Oral herpes is a condition that causes painful cold sores to form on your mouth or face. If you have oral herpes, natural remedies like aloe vera or sage can help relieve your symptoms.
What is oral herpes?
The herpes simplex virus (HSV) is an infection that causes herpes. Herpes can appear in various parts of the body, but it usually forms on the genitals or around the mouth.
There are two types of HSV:
- HSV-1 – This type of HSV causes oral herpes. When infected with this type of herpes, you will develop cold sores and fever blisters around your mouth and on your face.
- HSV-2 – This type of HSV causes genital herpes. It is usually responsible for genital herpes outbreaks.
HSV is a contagious virus that is transmitted from person to person via direct contact. Children generally contract HSV-1 from early contact with an infected adult. Infected children will then carry the virus with them for the rest of their lives.
HSV-1 is contracted from general interactions, such as:
- Sharing lip balm
- Eating using the same utensils
HSV spreads more quickly when an infected individual is going through an outbreak. At least 67 percent of adults aged 49 or younger are seropositive for HSV-1, even though they may never go through an outbreak. Take note that you can get genital herpes from HSV-1 if someone who performed oral sex had cold sores at the time.
When HSV spreads to the eyes, the condition is known as herpes keratitis. The condition causes symptoms like discharge, eye pain, and a gritty feeling in the eye.
Natural remedies for oral herpes
If you suffer from oral herpes, the natural cures detailed below will help relieve the symptoms caused by the condition.
- Aloe vera – Apply pure aloe vera juice on the affected area at the first sign of an outbreak. This helps prevent the sore from forming. If you already have oral sores, rub aloe vera juice on it to speed up the healing process.
- Echinacea – Take 200 milligrams (mg) of echinacea capsules four times a day to strengthen your immune system. Echinacea is one of the best natural cures for HSV-1 because it possesses powerful antibiotic and antiviral properties.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus (acidophilus) – Take four acidophilus capsules thrice a day with a cup of milk the moment you experience any burning or itching due to your cold sores. When taken immediately, this natural cure can help prevent an outbreak completely. (Related: Why coconut oil should be a part of your survival stockpile.)
- Lemon balm – Apply lemon balm cream or salve to the affected area at least thrice a day. If you use a cream or salve regularly, lemon balm’s antiviral properties can help speed the healing process and decrease the frequency of recurring outbreaks.
- Sage – Add half a teaspoon of dried sage leaves to a cup of boiling water. Let the mixture steep for at least 15 minutes. Strain the leaves from the liquid, then add one teaspoon of powdered ginger to the resulting tea. Stir until dissolved. Drink at least three cups of sage and ginger tea until your cold sores clear up.
Tips for preventing the spread of oral herpes infections
There is no cure for herpes. However, you can avoid contracting the virus or prevent transmitting oral herpes to another person by following the tips below.
- Avoid direct physical contact with other people.
- Don’t share items that can pass the virus around, like cups, eating utensils, lip balm, clothing, makeup, or towels.
- If there is an outbreak, don’t participate in kissing, oral sex, or other types of sexual activity.
- Always wash your hands thoroughly. Apply medication with cotton swabs to reduce contact with oral sores.
If you have oral herpes, try some of the natural remedies above to relieve your symptoms.