagus root (7)
  • Burdock root
  • Elderberry
  • A multivitamin that includes Vitamin C, zinc and Vitamin D
  • Calendula (8)
  • Adaptogen herbs including ashwagandha, maca, medicinal mushrooms and rhodiola (9)
genital herpes - antiviral herbs

4. Reduce Pain and Speed Healing Naturally

Furthermore, when you experience a genital herpes outbreak, you can use natural methods to help speed healing and reduce pain (10). So consider trying the following actions to help:
  • Only using natural, mild soap and warm water on sores
  • Press a warm towel against the affected area to reduce pain
  • Sit in a warm bath
  • Always wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to allow air to get to the sores
  • And use a separate towel on your genitals near any open sores rather than use the same towel on your mouth
  • Do not touch any open sores during an outbreak (11)