Aromatherapy Oils and the Herpes Virus – One Person’s Success Story
The Herpes Simplex virus (or HSV) is a difficult disease. It is widely known as incurable, with painful skin lesions on sensitive areas of the body. The lesions reccur more often for some people than others – their ‘outbreaks’ tend to be related to periods of high-stress. Modern medicine does not offer a cure, though there are pharmaceutical preparations available to limit the frequency and duration of HSV outbreaks. With a reputation as ‘incurable’, ‘painful’, ‘not-so-pretty’, and varieties described as ‘oral and labial’ or ‘genital’, the disease can be a little challenging and embarrasing to say the least.
Well, I’ve been through this. I’ve had the painful lesions, had to deal with the regular outbreaks of painful cold-sores in my mouth and on my lips (I was blessed with the ‘oral’ variety). I’ve been through those great internal debates on how to break the news to a partner (thankfully always returning that look that says something like ‘Oh! I thought you were going to tell me my cat just died…that’s no big deal’). Though it still seemed like a big deal. Regularly having those few days of feeling like a flu was coming on, followed by a few days of outbreak – at what always seemed like the worst of times. On top of it, being an athlete, training really hard tended to cause outbreaks as well – weightlifting in particular. Maybe it was just really strenuous, or maybe I wasn’t actually a ‘weightlifter’ – but that heavy lifting would almost always lead, once again, to an outbreak.
I freqently wondered in the midst of these bouts with HSV if this was something I’d have to deal with for the rest of my life – I tried doctor prescribed medicines, Lysine and other remedies, but none kept the virus at bay enough to really make a difference.
Then someone introduced me to essential oils, and I learned a little about their studied antiviral activity. I stumbled onto research performed with a certain oil known as Melissa. Melissa essential oil is distilled from Melissa herb, a plant with a long history in natural medicine. The plant yields a relatively small amount of oil compared to other aromatic varieties, so it’s cost seems a little high. But formal investigation has been being going on in Europe for many years applying the oil to herpes lesions, with very promising results. One company has even extracted a component of the oil and sold it in a prescription form (though I have not read of any evidence showing the extract works better than the oil itself).
The most encouraging statement regarding the use of Melissa on herpes was made by Dr. Dietrich Wabner, a professor at the University of Munich: he stated that a single application of Melissa may lead to a complete remission of the disease. A possible cure! I’d figured I had nothing to lose, so I tried a little bottle of the oil.
Searching further, I found a regimine for the oils’ use. Melissa might not lead to a complete remission in just one application – other healers were finding success when the oil was applied to the affected area when an outbreak felt ‘imminent’. The oil was applied perhaps three times per day during the outbreak; this was repeated the next several times the user thought an outbreak may be coming on, and through the duration of the skin healing. My outbreaks were usually on my tongue at that point (though they started on the palate of my mouth). I would get a very fatigued feeling for a few days, then my tongue would get what seemed like individual taste buds that would feel as though they were burnt (and yes, I have had medical confirmation as to their cause). I also had lesions on my lip, but not as often. So I began the Melissa oil program – just one drop in my mouth a few times a day – and thankfully I actually liked the taste!
Well, perhaps the single dose worked for some folks, but I wasn’t quite so fortunate – though I was certainly not discouraged. The history of Melissa and it’s healing powers was renoun, and I kept up with the program. Despite continuing to have outbreaks, they were shorter, and they seemed to occur less frequently. And after a while, it dawned on me – the outbreaks had stopped completely! And believe me, my life has been no less stressful – more so if anything. Also, while outbreaks do tend to happen less freqently for some over time, I had been living with this for 15 years and they were still fairly regular. But no matter how stressful my days were, how heavy my weight training sessions or other athletic endeavors, the outbreaks have not returned!
For individuals who may have more sensitive skin than I, or have outbreaks in more sensitive places, Melissa essential oil can be diluted in a vegetable or nut oil (Hazelnut oil or Rosehipseed are commonly used) to 1/10th or even less of the total volume and be just as effective (some say that even 1% will work). It is important to note – and repeated many times in the literature – that taking any essential oil orally, or appliying undiluted to the skin, should be done with extreme caution – whatch your own reaction closely and proceed accordingly. I do not have experience with application to the genital variety of Herpes simplex, but the texts do not make a distinction – this may be where a carrier oil could come in handy. But whatever way it’s used, the system should be followed closely: apply Melissa 2-3 times a day to the affected area when an outbreak is on the way, and use it until the sores have healed completely. Follow this method for the next several outbreaks; there are no guarantees, but this may work for you or someone you may know – and what a wonderful thing it can be!
For sufferer’s of Shingles, another Herpes virus variety causing lesions of the skin, Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica, or ‘True’ Ravensara) oil has been used. Individuals have found relief using Ravensara in a 50-50 blend with Tamanu Nut oil. The Tamanu Nut sooths the skin during the healing process and keeps the Ravensara in contact with the sores. I have not heard of this offering a complete cure, but I have heard of this blend really helping relieve discomfort of this condition.
So if you choose to use aromatherapy oils like Melissa or Ravensara yourself (or to a recommendation), find a trusted source for the essential oils. Find ‘true’ varieties of each – Melissa is often adulterated, and the real thing is generally priced between $10 and $20 per milliliter (about 25 drops, which actually goes a long way); Ravensara should be of the ‘Ravensara aromatica’ variety. Be conservative with direct application – remember that diluting the oil has not been reported to reduce efficacy. Yes, I liked the Melissa oil straight, and never had a problem – but others I’ve known have had sensitive reactions – though this may have been related to UV exposure. Be good to yourself and listen to your body – may you achieve healing success!