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Aloe and Herpes

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Aloe, or aloe vera, has been clinically proven to help herpes, especially genital herpes. Applying fresh aloe on herpes outbreaks reduces healing time.

Aloe, commonly known as aloe vera, is a highly popular cactus-like house plant used to soothe skin irritations and speed healing. Aloe vera gel can be used straight from the plant and applied directly on any skin lesion, wound, or burn. One use for aloe is for herpes.

Does aloe help herpes?

There is both clinical and anecdotal support for the use of aloe for herpes. Aloe vera contains over seven different antioxidants and reduces inflammation. The natural salicylates in aloe help reduce pain in an action similar to aspirin.

According to the Italian Journal of Dermatology and Venereology, aloe does help with herpes, especially genital herpes. Over forty clinical studies involving the medical use of aloe were reviewed.

Researchers at the Department of Dermatology at the Jondishapur University of Medical Sciences in Ahvaz, Iran determined that aloe is effective for genital herpes and other skin conditions.

More clinical evidence supporting aloe for herpes

Bandolier, an independent medical journal about evidence- supported health care published by Oxford University scientists, cites two small placebo- controlled clinical studies involving a topical aloe vera cream and natural aloe gel for genital herpes.

In the first study, 180 men with genital herpes were treated with either a topical aloe vera cream or a placebo three times a day at the beginning of an outbreak for two weeks. Between 67- 70% of the men had recovered within five days of applying aloe vera cream.

With natural aloe vera gel, 45% of the men had recovered in seven days.

By comparison, the participants who were given a placebo only experienced a 7.0-7.5% rate of healing in the two week trial window.

No adverse effects were reported from aloe for herpes.

How to use aloe for herpes

Fresh aloe vera gel can be used right from the plant. The leaf can be broken off, then the thorns removed with a knife. The leaf can then be cut into approximately two inch slices, and opened to reveal the clear inner gel.

The gel can be applied directly from the leaf to the affected areas of the skin. It can also be scraped off the leaf with a spoon or butter knife and applied with a sterile gauze, tissue, or a cotton swab.

Aloe should be applied to herpes outbreaks three times a day at the first sign of an outbreak. The gel should be continued for two weeks. 

Where to get real aloe vera gel

It is very easy to grow aloe vera plants. They can be grown outdoors in areas where there is no chance of a frost. They can also be grown indoors in pots during the winter. Aloe needs full sun. The plant does not need a lot of water, and does best in fast draining soil. 

Pure, organic aloe vera gel is available for purchase from reputable herb companies. It should be stored in the refrigerator, and lasts for approximately six months.

Never use artificially colored gels sold commercially as aloe vera gel in grocery stores and drug stores. These are not real aloe vera or only contain a small amount of aloe. They are toxic products and will not offer any healing support for herpes or anything else.


Mountain Rose Herbs.com, “Aloe Vera Leaf and Powder Profile”

Pubmed.gov, “Aloe vera in dermatology: a brief review.” Feily A. and Namazi M.R. Italian Journal of Dermatology and Venereology. February 2009; 144(1): 85- 91.

Medicine. Oxford. AC. UK, “Effectiveness of aloe vera”

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