Tea Tree Oil and Herpes

Can you use tea tree oil on herpes?

While there is no cure for herpes, you can use alternative natural treatments that may lessen the frequency and severity of your breakouts - without the side effects of some antiviral medications.

Tea tree oil is one substance that shows promise in the fight against herpes.

Research shows this plant oil contains an antimicrobial called terpinen-4-ol. This substance has been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Can this healthy oil be used against herpes?

It turns out that researchers at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, asked the same question. They looked at the antiviral effects of Australian tea tree oil against the herpes simplex virus.

  • Tests showed tea tree oil had significant antiviral activity against herpes simplex 1 and 2.

  • Another study from Cairo University showed terpinen-4-ol was effective up to 99% against the herpes simplex virus 1 in animal studies.

While this research proves the antiviral effects of tea tree oil, there's unfortunately no human studies to determine the optimal dosage and strength that's effective.

However, visitors at some popular herpes support forums, such as Herpes-Coldsores.com and The Original Herpes Home Page, indicates some people have had success using tea tree oil on herpes.

How to Use Tea Tree Oil on Herpes

The information I got from the above herpes forums showed most people used 100% tea tree oil.

How some people used this oil to treat their herpes:

  • Tea tree oil was always applied topically and never ingested or swallowed.

  • Some people would apply the oil on sores near the genital region and others avoided this area due to concerns of possible irritation.

  • People with sensitive skin used a diluted solution of tea tree oil. They would dab a Q-tip in water and then add a drop of the oil before applying.

What did people experience from using tea tree oils on herpes?

  • Some people found the tea tree oil lessened the severity of the outbreak.

  • Some people experienced reduced redness and drying up of the lesions.

  • In other cases, the oils helped prevent lesions from breaking through the skin or reduced the severity of the sores.

  • Some people experienced a tingling heat sensation when they used 100% pure undiluted tea tree oil. This effect was reduced when they diluted the oil with water.

It's important to note that not all users achieved these results and some users didn't experience any benefit at all.

Other Natural Treatments for Herpes

Using tea tree oil on herpes is only one type of natural treatment. Depending on your particular type of herpes infection, it may or may not work for you. Here are some other natural treatments:

Supplement with the Amino Acid Lysine

Studies show that supplementing the diet with lysine supplements may help reduce the severity and number of herpes breakouts. The amount of lysine needed may vary from person to person.

Researchers believe a dose of 500 mg. of lysine per day may keep you from getting breakouts. For active herpes infections the suggested daily dose was 1 - 6 grams between meals to promote healing.

Peppermint Oil and other Essential Oils

A study in Germany found peppermint oil had a virucidal effect on the herpes simplex virus. Other essential oils that were found to have anti-viral effects on the herpes virus are anise, hyssop, thyme, ginger, chamomile and sandalwood - with chamomile being the strongest antiviral.

Products like H-Balm contain a blend of essential oils for herpes relief. Reviews are mixed with this one - some people got results from it and others didn't.

Red Marine Algae Supplements

Studies show red marine algae has antiviral effects, particularly against Herpes Simplex. The only problem is there are hundreds of different strains of red marine algae and only a few dozen have antiviral properties.

From what I've read, the best kind to get is either Dumontiaceae or Gigartina red marine algaes. Remember to check the labels and ingredient list on your bottle before buying. Red Marine Algae Plus by Pure Planet contains both strains of this potent antiviral algae.

Virgin Coconut Oil

Another healthy oil you may be interested in is virgin coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil contains a powerful antiviral called lauric acid. When you eat coconut oil your body converts the lauric acid into monolaurin. Scientists found monolaurin can break down the cell membrane of viruses like HIV, herpes and Cytomegalovirus.

Visit my webpage Using Coconut Oil on Herpes for more information.

Remember that these are not natural cures for herpes - only natural treatments. You can also try keeping your immune system healthy to suppress future herpes outbreaks.

Getting plenty of rest, eating healthy and exercising to reduce stress can help boost your immune system. Please consult with your Doctor before you try using tea tree oil on herpes or any other type of natural treatment.

Research References:

Antiviral activity of Australian tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil against herpes simplex virus in cell culture. Department of Virology, Hygiene Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany. Die Pharmazie. 2001 Apr;56(4):343-7.

Chemical and biological evaluation of the essential oils of different Melaleuca species. Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt. Phytotherapy Research. 2004 Jan;18(1):30-5.

The inhibitory effect of essential oils on herpes simplex virus type-1 replication in vitro. Department of Microbiology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan Microbiology and Immunology. 2003;47(9):681-4.

Inhibitory effect of essential oils against herpes simplex virus type 2. Department of Virology, Hygiene Institute, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany. Phytomedicine. 2008 Jan;15(1-2):71-8.

Virucidal effect of peppermint oil on the enveloped viruses herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 in vitro. Department of Virology, Hygiene Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany. Phytomedicine. 2003;10(6-7):504-10.

Lysine Therapy for Herpes Simplex, The Lancet, 1:137 26 Jan 1974) 2. Griffith, R.S., A Multicentered Study of Lysine Therapy in Herpes simplex Infection", Dermatologica 156: 257-267 (1978)

Success of L-Lysine Therapy in Frequently Recurrent Herpes simplex Infection, Dermatologica 175: 183-190 (1987)

Antiherpes virus effect of the red marine alga Polysiphonia denudata. Serkedjieva J. Journal of Biosciences, 2000 Sep-Oct;55(9-10):830-5.

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