The herpes virus is incredibly small. So small in fact that around 100 million of them could fit onto the head of a pin. Isn’t that amazing?
Around 90% of our population will have contracted one of the herpes viruses by the time we reach adulthood. Very few people miss out on getting this virus. There are dozens of viruses that belong to the herpes family, and fortunately for us there are only a few of them that affect humans.
We know of course that the herpes virus is highly contagious, particularly contagious at the onset of the blisters and from the fluid in the lesions and is spread by contact with the blisters, or from body fluid like saliva for instance, so be careful who you kiss!! Obviously if the virus is in the saliva, it could be passed in the air, if someone coughs or laughs, even talking!
In saying that though, around 30% of people infected with the herpes virus, will show no symptoms at all, the common symptom that we have come to expect like that of the telltale cold sore on the lips.
Very often when first contracting this virus, the symptoms will present as a sore throat, feeling tired and a bit run down, or with a few little mouth ulcers, the gland in the neck may be a bit swollen and sometimes there can be a bit of a raised temperature. Nothing to specifically indicate that you have contracted the herpes virus.
However, despite not having any obvious symptoms that we would expect to see with a herpes infection, the body will shed the virus in body secretions at certain times, so despite the fact that they have no symptoms, if infected and shedding the virus, it can of course be passed on. No wonder it is so prevalent in todays society!
There are eight herpes strains that affect the human body. The ones that I will discuss today and mostly concern us are the :
Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 HSV-1 and Type 2 HSV-2
Epstein Barr Virus EBV
Varicella Zoster Virus
Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1) which presents as the common cold sore otherwise known as fever blisters.
Once you have contracted this virus it will stay dormant in your body for many years, It hides in the nerve and skin, and will erupt and expose itself whenever your health is compromised, often when you have a cold or flu, or if you are under a lot of stress. This form of herpes can also reactivate due to exposure to the sun, and often you may hear people say when they go out in the sun they can end up with a cold sore.
HSV 1 are usually found around the mouth, on the lips, on the nose, and sometimes around the eyes. Symptoms generally start with a mild tingling feeling on the skin, and this is where the lesion will occur. It looks like a blister and once formed the blisters will break open and release the infected fluid. This is the time to be careful about touching the lesions as you don’t want to pass the virus on to anyone else or contaminate any other areas of your body.
Herpes Simplex Type 2 (HSV-2) which we know as genital herpes. At the onset of an outbreak, there is usually a tingling sensation where the lesion will present. Once the lesion is obvious, it can take up to ten days for the sore to crust over and start to heal. The lesions will be infectious until they do crust over. Obviously found mainly on the genitalia, however can be transmitted to other areas of the body as well. Again as in HSV1 it will stay dormant in your body, and reappear in times of illness or stress. Around 1 in 8 will contract HSV 2.
Epstein Barr Virus EBV also know as mononucleosis or mono. This form of herpes can be very debilitating as it can cause extreme fatigue, a very sore throat and a high fever. In many instances it can cause very swollen lymph glands in the neck, in the armpits and in the groin. EBV is commonly passed via saliva secretions and is particularly virulent during adolescent years, and is often called the kissing disease!
Cytomegalovirus CMV this is one of the herpes viruses that can be in your body and you may never know that you have been infected. Very often young children in childcare centers or preschools will contract this virus, as it can pass through indirect contact such as on contaminated articles like toys. It can also be spread through saliva, all body fluids and breast milk.
The main symptom is fatigue when you get the virus. There are no rashes or obvious symptoms with this form of herpes. It is rarely a major problem and mostly goes without any treatment being required other than a good diet, a multi-vitamin and rest when tired. Often with young children you wont even realise their immune system is dealing with this virus.
The main danger with this form of herpes is for the unborn baby, if their mother becomes infected with CMV during their pregnancy.
Varicella Zoster Virus or otherwise known as herpes zoster. This form of herpes causes chicken pox and shingles.
Symptoms of chicken pox include fatigue, a headache, fever and of course the obvious rash of small raised blisters. The blisters can present anywhere on the body and can become very itchy. After around five days, the blisters will break and scab over and healing begins. The fluid in the blisters is contagious.
Shingles is the re-activation of the chicken pox form of herpes. After a bout of chicken pox, which generally occurs during childhood, the virus is dormant and hiding away in the body. It tends to represent itself when your immune system is stressed or weakened by colds of flus, or just simply affecting us as we get older.
Symptoms of shingles often start with an extreme case of fatigue. Probably the last thing you would consider is that you may be coming down with a bout of shingles, and we blame all sorts of things in our life for our fatigue. The fatigue you feel at the onset of the reactivation of this virus is quite extreme. It is very noticable, not just a feeling of tiredness. It is real fatigue.
Then the rash of small blisters will present itself to you. Very often the rash is on the trunk of the body, over the rib area or abdomen, and often also it presents on the face, usually just one side, around the eye and down the cheeks. It can however be anywhere on the body. The blisters will be raised and filled with fluid, and will dry and crust over before healing.
Shingles lesions can be extremely itchy and very painful. The biggest problem with shingles is that it can leave nerve damage where the lesions were, and cause long lasting pain in that area. The pain can be quite excruciating, despite the lesions having cleared up. Overall shingles can be very nasty.
What can we do?
Over the last 30 years that I have been in clinical practice, I have seen hundreds of cases of all forms of herpes infections. Natural remedies can make an enormous difference in working with the herpes virus. Allowing the virus to be quietened and controlled in the body.
Many of the chronically ill people that I have seen, whether or not they have a specific tag for their symptoms, have often been going from practitioner to practitioner, medical and or natural therapists, and often suffering unnecessarily and spending huge amounts of money on continuing to take vitamins, special drinks or diet regimes, herbal or other natural remedies, which of course are great remedies and tonics in themselves but so often not hitting the nail on the head so to speak.
In all illness, no matter what it is labelled, the treatment needs to initially work on the obvious symptoms to alleviate the presenting problem, but when the current crisis is over it doesn’t stop there. Particularly if there has been any antibiotic or steroid drug therapy used, which is often necessary initially depending on the illness.
This is when the deeper work must begin. The deep cleansing and healing. We need to target the load of viral, bacterial and fungal freeloaders that we all come in contact with on a day to day basis, and we can carry in our body. This increases the burden on our immune systems ability to keep us well, and so we develop certain symptoms, unique to each of us dependent on our genetics and lifestyle.
Sadly we can go around in circles looking for the answers, but continuing to feel really tired and rundown, with vague symptoms coming and going, aches and pains, headaches, getting the flu and stomach bugs that go around each year and wondering why we aren’t as healthy as we once were.
Once you have contracted the herpes virus, you will always have it in your body. It appears that this virus can live pretty much forever in our body and not do too much damage while it is dormant.
Treating the herpes virus is challenging and can take a lot of dedication to treating it, as you need to continue with treatments even when you don’t have any active lesions. I have developed a specific treatment regime that is very effective. You can’t just stay on the same herbs, as the body and the bugs get too used to them. We have to continually surprise the bugs and the body with changing remedies.
What we need to do, is to work with your immune system and to have it functioning as optimally as possible, and to treat periodically with the stronger anti-viral herbs. It is a process that will take around 12 months, but well worth the effort.
You need to build your immune system when you don’t have any active herpes lesions, and when you do have active lesions you need to take the strong antiviral herbal tinctures as well as treat the lesions with a salve.
Following is a list of suggested vitamins, herbs and homeopathic remedies that you can take. If you want a more precise remedy protocol for your personal situation, please email me for further information.
Vitamin & Minerals
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
You can use dried herbs as teas, or liquid tinctures. Tinctures are stronger and advisable for when you have an active lesion.
- Cats Claw
- Olive Leaf
- Golden Seal
Treating lesions externally
You can use a cream or salve to put onto the lesions. If you would like to have the salve or cream, which will keep for a period of 12 months, you can order it from Balance Your Health. Please email me for pricing and postage costs.
Herbs to build your Immune system
- Siberian Ginseng
- Panax Ginseng
- Red Clover
- Arsenicum album
- Hepar sulph
- Nat mur
- Rhus tox
There are many extremely effective natural remedies that will help to ease an outbreak of herpes and even prevent further outbreaks, and most certainly many wonderful remedies that can help you find better health.
Please email me if you would like an online consultation or for further information regarding the purchase of any of the herbs.
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© Molly Knight