Herpes simplex virus (HSV), a recurrent viral infection, is caused by Herpes virus hominis (HVH), a most widespread infectious agent. Attempts at controlling this infectious disease as well as latent infections associated with herpes viruses is an area presently being actively explored.
Research being performed at universities, alternative and allopathic research centers, and pharmaceutical companies directed at learning more about the replicative cycle of these viruses in order to develop safe antiviral therapy is yielding new and important information.
The human herpes viruses, which include Herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2, human cytomegalovirus, Varicella-Zoster virus, and the Epstein-Barr Virus, either cause or are associated with a whole spectrum of diseases ranging from infectious mononucleosis to malignancies and mental retardation. Indeed, the herpes viruses are multipotential, having the ability to cause more than one kind of disease.
If you think you have the virus, see a doctor while symptoms are still present. The doctor will look at the area, take a sample from the sore(s) and test to see if the herpes virus is present. The test you should request is a specific virus culture or assay for herpes virus. Remember, the test will not work if the sores have healed. Known available tests are: Cell Culture Test, Antigen test, Pap Smear.
The virus starts to multiply when it gets into the skin cells. The skin becomes red and sensitive, and soon afterward, one or more blisters or bumps appear. The blisters first open, and then heal as new skin tissue forms. During a first outbreak, the area is usually painful and may itch, burn or tingle. Flu-like symptoms are also common. These include swollen glands, headache, muscle ache or fever. Herpes may also infect the urethra, and urinating may cause a burning sensation.
First Infection or Primary Outbreak in the Mouth
Herpes of the mouth and face usually infect children under the age of five years. About 95% of these children experience no signs of illness or rash during the first infection. Initially, the appearance of a small ulcer at the corner of the mouth or edge of the nostrils shows up during the third to fifth recurrence of infection. Typically, a child will catch the virus from a friend or family member who has a cold sore. About two to ten days after being exposed to the virus, the child may develop a high fever, stop eating, and become very fretful. The mouth becomes sore and the gums, the inside of the mouth, and the lips turn very red and swollen. Many blisters appear in the same area and break down to raw red ulcers after a day or two. There is usually a swelling of the glands in the neck and other parts of the body may become infected. An adult who has not already been infected with herpes may develop similar disease and be even sicker than a child. The body rallies to the defense and everything returns to normal after a week to ten days. The fever and swelling disappear followed by the sores healing over without leaving any scars.
Recurrent Herpes of the Mouth
During the first attack (primary outbreak), the herpes virus has climbed through the nerves to the base of the brain seeking protection from the body’s defenses by going dormant. These evasive viruses hide in the deep nerve ganglion cells that run to the mouth and skin around it. One day, several months or even years later, the virus may awaken again. This awakening is usually caused by some form of stress or fever. The herpes virus, once awakened, travels back down the nerves and reappears inside your mouth, nose or around your lips to produce the familiar blistering cold sores. Most of the time you will have some warning that the attack is about to begin. This shows up as numbness or a tingling sensation in the area, medically known as prodromal symptoms. The blisters come shortly thereafter, breaking into red ulcers, and then crust over and heal without scarring in a few days. Generally a recurrent episode is less disruptive to the body as a whole. In effect, you will not have the same pain and discomfort in your mouth that the first attack produced.
Although there is no cure, there are measures that can be taken to reduce manifestations. During an outbreak, keep the infected area as clean and dry as possible. This will help your natural healing processes. Some doctors recommend warm showers in order to cleanse the infected area. Afterwards, towel dry gently, or dry the area with a hair dryer on a low or cool setting. To prevent chaffing, some people also find it helpful to avoid tight-fitting undergarments. Most creams and lotions do no good and may even irritate.
The amino acid lysine often controls herpes. Supplementation with free-form lysine has shown to be beneficial in controlling herpes along with a diet high in lysine and low in arginine. It has been found that foods high in I-Arginine may cause herpes outbreaks. Increased levels of lysine over arginine suppress viral replication and inhibit cytopathogenicity of herpes simplex virus. L-Lysine appears to be an effective agent for reduction of the occurrence, severity and healing time for recurrent HSV infection. Several doctors have reported that if lysine use reduces herpes outbreaks, an immunological imbalance is present. Treatments aimed at immune system improvement have been effective in eliminating or reducing recurrence.
Foods high in lysine and low in arginine include fish, chicken, beef, lamb, milk, cheese, beans, brewer’s yeast, mung bean sprouts and most fruits and vegetables. Gelatin, chocolate, carob, coconut, oats, whole-wheat and white flour, peanuts, soybeans, and wheat germ have more arginine than lysine and should thus be avoided. To quote one study, “The amount of lysine required to control herpes varied from case to case but a typical dose to maintain remission was 500mg daily and active herpes required 1 to 6gm between meals to induce healing.”Vitamin C, zinc, thymus extracts, TMG, monolaurin from coconut, and olive leaf extract have all been used with some success as reported by various doctors.
As a healthy immune system may be important in controlling the virus, don’t ignore the need for proper nutrition, exercise, and rest.
Signs, symptoms & indicators of Herpes I
(Past) cold sores
No history of cold sores
Conditions that suggest Herpes I
Herpes I can lead to
Recommendations for Herpes I
Foods high in lysine and low in arginine, as well as supplementation with free-form l-lysine, help to control the herpes virus. The herpes virus uses arginine for its growth and replication, however lysine reduces the viral uptake of arginine. Lysine is found in higher proportions in foods such as cheese, potatoes, meat and soy products. Arginine is found in chocolate, nuts and seeds, oatmeal, and whole wheat products. Foods high in arginine or a high arginine/lysine ratio can cause herpes outbreaks and slow recovery.
Drs. Kagan, Griffith and Norins at the UCLA School of Medicine found of 45 patients receiving L-Lysine for herpes, only two failed to respond (96% success). The patients were receiving about 1500mg L-Lysine daily.
Arginine promotes viral replication of herpes. In some people, changing the dietary ratio of lysine to arginine reduces the frequency and intensity of outbreaks.
The topical application of licorice extracts containing glycyrrhiza may hasten recovery of oral herpes lesions.
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is a potent deactivator of lipid-enveloped viruses. Many people throughout the USA are using BHT to successfully keep the lesions dormant, with no sores as long as they consume BHT regularly. Some people develop sores once every 3-4 months opposed to higher frequency when not using BHT. The majority of those who use lysine regularly along with 750-1,000mg of BHT daily keep the sores from ever occurring. The only human antiviral test that has been conducted with BHT was for herpes, the outcome of which was successful.
The herpes virus is responsible for outbreaks of blisters on any area of the body but most commonly on the mouth and genitals. If our immune system is functioning well, this virus should be destroyed. Sterols and sterolins increase the body’s natural interferon – our frontline defense against viruses. They also make cytotoxic cells more effective at destroying virus-infected cells. Research has shown that these important plant fats can decrease specific immune factors that the herpes virus uses to make more of itself. As a result, the amount of virus in the body may decline.
One research group reported that lithium inhibits the reproduction of several viruses, including herpes simplex viruses (HSV 1, HSV 2), adenovirus (the “common cold” virus), cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus (associated with mononucleosis and many cases of chronic fatigue), and the measles virus.
Dr. R. Mattassi of Italy in his 1982 study found that 24 out of 27 people with Herpes simplex stayed in remission with up to a 3 year follow-up after ozone treatments. He also showed that all lesions went into remission after a maximum of 5 ozone injections.
Two Cuban studies were done with Ozonated Oil. Ozonated oil was given to a group of 10 female patients suffering from Herpes simplex on the lips. Lesions healed in a short time.
Another study was effected on 50 patients suffering from Herpes Simplex. They were treated topically applying ozonized oil. The regression of the local symptomatology was obtained just a few hours after the treatment, and healing came the third day. The advantages in comparison to other traditional treatments were noticed, in particular its antiviral effect and its capability of eliminating the relapse of the disease. [J.Delgado, R.Wong, M.Gòmez y S.Menèndez Centro de Investigaciones Medico Quirurgicas, Centro Nacional De Investigaciones Cientificas]
|Weak or unproven link|
|Proven definite or direct link|
|Very strongly or absolutely counter-indicative|
|May do some good|
|Likely to help|
|Reasonably likely to cause problems|
An infection, often recurrent, caused by herpes virus type 1 and 2. It causes cold sores around the lips and mouth, and also causes painful blisters on the genitals and in the pubic area, thighs, and buttocks.
Any of a vast group of minute structures composed of a protein coat and a core of DNA and/or RNA that reproduces in the cells of the infected host. Capable of infecting all animals and plants, causing devastating disease in immunocompromised individuals. Viruses are not affected by antibiotics, and are completely dependent upon the cells of the infected host for the ability to reproduce.
(CMV): A member of the herpes virus family which may induce the immune-deficient state or cause active illness, such as pneumonia, in a patient already immune-deficient due to chronic illness, such as cancer or organ transplantation therapy.
An acute, infectious disease caused by the herpes virus, Epstein-Barr virus, with fever and inflamed swelling of the lymph nodes around the neck, under the arms, and in the groin.
The membranes, such as the mouse, nose, anus, and vagina, that line the cavities and canals of the body which communicate with the air.
Also known as fever blisters, cold sores are localized collections of clear fluid causing elevation of the skin, separating it into an upper and lower layer, often recurring about once per year. Generally due to Herpes Type 1 (HSV1) and appearing as blisters on the outside surface of the lips but also on the face and inside the mouth, eventually breaking down to form small ulcers and finally scabs.
A substance, usually protein or protein-sugar complex in nature, which, being foreign to the bloodstream or tissues of an animal, stimulates the formation of specific blood serum antibodies and white blood cell activity. Re-exposure to similar antigen will reactivate the white blood cells and antibody programmed against this specific antigen.
Papanicolaou test. Microscopic examination of cells collected from the vagina and cervix to test for uterine cancer or dysplasia.
Lesion on the skin or mucous membrane.
A group of nerve cell bodies clustered together in a uniform mass outside of but often close to the brain or spinal chord. Nerves run to or from the ganglia in passage to or from the brain to specific sites on the body.
An organic acid containing nitrogen chemical building blocks that aid in the production of protein in the body. Eight of the twenty-two known amino acids are considered "essential," and must be obtained from dietary sources because the body can not synthesize them.
Essential amino acid. Important for growth, tissue repair, and the production of hormones, enzymes and antibodies. Research indicates that lysine may be useful in the treatment of migraine and herpes simplex. Precursor to carnitine in the body.
A nonessential amino acid but may be essential for individuals with certain diseases or nutritional concerns. May promote the release of growth hormone. Involved in creatine synthesis, a compound that stores energy in muscle. Helps to remove ammonia from the body as part of the urea cycle.
A complex that protects the body from disease organisms and other foreign bodies. The system includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response. The immune system also protects the body from invasion by making local barriers and inflammation.
A single-cell organism that may cause infection in the mouth, vagina, gastrointestinal tract, and any or all bodily parts. Common yeast infections include candidiasis and thrush.
(mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.
(gm): A metric unit of weight, there being approximately 28 grams in one ounce.
Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant vitamin essential to the body's health. When bound to other nutrients, for example calcium, it would be referred to as "calcium ascorbate". As an antioxidant, it inhibits the formation of nitrosamines (a suspected carcinogen). Vitamin C is important for maintenance of bones, teeth, collagen and blood vessels (capillaries), enhances iron absorption and red blood cell formation, helps in the utilization of carbohydrates and synthesis of fats and proteins, aids in fighting bacterial infections, and interacts with other nutrients. It is present in citrus fruits, tomatoes, berries, potatoes and fresh, green leafy vegetables.
An essential trace mineral. The functions of zinc are enzymatic. There are over 70 metalloenzymes known to require zinc for their functions. The main biochemicals in which zinc has been found to be necessary include: enzymes and enzymatic function, protein synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism. Zinc is a constituent of insulin and male reproductive fluid. Zinc is necessary for the proper metabolism of alcohol, to get rid of the lactic acid that builds up in working muscles and to transfer it to the lungs. Zinc is involved in the health of the immune system, assists vitamin A utilization and is involved in the formation of bone and teeth.
Tri-methyl-glycine. After supplying a methyl group, TMG becomes di-methyl-glycine. DMG, a natural component of animal and plant metabolism, positively influences the immune response in laboratory animals and humans and boosts physical and mental performance.