Essential Oils for Herpes Treatment

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It is reported that at least in every 6 people of ages between 14 and 49 years, one is infected with herpes virus. Simplex virus of type 1 and 2, abbreviated as HSV 1 and HSV 2 is known to be the cause of herpes.  Oral herpes caused by type 1, occurs around the mouth area where fever blisters are visible.  Genital herpes caused by type 2 is common and occurs on the genitals.  In some cases the virus can be in the body with no outbreaks seen. Though there may be no outbreaks, the virus can remain dormant for many years and unfortunately the infected person can still spread the virus.  Though we may not be able to eradicate the virus from our bodies but we can adapt ways of living with it without suppressing our body functions.

The outbreaks are in form of red patches on the skin which are mainly itchy and breakout of blisters around the mouth.  Other signs are such as swelling of the lymph nodes, headaches and flu.  All the symptoms may not be seen in every outbreak but common ones are cold sores or mouth blisters.  Once the virus has entered the body it cannot be cured therefore an individual carries it throughout life but the symptoms can be managed with natural products such as essential oils.

Many side effects attributed to drugs prescribed in hospitals has made individuals choose natural treatment over them.  Natural remedies are considered safe, effective and affordable which can be used in diluted form with carrier oils.

Traditionally and religiously over many centuries, essential oils have been used on various diseases.  However, treatment of herpes using essential oil is pretty new to many.

Essential oils have become part and parcel of many cosmetic products due to its effectiveness in fighting the ever increasing skin ailments. The antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties of essential oils have made it easy and affordable to fight the recurring herpes virus.

Major causes of herpes

Herpes disease is spread through direct contact.  The virus is known to not survive outside the body. Sharing utensils, kissing and sexual contact are common body contact activity that could transmit the virus.  The virus does not have immediate symptoms seen on the patient unless the body immunity is compromised.

There are many cases reported of recurrence of outbreaks though the causes are not yet determined.  However triggers to this have been identified such as processed foods, alcohol, coffee and other drugs.  When the virus is active, patients are advised to avoid citrus and other juices.

For centuries, essential oils have been used as remedies of herpes virus due to their antiviral capabilities.  Despite the herpes virus being stubborn there is hope for treating its symptoms at comfortable levels. Below we have a list of essential oils available for treatment of HSV type 1 and type 2.

These essential oils are Melissa, lavender, peppermint, geranium, tea tree, coconut, eucalyptus, sandalwood, myrrh, oregano, St John’s wort and chamomile.  Experts in this field recommend the use of these essential oils for treatment of herpes outbreaks.


It was found that peppermint has virucidal effect on treatment of herpes.  Viral suspensions tests done confirmed that pepper oil has high levels of virucidal actions against herpes (HSV-1 and 2).  It was seen to reduce the formation at 82 to 92 % at noncytotoxic concentration of pepper mint oil.  The results were even better at higher concentrations of the oil reducing the viruses of HSV 1 and 2 at a rate of 90% more.

Pepper mint oil has lipophilic nature allowing penetration into the skin thus making it ideal for therapeutic use in the tropics, very efficient where there is recurrent of the virus.

An incubation of both HSV with peppermint oil given a specific time period of 3 hours, showed an antiviral activity of approximately 99%.  The researcher kept adding pepper mint oil randomly

In order to determine the mode of antiviral action of the essential oil, peppermint oil was added at different times to the cells or viruses during infection. Thus this essential oil is capable to exert a direct virucidal effect on HSV

Peppermint Has Virucidal Effect on Herpes Treatment

Sandalwood oil

The oils are extracted from a Santalum album L tree and have proven antiviral capabilities against HSV 1 and 2. According to research outcome, the viruses are inhibited in the oil.

The application of this oil will help reduce the period of any herpes outbreak and prevent any future recurring outbreaks.  It is recorded that treatment using this oil shortens the outbreaks effectively up to 80 percent.

Chamomile oil

The oil is extracted from plants belonging to family type Asteraceae.  Chamomile is effective virucidal agent in topical application for genital herpes. Azulene (nitrogenous) a compound in chamomile increases the effectiveness and power as an anti-inflammatory agent. Chamomile works as antibiotic, disinfectant and antiseptic preventing biotic infections both bacterial and fungal from developing. The oil works well in treatment of herpes, protecting the cold sores from infections.

Tea tree oil

The oil is extracted from Meleleuca alternifolia.  Compared to chamomile and pepper mint oils, it is more effective with higher selectivity index and less toxic on external use. Its antimicrobial activity has a wide spectrum thus making it familiar to many for its ability to treat many medical conditions especially bacterial and fungal infections. The oil has antiherpetic, pain-reliever and anti-inflammatory properties. To reduce cold sores at first stage, immediately you see any signal apply tea tree oil and the positive effect will be seen within 24 hours. The oil is known to be among the most effective for first stage treatment of the cold sores.  Other than killing the bacteria on the sore, it is also known to reduce itching. Tests done using tea tree oil indicated that the oil reduced the growth pace of the fever blisters.

It is easy to make home treatment product in form of a lip balm.  Use 2 table spoons of coconut oil and mix well with 5 drops of tea tree oil.  You can apply using a clean finger all round the affected area and generally on the dry lips nourishment of the surrounding area of the blister.

Apply a few drops of the oil on the affected area using a cotton swap or wool.

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Melissa Essential oil (Lemon balm)

Melissa is known for its strong antiviral properties with ability of inactivating the virus before it penetrates through the cellular walls. Viruses need to be hosted by a cell in the body for them to multiply therefore Melissa essential oil comes in handy by preventing the virus to get into the body cells.  It is effective for both oral and genital herpes treatment when applied 4 times daily.

The oil is proved to reduce anxiety and influencing the mood of an individual. Stress caused by anxiety is well known to suppress the immunity of the body system and a big enemy in fighting herpes virus.  Managing stress helps in suppressing the HSV 1 and 2 types that are dormant in the body. When under pressure, it is advisable to use Melissa (lemon balm oil) since it calms you down.

Melissa is expensive therefore diluting the content is advised to almost 10:1 ratio without compromising its function and effectiveness. In pharmacy shops there are ointments and creams sold that have Melissa properties.  The idea of treating the cold sores is to keep the skin around there hydrated to prevent further sores. The healing process in many cases has been reported to take between 2 to 3 days.

An easy way to make the treatment oil at home is by mixing 20 drops of Melissa essential oil with half oz of olive oil carrier oil). Once well mixed, apply on the area affected immediately the signs are felt.

The oil is an effective solution with ability of being a holistic cure of herpes by treating not only cold sores but the patient’s mind too.

For a combination of oils (though expensive) , Mix 5 drops Melissa oil with 5 drops of myrrh oil, 10 drops of coconut oil and decant them using glass eye droppers. Apply on affected area

Myrrh essential oil

The oil is extracted from commiphora tree which is golden yellow in color with a balsamic aroma. These properties are helpful in treating herpes.  The antiviral and antimicrobial properties help kill bacteria and microbes that are harmful by making the body resistant to infections. Myrrh is commonly known for treating halitosis (bad breath)

Myrrh Essential Oil Known for Treating Halitosis

Lavender Essential oil

Extraction of lavender oil from lavender plant is done through a process of steam distillation. It is a commonly known element in most perfumes and aromatherapy.  Other people apply it for use as a mosquito repellant.

Lavender as an essential oil is applicable to many health issues since it is known to have properties that help the body’s immunity.  When the immunity of a person is high, the body can fight all the diseases that come its way.  Lavender gives strong immunity to the body by creating a barrier that disallows any disease to prevail. Herpes outbreak is therefore a disease that lavender helps fight. Lavender is known for being an effective disinfectant, with ability to kill bacteria especially those in fever blisters brought by herpes infection.  Fluids in the blisters when not treated can cause secondary infection but the use of lavender prohibits further bacterial growth.  It has a soothing and calming effect on the skin.

The oil can be used alone or a combination with other natural oils.  After cleaning the cold sore, apply using a cotton swab twice or thrice daily.

You are advised to mix two drops of the essential oil mixing it with any other carrier oil.  Apply a good amount on the affected and or two times a week before the breakout.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is available due to its production especially in the coastal regions. Coconut oil is known to have a variety of uses and treatments on food and diseases respectively. It is therefore a quick treatment for herpes.  It takes 24 hours for the oil to prohibit virus’ activation.  Regular use moisturizes the skin and prevents outbreaks on genitals. Other than application on skin, you can eat the coconut oil and the herpes virus will as well be fought.

The oil is available in many forms in the drugs shops such capsules for oral consumption. The cost of this may be high yet one can consume the natural content at a lower cost.

Eucalyptus Essential oil

Eucalyptus essential oil has a natural pain relieving qualities in addition to antibacterial and antiviral properties.  Herpes simplex type 1 strain tests done revealed that eucalyptus essential oil is very efficient in lowering the herpes virus activity.

Homemade combination of this treatment has 4 drops of eucalyptus oil mixed with olive oil.  Olive oil is good in moisturizing the skin making it a gentler carrier.

Oregano oil

Though oregano is not as famous as other essential oils, it is equally effective in treatment of herpes.  With records of treating both Salmonella and E. coli, oregano has capabilities of treating herpes as well.  The oil works by dissolving the cell membrane making the bacteria vulnerable.  It gives strong and natural antibiotics suitable for fighting herpes virus.

The use of the oil can be oral or application to the affected area.  Both ways are effective and an individual can choose to either use one or both.  Put a few drops under the tongue and allow them to be absorbed.

Geranium Essential oil

This oil is known for having anti-inflammatory properties.  Geraninum is a perennial shrub whose oil is majorly used in aromatherapy and also used to treat sore throats, depression, and acne among others.  As an antiseptic containing linalool, isomenthone, nerol and citronellyl; geranium can be used to treat wounds and other skin illnesses.

Geranium Essential oil

St John’s wort oil

The oil has hypericin as an antivirus which fights herpes.  In addition to that, the oil is restorative in nervous system. It is advisable for individuals who experience recurrent herpes to undertake at least two times a year the St John’s wort course.

Lemon Essential oil

Several studies have shown the effectiveness of lemon essential oil on treatment of herpes disease. It has been possible because of its strong antimicrobial properties and other benefits to the immunity of the body. Investigations on antiviral effects in treatment of both herpes type 1 and type 2 showed that the oil is reliable.  It takes 10 minutes during the incubation process to notice the reduction of the formation of the herpes plaque to a rate of 90%.  During blister stage, it is recorded that the oil helps in accelerating the healing process.

Camphor Essential oil

Camphor is commonly known to traditionally being used in soothing of an inflamed skin surface.  Other properties are pain relieving, cooling sensation and anti-inflammatory agent.  The oil after being tested showed that it inhibits antiviral capabilities at strong levels and these help in preventing growth of the virus (HSV-1).

Application of the oils

The application prescription varies from oil to another, expert advices to either use a single or a combination of the oils.

Patients are advised to apply the essential oils in diluted form on the affected area, 3 to 4 times every day.  For effective treatment, patients need to dab the solution on the affected area soonest possible to avoid blisters formation.

Prevention of further spread of the virus is by sanitizing your hands after application of any essential oil on the affected area.

Application of the Oils

Homemade recipe (a combination of Essential oils)

The recipe below contains a combination of essential oils suitable for not only treating cold sores but other diseases.

In a clean soap bottle, mix 4×2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, 4×2 drops of lemon essential oil, a quarter cup of water and Castile liquid soap each, half tablespoon of jojoba oil and at least 4 drops of vitamin E oil.  You are at liberty to use a combination of eucalyptus and lavender or lemon and peppermint alternately for an effective and efficient aromatic cleansing and ultimately a powerful cold sore fighting experience.


Essential oils other than curing the infections in the body influence your mood thus providing holistic cure.  Antivirus drugs in the drugs shops have a lot of side effects compared to natural essential oils treatment, therefore a good choice in treating herpes.

Essential oils increases body immunity giving positive response to infections brought by herpes virus.  Always keep the affected area dry, clean and free of makeup, it will prevent infections.

Natural oils do not have similar medicinal properties and dosage, the reason why it is important to consult an expert for advice.  Some individuals may experience allergies to some oils and it has to be established before use.  It is advisable to do a patch test before application of any oil.

It is known that genital herpes other than being chronic is spreading fast. The discussed essential oils are useful not only for treatment of herpes but also other diseases.