History Of Herpes And The Search For A Cure

Herpes is one of the most degrading of all skin conditions. Usually appearing on the mouth or the genital area although it can appear almost anywhere on the body. It is spread usually through sexual contact or kissing from person to person.

For a very long time in recorder history the herpes virus has shown its ugly rash. There are references to it in ancient Greek and Roman texts. The word herpes is derived from Greek wherein it means a creeping sore. It was prevalent in Romans and Emperor Tiberius to check spread of herpes stopped the practice of ritual kissing in public. Herpes has caused havoc with humans for as long as history has been recorded.

In the writings of Shakespeare he refers to blister plagues in Romeo and Juliet that they say is a reference to herpes. Herpes can also be found described in prominent medical journals of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The cause of the disease was not mentioned in these writings. However, there were speculations that it might be caused by insect bites.

Serious research on herpes started in twentieth century. A scientist by the name of Lowenstien first stated that herpes was infectious back in 1919. Before, Lowenstein medical scientists considered that like other skin conditions such as eczema herpes was not infectious. Since virology was in its infancy in early twentieth century, it was a few decades later that it was realized that herpes was caused by virus. Studies have shown that there are many strains of the herpes virus just waiting to effect both humans and our animals. HSV I and HSV II viruses were mainly responsible for herpes condition in humans, facial herpes and genital herpes respectively.

The anti-viral medicines used so often today have only been around the last 30 to 40 years. Earlier, viral based ailments were assumed to be not responsive to any medicines. Viral diseases like influenza, measles etc were known to heal by themselves through antibodies to the respective viruses produced by the body’s immune system. First generation of anti-viral drugs such as, Cytosine, Arabinoside and Idoxuridine were found to be toxic and had number of undesirable side effects. Discovery of Acicyclovir provide the first opportunity of treatment of herpes through drugs. The Nobel Prize was awarded to the inventors of this medicine.

Anti-viral drugs are only partially successful in treating viral diseases. However, they are successful in reducing significantly the severity of the symptoms caused by the disease. Anti-viral drugs are also expensive. Alternative therapies like Homeopathy and Ayurvedic system of medicine claim to have reliable treatments for herpes. Some of the therapies are diet and nutrient based, while others are based on medicinal herbs and immune stimulants. Common yoghurt virus Lactobacillus Acidophilus has been shown to be effective in ameliorating herpes symptoms. An algae by the name of red marine has shown promise as a treatment for herpes. One alga, by the name of Dumontiacease, has shown a number of possibilities as a cure. The herb Andrographis (combined with Echinacea) provides another herbal therapy for herpes. The alternative methods provide a much greater treatment than the allopathic type.

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