The Herpes virus is a difficult little bug; a so-called ‘incurable’ infection with painful skin lesions.
The sores come and go, more frequently for some individuals than others, and often follow stressful life conditions where the immune system may be weakened.
Allopathic medicine doesn’t yet have a cure for this disease, only pills and creams that must be used regularly to keep outbreaks from recurring and to lessen their duration.
Incurable, painful, sort-of ugly, and with great names like ‘oral-labial’ or ‘genital’, this can be one challenging illness.
This is a personal account – I had herpes outbreaks for several years, and had to deal with painful sores in my mouth and on my lips – sometimes so bad I thought my teeth were falling out!
I’ve been through those internal struggles on how to break it to an intimate partner – thankfully their response was never as sever as I expected – though it still seemed like a big deal to me. I regularly had those telling days of feeling a flu was about to hit, with several days of lesions to follow. What seemed the worst, being an athlete, was that training really hard tended to cause outbreaks almost for certain.
I tried prescription medicines as well as some natural routes. Lysine, a singular amino acid, helped somewhat, but not all the time. I used significant amounts of lip balm, as sun overexposure also tended to cause outbreaks as well. I thought “I’ve got a lot of years left – will I always have to deal with this?”
Then someone introduced me to essential oils, and I learned a little about their studied antiviral activity. I stumbled onto research performed with a certain oil known as Melissa. Melissa essential oil is distilled from Melissa herb, a plant with a long history in natural medicine.
The plant yields a relatively small amount of oil compared to other aromatic varieties, so it’s cost seems a little high. But formal investigation has been being going on in Europe for many years applying the oil to herpes lesions, with very promising results.
One company has even extracted a component of the oil and sold it in a prescription form (though I have not read of any evidence showing the extract works better than the oil itself).
The most encouraging statement regarding the use of Melissa on herpes was made by Dr. Dietrich Wabner, a professor at the University of Munich: he stated that a single application of Melissa may lead to a complete remission of the disease. A possible cure! I’d figured I had nothing to lose, so I tried a little bottle of the oil.
Searching further, I found a regimen for the oils’ use. Melissa might not lead to a complete remission in just one application – other healers were finding success when the oil was applied to the affected area when an outbreak felt ‘imminent’.
The oil was applied perhaps three times per day during the outbreak; this was repeated the next several times the user thought an outbreak may be coming on, and through the duration of the skin healing.
My outbreaks were usually on my tongue at that point (though they started on the palate of my mouth). I would get a very fatigued feeling for a few days, then my tongue would get what seemed like individual taste buds that would feel as though they were burnt (and yes, I have had medical confirmation as to their cause).
I also had lesions on my lip, but not as often. So I began the Melissa oil program – just one drop in my mouth a few times a day – and thankfully I actually liked the taste!
It turns out I wasn’t one of the few with a complete remission occurring with the first application – though I didn’t really expect it. The essential oil did help, however – the outbreaks were shorter and less intense. Then, after perhaps 5-7 times, the outbreaks stopped all together.
And life has certainly been no less stressful or physical – perhaps even the opposite! But I’ve had no more oncoming flu symptoms or sores on my lips or in my mouth – even after heavy sun exposure. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had an outbreak now.
For individuals who may have more sensitive skin than I, or have outbreaks in more sensitive places, Melissa essential oil can be diluted in a vegetable or nut oil (Hazelnut oil or Rosehip are commonly used) to 1/10th or even less of the total volume and be just as effective (some say that even 1% will work).
It is important to note – and repeated many times in the literature – that taking any essential oil orally, or applying undiluted to the skin, should be done with extreme caution – watch your own reaction closely and proceed accordingly.
I do not have experience with application to the genital variety of Herpes simplex, but the texts do not make a distinction – this may be where a carrier oil could come in handy. But whatever way it’s used, the system should be followed closely: apply Melissa 2-3 times a day to the affected area when an outbreak is on the way, and use it until the sores have healed completely.
Follow this method for the next several outbreaks; there are no guarantees, but this may work for you or someone you may know – and what a wonderful thing it can be!
For sufferer’s of Shingles, another Herpes virus variety causing lesions of the skin, Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica, or ‘True’ Ravensara) oil has been used. Individuals have found relief using Ravensara in a 50-50 blend with Tamanu Nut oil.
The Tamanu Nut soothes the skin during the healing process and keeps the Ravensara in contact with the sores. I have not heard of this offering a complete cure, but I have heard of this blend really helping relieve discomfort of this condition.
If you decide to try these natural methods, when buying essential oils, buy from a trusted source – Melissa oil particularly has been adulterated due to it’s high cost. The ‘fake’ mixture – a blend of Lemongrass and other essential oils oils – do not contain the same antiviral components.
True Melissa is typically found in the range of $10 – $20 per milliliter, with organic varieties costing a little more. There are nearly twenty-five drops in one milliliter, and because only one drop is typically used for each application, a few milliliters (1/4 to 1/8th ounce) can go a long way.
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About the author
Eric Cech is a contributor to aromatherapy oils sites, and works with the Ananda Aromatherapy essential oil company.
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