Can Seaweed Naturally Cure Herpes?
Seaweed has been used for years to help treat a wide range of infections, as a superfood in many different cultural dishes, and as a natural preventative treatment. So, would it also be useful to treat topical infections like herpes? Yes! In this blog we’ll explain the science of why seaweed can help naturally suppress outbreaks and heal herpes symptoms, although there is no cure yet.
What is Herpes?
The herpes simplex virus (HSV) belongs to the herpesviridae family of viruses. The virus has been known to infect humans since ancient Greece, causing a variety of diseases ranging from mild mucocutaneous infection to life-threatening infections. Significant breakthroughs in our understanding of the molecular biology of HSV have led to new insights of causation and management over the last 50 years. The virus attacks skin or mucous membrane cells where they become parasitic on the normal process of the cell. Herpes is difficult to treat with drugs as they will not only affect the virus, but the host cells as well.
Chicken Pox, Coldsores, HPV, and Shingles are all part of the herpes virus family. Is there one natural remedy that can help all of these ailments? Oral and topical L-lysine monohydrochloride (an amino acid common in kelp but often missing from protein supplements) was studied in a double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment for the prevention and treatment of recurrent herpes simplex (HSV) virus. For six months, the treatment group received L-lysine monohydrochloride tablets (1,000 mg L-lysine each dose) three times a day. The trial included 27 participants on L-lysine and 25 on placebo. The L-lysine treatment group had 2.4 less HSV infections, significantly less severe symptoms, and a significantly shorter recovery period. In this study, for recurrent HSV infection, L-lysine appears to be an effective treatment for reducing the recurrence, severity, and healing time. There have been studies with even more positive results.
Kelp Naturally Slows the Frequency and Severity of Herpes Outbreaks
Kelps are rich in essential amino acids like L-lysine! L-lysine is an essential amino acid and the world’s most widely used supplement with additional uses in the polymer, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. The global L-lysine market is predicted to increase by 6–7% yearly, with output reaching 4 million tonnes by 2023. Scientists have used valorized brown seaweed to produce l-lysine, using Corynebacterium glutamicum, and many other kelps.
L-lysine is currently produced by fermenting cane and beet molasses, as well as starch hydrolysates from corn, cassava, and wheat. These raw resources, are produced from food crops and compete with human nourishment. The growing demand for a more sustainable l-lysine sector has moved attention to non-edible second-generation lignocellulose-rich renewables like straw, wood, and grass, however seaweed is much more sustainable and superior option.
How does seaweed help herpes?
In a study by Calvin and Robert J. Ellis from the University of Alaska discovered two members of the Rhodophyta seaweeds (red seaweeds) help relieve the symptoms of herpes virus. Dried and powdered, these red algae seaweeds reduce blistering when placed on the affected skin. Red seaweeds are used in most of Seaflora’s facial products.
Fucoidans are sulfated polysaccharides that when applied to the skin increase the density of collagen bundles, decrease activity of proteases (enzymes that break down dermal proteins), increase scavenging of free radicals, and increase cell proliferation. In addition to helping with healing and collagen synthesis, fucoidan inhibits the replication of many viruses, including herpes.