by Francine Kanter
Herpes is a general term for two different diseases: one affects the area around the mouth (oral herpes, also known as cold sores) and the other affects the area around the genitals (genital herpes). Viruses cause both of these diseases. The herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) causes oral herpes; both HSV-1 and herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) cause genital herpes. While HSV-1 and HSV-2 are different viruses, they look very much the same and are treated similarly. Herpes cannot be cured. Once someone is infected with either virus, it cannot be cleared from the human body.
Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 live in nerve cells, usually under the skin. Neither virus is always active. They often remain silent or inactive in these cells, sometimes for many years or even a lifetime. This is called “latency”. For reasons not entirely understood by researchers, the viruses can become active and cause symptoms, which include sores around the mouth or near the genitals. This is called “reactivation”. These symptoms can come and go in what is known as outbreaks or flare-ups. During a flare-up, the virus becomes active and causes a chain of events leading to a cluster of small bumps to form. The bumps may rupture, heal and then disappear for an indefinite period of time.
How is Herpes Treated?
Herpes cannot be cured. Once either virus is inside the body and settles itself into the nerve cells, it cannot be eliminated. However, herpes sores can be treated. Treatment can speed up healing time, reduce pain and delay or prevent additional flare-ups. Typically, treatment is used only during flare-ups. In people with compromised immune systems, flare-ups can be frequent and may require long-term therapy.
Prevention and Care
During a flare-up, it is important to keep the sores and the area around the sores as clean and dry as possible. This will help the natural healing process. Avoid tight-fitting undergarments. The amino acids lysine and arginine have been shown to play a role in herpes flare-ups. According to some new research, lysine can help control herpes flare-ups. Arginine, on the other hand, can actually make flare-ups worse. In turn, foods that are rich in lysine but low in arginine can help control both oral and genital herpes.
Fish, chicken, beef, lamb, milk, cheese, beans, brewer’s yeast, mung bean sprouts and most fruits and vegetables (except peas) have more lysine than arginine. Gelatin, chocolate, carob, coconut, oats, whole wheat and white flour, peanuts, soybeans and wheat germ have more arginine than lysine.
Keeping a Strong Immune System
Homeopathy plays a huge role in maintaining a strong immune system. The appropriate homeopathic remedy will keep the herpes virus in a dormant stage. Very often, people come to me suffering from recurrent herpes outbreaks, and after specific examination of the person’s lifestyle, it is found they are experiencing high stress—a major contributor to herpes. High stress depletes the immune system. Homeopathy is a complete system of healing without any side effects and will restore balance and health to the overall system.
Francine Kanter, CCH, RsHOM(NA), board certified homeopath practitioner, has been in practice for over 20 years. Her office is located at 9895 NW 48th Ct., Coral Springs. For more information, call 754-484-7988, email [email protected] or visit fKanterHomeopath.com.