Whatever type of herpes infection you’re suffering from (HSV-1 or 2 or the herpes simplex 2 virus) your physician will say that there is no cure for your condition. Antiviral drugs merely suppress the infection and reduce their intensity. Chinese herbal formulas, on the other hand, can work to beef up the immune system of your body and help you become more resilient to herpes infections. You need to consult with your doctor if you think you have a herpes infection to see what treatment options you can use to address its symptoms.

Herpes Infection

If you become infected with herpes virus, the virus will stay indefinitely in your body and may be activated from time to time. When it is activated, the virus manifests in the form of facial blisters (if you have the HSV-1 virus) or as blisters around the anus or genitals (if the virus is the HSV-2 type). According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ), people may experience around 4 to 5 outbreaks during the first year after infection that over time may become frequently less. Conventional pharmaceuticals may suppress he outbreaks although they can never remove the virus from your body.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Practitioners of Traditional Chinese medicine consider herpes infection to be the result of Qi (energy) imbalance in your body. This energy circulates through energy vessels known as meridians that are related to various internal organs. In a herpes infection, the flow of qi through the meridian corresponding to the liver organ develops a blockage that stagnate the flow of qi. This results in the copious production of phlegm in the body. Phlegm, in TCM, refers to the sluggish and thickened body fluids created from the poor flow of qi. When phlegm becomes so abundant that it breaks through the skin’s surface of the skin, a herpes infection occurs.


TCM practitioners use a combination of Chinese herbs to help resolve the symptoms of herpes. When various herbs are combined, they produce a synergistic effect that leads to the healing of the symptoms. It takes a TCM practitioner to know and master the different Chinese herbal formulas needed to treat a condition. Since not all TCM practitioners are trained in the art of Chinese herbal therapy, you need to select one who is trained in Chinese herbal medicine and who has wide experience treating a condition you are suffering from. You should never try to treat yourself using Chinese herbal remedies. Always talk to a TCM practitioner who knows the proper use of herbs.

Key Formulas

For a herpes infection, TCM practitioners may use a kudzu decoction made up of cinnamon, jujube, ginger, peony, and licorice. The formula helps release any tightness the body might be experiencing. Other herbs that may be prescribed are ones that can help improve blood and qi flow. They not only can boost the flow of energy and nutrients, they can also help remove the infection from the body. In a certain study done in Japan, the kudzu decoction was seen to safeguard the tissues from damage caused by the reactivation of the herpes virus.


Indian and Chinese herbal medicines all possess bioactive compounds that can be the active ingredient for anti-HSV drugs in the future. These herbs contain compounds and molecules that are known to possess anti-HSV attributes. Natural medicinal plant extracts need more research and studies in order to provide more effective ways to treat herpes infections.
Amy-SuiQun Lui, L.Ac.
Asian Health Center
27059 Grand Army of the Republic Hwy
Cleveland, OH 44143
Tel: (440) 833-0983