Home Remedies for Genital Herpes

Home remedies for genital herpes are not an alternative to conventional treatment and should be used in consultation with your health care provider. Simple home treatments that involve lifestyle changes can however help to provide relief from the symptoms. They include the following:

  • It is important to maintain good hygiene to prevent further infection of the sore area. Wash the hands frequently and keep the fingernails clean. Also ensure that the rest of the body is clean and avoid touching or scratching the blisters.
  • Make it a point to drink enough water so as to keep the body fluid levels high and to enable proper healing.
  • Keep the blistered area clean and dry. Dust some cornstarch powder over the affected area to absorb extra moisture. Women should avoid using talcum powder in the vaginal area as it is associated with an elevated risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Dab some baking soda on the sores with the help of a cotton ball to reduce tenderness and itching. Avoid dipping the same cotton ball back in the unused baking soda to prevent contamination.
  • To further dry the genital area, you can use a blow dryer. Keep the dryer at a safe distance from your body and use the cool setting.
  • Avoid wearing clothing that are tight and do not allow proper circulation of air. This can delay the healing of the blisters.
  • Wear cotton undergarments instead of synthetic ones.
  • Eat healthy and balanced meals to keep the immune system functioning properly.
  • To relieve the pain and reduce the risk of later outbreaks, place an ice pack on the affected area.
  • Take a cool, wet tea bag and place it on the sores. The tannic acid present in tea helps to soothe the irritated genital tissue.
  • Soak cotton balls in cold milk and apply to the affected areas.
  • Immersing the body in a bath of lukewarm water is known to provide relief from genital herpes symptoms.
  • In some cases, sun exposure may trigger the recurrence of HSV - 1 infection and therefore it is advisable to wear sun block when going outdoors.
  • Avoid having sexual relations during a genital herpes outbreaks.
  • Over-the-counter medications may help to alleviate symptoms such as local pain and fever.
There are some herbal remedies and dietary supplements that are known to relieve the symptoms of genital herpes. However, they may interfere with the body's chemistry and trigger certain side effects. Therefore it is always advisable to consult your doctor before using any herbs or supplements.Some herbs and dietary supplements are known to help fight the infection by strengthening the immune system. These products are available in different forms such as capsules and ointments. Some popular herbal remedies and supplements for genital herpes include:

  • Aloe Vera Gel: This helps to provide instant relief from itching and irritation in the genital area.
  • Echinacea
  • Ginseng
  • Zinc
  • Lysine
  • Bee products containing propolis
  • Peppermint Tea: This is known to alleviate flu-like symptoms, fever and pain.

Some of the reported side effects of these products include:

  • Low blood pressure levels after taking ginseng
  • Reduced white blood cell count after using Echinacea for long periods of time. The herb may also interfere with medications used to treat disorders of the immune system.
  • Allergic reactions after using bee products. This usually occurs in those who with bee sting allergies.
  • Lysine may interfere with some antibiotics
  • Zinc used in large amounts may lead to stomach upset.

  1. Lawrence Stanberry, Anthony Cunningham, Gregory Mertz, Adrian Mindel, Barry Peters, Michael Reitano, Stephen Sacks, Anna Wald, Sawko Wassilew, Paul Woolley, New developments in the epidemiology, natural history and management of genital herpes, Antiviral Research, Volume 42, Issue 1, May 1999, Pages 1-14, ISSN 0166-3542, 10.1016/S0166-3542(99)00004-2.
  2. Margaret Perlia Bavis, Diane Yeager Smith, Martha Zervopoulos Siomos, Genital Herpes: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Counseling in the Adolescent Patient, The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, Volume 5, Issue 6, June 2009, Pages 415-420, ISSN 1555-4155, 10.1016/j.nurpra.2008.11.004.