The virus that is responsible for cold sores and genital herpes is called the Herpes Simples virus, or HSV. There are two subtypes – HSV-1, which most often causes cold sores on the face, and HSV-2, which is usually the genital type. HSV infections are so common, that it is estimated the 90% of the world’s population have at least one of the types. While most people will not suffer any severe consequences from the infection, there are some who will develop serious issues, and since it’s so contagious and ubiquitous, treatment and prevention have become important issues.
Many medications and natural substances have been studied to see if they have any impact on the herpes virus. There are quite a few compounds that have been found to have promise. One of them has been used in Asian medicine for centuries, and has now also been studied in laboratories as a potent antiviral herb – Andrographis panniculata.
Clinical studies have demonstrated that Andrographis is effective at treating upper respiratory viral and bacterial infections. It also appears to have promising effects as an anti-parasitic, and anti-fungal. In other words, Andrographis may well be an invaluable partner for the immune system in fighting off a whole host of invaders. It does that primarily though compounds called andrographolides, which appear to be able to have a variety of interactions with both pathogens (to disable them), and with our immune cells (to support them).
Lab studies have shown some very promising results that support andrographolides for HSV infections. It appears that these compounds can prevent HSV from replicating, and can even have some viricidal activity. Given how well-known Andrographis panniculata is as an antiviral and immune herb, and the excellent safety profile it possess, it makes for a valuable partner in the defence against herpes infections.