Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus HSV-1 and HSV-2. The former, also known as Type 1, is the same one that causes cold sores on the lips, face, mouth and genitals. Type 2 virus often affects the genitals than any of the other parts of the body. Once you have genital herpes, you have it for life, but luckily, the disease spends most of that time dormant. While there are many medications that claim to help eliminate the symptoms of genital herpes, there are some home remedies for genital herpes that do a better job. Their affordability, ease of making and effectiveness in curbing symptoms of genital herpes make them a viable treatment option.
Try our home remedies for genital herpes and feel better again!
1. Warm Bath
We start the countdown of the best home remedies for genital herpes with a favorite that brings comfort for everyone – a warm bath. Soaking in a warm bath can assuage the pain associated with sores and also help with the healing, in the case of genital herpes. It’s important to note that while a warm bath promotes virus shedding, it also increases the risk of spreading it. Take care to clean the tub or shower, especially if you share it with someone else.
- Heat up the bath if using a bathtub. If you are using a normal shower, turn on the heater.
- You can add Epsom salt if you are using a bathtub. This helps relax the sore muscles as well as shorten the recovery time.
- Get into the tub or turn on the shower then soak in the warm water for about 5-10 minutes or at least until it starts to turn cold.
- Step out and dry the affected area thoroughly as moisture prolongs the symptomatic pores.
2. Soap and Warm Water
Another effective genital herpes home remedy that is similar to the first one is the consistent use of soap and warm water. The idea behind this treatment is that keeping an infected area clean is one step closer to recovery. Mild disinfectants like soap are encouraged for every infected person, although the condition manifests differently for every individual. This has the same sensation of taking a warm bath without taking too much time.
- Soak a piece of cloth in warm water.
- Apply soap directly to the affected area.
- Massage the affected area gently with the wet cloth.
- Soak the cloth in warm water again and repeat the above step.
- Thoroughly dry the affected area.
3. Cornstarch/Baking Soda
Powders have been used for centuries for their drying properties. Cornstarch and baking soda are two powders that everyone uses around the house for various purposes including drying out oily hair as well as brushing teeth. Both are cheap, readily available at local grocery stores and are some of the best home remedies for genital herpes that you will find. They help keep the affected area as dry as possible to promote a faster recovery process. You should, however, take care not to double dip as you don’t want to contaminate unused cornstarch or baking soda.
- Pat baking soda or cornstarch using a cotton ball onto the affected area to decrease itching and dry them out.
- Do this at least twice every day, in the morning and evening.
4. Tea Bags
Nothing beats taking an ice-cold cup of tea in the summer’s heat or a cup of hot tea on a cold winter morning. However, there is a little-known use for tea bags that can help those suffering from genital herpes. Medical professionals have speculated that the tannins found in tea are part of the secret. It can also be used as a home remedy for oral herpes.
- Heat water long enough to douse a tea bag.
- Cool it down immediately.
- Place the cooled, wet tea bag directly on the affected area.
- Throw away the bag and dry the area thoroughly.
Next up on our list of home remedies for genital herpes is a natural supplement that we often find in health food stores – L-lysine. It is an essential amino acid that the body doesn’t produce naturally. Humans usually consume it through vegetables and meat, but over the counter supplements are also available for use. It does a better job at preventing genital herpes than curing it. The most important thing when it comes to L-lysine is to consult a professional before using it. The reason is that it has been known to interact with some medications. It is also not recommended for people with liver or kidney disease.
- Incorporate in your diet L-lysine supplements or foods that are L-lysine-rich, like potatoes, fish, yogurt and brewer’s yeast.
- In the meantime, cut back on foods like seeds, nuts, peas and chocolate that contain L-arginine, another amino acid that promotes outbreaks.
One of the most effective ways of relieving pain and itching is using ice. The best thing about this genital herpes home remedy is that it doesn’t have any side effects. There are, however, a few precautions that should be taken into account. For starters, the plastic bag used should be discarded properly. It’s also important to note that prolonged exposure to ice can cause tissue damage, which is particularly bad given the overall sensitivity of the area affected by genital herpes.
- Fill a plastic bag with crushed ice.
- Wrap the bag in a material with the thickness of a sheet.
- Apply the ice to the affected area for 10-15 minutes.
- Discard the plastic after use.
7. Manuka Honey
Don’t go running to the supermarket to get regular honey as it won’t do you much good. Only pure, raw honey has the antiviral properties that will prove effective for genital herpes sores. Manuka honey, however, has been found to be more effective than other types of honey, as it eradicates a multitude of strains of bacteria.
- Put Manuka honey directly to the sores and again after every urination.
- Clean it after 10-15 minutes with a wet cotton ball or soft piece of cloth dipped in warm water.
- Repeat this process 2-3 times in a day.
- Improvements will start to show after a week or two.
One less known use for garlic is its healing properties when it comes to fighting the lesions associated with genital herpes. It contains 33 sulfur compounds, all of the major minerals, all of the amino acids as well as several trace minerals. It also has Vitamins A, B & C. The ingredient that makes garlic one of the most effective home remedies for genital herpes is allicin – ajoene. Researchers were awed when they observed garlic kills more than 90% of a virus within half an hour in a laboratory dish. Garlic has a broad spectrum antiviral effect on both herpes simplex viruses.
- Mix one teaspoon of minced raw garlic with pure honey to make a paste.
- Apply it directly to the sores.
- Do this at least once or twice a week.
9. Cotton Underwear
The best way to cure genital herpes is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Those who wear tight clothes are more prone developing this condition compared to those who wear loosely fitting clothes. Rather than wearing undergarments made from synthetic fibers, invest in ones that are made from cotton. If you already have the condition, cotton underwear will also help keep your genitals dry.
- Only wear clean, dry cotton underwear.
- Avoid anything made from fabric blends, especially lace, nylon or anything synthetic
This is one of the most effective home remedies for genital herpes that many of us don’t know about. The best thing about this remedy is that it makes sores disappear without leaving any scars, which is more than we can say about most remedies.
- Soak a cotton ball in a cup containing milk.
- Apply the wet cotton ball directly to the sores to reduce their intensity.
- Allow 10-15 minutes before cleaning the affected area with a cotton ball or soft cloth dipped in warm water.
- Repeat this twice a day after your bath.
11. Aloe Vera
The knowledge of aloe vera dates as far back as 1750 B.C. The plant has been used for its medicinal properties for as long as man can remember. The Egyptian books mention the specific use of aloe vera to heal skin conditions. Whether using it directly from a commercial bottle or from the aloe plant, you can be certain that its cooling effect will ease the pain and speed up the healing process. Like with most home remedies for genital herpes on this list, you will want to ensure the affected area stays dry.
- Apply aloe vera gel directly to the sores.
- Allow the gel to dry.
- Repeat the process 2-3 each day until the symptoms disappear.
12. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm has been proven to reduce the healing time of genital herpes as well as oral herpes. You can also use the extract and apply it directly on the sores, or tea.
- Soak a cotton ball with lemon balm extract.
- Dab it directly on the sores.
- Optional: You can also use lemon balm tea to wash sores or rashes.
While the above home remedies for genital herpes will help alleviate symptoms, the most important action is to remain aggressive. Practice highs standards of hygiene, otherwise, your efforts will amount to nothing.