1 in 5 adults in the US carry the Herpes Simplex virus and with it the stigma of a sexually transmitted disease. TCM sees it as a disease that can be cured with herbs.
This Viral infection is characterized by one or more clusters of small vesicles filled with clear fluid on a slightly raised inflamed base. A human cannot become infected with HSV by touching an object, work surface, washbasin, or towel that has been touched by an infected person. Infection can occur in the following ways:
- having unprotected vaginal or anal sex
- having oral sex with a person who gets cold sores
- sharing sex toys
- having genital contact with an infected person
The virus is most likely to be passed on just before the blister appears, when it is visible, and until the blister is completely healed. HSV can still be transmitted to another person when there are no signs of an outbreak, although it is less likely.
They are usually found on the junction of the skin around mucus membranes (eyelids, corners of mouth, nose, external genitalia). Break outs are more common during or after febrile diseases.
Breakouts usually start with a slight tingling or itching discomfort on the future infected site. Once eruptions occur a burning pain accompanies them for a few days before healing begins taking 8 - 12 days. Receiving oral sex from somebody who has cold sores around their mouth significantly raises the risk of becoming infected. When HSV is present on the surface of the skin of an infected person, it can easily be passed on to someone else through the moist skin that lines the mouth, anus, and genitals. The virus may also spread to another individual through other areas of skin, as well as the eyes.
In Western Medicine
Herpes is transmitted by the Herpes Simplex Virus - HSV. Once acquired it can’t be healed, only be managed by antiviral drugs. They are used to lessen the discomfort and duration of outbreaks.
In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)
It can be acute or chronic. Acute is most common in Damp-Heat or Wind-Heat. Chronic can be middle burner heat or yin deficiency with deficiency firewind causing wind stirring upward with Heat. Herbal therapy is available for the treatment and can be supported by a dampness free diet.
Different individuals may experience different symptoms, including:
- blisters and ulceration on external genitalia, in the vagina, or on the cervix
- vaginal discharge
- pain and itching
- tender, enlarged lymph nodes
- pain when urinating
- high temperature (fever)
- red blisters on the skin
Diet & Prevention
Clean affected area daily. Eat light balanced and digestible meals and drink plenty of water. It is best to avoid eating uncooked (raw), greasy, spicy foods, chocolate, mango, pineapple, cherry, coconut meat, eggs, and vitamin, fish without scales and fins (shellfish), and /or heat-inducing food. No smoking or drinking alcohol and coffee and cold beverages. Avoid oily and fatty foods which create Dampness.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the following herbs are recommended for individuals with Herpes
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