Choraphor is a product that claims to work as a natural herpes product, but has come under scrutiny by the FDA.
Choraphor is an over- the- counter skin product sold as a treatment for cold sores and genital herpes outbreaks. Choraphor is a topical liquid, applied with a cotton squab. As a herpes product, Choraphor is marketed to cause herpes blisters and sores to dry up rapidly.
The makers of Choraphor state that the product works for most people, but does not offer any clinical evidence to support those claims.
To use Choraphor, herpes sufferers are supposed to wet and squeeze out a cotton swab, then dip the cotton swab into the bottle. Choraphor, a blue liquid, is then rubbed onto every open cold sore or genital herpes blister one time only.
The literature for Choraphor states that although a one- time application is all that is necessary, the product may work best if the user keeps the cotton swab on the herpes lesion for up to a full minute. Users report that Choraphor burns the skin intensely.
The makers of Choraphor state that the herpes product works by reducing the healing time for outbreaks. Choraphor causes the sores to scab over quickly. The scabs fall off in three days to a week, which is at least twice as fast as an outbreak with no treatment.
The primary website for Choraphor states that the product is safe because it uses only “safe and natural products.” It is applied directly to the skin, rather than a drug that is taken by mouth.
The immediate side effect is a burning sensation at the site of the herpes lesions, but the sting goes away within moments.
The makers of Choraphor state that the product is not recommended for pregnancy, because of a fetus’ sensitivity to chemical exposure.
Although the Choraphor website states that the product is not intended to treat or cure any disease conditions, the FDA issued a warning letter in 2006 citing twenty- four references claiming that Choraphor does treat herpes.
In addition, meta tags for the website, which help search engines find and bring traffic to websites, contained the words “herpes cure,” “herpes treatment,” and similar phrases.
Also, the labeling directions were not clear enough. Since Choraphor is an over- the- counter product intended for self- use without the oversight of a medical practitioner, the FDA warned that the product may not be safe and could not claim that it is.
Looking at the directions for Choraphor, the literature states that the user makes one “thorough” application of the product to each herpes lesion, but does not clearly state what is meant by “thorough.”
The instructions state that the user can dilute the solution to control the pain from stinging, but also says that a stronger application of the solution produces better results. However, since the product is to be used only once per outbreak, this is a confusing statement.
The application is to be made “at the right time,” but the literature does not state when the “right time” is. Reference is made to applying Choraphor when the herpes blister has opened, but elsewhere states that it can be applied at the first sign of a new outbreak.
The instructions state that a scab will form “naturally” after using Choraphor, but also states that a scab may not form with genital herpes.
Finally, although the meta tags and web content for Choraphor include the words “herpes cure,” the directions state that the product must be reapplied for every outbreak.
There is no cure for the herpes simplex virus. It stays in the human body forever. Outbreaks do disappear over time, but the disase can be re- triggered under stress and other times. People with herpes will always be contagious and must use precautions.
The Choraphor website states that the herpes product is made from a sulfate with trace minerals in an aqueous herbal base. This may sound natural and safe enough to the casual reader.
However, the sulfate made with trace minerals is copper sulfate. Copper sulfate is CuSO4. When combined with water, as in the “aqueous” base in Choraphor, the chemical solution turns bright blue. Another name for liquified copper sulfate is “blue vitriol.”
Copper sulfate is made by electrolyzing sulfuric acid.
In the agriculture industry, copper sulfate is used as a fungicide on grapes, berries, and melons. It is used as a herbicide to control algae growth around water pipes and in swimming pools.
It can be used in aquariums to control snails and parasites in fish, although a higher concentrations it kills fish. Copper sulfate is also used in treated wood products as a preservative.
Copper sulfate is often included in children’s chemistry sets to produce blue “magic crystals.” Age limits had to be place on these “magic rock” products due to the toxicity of copper sulfate for children.
In the past, medical doctors used copper sulfate to induce vomiting. Eventually, this practice was stopped, because of toxicity issues. Copper sulfate is a poison.
The toxicity of copper sulfate is well documented. The United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs warned of the toxicity of copper sulfate as far back as 1986.
The EPA stated that the usual way humans could receive toxic exposure to copper sulfate was through skin or eye contact, as well as inhaling the powder or dust. Skin contact with copper sulfate causes itching or eczema.
The makers of Choraphor state on the main website that the product does contain sulfur, but that since the product is applied to the skin and not swallowed, it is safe and natural to use.
This statement completely contradicts the evaluations made by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The Choraphor website states that if itching occurs, which the EPA identified as a result of toxic exposure to copper sulfate, the user should not scratch the sores.
The Choraphor directions also state that a drying scab will form over the herpes lesion within three days after applying the product. According to the EPA ruling, this scab is not “natural,” as the website clearly states. It is eczema.
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum), is a safe and effective herb used since ancient times to treat a variety of ailments. Currently, St. John’s Wort is used most often to treat anxiety, depression, burns, and other skin irritations.
Recently, the herb has been studied for its effectiveness in treating cancer and a variety of viral infections.
Since St. John’s Wort is classified as a dietary supplement by the Food and Drug Administration, it does not have to undergo the harsh scrutiny that pharmaceutical drugs do.
The FDA does require that all dietary supplements must carry a label stating that any therapeutic value has not been evaluated by the FDA.
Although St. John’s Wort has been clearly documented as an aid for clinical depression, it has also been demonstrated to combat viruses, including the herpes simplex virus.
A 1990 clinical study published in the medical journal Antiviral Research stated that the plant chemical hypericin contained in St. John’s Wort was able to kill the herpes simplex virus and other enveloped viruses.
St. John’s Wort has also been clinically proven as containing antioxidants, having anti-inflammatory activity, and being able to improve wound healing. Normal doses of St. John’s Wort have very few, if any side effects.
However, combining a perfectly natural herb that has been clinically demonstrated to be effective with a chemical the EPA identifies as a poison does not make any product either "natural" or "safe."
Choraphor.com, Choraphor Frequently Asked Questions”
FDA.gov, “Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations: Choraphor.com 10-July-06”
Wiki.com, “Copper Sulfate”
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1986 Guidance for reregistration of pesticide products containing copper sulfate. Fact sheet no 100. Office of Pesticide Programs. Washington, DC.
TOXNET. 1975–1986. National library of medicine's toxicology data network. Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). Public Health Service. National Institute of Health, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Bethesda, MD: NLM.
Pubmed.gov, “Chapter 11 Medical Attributes of St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum),” by Kenneth M. Klemow and Andrew Bartlow, et al.
Pubmed.gov, Virucidal activity of hypericin against enveloped and non-enveloped DNA and RNA viruses. Tang J and Colacino JM, et al. Antiviral Research. June 1990;13(6):313-25.
Pubmed.gov, “Wound-healing activity of St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum L.) on chicken embryonic fibroblasts.” Ozturk N and Korkmaz S, et al. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2007; 111(1): 33–9.
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