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Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatments for Genital Herpes

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An infection derived from the herpes simplex virus, genital herpes is an acute inflammatory disease that nowadays has become quite common due to the ease this disease can be transmitted. This infection is considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that has been infecting more and more people each year. In the United States, there are about 500,000 new cases of this disease each year and there are about 40 million people who are believed to be suffering from it. Genital herpes can affect both homosexual and heterosexual individuals. Some of its common symptoms and signs include: lymph nodes that are tender in the inguinal area, marked edema, redness, painful shallow genital ulcers, lesions around the genital region, and small fluid-filled vesicles. High risk groups include white females around the age of 30. The herpes simplex virus belongs to the family of viruses that brings about infectious mononucleosis, shingles, and chicken pox.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Genital Herpes

Genital herpes, according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), is categorized under yin chuang (genital carbuncle) or re chuang (hot sores). One of the most common ways in which this disease is transmitted is by sexual contact and the risk of getting it gets higher if you have casual and/or multiple sexual partners. TCM may not possess a “germ theory” of what causes this disease although it is suspected that microorganisms as environmental factors such as dryness, dampness, heat, and cold among others cause the condition. The body’s internal organs are classified into yin and yang organs. While each organ is likely to be more or less susceptible to the different pathogenic environmental factors, they can also be very strongly affected and vulnerable to certain emotional disturbances.

The anger emotion and/or heat and dampness are the most common pathogenic factors that cause genital herpes. The affected internal organs include the urinary bladder, the kidneys as well as the gallbladder and the liver. The overall TCM diagnosis of genital herpes is active toxic damp heat. And within this condition, three unique patterns exist. They include Kidney deficiency, Liver deficiency, and accumulation of toxic damp heat, and within this larger category, three specific patterns are differentiated: toxic heat accumulation; Liver and Kidney deficiency, damp heat pouring down.

Erosion and blistering of the genital tissue, as well as itching and burning are the key symptoms of a pattern of damp heat pouring down. Outbreaks are believed to be precipitated by too much eating of sugar and candy that causes the occurrence of active damp heat. Outbreaks that recur are believed to be the fault of consuming too much alcohol, greasy heavy foods, and spicy hot foods. The Chinese herbal remedy known as Long Dan Hsie Gan is very effective in clearing damp heat pouring down.

Fever and the wearing down of the genital blisters are the main symptoms of toxic heat accumulation pattern. Too much eating of spicy hot foods, emotional stress, and repressed anger can trigger an outbreak of genital herpes).

The pattern of deficiency of the Kidney and Liver usually result in less fluid-filled blisters, but is marked by frequent soreness in the joints, back pain, and outbreaks. The outbreaks that recur can be due to seasonal changes, menstrual changes, episodes of flu or cold, fatigue, stress, or constitutional weakness. The herbal formula known as Hsi Di Wang Wan or Water Fire Balance is ideal for this pattern. It is also an effective remedy for genital outbreaks that keep on recurring.

Popular Herbal Remedies s for Genital Herpes

There are several Chinese herbs that have been used for ages for the treatment of skin conditions, urinary bladder infections, genital herpes and other types of damp heat conditions. Many of these herbs have been scientifically proven to possess anti-microbial properties. They can either be used externally or internally. If they need to be used externally, the herbs need to be boiled, with the mixture strained off and utilized as a wash applied to the area of concern. If taken internally, these herbs are often mixed with other herbs. They may be mixed with water, boiled and drank raw or ingested in capsule form. It is important to talk to a herbologist or a TCM practitioner first before using or taking any of these plants.

Ban Lan Gen (Woad Root) – This herb is known to have a very broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity and strong antiviral attributes. Research experiments reveal Ban Lan to have an inhibitory effect against hemolytic Streptococcus, Salmonella enteritidis, Salmonella typhi, Shigella flexneri, and Shigella dysenteriae.

Tu Fu Ling (Smilax) – A top herb in Chinese medicine known to clear dampness and toxicity. Tu Fu Ling is commonly used to treat skin lesions associated with damp heat and recurrent ulcers.

Huang Bai (Philodendron) – Huang Bai is a very popular Chinese herb that is known to possess containing and inhibiting qualities on yeast, bacterial, and viral infections. It is also effective in treating itch.

Ye Ju Hua (Wild Chrysanthemum Flower) – With the ability to relieve toxicity and clear heat, Ye Ju Hua is an autumn blooming flower that also has a strong inhibitory effect in vitro against some ECHO viruses, Shigella spp, and Staphylococcus aureus.

Bai Hsian Pi (Dittany Bark) – This very popular herb is used exclusively for external purposes. It is extremely effective in treating inflammation, eczema, itching and several other skin problems.

Ku Shen (Sophora) – Also used externally, Ku Shen is known to kill worms, relieve itch, dry up dampness, and clear heat. It has cold property and possesses a bitter flavor and is used to treat genital itch, carbuncles, and furuncles in women.

Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness center in central Florida.

Written by Valerie

November 26th, 2015 at 9:24 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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