The Herpes simplex viruses afflict between 50% and 80% of the adult population in the United States. Whether oral, herpes, genital herpes, or shingles (Herpes zoster), traditional medical treatments can be expensive and time-consuming. For the afflicted with a preference for natural remedies, essential oils are a thoroughly-researched alternative.

The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy

Salvatore Battaglia, in The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, highlights a variety of oils effective at addressing Herpes simplex: Bergamot, Geranium asperum, Lemon, Niaouli, Melissa, Ravensara, Rose Otto, and Tea Tree. Ananda customers have anecdotally attested to the efficacy of Melissa, and many also appreciate Rose Otto as an addition. Some satisfied customers blend the two to control and prevent their Herpes outbreaks.

Many users find they can apply Melissa and/or Rose Otto "neat" at the location of the outbreak, though if this is found too intense or irritating, the essential oils can be diluted in either Tamanu oil, virgin Coconut oil, or a 50:50 blend of both. These carrier oils are considered both anti-viral, as well as healing to the skin. A fairly high concentration of essential oil can be used: at least 10%, and higher if one's skin can tolerate it.

Ravensara helps ease the severity and recurrence of shingles outbreaks, and the other oils mentioned contain components that have been found effective in clinical trials to penetrate the virus and prevent its spread. Kurt Schnaubelt, in Advanced Aromatherapy, recommends a 50:50 blend of Ravensara essential oil and Tamanu carrier oil.

Melissa essential oil, shown effective in a number of studies for healing and prevention of HSV outbreaks.

In an article on the effectiveness of Melissa against the Herpes viruses demonstrates that Melissa can nearly or completely eradicate the Herpes simplex II virus when either taken orally or applied topically. Some people prefer a few drops per day orally, others prefer 'neat' application to the affected area, or to dilute the Melissa essential oil in Tamanu oil, renowned for its skin-healing abilities. Melissa, the study posits, is best applied at the very start of an outbreak, and can be used prophylactically.

Another article entitled Antiviral activity of Australian tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil against herpes simplex virus in cell culture, by Schuhmacher et al. investigates Eucalyptus and Tea Tree oil as anti-viral agents capable of combating Herpes. The study yielded results that Tea Tree oil and Eucalyptus had significant effects on virus titers, confirming their anti-viral capabilities.

Specifically regarding the Herpes virus, the authors write, "Although the active anti-herpes components of Australian tea tree and eucalyptus oil are not yet known, their possible application as antiviral agents in recurrent herpes infection is promising."

Damask Rose, the source of Rose Otto

Other essential oils that may have therapeutic effects as topical treatments for Herpes (as noted by various sources) include: Chamomile (German or Roman) and Peppermint, which are both cooling, calming, and have anti-microbial and anti-viral properties.

For an all-around virus-fighting blend that is effective on Herpes and more, look into Ananda's Super Immune blend. This formula was created from the research performed on a number of essential oils, noting their anti-viral properties.