Natural Treatments for Genital Herpes, Cold Sores and Shingles: A Review of the Scientific and Medical Literature Clear Springs Press

Natural Treatments for Genital Herpes, Cold Sores and Shingles: A Review of the Scientific and Medical Literature


      The search for "alternative" or natural treatments for any disease or illness is frequently frustrated by a lack of good information. On the one hand, there may be a lack of quality, published scientific information on the potential alternatives. The potential alternatives include those from traditional medical systems such as ayurvedic medicine, chinese medicine, homeopathic medicine, herbal medicine, and recent but not fully proven discoveries. The development of the high quality double blind clinical studies on viable alternatives frequently goes unsupported or even blocked by self-serving economic and political interests. The viable alternatives, then, are regarded as "unapproved." Unapproved means untested, at least in a scientifically rigorous and politically correct manner. The potentially viable alternatives are then unavailable through traditional or orthodox channels.

      This leaves a vacuum in which unscrupulous promoters can operate making unsupported and unsubstantiated claims for quick financial gain. The consumer deserves better.

      I have examined several of the natural and/or alternative treatments for herpes virus infections and presented them here with scientific and medical references to the extent that they are available. I have made an effort to be objective and as unbiased as possible.

      I did not discuss orthodox herpes treatments. They are well covered elsewhere. I also did not discuss social aspects or traditional management of herpes infections. They are well covered elsewhere. I also did not discuss the diagnosis of herpes infections. That too, is well covered elsewhere.

      Before any treatment is obtained or chosen, a diagnosis must be obtained from a qualified health care practitioner. There are a number of other health conditions or diseases that can be confused with herpes infection symptoms.

      Anyone choosing to self-treat using alternative or complementary treatments should consult a physician and obtain medical advice first.

      This information is presented for educational purposes and is not medical advice and is not intended to serve as a treatment or cure for any disease.

Some Important Terms

Unapproved - Common sense might tell you that "unapproved" means "disapproved." This is not the case. Unapproved simply means that something has not been evaluated and, therefore, has not been approved.

Complementary medicine - This term refers to systems of health care and individual therapies that people use as adjuncts to their conventional health care.

Alternative medicine - "Alternative" medicine is every available approach to healing that does not fall within the accepted norms of conventional medicine. Most new treatments and practices are regarded as alternative until they become adopted by the mainstream practitioners.

Health freedom - Some individuals, doctors, and campaigners believe that the practice of medicine has become constrained by monopoly interests and profit to the detriment of health and freedom of choice.

Evidence based medicine - Evidence based medicine aims to apply evidence gained through the scientific method to health care practice. It seeks to quantify the risks and benefits of treatments. In principle, this looks like a good idea. It is, however, sometimes biased by politics and financial interests. Because of this, some third party payers (insurance companies, HMO's etc.) may, in some cases, use "evidence based medicine" as an excuse to deny payment for services.

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