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.
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.