Several herbs help the body fight STD infections
A friend of mine, who is an acupuncturist says, “Things comes in threes.” I find there is truth in this statement. Last month I saw three different individuals with heavy metal toxicity. This month, I have seen three individuals with sexual transited diseases.
Because bacterial infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea may have long term consequences on a woman’s fertility, I strongly encourage use of antibiotics to kill the bacteria.
To enhance the effectiveness of the antibiotics, I recommend herbs like Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia), Burdock root (Articum lappa) and Oregon grape root (Mahoni aquafolia). These herbs have anti-bacterial properties, but they also support the body in cleaning up the infection.
When the body is fighting an infection, it is chemical warfare between the immune system and the invading bacteria. As in any war, there is collateral damage as well toxic waste.
The above herbs contain the collateral damage and assist the body in elimination of the toxic waste.
Viral infections such as genital herpes and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) also referred to as genital warts are another matter. Antibiotics do not kill viral infections.
Genital herpes has no cure. Approximately one out of five individuals carries the virus.
Most contact the virus before they are 25. There are no long term serious consequences to having a herpes virus. If, however, a mother has a herpes outbreak during the first trimester, this can have serious consequences for the unborn child.
If there is an active outbreak at the time of labour, a caesarean section is recommended.
For herpes infection, doctors recommend antiviral drugs which limit the spread of the infection as well as the length of the outbreak. To those who seek alternative treatments, during an outbreak I recommend both topic and internal remedies.
Applying a topically Melissa (Melissa officinalis) and Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) limits the length, severity and pain of the outbreak. Melissa is a well known anti-viral herb while self-heal has a reputation of healing wounds or irritated tissue. Most who use the remedy report that outbreak is limited to three days.
Because herpes outbreaks are associated with stress which weakens the immune system, internally I recommend a tincture which helps the body deal with stress as well as boost the immune system.
In this formula, I frequently use Melissa again. Melissa is not only anti-viral but it calms anxiety and quiets an over active mind. To support Melissa’s calming action I may add Sculcap (Scutellaria latrafolia), a herb that slows runaway thinking and soothes frayed nerves.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is also an anti-viral herb which dampens the stress response through moderating the secretion of the adrenal hormone epinephrine and norepinephrine.
These hormones are secreted during stress and lower the immune system’s function.
Finally, echinacea rounds out the formula by increases white blood cells which will attack the virus as well as clean up the infection.
Supplements like Vitamin C with bioflavonoids and lysine are also recommended during an outbreak. Some people have found the taking lysine regularly, decreases the numbers of outbreaks.
HPV is the most common sexual transmitted disease and is most common in those under 25. HPV will spontaneously disappear 20-30per cent of the time.
However, long term infection is associated with cervical cancer. HPV appears as grey soft bumps over the infected area. Other than their appearance, they are generally asymptomatic. Occasionally, there maybe itching and some discharge.
There is a vaccination for HPV. Adolescent girls are encouraged to get vaccinated. There are many controversies surrounding this vaccination, including its effectiveness. HPV is a class of viruses.
The vaccination only protects against 70 per cent of group. Also many suggest that boys should also be vaccinated.
In herbal practice, these questions are not immediately relevant because the infection is already active.
Again, my recommendations include both topical and internal use of herbs. Internally, the above herbs are reliable.
Topically, I recommend a blend of castor oil, thuja and tea tree essential oil mixed with two caps of vitamin E oil.
This blend is very strong, and it is important to apply it to the wart only. Application of this blend is necessary for several weeks.
Because of the long consequences of HPV, I recommend a follow-up with a doctor to be sure the wart is gone following the treatment.
Abrah Arneson is a herbalist living in Central Alberta.