HPV—the Human Papillomavirus—is a highly contagious sexually transmitted infection (STI). There are many kinds of HPV, some of which can lead to serious health problems, including genital warts and cervical cancer. An estimated 79 million Americans—mostly in their late teens and early 20s—have been infected with HPV. An estimated 80% of the population will become infected with HPV at some point during their lives. Most people are able to fight off the infection and clear it on their own.1,2,3
For those who have contracted HPV, there are some herbal remedies that can help combat the infection.
HPV is the world’s most common sexually transmitted infection. There are over 100 different types of HPV. Roughly 12-13 HPV types are known as high-risk and can cause cervical cancer in young women. Recent vaccines have been developed to protect against the cancer-causing types of HPV. Currently, there is no way to know whether someone has HPV as there is no “HPV-positive” test.3,4
Affecting the skin’s deepest layers, HPV is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, primarily during sexual activity. HPV can be passed between partners through sexual intercourse when there are small cuts or abrasions around the genitals and anus. HPV can also be transmitted through touch by the hands and fingers.2,3
With certain HPV types, the virus can cause serious damage to the infected tissue, altering the cells and triggering a fast-growing cancer in the cervix. While most women who become infected with HPV will never develop cervical cancer from it, it’s important to get screened regularly to catch it if it does develop.3
Most people will never even know that they’ve contracted HPV, as the majority of people don’t develop symptoms. However, certain types of HPV can cause genital warts. Typically, genital warts look like small, raised or flat bumps that can sometimes be cauliflower shaped. Many types of HPV can cause warts in other parts of the body, including the face, neck, hands and feet.1,2
HPV infections can be prevented by using condoms and minimizing your number of sexual partners.
Top Natural Remedies for HPV
For those who have been infected with HPV, there are certain natural remedies that are known to have antiviral properties that can help clear an HPV infection. Herbal cures for HPV can include:
- Elderberry - Elderberry has natural anti-inflammatory benefits for helping to heal genital warts, but can also help defend against the viral infection by boosting the immune system.
- Garlic - Garlic is an effective natural antiviral remedy, and can help clear an HPV infection naturally.
- Echinacea - Echinacea is a popular home remedy for antiviral treatment and can be used to fight HPV infections.
- Astragalus - Astragalus is a potent herbal remedy from the Ayurvedic medicine system, and is known to fight infections like HPV.
- Licorice - Licorice root is a powerful antiviral herb that can boost the immune system to help fight HPV. It can also help combat inflammatory symptoms of an HPV infection.