Herpes is a very common infection caused by two different but closely related viruses — herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Both forms of herpes are easy to catch and have similar symptoms and signs. And both can occur on different parts of the body. When the infection is on or around the the mouth, it is called oral herpes. When it is on or near the sex organs, it is called genital herpes. About 60% to 85% of Americans are seropositive for HSV-1 by the age of 60.
Oral herpes virus infections are among the most common
mucosal disorders encountered by oral health care providers. These infections
can affect individuals at any age, from infants to the elderly, and may cause
significant pain and dysfunction. Immunosuppressed patients may be at increased
risk for serious and potential life-threatening complications caused. Clinicians
may have difficulty in diagnosing these infections because they can mimic other
conditions of the oral mucosa.
Oral Herpes symptom and sign
“Cold sores” or “fever blisters” usually show up on the lips or inside the mouth. They are common in young children. Brief, direct contact is all that’s needed to pass the oral herpes virus. Cold sores are annoying but harmless in children and adults. But cold sores are very harmful to a newborn. Oral herpes in adults is usually a flare-up of a childhood infection.
While a cold sore is caused by the herpes virus, many
factors can act as triggers. Feeling run down, stressed or tired. Having the
flu, a fever or a cold. Being exposed to the sun. Having hormonal changes as a
result of pregnancy or menstruation. Having an injury or trauma to the face from
a cut, dental work, shaving or surgery.
Oral Herpes Natural Treatment and remedy options
There are many herbs that have anti-viral activity, and with time I will list more of them. I have listed a few herbs that have been studied in the laboratory, and it is difficult to project how these herbs and nutrients will do when ingested as a supplement. Eat a healhty diet with lots of vegetables, fruits, fish, whole grains. See diet for suggestions. Drink herbal teas including green tea. Flavonoids found in vegetables and fruits have anti herpes simplex activity. One of the best ways to reduce the outbreak of cold sores is to have a deep sleep at night and decrease stress of all sorts. See sleep for suggestions.
Astragalus may be helpful. In a test tube study. Astragalus was found to have anti herpes simplex virus activity.
Andrographis paniculata has been studied in the laboratory.
Lysine is an amino acid touted as an oral herpes cure or preventive supplement, but research findings have not shown consistent results.
Olive leaf extract has been touted but little research is available
Punicalagin acid found in pomegranate and other herbs.
Prunella vulgaris herb
The herpes virus group
Herpes simplex virus is a member of the Herpesviridae family of viruses, which includes more than 70 identified viral agents.Eight of these viruses cause infection in humans, including varicella-zoster virus, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, human herpesviruses 6 and 7, and Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (type 8). HSV-1 causes oropharyngeal infection and sometimes genital infection, while HSV-2 most commonly manifests as genital infection, but it is also capable of causing oropharyngeal infection.
Flavonoids and Herpes Virus
Antiherpetic activities of flavonoids against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2) in vitro.
Arch Pharm Res. 2005.
Flavonoids, a group of low molecular weight phenylbenzopyrones, have various pharmacological properties including antioxidant, anticancer, bactericidal, and anti-inflammatory. We carried out anti-herpetic assays on 18 flavonoids in five classes and a virus -induced cytopathic effect (CPE) inhibitory assay, plaque reduction assay, and yield reduction assay were performed. When flavonoids were applied at various concentrations to Vero cells infected by Herpes simplex virus 1 and 2, most of the flavonoids showed inhibitory effects on virus-induced CPE. Among the flavonoids, EC, ECG (flavanols), genistein (isoflavone), naringenin (flavanone), and quercetin (flavonol) showed a high level of CPE inhibitory activity. The antiviral activity of flavonoids were also examined by a plaque reduction assay. EC, ECG, galangin, and kaempferol showed a strong antiviral activity, and catechin, EGC, EGCG, naringenin, chrysin, baicalin, fisetin, myricetin, quercetin, and genistein showed moderate inhibitory effects against HSV-1. In these experiments, flavanols and flavonols appeared to be more active than flavones. Furthermore, treatment of Vero cells with ECG and galangin (which previously showed strong antiviral activities) before virus adsorption led to a slight enhancement of inhibition as determined by a yield reduction assay, indicating that an intracellular effect may also be involved.
Oral Herpes symptom
"Cold sores" or "fever blisters" usually show up on or near the lips. Oral herpes symptoms are common in young children. Brief, direct contact is all that's needed to pass the oral herpes virus. Cold sores are annoying but harmless in children and adults. Oral herpes in adults is usually a flare-up of a childhood infection.
The first oral herpes symptom or sign of infection is fluid accumulation at the infection site, which is quickly followed by small, grouped blisters. These blisters form on an inflamed and reddish skin base, which is more visible in dry skin areas. When the blisters dry out, they almost always heal without scarring within a week to 10 days. Blisters in moist areas heal more slowly than others. One symptom of oral herpes is a mild itch.
Oral Herpes Treatment
Symptoms will generally subside in 1 to 2 weeks if left untreated. Antiviral medications given by mouth may shorten the course of the symptoms and decrease pain but it may not be worth the expense or trouble or possible side effects. Applying a local anesthetic, such as lidocaine gel, may offer temporary pain relief.
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2009. Valacyclovir and topical clobetasol gel for the episodic treatment of herpes labialis: a patient-initiated, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial. Adverse events were minimal. Secondary and post-treatment recurrences were not increased by combination therapy. This pilot study supports the addition of topical corticosteroids to an oral antiviral agent for the treatment of HSL.
Prevention of Oral Herpes
Avoid direct contact with cold sores or other herpes lesions such as kissing. Do not share utensils with an infected person, especially when herpes lesions are active. Avoid precipitating causes (especially sun exposure) if prone to oral herpes. Avoid performing oral sex when you have active herpes lesions on or near your mouth and avoid passive oral sex with someone who has active oral or genital herpes lesions. Condoms can help reduce, but do not entirely eliminate, the risk of transmission via oral or genital sex with an infected person.
Unfortunately, both oral and genital herpes viruses can sometimes be transmitted even when the person does not have active lesions.
Oral Herpes Medication
If you have oral herpes on your lip, mouth or tongue, a topical anesthetic medication such as viscous lidocaine (Dilocaine, Nervocaine, Xylocaine, Zilactin-L) may be prescribed to relieve pain. Topical oral herpes medication creams which have either acyclovir (Zovirax) or penciclovir (Denavir) may reduce the duration of lesions if applied at the earliest onset.
Oral acyclovir (Zovirax) or the recently developed drugs, valacyclovir (Valtrex) or famciclovir (Famvir), may lessen the symptoms and frequency of fever blister recurrences for some patients but they are quite expensive. These drugs prevent the herpes simplex virus from multiplying and are may be somewhat effective when taken in pill form prior to an outbreak of the virus. A single high dose of famciclovir (Famvir) appears to reduce time to healing of herpes labialis vesicular lesions by 2 days when compared with placebo treatment.
People who have been infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) -- the variety that usually causes 'cold sores' or oral herpes, rather than genital infections -- appear to have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a report from China. Previous studies have implicated hepatitis C virus infection as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, it is a possible that infection with other viruses, such as HSV-1, may make people more prone to develop the disease as well.
Antiviral properties of ent-labdene diterpenes of Andrographis paniculata,
inhibitors of herpes simplex virus type 1.
Phytother Res. 2005. Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Malaysia.
Andrographolide, neoandrographolide and 14-deoxy-11,12-didehydroandrographolide, ent-labdene diterpenes isolated from Andrographis paniculata showed viricidal activity against herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). None of these compounds exhibited significant cytotoxicity at viricidal concentrations.
A polysaccharide fraction from medicinal herb Prunella vulgaris
downregulates the expression of herpes simplex virus antigen in Vero
J Ethnopharmacol. 2004.
Herpes simplex viruses are pathogenic. With the emergence of drug-resistant strains of Herpes simplex virus, new antiviral agents, especially those with different modes of action, are urgently needed. Prunella vulgaris L. (Labiatae), a perennial plant commonly found in China and Europe, has long been used as a folk medicine to cure ailments. In this study, a polysaccharide fraction was prepared from Prunella vulgaris, and its effects on the expressions of Herpes simplex virus-1 and Herpes simplex virus-2 antigens in their host Vero cells were investigated with flow cytometry. The Herpes simplex virus antigen increased time-dependently in the infected cells, and Prunella vulgaris reduced its expression. The novelty of Prunella vulgaris is that it also reduces the antigen expression of acyclovir-resistant strain of Herpes simplex virus-1. After incubations with 25-100 microg/ml of Prunella vulgaris the Herpes simplex virus antigen-positive cells were reduced by 24.8-92.6%, respectively, showing that this polysaccharide fraction has a different mode of anti-Herpes simplex virus action from acyclovir. Results from this study show that Prunella vulgaris is effective against both the Herpes simplex virus-1 and Herpes simplex virus-2 infections, and flow cytometry offers a quantitative and highly reproducible anti-Herpes simplex virus drug-susceptibility assay.
Experimental study of the effect of Astragalus
membranaceus against herpes simplex virus type 1
Di Yi Jun Yi Da Xue Xue Bao. 2004.
To study the inhibitory effects of Astragalus membranaceus on herpes simplex virus type 1 ( HSV-1 oral herpes ). In the 2BS cells infected with herpes simplex virus-1, the antiviral effect of Astragalus membranaceus decoction was investigated by observing the inhibition of HSV-1-induced cytopathic effect in response to treatment with the decoction. Astragalus membranaceus has obvious herpes simplex virus-1-inhibiting efficacy and low cytotoxicity.
Ethnomedicinal uses of Momordicacharantia
in Togo and relation to its phytochemistry and biological activity.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2005.
Biology Department, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ont., Canada
Investigation of the traditional uses of Momordica charantia (Cucurbitaceae) - bitter melon - in Togo (West Africa) showed that it is one of the most important local medicinal plants both for ritual and ethnomedical practices. Lyophilized bitter melon extracts prepared from accessions collected in Togo showed high antiviral activity (<5 microg/ml) against Sindbis and Herpes simplex type 1 viruses.
Herpes Virus Shedding
A study led by Dr. Herbert Kaufman, at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, published in the January, 2005 issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, found that 98% of the participants who are healthy individuals with no evidence of any symptoms did in fact shed oral herpes simplex virus type I (HSV-1) DNA in their tears and saliva at least once during the course of the 30-day study. This may be potentially be the cause of herpes virus infection when no apparent lesion is apparent.
The study was undertaken to assess the frequency of shedding of HSV-1 DNA in tears and saliva of asymptomatic individuals. HSV-1, and to a lesser extent, HSV-2 are known to be the leading causes of virus-induced blindness in the Western world, with approximately 500,000 individuals having herpetic eye disease in the United States. Humans are reservoirs for herpes viruses and shedding in infected individuals when they are asymptomatic is a major factor in the transmission of the virus.
Population demographics play a fundamental role in the prevalence of HSV infections. Other documented significant predictors include age, stress, socioeconomic status, level of education, age of first intercourse and total years of sexual activity. Several studies have noted an increase in herpetic disease with increased age. This could be a result of repeated infection and/or reactivation of the primary HSV infection. Also, natural stress factors such as sunlight exposure may have been a contributing factor to HSV-1 DNA shedding. UV exposure is a known trigger to activate latent HSV. The research was supported in part by a grant by the National Eye Institute and by a Senior Scientific Investigator award from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc.
Bells Palsy condition
Cha de Bugre herb
Oral Herpes Treatment and information emails
Q. When is an oral herpes skin lesion no longer contagious?
A. When the crust falls off, the lesions are no longer contagious.
Q. Is there a natural oral herpes cure?
A. Not that I am aware of. There may be a natural oral herpes cure, I just don't know of one yet.
Q. Can oral herpes virus be transmitted by
oral sex, for instance if there is herpes on the tongue?
A. Certainly, transmission can easily occur from oral sex if there is an active lesion.
Q. Can oral herpes virus infect the tongue?
A. Oral Herpes is an infection by the herpes simplex virus which can cause lesions of the gums, mouth (floor and roof), lips, tongue, cheeks, and back of the throat. The herpes simplex virus affects men and women equally. Transmission occurs by contact with bodily secretions (saliva, urine, blood, stools, skin lesions, and eye discharge).
Do you have any suggestions to treat outbreaks
of oral herpes cold sores?
I have not come across a cure for cold sores but I am keeping my eyes open for new research. Getting a deep sleep and lowering stress can improve the immune system.
Thank you so much for
your informative website and information. I wanted to ask you a question
regarding couple of supplements and their potential effect on the herpes virus.
I've been taking the supplement SAM-e the last few months for energy and
depression followed by taking the supplement Kavinace (GABA) (Taurine and
4-amino-3-phenylbutyric 5'- phosphate) manufactured by NeuroScience the last
couple of months to improve the quality/quantity of my sleep. Both seem to work
well except for recently my herpes episodes have become way more frequent to an
unbearable point. The only thing new in my life is the supplements so I'm
suspecting that one or both are triggering the virus and causing continuous
outbreaks. What is your experience with these supplements and their effect on
herpes? I'm also taking 1500 mg of lysine daily as preventive care against
A. I am not aware of any research regarding the influence of SAM-e or Kavinace on these outbreaks. I do know that SAM-e can cause sleep disturbances and perhaps that can lower the immune system making it more likely to have viral infections.