The H word. Herpes. Not many people are comfortable talking about it; it’s one of those conditions that although incredibly common, still seems relatively taboo. This is probably because the symptoms that manifest can be as unsightly as they are painful and contagious. Anyone who has ever experienced one of the forms of the herpes virus will tell you, they just want it to go away as quickly as possible.
Any social stigma attached to herpes is unwarranted; the viruses are so easily transmitted that they inevitably affect a huge percentage of the population. The herpes virus doesn’t discriminate between gender, class or race and most people have come into contact with at least one form of it at a very young age, potentially even at birth.
Many people carry one of the viruses but show no symptoms, so it’s incredibly hard to avoid it; as it happens, 70% of the UK population has the cold sore virus (facial sores), and around 10% have genital herpes. Yet three quarters of the population is unaware of their herpes virus infection; this is because one in four don't have symptoms and half only get mild symptoms.
The symptoms of herpes are attributed to two viruses HSV 1 and HSV 2. HSV 1 is the most common one (the one we call cold sores), and it affects the face; usually the mouth and nose, and in some unfortunate cases, even in and around the eye area. HSV 2 is the one that affects the genital area. In both cases, it starts with itching, followed by bumps that turn into blisters and painful open sores. In worse cases, fever, headaches, swollen glands and sore muscles may also be experienced.
These nervous system viruses lay dormant in the spine, and under certain conditions (lack of homeostasis, immune system depletion, or excessive acidity), the virus finds its way to your skin’s surface where it proliferates, and the first symptoms appear. The symptoms vary according to the state of the sufferer’s health and lifestyle – there may be more or less antibodies present to fight it off.
Skin to skin contact is the way the virus is transmitted, in both cases – but as many people do not display symptoms, it’s still possible for them to transmit the virus unknowingly. If someone does have symptoms present, this is when the virus is most contagious and contact should be avoided. It’s possible to be tested to find out if you have one of the viruses or not, regardless of lack of symptoms. The good news is that it is curable, and in many cases the immune system overcomes it the first time and prevents recurrences.
How to deal with herpes naturally - and prevent recurrences
Just because it's tricky to avoid the virus, it doesn't mean that you shouldn’t bother taking precautions, but if you occasionally have to deal with symptoms, you’re far from alone in that – and there are things you can do about it:
Diet and lifestyle
If you adopt an alkaline diet and consider using products for alkalising, your health will improve immeasurably and you will find that it is difficult for any disease or ailment to take hold of your body. Test your pH to discover what state your body is in, and aim for a steady pH of 7.5 – under these conditions, no disease is able to manifest. Stress can be a trigger for the virus to come out of dormancy, so keep stress levels to a minimum by embracing a healthy lifestyle and good habits, such as meditation.
The anti-oxidant properties of vitamin C are well documented, but it works well against herpes for more than just that reason: studies have concluded that it may also have anti-cortisol (stress hormone) effects. Vitamin C also reduces the likelihood of your body being inflicted with cold and flu viruses by around 30%, and also is thought to assist collagen synthesis. Lypo-spheric vitamin C is the strongest and most effective kind available to you right now.
Oil of Oregano
Oil of oregano, provided that it has a minimum of 75% carvacrol content, is a very effective natural treatment for herpes and many other conditions. It is anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial, and was even proven to be more effective that antibiotics in studies – without the damage to the body that antibiotics cause. Nevertheless, it is still wise to follow up with some quality probiotics as this is a very powerful medicine.
DMSO (Dimethyl Sulfoxide) is a natural substance with oxidising properties, meaning that it creates an environment disease cannot thrive in: an oxygenated one. DMSO penetrates infected cells, bringing oxygen to them, thus killing the virus. This works very well in combination with an alkaline diet for prevention of any future outbreaks.
pH health are happy to help those struggling with herpes viruses – find out more about it here, or talk to us about how we can help you with healthy products to tackle it.