Genital Herpes – symptoms, causes and treatment
Recurrent fluid-filled blisters on the genitals that rupture, leaving red, inflamed, painful lesions. These are preceded by a slightly irritating tingling. When the lesion appears, it is accompanied by a sharp pain.
Of the 90 varieties of animal herpes, only four affect humans. Herpes is a virus that causes recurrent blisters and ulcers (cold sores, also called fever blisters on the lips [Type I] and on the genitals [Type II]). (See “Cold Sores” for information on Type I.) A third type is herpes zoster, which causes chicken pox and, as a secondary infection, shingles. Type II can produce blisters either on the genitals or on, or around, the mouth.
We will here deal only with Type II, which is also called herpes genitalis, venereal herpes, and genital herpes. It is the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease in the United States. One-sixth of all Americans (about 30 million) have the disease, although about half never develop serious symptoms. A half million new cases are reported yearly, and 80% are 20 to 39 years of age. The first attack generally occurs about 4-8 days after initial exposure to a sexual partner. Each occurrence is quite painful and lasts up to three weeks; but, once a person is infected, the disease can be transmitted at any time. Symptoms reoccur from every few weeks to once a year or less. Scarring does not usually occur, but can. Outbreaks rarely occur after the age of 50.
Herpes is a virus which enters the body thorough the skin and travels into nerve groups at the base of the spine. It remains with you the rest of your lifetime. But it can be dormant for years and then appear again when the immune system is lowered by poor diet, stress, illness, too much sunlight, or harmful chemicals.
Type II reoccurs when sexual intercourse takes place, as a result of irritation to the skin. It is not a newly invaded infection, but one which was received from a sexual partner at an earlier time.
This viral infection can range from a symptomless infection in the nerves to a major inflammation of the liver, accompanied by fever. In women, it can lead to cervical cancer.
There seems to be a link between having Type II and later developing atherosclerosis. As a baby passes through an infected birth canal, it can get Type II and possibly have brain damage, blindness, or death as a result. If an attack occurs late in the pregnancy, the baby should be delivered by cesarean section. If no lesions are present, the baby is far less likely to become infected as it passes through the birth canal.
• The diet should be alkaline in reaction. Foods to avoid are sweets; refined and processed foods; alcohol; and, for some people, citrus. Eat only nutritious food.
• The virus lives in red meat and fat, and you do well to stop eating meat products. There are substances in meat which encourage the growth of Type II.
• DMSO (Dimethyl sulfoxide), a by-product of wood processing, is a liquid which can be placed on the affected area to relieve pain and promote healing. Only use the type sold in health food stores.
• Some physicians prescribe BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) for this disease, but it is known to cause perforated stomachs.
• Apply black walnut or goldenseal extract to the area. Also useful is cayenne and red clover, both externally and internally.
• Other helpful herbs include goldenseal, echinacea, myrrh, aloe vera, and burdock.
• Lightly dab tea tree oil on the affected area several times a day, either full strength or slightly diluted. It is a powerful antiseptic. Do not get it near your eyes.
• Drink only distilled water and get plenty of rest.