Can Acupuncture Cure Herpes? We Summarize The Science

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The herpes virus comes in several different forms and can cause a variety of symptoms. A common question that comes with the ailment is, can acupuncture cure the herpes virus?

Unfortunately, this virus is chronic, meaning it cannot be cured. Despite this, research has found significant benefit in utilizing acupuncture to treat the symptoms of the illness.

Acupuncture originated in China and has been used for thousands of years to treat numerous medical conditions and symptoms. It has been used successfully in the treatment of several strains of the herpes virus.

Acupuncture is Useful for Treatment Against Herpes Zoster

acupuncture for skin conditions

Herpes zoster, though not the most common form of herpes that you would think of, is a condition affecting over a million people in the United States annually and many more worldwide.

This condition, colloquially known as Shingles, arises from a reactivation of the varicella virus that causes chickenpox. This virus, which does fall into the Herpesviridae family, causes pain, numbness, burning and tingling sensation, rash, blisters, and itching.

Acupuncture is a treatment for many skin conditions but has also proven effective against this disease.

One study looked at the efficacy of acupuncture in controlling pain associated with herpes zoster. [1]

Researchers randomized 102 patients to receive either acupuncture (AC, N=52) or standard pharmacological treatment (ST, N=50) for 4 weeks. They then followed up with the patients over the course of one year to determine treatment effectiveness.

  • Both treatments were similarly effective. AC showed 81.6% responsiveness, and ST showed 89.2%.
  • No serious adverse side effects were noted as a result of AC treatment.
  • Researchers noted that AC could prove to be an effective treatment for acute herpetic pain.

    Acupuncture is Useful for Treatment Against Herpes Simplex

    Acupuncture for herpes virus

    In addition to treating herpes zoster and its symptoms, acupuncture is also useful in treating herpes simplex and the symptoms that come with it. Herpes Simplex Virus-1 (HSV-1) can cause facial nerve palsy (loss of facial nerve function).

    One study looked at the effect of electroacupuncture treatment on facial nerve palsy caused by HSV-1. [2]

    Researchers induced facial nerve palsy in mice at 4 weeks old. These mice were split into two treatment groups and a control group. The electroacupuncture group (N=30) received treatment daily for 14 days.

    One control group (N=30) received a saline solution instead of the HSV-1 inoculation. Mice in another control group (N=30) did not receive any electroacupuncture or solution. A third control group (N=30) received HSV-1 inoculation but no electroacupuncture treatment.

    • Mice in the treatment group recovered more quickly from facial nerve palsy symptoms and demonstrated lower numbers of HSV-1 by the end of treatment.
    • Researchers suggest that electroacupuncture can alleviate symptoms of HSV-1 and promote the reduction of the virus.
    • The researchers explain that facial nerve palsy, caused by HSV-1, works by affecting the myelin sheath covering nerves in the face. This sheath provides a protective covering for nerves that is necessary for signal transmission. 
    • The researchers also explain that HSV-1 can replicate itself by activating immune pathways, which causes lower "immune surveillance." This allows the virus to go undetected and spread more efficiently throughout the host.

    • Acupuncture can interrupt this process by inhibiting signal transduction pathways. This means that the immune cells would not be as "distracted" and more equipped to fight the herpes virus.

      Many Case Studies Have Also Confirmed Acupuncture Efficacy Against Herpes

      Acupuncture needles 

      Human case studies have shown the positive effects of acupuncture treatment against several types of herpes virus.

      One case study looked at a 6-year-old with recurrent herpes zoster symptoms by her right eye. [3]

      This mainly included a painful red rash and symptoms began when she was 2 years old. She received two sessions of auricular (relating to the ear) acupuncture per week during flare-ups (about six times per year) and once per week following flare-ups.

      • The treatment prevented further herpes flare-ups. Follow-up over the next 10 years showed no significant herpes zoster symptoms.
      • Qualitatively, the patient reported greater emotional stability, lower levels of anxiety, and better overall physical and mental development.

      • This is also important as the researcher notes a link between emotional distress and herpes flare-ups. Emotional instability can negatively affect the immune system, leaving the patient more susceptible to the herpes virus.

      Another case study of a 68-year-old woman with recurrent genital herpes (HSV-2) found success with acupuncture treatment. The patient experienced these symptoms, including pain, itching, and redness, for about 4 years.

      Throughout this time, the patient received allopathic (modern) treatment with little success. This patient then received similar acupuncture treatment as the previous case study over the course of three weeks.

      • Over the treatment period, the symptoms disappeared completely.
      • The patient did not relapse until one and a half years later.
      • The researcher suggested acupuncture and other traditional herbal treatment as an alternative to more modern anti-viral drugs.

        Conclusion

        Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a tough disease to deal with. Can acupuncture cure herpes? Herpes brings many unpleasant symptoms and is chronic, meaning it does not have a cure. That said, there are ways to treat this virus to make its symptoms much more tolerable.

        Acupuncture has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years and has been proven effective against symptoms of various skin conditions.

        In addition, there are dietary supplements you can take to further alleviate symptoms of the herpes virus, such as stabilized rice bran, trace elements, and fermented vitamin C concentrate.

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        The Anti-Viral Program we offer includes all of the supplementary ingredients you need to help acupuncture treat herpes virus.

        These ingredients each have a core role to play when it comes to treating herpes symptoms. Some of the key ingredients you will notice include stabilized rice bran, trace elements, and fermented vitamin C concentrate.

        References

        1. https://bmccomplementmedtherapies.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6882-11-46
        2. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/693783/
        3. https://actascientific.com/ASMS/pdf/ASMS-03-0363.pdf

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