Skip to content

    Genital Herpes Health Center

    Font Size

    Herb May Be Alternative Herpes Treatment

    Prunella vulgaris Reduces Cold Sores and Lesions in Animal

    WebMD Health News

    May 19, 2003 - An experimental herpes treatment derived from an herb known as Prunella vulgaris may one day help prevent and treat both types of the herpes virus that cause cold sores and genital herpes.

    Researchers say preliminary tests show mice and guinea pigs treated with the herb developed significantly fewer of the cold sores and genital sores or lesions associated with herpes than untreated animals.

    The results of the study were presented today at the 103rd General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Washington, D.C.

    "Prunella vulgaris [also known as self heal] is a perennial plant found in China, the British Isles, Europe, and North America," says researcher Song Lee of the Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, in a news release. "P. vulgaris has been described as a hot water infusion to treat sores in the mouth and throat, as an astringent for internal and external purposes, as a crude anti-cancer drug, and as an herbal remedy to lower high blood pressure."

    In the study, researchers created a topical cream containing a compound derived from Prunella vulgaris and tested it on mice and guinea pigs infected with an experimental version of the herpes simplex virus-1, and herpes simplex-2, typically known as genital herpes.

    Researchers found that mice infected with herpes type 1 who received the herbal herpes treatment were significantly less likely to die of their disease than untreated mice. And guinea pigs infected with herpes type 2 and treated with the cream developed much fewer skin lesions than those who did not receive treatment.

    Laboratory tests also showed that Prunella vulgaris has a different type of anti-herpes action than currently available treatment, such as Zovirax (acyclovir).

    "Given the high incidence of herpes infection and the emergence of acyclovir-resistant strains of herpes viruses, the [experimental herbal herpes treatment] may prove to be a useful new anti-herpes drug," says Lee.

    Today on WebMD

    STD Overview
    BHC Healthy Sex Life
    things your guy wish you knew slideshow
    Sex Drive Killers 03
    Genital Herpes Risks Quiz
    Young couple holding hands
    Hepatitis Prevent 10
    Herpes Vaccine Study
    Daughter Development Evaluator
    HPV Vaccine Future
    STD Facts Quiz
    mother and daughter talking

    WebMD Special Sections