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Lemon Balm: Natural Remedy For Herpes

Oral and genital herpes are caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are 2 types of HSV: type 1 (HSV1) and type 2 (HSV2).

Oral herpes (cold sores or fever blisters) is usually caused by HSV1 and affects the mouth and lips. Genital herpes is often caused by HSV2. HSV1 can easily be spread from mouth to genital area through oral sex while HSV2 is spread through contact with infected genitals.

Lemon Balm: Natural Remedy for Herpes

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a herb that belongs to the mint family. It has a subtle lemon flavor and aroma.

Lemon balm has a long history of medicinal uses. Scientific evidence suggests that it may be effective for treating herpes, anxiety and insomnia.

Clinical studies on the antiviral activity of lemon balm leaf extract against herpes simplex virus

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial to determine the efficacy of a standardised lemon balm cream [active ingredient: 1% Lo-701--dried extract from Melissa officinalis L. leaves (70:1)] for treatment of herpes simplex labialis (ie, oral herpes or cold sores), 66 patients with recurrent herpes labialis (at least 4 episodes per year) were assigned to apply:
- lemon balm cream, or
- placebo, to the affected area 4 times a day for 5 days.

At day 2 of treatment, the treated group experienced significant improvement in the size of the affected area and blisters compared to the placebo group. The significant difference in symptoms on 2nd day of treatment is important as patients who suffer from herpes labialis experience the most intense symptoms at that time. It was found that topical treatment with the lemon balm cream:
- shortened the healing period,
- prevented the spread of infection,
- rapid relief from herpes symptoms such as itching, tingling, burning, stabbing, swelling, tautness and erythema. There are some indication that this topical treatment might prolong the intervals between herpes recurrences.

Two other studies also showed the same standardised lemon balm cream to be an effective treatment against herpes simplex infections.

In another double blind study that involved 116 patients with oral or genital herpes, the lemon balm cream reduced recovery/healing time significantly in the treated group when compared to the placebo group.

L.A. Naturals Lemon Balm – 1 fl oz

In an open study that involved 115 patients with cold sores and symptoms less than 72 hours, they were given the lemon balm cream to apply 5 times a day until the lesions healed. Complete healing was achieved by:
- 60% of patients by 4th day,
- 87% of patients by 6th day,
- 96% of patients by 8th day.

Results from cell culture studies indicate that lemon balm oil is capable of exerting direct anti viral effect on herpes viruses.

Advantages of Lemon Balm Extract as a Natural Herpes Remedy

Acyclovir is the commonly prescribed antiviral drug for treatment of herpes simplex infection. The increasing clinical and long term use of acyclovir has been associated with drug resistant herpes viruses (HSV), especially among immunocompromised people.

It has been recognized that natural products from medicinal plant extracts (such as lemon balm) are important sources of anti-HSV agents.

Here are some of the advantages of lemon balm extract over conventional drug as a topical treatment for herpes virus infections:
- lemon balm extract protects skin cells against invasion of viruses while attacking the viruses at the same time.
- regular use of topical lemon balm extract (cream/salve or oil) reduces frequency of outbreaks or even eliminate them.
- herpes viruses do not develop resistance to lemon balm extract.

 

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