First, please let me express my profound thanks to you for reaching out on your friend’s behalf, and please convey to her she has my compassion and sympathy. As far as I know, there is no natural or even conventional prescription that is guaranteed to completely eradicate the Herpes simplex virus (HSV). But people who have suffered as your friend has suffered for years do find a high quality of life that includes keeping the herpes in check. Stress is the other big trigger, so I might encourage your friend to find her own way with meditation, counseling. The good news is that there are supplements and herbs that may help reduce the frequency and severity of outbreaks. Being open with her health care provider is important here as someone who knows her body and it’s variables is going to be in the best place to gather recommendations.
Lysine is a naturally occurring amino acid that may help. You can take up to 2000mg daily, however it’s imperative to work out the dosages with a doctor. Your friend will also benefit from avoiding the herpes-triggering foods that are rich in arginine. We all need some arginine (sunflower seeds, brown rice), but she will want to keep away from the best-known culprits: coffee, peanuts, and chocolate. Herbs used to minimize herpes outbreaks are St. Johnswort (not because it is an antidepressant, but because it nourishes nerve cells, the tissue affected by this virus), and Lemon Balm (the whole leaf extract, not the essential oil).
Amanda McQuade Crawford
Do you have your own question for our Herbalists? Click here to submit it now!