Peppermint Oil Kills Herpes Virus --- No
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January 14, 2016
By Susan Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist
If you have herpes, you’ve got a lot of company. A full 16.2%of all
people, about 1 out of every 6 of us, between the ages of 16 and 49
have herpes simplex 2, the virus that causes genital sores. More than
45 million people in the United States have genital herpes infection,
according to a 2005 study from the University of North Carolina and
and more than one million new infections occur each year. This
number is dwarfed by the larger number of people who have herpes
simplex 1, the virus which causes cold sores. The latest estimates are
that 65% of all Americans have antibodies for the herpes simplex 1
virus, according to a 2007 report on herpes by Dr. Anna Wald of the
University of Washington.
At current population numbers, this would mean that 208 million
people in the US have been infected or exposed to herpes simplex 1.
The United Kingdom and other developed countries experiences similar
rates of herpes infection.
Herpes simplex 2 is the most common cause of genital ulcers in the
world, for both developed countries and undeveloped countries,
according to 2000 report from the US National Center for Infectious
Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There Are Many Kinds of Herpes Virus
Most people are aware of the 2 main types of herpes virus. But,
actually, there are 8 types of herpes virus which attack humans.
Herpes simplex virus type 1
Herpes simplex virus type 2
Varicella-zoster virus (which causes chickenpox and herpes
Epstein Barr virus
Human herpes virus 6
Human herpes virus 7
Human herpes virus 8
The standard treatment for herpes are antiviral medications, such as
acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir.
However, because of the widespread use of these anti-viral
medications, herpes strains which are resistant to treatment by the anti-
viral drugs have started to appear. As a result, a great number of
people with herpes are left to face an uncontrolled episodes or
Herpes Simplex 1 Can Cause Both Cold Sores and Genital Sores
Most cases of genital sores are caused by herpes simplex 2. But herpes
simplex 1 can cause both cold sores on your mouth and genital sores.
In fact, t up to 20% to 50% of cases of genital herpes are caused by
herpes simplex 1, according to a 2000 study from University of
Washington led by Dr. W.E. Lafferty . The reason for this increase is
unclear but scientists speculate that part of the reason is the increase in
oral sex among the general population.
Symptoms of Herpes Infections
For a first infection, symptoms can include painful genital ulcers with
flu-like symptoms. An initial herpes outbreak can appear with numerous
-- even hundreds of --lesions and can last up to 3 weeks. You may also
-temporary bowel dysfunction
After that first outbreak, recurrent episodes happen an average of 5
times for men and 4 times for women during that first year, according
to a 1994 study led by Dr. J. Benedetti of the University of Washington,
You are contagious even after the lesions disappear. You shed skin
containing the virus for 7 days before the lesion appears and for 7 days
after it disappears, according to a 2005 study from Department of
Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina.
Peppermint Oil Kills Herpes Simplex 1 and Herpes Simplex 2
Now comes the news that a common herbal oil is an effective killer of
the herpes simplex virus. Peppermint oil, technically known as “mentha
piperita”, has a potent anti-viral properties several studies have found.
In 2003, scientists from the University of Heidelberg’s Department of
Virology conducted experiments to determine whether peppermint oil
kills or inhibits the growth of herpes simplex 1 and/or herpes simplex 2.
What the scientists discovered is that peppermint is an powerful virus
killer --- a “virucidal” --- even at extremely low concentrations.
Peppermint inhibit the formation of plaques by herpes simplex 1 and
herpes simplex 2 virus at concentrations as low as 0.002% and
0.0008%. After just 3 hours of exposure to peppermint oil, about 99%
of the virus was killed.
This study also found that peppermint oil is effective in killing those
herpes simplex viruses which have become resistant to the acyclovir
anti-viral medication. Peppermint oil also reduced the herpes plaque
formations of this drug-resistant strain by 99%.
How to Use Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil has lypolytic properties, meaning it is easily absorbed by
your skin. To help control herpes outbreaks, you should consider this
Clean your skin generally with a regular soap by showering at least
once per day with warm water. This will open your pores and hold
down the level of the bacteria.
With a cotton swab soaked in peppermint oil, dab your entire groin
area if you have had a general herpes outbreak. Leave the oil on for 3
hours. You can also use a dropper to place oil directly on the skin,
being careful not to let the dropper touch the skin or to let your hands
touch any unhealed lesions, because this will just spread the virus to
other parts of your body.
Cover the outbreak with sterile gauze, again to protect your other skin
from infection while the lesions heal.
Repeat this peppermint regime daily until the lesions start to crust and
heal. Then, keep them covered until they are completely healed.
If you have been prescribed an anti-viral medication, by all means
continue to use it. Peppermint oil is a complementary approach which
will not interfere with the anti-viral drug. In fact, studies have found
that peppermint oil appears to open the cell wall of the herpes virus,
making it easier for anti-viral drugs to work.
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|Peppermint oil is effective in killing
the herpes virus.