27 Herbs that Fight Herpes Infections
A number of herbs have been shown to inhibit Herpes Simplex infections. Let’s look at significant research on some of these.
In this article
Herbal medicine for herpes
In a 2018 study from Pakistan’s Government College University, researchers tested a multitude of plants for their antiviral effects. The researchers found that plants belonging to 36 variety families were antiviral against laboratory models of several viruses, including herpes simplex.
The researchers further isolated 54 different plants, 27 of those specific to particular plant families. The researchers concluded:
“On the basis of the work of several independent research groups, the therapeutic potential of medicinal plants against listed common viral diseases in the region has been proclaimed. In this context, the herbal formulations as alternative medicine may contribute to the eradication of complicated viral infection significantly.”
A 2016 study from Iran’s Shahrekord University of Medical Science conducted a review of research on Iran herbal medicines for herpes. The researchers found 23 medicinal plants that were studied against herpes simplex. The researchers found the following herbs were “highly effective” against herpes infections in the laboratory:
- Melissa officinalis
- Quercus persica
- Securigeras ecuridaca
The search for the best antiviral herbs is not a new one.
In 1990, the Jiangxi Medical College of China conducted a large test of 472 herbs that were known for their antiviral effects. They screened each herb with herpes patients. Included in this was 78 cases of herpetic keratitis – infections in the eyes.
The researchers found many of these herbs sped up healing for the herpes patients. The top ten herbs that were significantly antiviral against herpes simplex:
- Aristolochia debilis
- Artemisia anomala
- Lindera strychnifolia
- Patrinia villosa
- Pinus massoniana
- Prunella vulgaris
- Pyrrosia lingua
- Rhus chinensis
- Sargussum fusiforme
- Taraxacum mongolicum
In the example of the 78 cases of herpes in the eyes, the researchers found that eye drops containing a combination of Pyrrosia lingua and Prunella vulgaris completely cured 38 of the patients, while 37 showed marked improvement. Only three patients of the group showed no improvement after the eye drops were employed.
Testing a gel formula
This international investigation of antiviral herbs for herpes continues today.
In a 2018 study from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, researchers tested a gel combination for the treatment of herpes simplex – more specifically Herpes libialis. After looking at the available evidence on anti-herpetic herbs, the researchers utilized five herbs in their combination:
- Sumac extract
- Licorice extract
- Rosemary extract
- Melissa extract
As we’ll discuss further, this is because these herbs have been shown in several studies to fight herpes infections. They have been shown to speed the healing of the sores and inhibit the viral outbreak.
Their study found that rosemary and licorice herbs offered the primary benefits of helping repair and speed up the healing of the sores.
Clinical research on antiviral herbs
A number of herbs have been clinically studied for herpes. This includes the Gynura herb, which has been studied with patients with HSV-1 and HSV-2.
Researchers tested 59 patients with herpes and found after four days of treatment a 43% faster healing rate in those who used the Gynura.
In 2007, the Kansai Medical University Kohri Hospita in Osaka Japan tested 28 patients with genital herpes. They had been treated in the clinic for at least a year. They had recurrent outbreaks and the doctors prescribed conventional treatment with no improvement. The patients were then tested with an herbal formula. They gave them a herbal formula containing:
- Wisteria floribunda
- Trapa natans
- Terminalia chebulae
- Coicis lachryma-jobi
- Ganoderma lucidum
- Elfuinga applanata
The researchers found the patients reported faster healing times and greater relief. Their outbreak healing times were reduced from an average of 10.9 days to an average of 7.8 days with the herbal medicine.
The Toyodo Hijikata Clinic in Osaka Japan tested six herbs with recurrent herpes labialis on patients in 1998. They also found the herbal formula caused a faster crusting over and complete recovery during outbreaks. Their symptoms disappeared faster than in prior outbreaks, as reported in other clinical studies.
A master list of herbs that inhibit HSV
These and other studies have found herbs to help fight herpes infections. We have reported separately on many of these with additional research evidence:
- Curcuma sp. (Turmeric)
- Andrographis paniculata (Andrographis)
- Thymus sp. (Thyme)
- Lippia graveolens (Mexican oregano)
- Phyllanthus urinaria (Shatterstone)
- Gynura procumbens (Gynura)
- Agrimonia pilosa (Agrimony)
- Capsicum annuum (Cayenne pepper)
- Pithecellobium clypearia (Greater grasshopper tree)
- Punica granatum (Pomegranate)
- Glycyrrhiza spp. (Licorice)
- Coronopus didymus (Lesser swinecress)
- Juglans australis (Nogal criollo)
- Lippia alba (Bushy Lippia – verbena)
- Limonium sinense (Limonium or Sea Lavender)
- Aristolochia debilis (Aristolochia – MaDou Ling)
- Artemisia anomala (Artemisia)
- Lindera strychnifolia (Japanese Evergreen Spicebush)
- Patrinia villosa (Patrina – Bai Jiang Cao)
- Pinus massoniana (Masson’s pine)
- Prunella vulgaris (Self-Heal/Heal-all)
- Zingiber officinale (Ginger)
- Pyrrosia lingua (Tongue Fern)
- Rhus chinensis (Chinese Sumac/Nutgall tree)
- Sargussum fusiforme (Hijiki seaweed)
- Taraxacum sp. (Chinese dandelion)
- Viola yedoensis (Viola)
- Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi mushroom)
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