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A randomized double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial of topical herbal drug against recurrent Herpes Simplex
Recurrent herpes simplex is one of the most common infections in humans, but there is not yet an effective treatment to prevent recurrence. In this study, the efficacy of topically administered topical herbal formulation (consisting of Melissa officinalis, Rhus spp., Glycyrrhiza glabra and Geranium spp. plants extracts from Anacardiaceae, Labiatae, Papilionaceae, and Geraniaceae family respectively) in reducing the frequency of herpes simplex attacks was assessed.
78 patients with recurrent herpes simplex referred to educational dermatology canters in Isfahan were enrolled in a double-blind clinical trial. Patients were randomized to treatment with topical herbal medicine drug 20% or placebo for 6 months. For treatment the ointment was applied 5 times/day for 5–10 minutes during episodes until full recovery. No other drugs were permitted during the study. Patients were questioned for possible side effects.
A total of 60 patients were followed while taking drug or placebo (34 and 26, respectively). Evaluation of therapeutic response of the patients during and after the end of treatment showed significant effectiveness of the herbal formulation healing times (p≤0.01), and the area of the lesion between day 1 and day 5, but no significant change on reduction of severity and duration of pain was showed.
Herbal medicine treatment was an effective therapeutic modality against recurrent herpes simplex compared with placebo and should be noticed as an effective, available and low cost treatment.
Acknowledgement: This work was supported by Research Council of the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran (Research project no. 81003).