The following are products designed to reduce the healing time associated with herpes and HPV outbreaks. They are recommended due to the clinical studies, which provide backing to some claims.
We have broken them up into two categories, systemic remedies and topical remedies.
Systemic means that the remedy is designed to affect the whole body. Systemic remedies are usually a natural supplement taken orally.They are designed to help fight pathogens throughout the body, or to help enhance the efficiency of the immune system.
In contrast, a topical remedy is applied directly to an outside part of the body. It should be noted that topical remedies are applied to the surface of the skin, usually directly on the herpes sores or genital warts that arise during an outbreak.
Herpes remedies are presented first, and are followed by HPV remedies.
Natural Systemic Remedies against Herpes & HPV
As opposed to single studies on the various ingredients of a product, the entire formula of this natural herpes remedy was found to safely and effectively reduce HSV symptoms in two separate post-marketing clinical studies that followed FDA guidelines.
The formula of Gene-Eden-VIR was tested by Hanan Polansky and Edan Itzkovitz from the CBCD. The studies showed that the Gene-Eden-VIR formula is effective against the herpes simplex family of viruses. The clinical studies were published in the peer reviewed, medical journal Pharmacology & Pharmacy, the first, in a special edition on Advances in Antiviral Drugs. Study authors wrote that, “individuals infected with the (HSV-1 and HSV-2) … reported a safe decrease in their symptoms following treatment…” (1) The study authors also wrote that, “we observed a statistically significant decrease in the severity, duration, and frequency of symptoms.” (1)
Gene-Eden-VIR‘s formula contains five natural ingredients: Selenium, Camellia Sinesis Extract, Quercetin, Cinnamomum Extract, and Licorice Extract. The first ingredient is a trace element, and the other four are plant extracts. Each ingredient and its dose was chosen through a scientific approach. Scientists at polyDNA, the company that invented and patented the formula, scanned thousands of scientific and medical papers published in various medical and scientific journals, and identified the safest and most effective natural ingredients against latent viruses.
Novirin has the same formula as Gene-Eden-VIR. However, it contains higher quality and more expensive ingredients.
Topical Remedies Against Herpes
1. Oil of Oregano
Oregano oil is derived from the leaves and flowers of oregano (Origanum vulgare), a hardy, bushy perennial herb, and a member of the mint (Lamiaceae) family. It’s native to Europe, although it grows in many areas around the world. (2) The plant grows up to 90 centimeters (35 inches) high, with dark green leaves that are two to three centimeters long. (3)
A search on Pubmed showed that there are at least three studies, which show an anti-HSV activity. One study published in the journal Planta Medica noted that “Our results suggest that thymol and carvacrol (two of the active ingredients) are potential candidates for topical therapeutic application to reduce herpes simplex virus transmission. (4)
NaturalNews.com suggests that buyers beware, however, because “There is a large quality difference in oil of oregano products currently on the market. Most products do not contain pure oil of oregano. They are instead a combination of oregano oil with a dilutive oil such as olive or flax. Some of these products probably contain a significant amount of oil of oregano, others do not, but there is no way to know.” (5) For example, “Bio-alternatives makes a tincture that it says it provides 85% naturally extracted carvacrol, but it is blended with olive oil, so you don’t know how much oil of oregano is in it.” (5)
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil (TTO), also called melaleuca oil, is made from the leaves of the tea tree plant (Melaleuca alternifolia), a member of the myrtle tree family, which is native to Australia. The name was coined by British explorer Lieutenant James Cook in the 1770s, when he saw native Australians brewing tea using the leaves from the tree. Later on, he brewed his own batch of tea, and gave it to his crew to prevent scurvy. (6)
A search on Pubmed showed that there are at least eleven studies, which show that tea tree oil has an anti-HSV activity. One study published in the journal HNO noted that ” labial herpes caused by herpes simplex virus type 1. Balm oil, tea tree oil and peppermint oil demonstrate in vitro (in a test tube) a significant antiherpetic activity.” (7)
3. Lemon Balm
Melissa officinalis, known as lemon balm, (8) balm, (9) common balm, (10) or balm mint, is a perennial herbaceous plant in the mint family Lamiaceae, native to south-central Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean region, and Central Asia. (11)
A search on Pubmed showed that there are at least eight studies, which show that lemon balm has an anti-HSV activity. Authors of one study published in the journal Natural Product Research wrote that “Our experiments support the use of lemon balm for treating Herpes simplex lesions and encourage clinical trials on this medicinal plant. ” (12) In other words, there is some evidence to support a beneficial use when applied topically to herpes sores.
Additionally, NaturalNews.com notes that “topical lemon balm has been shown to reduce redness and itching from infections.” (13)
4. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera is a succulent plant species. The species is frequently cited as being used in herbal medicine since the beginning of the first century AD. Extracts from Aloe vera are widely used in the cosmetics and alternative medicine industries, being marketed as variously having rejuvenating, healing, or soothing properties.
WebMD notes that “most people use aloe gel topically, as a remedy for skin conditions including burns, sunburn, frostbite, psoriasis, and cold sores.” (14)
A search on Pubmed showed that there are at least twelve studies, which show that aloe vera gel has an anti-HSV activity. Authors of one study published in the Journal of Food Science Technology wrote that “approved clinical trial data support its effectiveness for lowering LDL, increasing HDL, decreasing blood glucose level, treating genital herpes and psoriases. ” (15) In other words, there is some evidence to support a beneficial use when applied topically to herpes sores.
Honey has long been regarded as one of the best natural wound healers and infection ﬁghters. When a researcher treated patients with Acyclovir for one herpes outbreak and honey for another, overall healing time with honey was 43 percent better than with Acyclovir for sores on the lips and 59 percent better for genital sores.
According to Nutrition & Healing:
“None of the volunteers experienced any side effects with repeated applications of honey, although three patients developed local itching with the Acyclovir.” (16)
It should be noted that “Processed, refined honey that you typically find in grocery stores is NOT appropriate for use in wound care. In fact, your average domestic “Grade A” type honey will likely increase infection.
It also will not offer you the same health benefits as raw honey when consumed.
Manuka Honey from New Zealand is a specific type of honey that has actually been approved for use as a medical device, due to its healing properties and superior potency. But you could also use raw honey – it’s just not as potent as Manuka.”(17)
Topical Remedies against HPV
1. Vitamin A Cream
“Two different types of vitamin A are found in the diet. Preformed vitamin A is found in animal products such as meat, fish, poultry and dairy foods. The other type, pro-vitamin A is found in plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables. The most common type of pro-vitamin A is beta-carotene.
Vitamin A is also available in dietary supplements, usually in the form of retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate (preformed vitamin A), beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A) or a combination of preformed and pro-vitamin A.” (18)
There is at least one study, published in the virology journal, which notes that “Topical vitamin A has been shown to be a successful treatment of common warts in prior informal studies … retinoids (chemical compounds found in vitamin A) should be further investigated in controlled studies to determine their effectiveness in treating common warts and the broad range of other benign and cancerous lesions induced by HPVs.” (19)
2. Tea Tree Oil
3. Castor Oil
Castor oil is regarded by some as a remedy for constipation remedy.
But you may not be aware of its reported use as an antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal, or that it has been used topically to treat a variety of skin conditions, reduce pain, and stimulate your immune system. (21)
A study published in the medical journal Dermatology found that “podophyllotoxin in a cream emulsion (castor oil, BP as vehicle)” was used to treat genital warts. (22)
It should be noted that there are some other topical natural remedies for genital warts that you can find listed on various websites. However, the ones above are the only ones we found that were both safe (without side effects) and that had at least one study to back their claims of efficacy.
(1) Polansky, H. Itzkovitz, E. Gene-Eden-VIR Is Antiviral: Results of a Post Marketing Clinical Study. Published in September 2013.http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=36101#.VNsjjuaUf90
(7) Schnitzler P1, Reichling J. “Efficacy of plant products against herpetic infections” HNO. 2011 Dec;59(12):1176-84.
(8) “Lemon balm”. University of Maryland Medical Center. Apr 5, 2011. Retrieved Oct 18, 2014.
(12) Mazzanti G1, Battinelli L, Pompeo C, Serrilli AM, Rossi R, Sauzullo I, Mengoni F, Vullo V.”Inhibitory activity of Melissa officinalis L. extract on Herpes simplex virus type 2 replication.” Nat Prod Res. 2008;22(16):1433-40.
(14) WebMD.com – Aloe
(15) Ahlawat KS1, Khatkar BS. “Processing, food applications and safety of aloe vera products: a review.” J Food Sci Technol. 2011 Oct;48(5):525-33.
(18) Medline Plus – Medical Encyclopedia – Vitamin A – Updated by: Alison Evert, MS, RD, CDE, Nutritionist, University of Washington Medical Center
(19) Gaston A, Garry RF. “Topical vitamin A treatment of recalcitrant common warts.” Virol J. 2012 Jan 17;9:21.
(20) Reuter J, Wölfle U, Weckesser S, Schempp C. “Which plant for which skin disease? Part 1: Atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, acne, condyloma and herpes simplex.” J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2010 Oct;8(10):788-96.
(21) Mercola.com – Dr. Mercola – “Castor Oil May Help Relieve Arthritis, Sciatica and Back Pain” Published April 28, 2012
(22) Syed TA1, Lundin S, Ahmad SA. “Topical 0.3% and 0.5% podophyllotoxin cream for self-treatment of condylomata acuminata in women. A placebo-controlled, double-blind study.” Dermatology. 1994;189(2):142-5.