A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Herpes Infection
I had a question the other day about herpes infection.
There are at least 7 types of herpesviruses.
We’re going to talk mostly about genital herpes here.
Genital herpes is the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease in the US.
More than 45 million Americans have it, but more than half never develop serious symptoms.
The infection can be anywhere from a silent infection to a serious inflammation of your liver with fever.
It’s more common among blacks than whites, and more likely to infect women than men.
It’s especially dangerous to infants.
A baby whose mother is infected can get the virus from the birth canal, creating a risk of brain damage, blindness, and death.
For people with active symptoms, genital herpes causes outbreaks of red, sensitive skin; itching; burning; and painful, fluid-filled blisters.
The blisters are very infectious until they’re completely healed, which can take up to 3 weeks.
But, it’s fairly common to have virtually no symptoms.
A mild tingling and burning in the vaginal area may be the first sign of genital herpes in women.
Within a matter of a few hours, blisters develop around your rectum, clitoris, and cervix, and in your vagina.
There’s often a watery discharge from your urethra and pain when urinating.
In men, blisters break out on your penis, groin, and scrotum, often with urethral discharge and painful urination.
Sometimes your penis and foreskin swell.
A man may also have tender, swollen lymph nodes in the groin.
The first attack of genital herpes usually comes within 20 days after exposure to the virus.
It may be so mild it’s not noticed, or it may cause itching and burning as well as painful sores lasting a week or more, plus fever, headache, and other flu-like symptoms.
After a few days, pus erupts from the blisters and painful ulcers form.
These sores crust over and dry while healing.
Usually, they don’t leave scars.
There’s growing evidence that people with genital herpes are at greater than normal risk of contracting HIV if they have unprotected sex with someone who’s HIV-positive.
HIV-infected people who’re also infected with genital herpes are more likely to have more frequent and severe herpes outbreaks, which may result in episodes that are more difficult to treat.
It’s now possible to diagnose herpes with a blood test, even if no symptoms are present or after sores have healed.
There’s no cure for herpes.
Although it’s a serious illness, herpes isn’t usually life-threatening.
Having the virus means you have to adjust your lifestyle to protect yourself and others, but herpes doesn’t usually infect other organs in your body.
If you already have the infection, it’s very important to protect yourself as much as you can from repeated outbreaks and to avoid passing the infection on to others.
To deal with herpes infection it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-9 cups of purified water.
*Astragalus enhances your immune system and acts as an antibiotic (don’t use if you have a fever).
*Applying black walnut or goldenseal extract to the affected area may help.
*Cat’s claw has immune-enhancing properties and acts against viral infection (don’t use during pregnancy).
*Olive leaf extract appears to help curb the growth of viral diseases like herpes.
*Red marine algae contains antiviral carbohydrates effective, both topically and orally, for the treatment of herpes.
*Spirulina contains phytonutrients appearing to boost the immune system.
*Tea tree oil is a powerful natural antiseptic. During a herpes outbreak, dab it lightly on the affected area several times a day, either full strength or, if that’s too strong, diluted with distilled water or cold-pressed vegetable oil. Don’t get tea tree oil close to your eye area.
*Avoid alcohol, processed foods, colas, white flour products, sugar, refined carbohydrates, coffee, and drugs to lessen the chance of an outbreak. Herbal teas are beneficial (especially cayenne, myrrh, and red clover), but all other teas should be avoided.
*Eat the following in moderation during outbreaks: almonds, barley, cashews, cereals (grains), chicken, chocolate, corn, dairy products, meat, nuts and seeds, oats, and peanuts.
*Don’t eat citrus fruits and juices while the virus is active.
*Get plenty of rest.
*To ease swelling and pain in your genital area, use ice packs. Warm Epsom salts or baking soda baths help itching and pain. After the bath, pat dry gently and keep the lesions dry.
*Apply vitamin E and vitamin A, alternately, directly on the sores.
*Wear cotton underwear. Practice good genital hygiene – keep clean and dry.
*If you have active lesions, refrain from sex until the sores have completely healed. Don’t have intercourse with a person with visible genital lesions of any kind.
*Eliminate toxic personal care, laundry and cleaning products.
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