Diet & Triggers

Category: Diet & Triggers

Herpes Diet: Managing Herpes Symptoms With Fall Veggies

Herpes SymptomsHerpes Diet: Managing Herpes Symptoms With Fall Veggies
By Contributing Author Stephanie

As those of us who have read Dr. Kelly’s Book Live, Love & Thrive with Herpes know, diet can have a huge affect on how our bodies experience the herpes virus.  Whether it’s the balance between lysine and arginine in our bodies, or simply eating well to support our immunity, it is important to actively support our bodies through our diet. This is a key to managing our herpes symptoms.  In this blog, I will go over some of the fall vegetables you can eat to support your body in suppressing future herpes outbreaks.  I strongly suggest referring back to Dr. Kelly’s previous blog on lysine and arginine for reference, as it explains how and why lysine is helpful in preventing outbreaks and arginine can be a trigger for outbreaks.

Root vegetables and squash are common fall vegetables that are delicious and nutritious for our bodies! Most vegetables have fairly high amounts of lysine.  Did you know that wheat and other grains contain high levels of arginine? This is why it is not uncommon for people diagnosed with herpes to go gluten free. If we can replace our grains  (which contain high levels of arginine) with vegetables high in complex carbs, our bodies will likely thank us. Of course this is a personal choice, but if you suffer from constant outbreaks, you can always test out this method to see if it helps you!

Some fall vegetables I love that are either higher in lysine than arginine or about equal in amounts of the two according to the sources I have researched are: beets, turnips, select squashes, and potatoes (white and sweet).

A great way to get the most out of these delicious fall foods is to pair them with foods we know are very high in lysine. One amazing recipe that comes to mind is roasted beets with goat cheese.  If you have never tried roasted red beets with goat cheese, I suggest you do so soon. If your recipe calls for nuts, you should omit them, since nuts are another known herpes trigger.

Another great and super easy recipe is roasted acorn squash filled with yogurt. Yogurts containing probiotics in the form of live cultures can also help boost our immunity to better manage herpes symptoms (assuming you are not dairy free).  If this is the case, there are dairy free yogurts made with coconut milk. High levels of probiotics and lysine in this meal, or dessert, make it an excellent and healthy choice for the season.  Since sugar affects the body in a way that prevents us from fighting off viruses, it is important to minimize our intake of sugar to prevent future outbreaks.  This is one of many delicious squash recipes that can easily double as a sweet dessert.

One last recipe that incorporates fall veggies with other foods containing high amounts of lysine is this Italian fagioli soup recipe.  This recipe is great for those cold and busy months and is packed with root veggies and squash.  The ground turkey is a great addition, as turkey is one meat in particular that is very high amounts in lysine.  You will even get some lysine from the parmesan cheese on top! I urge you all to take a look at some of the different recipes you can try to incorporate some of the seasonal vegetables into your diet throughout these colder months.

Keeping veggies in our diet consistently is so important for our health, regardless of living with herpes or not; but of course if we can decrease our herpes symptoms at the same time, why wouldn’t we do it?

book_LiveLove300Make sure to check out Dr. Kelly’s book to learn more about how diet and supplements can support your body as you learn to navigate your herpes symptoms!  

Herbs and Natural Remedies For Herpes Treatment

Dr. Kelly Interviews Brigitte Mars- Pink Tent

I had the privilege to interview Brigitte Mars, herbalist, author and raw food chef from the privacy of my own home. What a treat!

Now here is a woman who knows a whole lot about herbs and natural remedies, how we can use them to manage our herpes symptoms, improve our immunity and get back to a normal and passionate love life and sex life.

While there is no herpes cure, there is hope for herpes.

The Sexual Herbal, Prescriptions for Enhancing Love and Passion, is a great antidote for the woman with herpes looking for herpes treatments. Whether you want to learn how to recharge your love life or overcome grief and anxiety, there is something in here for every modern day woman who wants to learn how to heal more naturally.

We cover it all in this exclusive Pink Tent interview.



Take a baby step today and become the vibrant, healthy, and happy woman that you deserve to be! Sign up for your free 60 minute coaching consult on the phone with Dr. Kelly today!

About Brigitte Mars

Brigitte is an herbalist and nutritional consultant of Natural Health with almost fifty years of experience. She teaches Herbal Medicine at Naropa University and The School of Health Mastery in Iceland. She has taught at Omega Institute, Esalen, Kripalu, Sivananda Yoga Ashram, Arise, Envision and Unify Festivals, and The Mayo Clinic. 

She is the author of many books and DVDs, including The Home Reference to Holistic Health and HealingThe Country Almanac of Home RemediesThe Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine, Beauty by Nature, Addiction Free Naturally, The Sexual Herbal, Healing Herbal TeasRawsome!, and co-author of The HempNut Cookbook. Her DVDs include Sacred Psychoactive, Herbal Wizardry for Kids of all AgesNatural Remedies for Childhood Ailments, Overcoming Addictions, and Natural Remedies for Emotional Health

Follow Brigitte
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Purchase Brigitte’s book, The Sexual Herbal

Balance Your Hormones Naturally With These 4 Tips

Balance Your Hormones Naturally With These Effective Solutions

By Contributing Author: Helen Sanders


Hormones are the chemical messengers in your body that regulate all aspects of life. Some examples include estrogen, testosterone, adrenaline and insulin. They all have a number of important roles in the body and when even slightly out of balance, they can cause widespread health problems.

Hormones are produced by various glands including your thyroid, adrenals, pituitary, ovaries, testicles and pancreas. Imbalances are common, however, their treatment normally includes the use of synthetic hormone replacement. This leaves people dependent upon prescription drugs and at higher risk of side effects like osteoporosis, stroke, anxiety and reproductive issues.

Finding natural ways to balance your hormones can be a simple yet effective solution without the worry of nasty side effects associated with synthetic treatments. So let us take a look at how to naturally balance your hormones.

Start By Eliminating All Toxic Kitchen, Beauty and Body Products.

Every single day we expose ourselves to harmful chemicals without thinking twice about it. We clean our kitchens, we apply lotions and potions to our skin along with cosmetics in an attempt to enhance our appearance.

However, many of the products we come into contact with on a daily basis are made with potentially harmful chemical ingredients including DEA, parabens, propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate.

The best way to prevent harm is to use natural alternatives like essential oils and coconut oil.

You would be astounded at the sheer amount of uses coconut oil has – from making an excellent moisturizer to an antibacterial cleaner for your home.

Of course, knowing which products are safe and which should be swiftly thrown in the trash can be difficult. This is why the Environmental Working Group evaluated over 72,000 products, ranking them in an easy-to-understand guide. If you check the EWG’s “Skin Deep Cosmetic Database” you can see which products to use and which to steer clear of, making sure you know exactly which product to disregard and keep your family safe.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Exercise is an excellent tool for balancing hormones as well as promoting overall health and wellbeing by reducing inflammation, promoting sleep, lowering stress and helping you to maintain a healthy weight.

Those with hormonal imbalances are at higher risk of adding stress to their system through long periods of exercise which can further increase the imbalance. This is why working out at shorter periods with a high intensity – such as high intensity interval training – is more beneficial.

In fact, a study conducted by the University of Notre Dame Medical School in Sydney, showed that “HIT is associated with increased patient compliance and improved cardiovascular and metabolic outcomes and is suitable for implementation in both healthy and ‘at risk’ populations” (source).

Eat More Healthy Fats

Fatty acids are essential building blocks for the production of hormones. Consuming foods with short, medium and long chain fatty acids is key to keeping your hormone levels consistent (source).

Get More Sleep

Lack of sleep can be detrimental to your body for a number of reasons, one of which being the fact it can significantly affect your hormones.

Lack of sleep is one of the three biggest contributors to excessive levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). A report published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism stated that “Stress can lead to changes in the serum level of many hormones including glucocorticoids, catecholamines, growth hormone and prolactin” (source).

Hormones work on a schedule, therefore a normal sleeping pattern is a big contributor to the regulation of hormones. Cortisol for example, is regulated at midnight, so people who sleep after this time never truly a break from their stress response.

Getting enough sleep (7 to 8 hours per night) is the best way to not only regulate hormones but also improve immunity, reduce anxiety and prevent excessive weight gain.

Final Thoughts

Hormonal imbalances affect millions of people every day. Many present themselves in forms most people don’t associate with an imbalance of hormones such as thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, menstrual irregularities and infertility.

Changes in weight, ongoing feelings of anxiety, insomnia, and changes in appetite are all symptoms of hormonal imbalance which can be addressed with natural solutions.

Controlling stress, getting enough sleep, exercising and removing harmful toxins are just a few ways to naturally balance your hormones. Even if you do not feel your hormones are out of balance, these good habits make healthy additions to your life and promote overall health and wellbeing.


 About The Author

Helen Sanders is chief editor at Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.

The Healing Benefits of Manuka Honey

The Healing Benefits of Manuka Honey

While honey has been around for a very long time as a healing remedy, it has been only recently that it is making a comeback.

As a woman with herpes and a doctor who supports these women, I am always looking for natural ways to manage herpes symptoms.

I have known about the healing properties of honey, but after reading a Dr. Mercola article about herpes and honey, I now realize that Grade A honey from the grocery store could actually make herpes symptoms worse. You MUST use Manuka honey!

According to one study, when a researcher treated patients with Acylovir for one herpes outbreak and honey for another, the overall healing time with honey was 43% better than Acyclovir for cold sores and 59% better for genital sores. (Nutrition and Healing)


 There were NO side effects with the honey!

 So, if you are a woman with herpes and you want to:

-speed up your healing
-decrease pain associated with outbreaks
-reduce crusting of sores

Here’s what you need to know.

-DON’T try to use Grade A honey from a grocery story. Why? It has been linked to increased herpes symptoms

-You must use Manuka honey from New Zealand. It is actually considered a medical device.

-Honey works by drawing out liquid from a wound and killing off local microorganisms. It also contains an enzyme that releases hydrogen peroxide when it comes in contact with a wound.

Here’s what you’ll need to DO

-Use Raw Manuka honey- in liquid or semi liquid state

-Apply honey 4 or more times/day (if you are a women treating genital herpes sores, panty liners can helpful)

 (As a side note, eating local honey from your area can help with allergies!)

Secrets To Success Course Registraton

Hello Ladies! I am so excited to share with you that my exclusive Secrets to Success: Foundations Course is now open for registration for the next few days only! 

While some women are just sick and tired of being sick and tired (these are the women registered and going though the course right now), I know that there are some of you who are fearful to say YES.

You are sitting on the fence on this one. You tell yourself that you’ll figure it out…SOMEDAY

Or wait until that partner comes knocking to figure out how to have the talk.


How do I know this?

Because I have worked with women from around the world with H. Not having an outbreak today? Not dating anyone? Feeling okay today?

Then for today, you might be able to cover up your PAIN and SHAME. But eventually it WILL resurface. And when it does, you will regret not giving yourself the EDUCATION and TRANSFORMATION you deserve.

While this course is NOT for women who are unwilling to learn and grow, this IS for women who are ready to conquer this diagnosis and once and for all feel EMPOWERED, PEACEFUL, and PASSIONATE again.

This course is only offered about twice a year and includes 4 live calls with me, access to the private Facebook group full of other women to support you, as well as a ton of bonus material that you can work on at your own pace! You will receive lifetime access to the course materials, so you can go back to it time and again. By registering today, you have instant access the the virtual course (live calls start March 12th). 

Everything can be done in the privacy of your own home as you can choose to remain as anonymous as you want. There will be no mention of H on invoices and nothing will be snail mailed to you. 

I am so certain that this course can transform your life…I have a 365 Day Money Back Guarantee

Ready to start this journey with me?

Registration Is Now Closed For Spring 2017 Registration Course

Want to be notified when registration opens again for the Secrets To Success: Foundations Course? Fill out the form below!

How Apple Cider Vinegar is Beneficial to The Immune System

The Health Benefits of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar For Your Immune System

By Contributing Author: Helen Sanders

Most people have heard of apple cider vinegar, even if as nothing more than an addition to your favorite salad dressing. However, raw apple cider vinegar (sometimes called ACV for short) has been praised for centuries for its medicinal properties. Drinking a small amount of this yeasty, fermented goodness daily can offer a huge host of health benefits, most notably, boosting and aiding the function of your immune system.

For those infected by the herpes virus, boosting your immunity is one of the best ways to prevent future outbreaks. Therefore, making dietary additions that can benefit your immune system can keep the virus at bay and help prevent any herpes related health complications.


What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Raw, organic apple cider vinegar is made from (as the name suggests) organic apples. Because it is not pasteurized, the apples maintain many of their nutritional benefits. Plus, due to the two fermentation processes needed to make ACV, a number of enzymes are produced. This makes ACV the magic, life giving, cure-all elixir so many people claim it to be.


How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Benefit the Immune System?

There are a number of properties in ACV that can aid the immune system in one way or another. ACV contains potent malic acid. This is a strong antiviral and one reason why many people who drink ACV daily feel their immunity is boosted as they do not experience as many colds or other viral infections.

Furthermore, apple cider vinegar is rich in vitamins, minerals and enzymes all of which are beneficial to the body.

Finally, many varieties of apple cider vinegar contain probiotic microorganisms.  As your gut flora is imperative to maintaining a healthy immune system, using apple cider vinegar to promote the growth of good bacteria could just improve your overall immunity.


Does Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Offer Other Health Benefits?

A daily dose of ACV can provide you with a plethora of health benefits in addition to boosting your immune system. These include:

  • Aiding digestion
  • Promoting weight loss
  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Aids skin complexion
  • Promotes beautiful, shiny hair


How Should You Use Apple Cider Vinegar?

As the name suggests, ACV s a vinegar and is incredibly acidic with a sharp, sour taste. It should therefore never be sipped straight from the bottle, it must be diluted.

It should be mixed into an easy to consume detox drink, mixing it with water, some honey and a twist of lemon. This will help to not only dilute the fermented fruit, but also take away some of its sharp sourness. If you are interested in trying your own apple cider vinegar detox drink, you can use this recipe to create your own at home.


Which Types of Apple Cider Vinegar Should I Use?

Like most things, not all products are created equal. When looking to purchase a bottle of apple cider vinegar, you obviously want the best quality that is going to offer the most health benefits. Therefore, you need to choose a raw, organic apple cider vinegar.

This should contain remnants of the apples that produced it. You will be able to tell this as it should have a cloudy matter floating in the vinegar. I know that doesn’t sound particularly appealing, but believe me, that’s the gold right there.

That floaty, cloudy goodness is the part that contains all of those beneficial probiotics and enzymes and is exactly what you need to reap all of the major health benefits. Just be sure to give the bottle a good shake each time you use it.

A good recommendation is Bragg Organic Raw and Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar, which you can buy at most grocery stores.


Should Anyone Not Try an Apple Cider Vinegar Drink?

Although the health benefits are apparent, there are some people who should avoid trying their own ACV drink at home without consulting their doctor first. For instance, if you manage your blood sugar or are taking anti-diabetic medication, speak with your healthcare provider before trying a ACV remedy at home.

If you suffer from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)  or IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) you should consider avoiding apple cider vinegar altogether as for any kind of digestive or reflux issue, drinking something so acidic could be incredibly painful.

Also, drinking apple cider vinegar can cause dental issues as it is known to damage the enamel on your teeth. Therefore, ensure it is diluted properly and try drinking it through a straw to prevent any permanent damage to your teeth.


So, Should You Try It?

Although it is not conclusive whether apple cider vinegar is quite the magic potion so many people claim it to be, science does back its many health benefits. Therefore, it could be worth trying for anyone looking particularly to boost their immunity!


Looking for additional support? Get the help you need with Dr. Kelly’s Amazon Best Seller “Live, Love, & Thrive With Herpes







About The Author

Helen Sanders is the creator of and is passionate about sharing simplified and actionable health and nutrition advice for regular people on the go! 

Herpes Diet & Triggers

Diet & Triggers

What Foods Trigger Herpes Outbreaks?

One of the most universal recommendations specific to the management of herpes is to be mindful of the two amino acids arginine and lysine in your diet. Herpes outbreaks and many other chronic viruses are triggered by high amounts of arginine.

Arginine feeds herpes and encourages its growth and reproduction.

Lysine, on the other hand, boosts immunity and offers up protection from future outbreaks.

To sum it up….

Lysine is your FRIEND
Arginine is your ENEMY

Ideally, you want to decrease the foods that are high in arginine and increase the foods that are high in lysine.

A great tool for determining the lysine and arginine content of food is to use the lysine/arginine ratio. Foods that are high on the lysine/arginine ratio are more beneficial for a person who suffers from herpes.

What foods are high in Lysine?

  • Most Vegetables and fruits
  • Dairy-based products including cheese, milk, and yogurt
  • Fish, Chicken, Lamb, and Beef
  • Brewer’s Yeast
  • Eggs
  • Avocado
  • Sprouts
  • Quinoa
  • Amaranth

What foods are high in Arginine?

  • All nuts and nut products
  • Nut butters (peanut butter, almond butter etc.)
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Seeds (except hemp and flax)
  • Oatmeal
  • Brown Rice
  • Raisins
  • Whole Wheat and White flour
  • Carob
  • Lentils
  • Wheat germ
  • Dried beans including soybeans and tofu
  • Protein shakes, multivitamins and bodybuilding supplements that contain arginine

The above food recommendations are meant to point you in the right direction towards managing your outbreaks and living a vibrant, healthy life. As discussed, there are many known triggers when it comes to herpes and certain foods.

Each person with herpes is unique in their body and what things trigger a herpes outbreak. For those who are sensitive to foods, I highly recommend a Paleo style diet.

Environmental Herpes Triggers
Herpes prefers to live in warm, moist environments with lots of friction. As such, here are a few quick tips to decrease your potential triggers

  • Avoid hot environments like hot tubs and saunas
  • Use padding in bike shorts to decrease friction when biking
  • Avoid thongs, as they can be irritating. Opt for organic cotton panties
  • Do not stay in wet clothing too long after working out.

If you want to learn more about what might be triggering your outbreaks, check out my Amazon Bestselling book Live, Love and Thrive with Herpes: A Holistic Guide For Women.

Prepare for Cold Season and Avoid Herpes Outbreaks

Avoid Herpes OutbreaksPrepare for Cold Season and Avoid Herpes Outbreaks
By Contributing Author Stephanie

As we enter into the beautiful, yet dangerously contagious, fall season I usually have one thing on my mind: avoiding colds.  After being diagnosed with herpes, this concern weighs on my mind even more.  As most of us know, the herpes virus shows up when our immune system has been compromised.  There can be many causes for this including stress, another virus like the common cold or the flu, or perhaps even lack of sleep.

As my body was still trying to build up immunity to the herpes virus, colds had a substantial effect on my experience with outbreaks.  For the first year of my diagnosis, every time I caught a small cold, an outbreak would follow days after the cold arrived.  Because of this, I have found that it is extremely important for me to take care of myself and keep my immune system strong in order to avoid herpes outbreaks. This blog post will go over some simple, yet key points on how to boost your immune system during the cold season in order to avoid herpes outbreaks. The first step you can take to avoid herpes outbreaks by boosting your immune system is take Omega-3s on a daily basis.

In Dr. Kelly’s book, Live, Love, & Thrive with Herpes, she suggests 2000 mg or more a day. Omega-3s are a great way to boost your immune system as well as balance your hormones, and support cardiovascular and brain health. Zinc Chelate is another easy supplement to use to boost your immunity. Dr. Kelly’s book suggests 50 mg a day.  Not only will taking Zinc on a daily basis support a strong immune system, but it will also promote skin health and tissue repair: two benefits that are amazing for herpes outbreaks. Vitamin D3 is also a great supplement to build immunity.  The suggested dose listed in Dr. Kelly’s book is 5000 IU’s a day.

Women are often deficient in Vitamin D3 and new research is showing that it acts as a hormone, signaling cells to boost immunity. If you are osteoporotic, then D3 is required for you to be able to properly absorb your calcium supplements. Probiotics are another supplement to add to your regimen or diet, not only during cold season, but all the time.  Probiotics help the “good bacteria” in your body to thrive so that they can fight off the “bad bacteria.” You may be able to get all the probiotics you need from your diet.  A few of the foods known to be rich in probiotics are yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi.

One last supplement you should always take to support your health and immune system is a multivitamin.  In Live, Love, & Thrive with Herpes, Dr. Kelly suggests a multivitamin that has at least 750 mg of calcium and 450 mg of magnesium. If you are already taking each of these supplements daily, congratulations!  If you are not, now would be the perfect time to start. Cold season is among us, and supporting our immune systems is extremely important to avoid herpes outbreaks as well as for our overall health and happiness.  I hope these suggestions find you well and that you all have a happy and healthy cold season.

Tips to Avoid a Heat Triggered Herpes Outbreak

Tips to Avoid a Heat Triggered Herpes Outbreak

By: contributing author Stephanie Non toxic sun protection

For those of you who have read Dr. Kelly’s book, Live, Love and Thrive with Herpes, you are aware that heat, moisture, and sun can trigger outbreaks.  Here, I will go over the facts you need to minimize your risk of a sun or heat triggered herpes outbreak as well as provide some tips for non toxic sun protection.

According to an article on, the reason that sun exposure activates the herpes virus is unknown.  However, the article informs us that using sunscreen before sun exposure will decrease the risk of an outbreak triggered by UV rays.  This mean that applying sunscreen prior to a day in the sun is especially important for those of us who experience outbreaks on our faces.  Choosing the right sunscreen with ingredients that won’t irritate your skin and possibly trigger outbreaks is also very important.

My favorite resource to use when buying any cosmetic products is the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database.  For your convenience this website provides a tab on the top left of the page specifically for sun protection.  This database will provide you with a toxicity rating for almost any product you are debating purchasing.  The key for these ratings is pictured below in the Hazard Score Key.  If the product has a hazard score that is color coded green and numbered 0-2 it is in the lowest toxicity bracket.  Products with a score that is color coded red and numbered 7-10 is in the highest toxicity bracket.  Once you find a product that meets your own personal qualifications for a hazard rating you can click on the product to see what specific ingredients earned the rating.

Hazard score keyThe database also provides a helpful list of common toxic ingredients found in sunscreens.  Here is a list of the harmful active ingredients from highest toxicity to lowest toxicity found in many sunscreens provided by Common Toxic Sunscreen Ingredients

  • Oxybenzone
  • Octinoxate (Octylmethoxycinnamate)
  • Homosalate
  • Octisalate
  • Octocrylene
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Zinc Oxide
  • Avobenzone
  • Mexoryl SX

It may be hard to avoid all of these ingredients, so when choosing sunscreen I suggest you remember that although these ingredients may be harmful to our bodies, overexposure to the sun is also harmful.  Regardless of whether you have been diagnosed with the herpes virus or not, the sun is harmful and can irritate the skin. It is also important to get to know you own body in order to understand how the virus will react to heat triggers on your body specifically.  If you notice that you tend to get frequent outbreaks during constant heat exposure, take steps to avoid the heat.  Keep in mind that avoiding the heat does not necessarily mean that you need to avoid your favorite summer hobbies.Live Love and Thrive with Herpes  Get acquainted with your body’s limits and you may be surprised with what it can handle. With this information I hope you practice mindful sunscreen use and regulate your exposure to heat this summer.  Remember that we all have a unique experience with herpes, and one person’s trigger is not always the same as another’s.  Now, enjoy the last rays of summer!

Want to learn more about the herpes triggers your doctor never told you about? Check out Dr. Kelly’s Amazon bestseller.

About Stephanie

Hi Everyone! My name is Stephanie.  I was diagnosed with HSV-2 in April of 2014 when I was 22 years old.  Right now, almost three years later, I am a doctoral student in the sociology department at Purdue University.  I recently completed my MA in sociology at the University of Northern Colorado where I explored the role of stigma in the process of disclosing a genital herpes diagnosis.  With that said, if anyone is interested in reading what I discovered in my project, I am happy to share that with you! I plan to continue advocating for our community, as well as studying the social factors that influence sexual health in order to understand how we can create a world that is easier for people diagnosed with STIs.  I really enjoy writing for the Pink Tent community and am excited to be able to share some of my experiences and thoughts about living with genital herpes with you all.

Herpes Treatment: Lemon Balm for Herpes

Lemon balm remedies for herpesHerpes Treatment: Lemon Balm for Herpes
By Contributing Auther: Stephanie

One of my main concerns with herpes treatment is my ability to control the virus naturally without effecting other areas of my body.  Lemon balm is used in herpes treatment as a natural home remedy to reduce the replication of the herpes virus.  Here, you will learn many of the different ways you can use lemon balm for herpes outbreak treatment and prevention, in hopes that you will find the perfect remedy for your lifestyle!

Lemon balm, scientifically known as Melissa officinalis, was shown in a 2004 study to effectively reduce the rate of of replication of both type 1 and 2 of the herpes virus (Allahverdiyev et. al 2004).  One precaution the article gives is using anything over a concentration of 100 micrograms per milliliter.  If the concentration is higher than this threshold there could be potential toxic side effects.  This being said, any lemon balm oil or supplement that you buy in the store should be safe for use, but I would suggest checking the dosage on the product just to be sure. As you can probably imagine, go organic whenever possible. While it is beneficial to discuss how this herb can potentially prevent outbreaks, help heal current outbreaks, and hinder the replication of the virus, we will also discuss some creative uses for the herb.  This herb can be used in many applications and it is my intent that each and every one of you will learn how it can benefit you, no matter what your unique situation with herpes is.

Different uses for lemon balm:

If you would like to grow the herb and use it in its most natural form, there are several ways to accomplish this.  The first, and likely most common, is to make lemon balm tea.  All you need to do is to place some herbs in hot boiling water for a few minutes (tea bag is optional), add some honey (raw is best), sip and relax. This tea also pairs well with black or mint tea. You can drink this hot or you can add ice to drink iced tea. This herb touts its ability to relax you and when you’ve sipped to your hearts content, re use the tea bag to sooth any sores by placing the bag directly on them.  If you do not want to grow the herb yourself, lemon balm tea is readily available for purchase.

Another creative and relaxing remedy is to take a lemon balm bath.  If you have the lemon balm plant you can use the leaves  in the bath by making a lemon balm leaf-filled bag and hanging it under the running water as you fill the bath.  This remedy will create a relaxing and healing environment for your herpes sores to heal. A word of caution though, do not take a bath that is too hot as very hot baths and hot tubs can trigger the herpes virus.

You can even eat fresh lemon balm leaves in a salad or with any other meal you have prepared.  Culinary nerds might want to add mint, anise, fennel or lemon verbena to mix with the lemon balm. Eating the leaves allows you to proactively begin to approach herpes treatment with more of a preventative approach.  Having lemon balm as a part of your regular diet could help to decrease the likelihood of having another outbreak.

Lemon balm salve or ointment is also available over the counter.  The salve can be applied directly to an outbreak site to help sooth and heal any bothersome sores.  This is a great option for those of us who might not have the time to get super creative with the herb.

You can also buy a lemon balm (or Melissa) supplement at your vitamin store to get the herb into your daily intake.  This is a great alternative to eating the leaves with your food, and will also act as a herpes treatment for outbreak prevention.

Lemon balm/Melissa essential oils are also available. You can use the oil in the area that you usually experience outbreaks to potentially prevent them.  You can also use the oil for its relaxing and calming properties in times of stress to help control your immune system’s response to hectic times.

These are just some of the many creative uses I have found while researching the lemon balm herb and its effect on the herpes virus.  I for one am planning to experiment with each of them to find which remedy works best for my mind and body.  I hope you all do the same, and successfully find a healing outlet in the herb!

Allahverdiyev, A., Duran, N., Ozguven, M., & Koltas, S. 2004. “Antiviral activity of the volatile oils of Melissa officinalis L. against Herpes simplex virus type-2.” Phytomedicine 11(7):657-661.


About Stephanie

Hi Everyone! My name is Stephanie.  I was diagnosed with HSV-2 in April of 2014 when I was 22 years old. Right now, almost three years later, I am a doctoral student in the sociology department at Purdue University. I recently completed my MA in sociology at the University of Northern Colorado where I explored the role of stigma in the process of disclosing a genital herpes diagnosis.  With that said, if anyone is interested in reading what I discovered in my project, I am happy to share that with you! I plan to continue advocating for our community, as well as studying the social factors that influence sexual health in order to understand how we can create a world that is easier for people diagnosed with STIs.  I really enjoy writing for the Pink Tent community and am excited to be able to share some of my experiences and thoughts about living with genital herpes with you all.