For centuries, herbs – their parts, extracts and oils – have been used to treat a wide array of conditions. The active ingredient in most herbs is an alkaloid. When using herbs, it is best to get them from accredited sources. It is also important to follow the correct dosage and formulation of the herbs as excesses may lead to adverse effects. In addition, it is essential to adhere to the recommended procedure as some of these herbs may be ingested or may just be applied externally.
There are a lot of herbs specifically used to control the infection and treat the symptoms of herpes. Some of the herbs are most helpful during the prodromal phase, some are best for the visible open sores or blisters and some boost the immune system. Many of these herbs have multiple effects.
More popular herbs containing anti-viral properties against Herpes simplex include olive leaf extract, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), hyssop, Prunella vulgaris, Cactus opuntia streptacantha, Solanum nigrum and red marine algae (also called Super Carotene or Dunaliella salina). Other herbs that are anti-viral in general and have other properties as well include lavender (also fires staphylococcus and streptococcus), myrrh (effective in curing ulcers), sage (a moderately strong antiseptic) and chapparal (also attacks retroviruses). Herbal blends mostly used for prodromal symptoms of herpes include burdock (cleans liver and blood, lessens fever and glandular swellings), feverfew (for fever, inflammation and pain), gentian (cleans liver and blood, relieves fever), Gotu Kola (diminishes tingling) sensations), horsetail (alleviates itching and painful urination) and hyssop (reduces inflammation). In addition, herbal oils to be applied externally are also used to relieve prodromal symptoms, which include lavender (for itching and swelling) and St.. John's Wort (for inflated glands). Cold sores are relieved by lavender oil, myrrh, olive leaf extract and lemon balm. To strengthen the immune system, herbs such as golden seal, red clover, sage, red marine algae (containing sulfated polysaccharides) and sarsaparilla may be used.