The answers are: Yes, No and Maybe…
What is a Low Arginine Diet for Herpes?
You’ll benefit from reading my other blog posts on this and/or listening to their Podcasts. I give detailed instructions on WHY you must reduce Arginine amino acid, the foods high in Arginine and what to eat and avoid. As well as proven Supplements to help control HSV.
High Arginine foods include all grains (wheat, rice, corn, oats, barley), nuts and seeds, chocolate, coconut meat/milk and flour (the oil is OK), most beans (soy, pinto, etc.) and bone broth/gelatin/collagen.
The foods highest in beneficial Lysine are animal proteins, vegetables, tubers, and dairy.
Getting Herpes Under Control
There are two goals: get HSV under control as quickly as possible, then learn to manage it long term without too many restrictions on food. Or more supplements than needed. And ideally no prescriptions.
Control HSV Without Medications Where Possible
The only time I find anti-viral meds useful are when immediately taken for a first infection outbreak. This is true for Shingles too – another virus in the Herpes family.
Natural health solutions aim to address the CAUSE of issues. The virus thrives on Arginine and Stress. The Diet is extremely effective for most people, especially when combined with Stress balancing herbs and amino acids such as Lysine, Passion Flower and GABA.
If you are immune challenged (as I am, with a genetic immune deficiency) or have other neurologic, dietary or digestive disorders, you may need to augment a low-Arginine Herpes diet with anti-virals WHEN or IF the virus begins to flare.
For most of us, the anti-viral supplements and diet are adequate.
Watching for Pro-Dromal Symptoms
I take several anti-viral support herbs. You’ll find these in my Online Store in the Herpes and Epstein Barr Category. Olive Leaf (whole leaf, not extract), Lysine, Lemon Balm, VIVI and Monolaurin are my anti-viral friends.
The key? Learn the minimum BASE dose that works for you once your diet is controlled for Arginine. Then learn the PULSED dose you need when Pro-Dromal (predictive) symptoms begin.
I sometimes feel Pro-Dromal tingling, itching or burning in the area of my outbreaks, or sometimes in the nerves of one finger (I’m not sure why) or Sciatic Nerve. But at the FIRST hint of sensation, I double my maintenance dose immediately. Even in the middle of the night.
This is essential!
Do You Have to Eat Low-Arginine Foods Forever?
If you have done all the above, and are really familiar with your outbreak pattern, you can probably try a few “forbidden” foods. A low Arginine diet for Herpes is not meant to be permanent if you are managing your overall health and diet better.
(But grains are permanently off the menu as I teach a Grain-Free Ancestral Diet to ALL friends and Clients. Humans don’t eat grass seed. It’s not in our Biology to graze on grass and ferment it in multiple chambers of a stomach like an Herbivore).
Some people are so sensitive to Arginine that 2 nuts will cause a flare.
Others haven’t had an outbreak in a year or more and are not very susceptible
It’s all individual. You have to determine the strictness of a Herpes diet that works for YOU.
The key is to know your enemy. Be prepared. Know what works and what to do when a flare starts.
Stress and Other HSV Triggers
As I have a genetically low immune system, I walk a fine line with several Herpes Viruses (Epstein Barr, Shingles, Cytomegalo Virus). I know that a stressful event will likely cause a flare and I will double my doses for 2 or 3 days immediately without waiting for a symptom.
We all have other food or environmental triggers that set off our immune system. Again, it’s an individual thing.
I am vigilant about organic foods, chemical-free detergents, fragrance-free home and office, gluten-free body care, and so much more. Then for some strange reason, green beans and carrots will set me off! These are not high Arginine foods. It’s something in my own chemistry that triggers HSV to flare.
Know Thine Enemy!
Follow the guidelines in my blog posts and Podcasts (listed above as #1 – #4), add the immune support Supplements from my Online Store and watch for reduction in symptoms or the warning signs of a flare. Many people have had only one event and never have another. It’s still good to be grain-free as your body evolved this way and grains are really high in Arginine and very inflammatory. They are the first “foods” removed from the Auto-Immune Paleo Diet, Primal Diet, Ancestral Diet and my own DVD “The Diet For Human Beings”.