Forty-five million people in the United States are infected with the herpes simplex virus (HSV). According to estimates 500,000 new cases of herpes occur annually. A shocking 80 percent of people infected with HSV are never aware that they are infected because either they never develop symptoms or they fail to recognize the symptoms when they do occur.
There are two types of herpes and both can affect the genitals and the mouth. HSV-1 (facial herpes) most commonly occurs on the lips in the form of fever blisters and cold sores. HSV-2 (genital herpes) most commonly appears in the genitals. Once a person is infected with HSV it remains for life and people can experience periodic episodes of active herpes.
Transmission :Herpes is spread by direct contact including: Sexual contact as well as Kissing and Skin-to-skin contact which transmits HSV-1 and HSV-2 Mild symptoms can be experienced with HSV-2, but often no apparent symptoms are present.
HSV-2 may cause recurrent painful genital ulcers and can be severe in people with suppressed immune systems. Severe genital herpes frequently causes psychological and emotional stress.
If the first episode of herpes occurs during pregnancy she can pass the virus to her unborn baby and she may be at higher risk of premature delivery. Approximately 50% of babies born with neonatal herpes die or suffer neurological damage. Babies can develop encephalitis, severe rashes, and eye problems.
People infected with herpes may be more susceptible to HIV infection, and HIV-infected individuals may be more infectious.
As a society, we take better care of our cars, pets, and toys than we do ourselves. We often sacrifice sleep, regular meals, and exercise in pursuit of our goals. we all weaken our immune systems when we don’t eat right, don’t get enough exercise or sleep, when we’re exposed to environmental toxins and when we’re under too much or chronic stress. Too often we end up into imbalance of doshas.
Impurity of pitta along with that of blood is the main causative factor for the pathology to appear. Various factors like poor digestion,very wrong eating habits,eating lots of spicy or bitter food,etc. will affect the secretion of digestive juices and lead to improper digestion of food,which will give birth to Ama that causes impurity of blood.This impurity of blood leads to appearance of leasions on the skin.
Ayurvedic Treatment of Genital Herpes:
The first step of treatment is to balance doshas. This is achieved by dietary changes and adding certain dietary supplements and herbs which balance the vitiated doshas of the disease . The skin,blood and lymph are purified through herbal preparations which metabolize the toxin AMA accumulated in blood and lymph formed due to imbalanced doshas. The herbal preparations detoxify blood and lymph and expel the toxins and vitiated doshas from blood and lymph. When blood and lymph get purified the skin and underlying tissues also get rejuvenated. This reduces the inflammation, burning and tingling sensation .
Boosting body immunity and Rejuvenation of Body:
According to ayurveda a disease not only affects a particular organ but affects the whole body. Herpes is an opportunistic virus. It takes hold and comes back when the immune system is weak or when you are run down.
If you keep your immune system healthy, you can significantly reduce your chances of future outbreaks. Hence after balancing doshas of the body , the body should be rejuvenated. By rejuvenation using Rasayanas the body immunity gets boosted to fight any recurrent attacks of diseases. Many ayurveda preparations are available for body rejuvenation ex- Chyavanprash
Local treatment for affected skin parts:
Along with the process of balancing doshas and rejuvenation of body, the treatment to the particular organ which is mainly affected by the disease should be treated. This is called local treatment (Sthanika chikitsa). In genital herpes this is achieved through local application of herbal paste prepared from powders of sandle wood, rose, amalki,Neem etc.
These preparations rejuvenate the skin and restores the structure -color of skin. These preparations also reduce local inflammation of the skin and skin gets a very good resistance to subsequent attacks. The tenderness of the skin vanishes and skin discoloration fades to get back the natural color.
Diet and Lifestyle modifications:
Diet - Food is the body’s building blocks – it’s the raw material our cells use to maintain every body function. If your body doesn’t get all the nutrients it needs or those nutrients are quickly depleted through stress, you can become undernourished, comprising your immune system’s ability to fend off invaders.Diet should be selected according to imbalanced dosha.Follow an anti-Pitta diet. In general the foods that are beneficial to people with herpes are fresh vegetables, fruits,beans ,chicken, fish and eggs.
Sleep - Contrary to popular belief, sleep is not a luxury. Sleep restores the body and refreshes the mind. Deep sleep causes our bodies to release potent immune-enhancing hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones are vital in completing the completing the body’s nightly restorative process.When you’re ill or recovering from an illness, you may need more than 8 hours of sleep
Stress - The most common triggers of outbreaks people with herpes report is stress. Most often, it’s mental stress, but physical stress – exposure to strong sunlight or exercising hard—can be a factor as well. Exercise – For reducing stress and building immunity, you can’t beat exercise. It’s probably as good of use of your time as sleeping. Studies have shown that just 30 minutes of regular aerobic exercise such as walking boosts immunity.
Yoga - has found to be most effective in supporting the immune system and calming the nervous system. Ancient practices of Meditation and Yoga offer truly amazing benefits by supporting the immune system by reducing the effects of stress; by offering a sense of well-being and tranquility; and by reducing negative thoughts and feelings because they both act on the sympathetic nervous system.
Attitude - One of the best ways for managing stress is keeping your sense of humor and perspective. Balance a positive outlook with a healthy dose of reality. Choose optimism over pessimism.
Obesity, high cholesterol, excessive alcohol and excessive sugar consumption are the factors involved in reducing or impairing immunity ,so these should be avoided at any cost.