Herpes, Cold Sores, and How Essential Oils Can Help -- May 11, 2017

Herpes

Brace yourself for a word that is equally recognizable as it is unfairly stigmatized: Herpes. It is estimated that up to 90% of the population has some form of Herpes.* 2 out of every 3 people carries a strain of the HSV1 virus and 1 out of every 6 people carries a strain of the HSV2 virus. One would think that something so common wouldn’t have so much shame surrounding it but after a few wildly successful ad campaigns, it does. The stigmatization of Herpes is widely considered to have occurred solely for financial gain, and it began in the late 1960s/early 1970s; a time when the Herpes Simplex Virus began to be erroneously categorized as having “good” and “bad” varieties. 

The pharmaceutical company behind the anti-viral drug Acyclovir (Burroughs Wellcome Co.) is rumored to have perpetuated this stigma conveniently upon the release of their new HSV symptom-alleviating drug in an effort to preemptively create a market for it. Despite its relatively benign nature, no one wants to talk about their diagnosis. There’s actually a TedTalk regarding this very issue and the inevitability of STI’s in which the speaker asks everyone who has Herpes to raise their hand. Despite the fact that the majority of people in the room did have some form of HSV, no one raised their hand. It’s social experiments such as this that indicate the strength of the undeserved stigma that still surrounds this incurable but common virus. 

Link to the TedTalk for those who are interested: https://ellacydawson.wordpress.com/2016/05/11/watch-my-tedx-talk-stis-arent-a-consequence-theyre-inevitable-with-transcript/ 

Those afflicted with the virus as well as larger groups who work to effect social change have worked to fight this harmful stigma.

“Project Accept, a non-profit that aims to build a social movement of people with herpes and HPV, claims, "The Burroughs Wellcome advertising campaign was designed to stimulate demand for Zovirax by raising patients' concerns about the social consequences and implications of infection and emphasizing that the drug could reduce outbreaks and transmission. Herpes.org.uk tells a similar story: ‘In the late 1970s, Burroughs Wellcome succeeded in creating a viable antiviral drug. The drawback was that it only affected a few viruses in the herpes family. At the time, these were not usually considered serious enough to require treatment at all. A disease-awareness campaign was organized to alert doctors and patients to the benefits of the new drug. The case was made by 'marketing' genital herpes so that it acquired the status of an important disease. In America, Burroughs Wellcome sponsored support groups to advise 'sufferers' of the benefits of the new drug. Pedro Cuatrecasas, a biochemist who was involved in the discovery, development, and marketing of acyclovir as the head of R&D at Burroughs Wellcome Co. from 1975 to 1985, recalls: "During the [discovery and development] of acyclovir (Zovirax), marketing insisted that there were 'no markets' for this compound.” https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/did-big-pharma-create-the-herpes-stigma-for-profit

 
And thus, the quest commenced to advertise to consumers in such a way that evoked shame and embarrassment regarding a common virus. This shame and embarrassment created a stigma that is still prominent in today’s society. 

So, why does Jade Bloom care about the prevalence of this disease and the stigma surrounding it? We care because shaming 57% to 90% of the world’s population in an effort to get them to purchase an anti-viral drug is incredibly unethical and should not go unchecked; It’s dishonest when there are natural remedies proven to keep symptoms at bay at a fraction of the cost, especially when the majority of carriers don’t even know they have it.

Melissa essential oil has been used for decades to keep symptoms of HSV-1 and HSV-2 under control. The oil is steam distilled in very small batches from the leaves of the Melissa herb (Lemon Balm). European studies have been conducted for several years in which Melissa Oil was applied to herpes outbreaks with notable results** Garden variety cold sores are caused by a strain of the HSV-1 virus. If you’ve had a cold sore (not a canker sore), you are a carrier of a strain of HSV-1. This information is not intended to bring about shame but rather is intended to indicate the commonality of the virus. Rather than adhering to a strict regimen of antivirals for the rest of your life, why not explore other, more natural options? Applying Melissa oil to the area of concern prior to an outbreak (and during the outbreak as well) has been shown to shorten the duration and decrease the severity of the outbreak. 

Due in part to the prevalence of the HSV-1 virus, Jade Bloom introduced a product infused with Melissa essential oil for easy application to cold sores. Jade Bloom’s Melissa Lip Balm is one of our best selling varieties and at a price point of $4.95 per tube compared to a $29.95 refill of acyclovir or Valtrex, the decision to go all natural becomes simple.  Click here to buy Melissa Essential Oil Lip Balm.

 

Works Cited 

*http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/adult/infectious_diseases/Oral_Herpes_22,OralHerpes/ 

  

Author: Jackie Mallett