Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV); Symptoms, Causes, Natural Treatments

 

EBV is a herpes virus that is widespread in all human populations. Infection usually occurs in childhood but if delayed until adolescence can result in infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever). EBV is distantly related to other herpes viruses like herpes simplex (the cause of cold sores) or varicella-zoster e (the cause of chicken pox). Like them, EBV can replicate fully in epithelial cells, in this case in pharyngeal cells lining the inner mucosal surfaces of the mouth and nose.

Unlike other herpes viruses, EBV has a unique set of growth activating genes which it uses to establish a latent growth-transforming infection of its main target cell, the B lymphocyte. The growth of latently-infected B cells is normally controlled by the host immune response, particularly the T cell response, and so the great majority of people are able to carry this potentially dangerous virus all their life without any ill effect. However, in some individuals EBV can trigger chronic illness, including immune and lymphoproliferative syndromes. It is a particular danger to people with compromised immune systems, including those with AIDS. Also known as human herpesvirus 4 (HHV-4).

The virus occurs worldwide, and most people become infected with EBV sometime during their lives. In the United States, as many as 95% of adults between 35 and 40 years of age have been infected. Infants become susceptible to EBV as soon as maternal antibody protection (present at birth) disappears. Many children become infected with EBV, and these infections usually cause no symptoms or are indistinguishable from the other mild, brief illnesses of childhood. In the United States and in other developed countries, many persons are not infected with EBV in their childhood years. When infection with EBV occurs during adolescence or young adulthood, it causes infectious mononucleosis 35% to 50% of the time.

Symptoms

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The virus was first discovered in 1964 when Sir Michael Anthony Epstein and Yvonne  Barr found it in a Burkitt lymphoma cell line.  In 1968, the virus was linked to the disease infectious mononucleosis.  Infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is very common and usually occurs in childhood or early adulthood. In fact, up to 95% of people in the U.S. have been infected with EBV. EBV is the cause of infectious mononucleosis (also termed “mono”), an illness associated with fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and sometimes an enlarged spleen. Less commonly, EBV can cause more serious disease. Symptoms caused by EBV are usually mild and self-limited, but the virus persists in the body for life. It can reactivate quietly without causing symptoms and may contaminate saliva. Thus, otherwise healthy people can spread the virus to uninfected people through kissing or sharing food. Hence, mononucleosis is sometimes known as the “kissing disease.” EBV probably plays a role in the development of some cancers including certain lymphomas and nasopharyngeal cancer.

Symptoms of infectious mononucleosis are

  • fever
  • sore throat
  • swollen lymph glands.

Sometimes, a swollen spleen or liver involvement may develop. Heart problems or involvement of the central nervous system occurs only rarely, and infectious mononucleosis is almost never fatal. There are no known associations between active EBV infection and problems during pregnancy, such as miscarriages or birth defects. Although the symptoms of infectious mononucleosis usually resolve in 1 or 2 months, EBV remains dormant or latent in a few cells in the throat and blood for the rest of the person’s life. Periodically, the virus can reactivate and is commonly found in the saliva of infected persons. This reactivation usually occurs without symptoms of illness.

EBV also establishes a lifelong dormant infection in some cells of the body’s immune system. A late event in a very few carriers of this virus is the emergence of Burkitt’s lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma, two rare cancers that are not normally found in the United States. EBV appears to play an important role in these malignancies, but is probably not the sole cause of disease.

The incubation period, or the time from infection to appearance of symptoms, ranges from 4 to 6 weeks. Persons with infectious mononucleosis may be able to spread the infection to others for a period of weeks.

It is important to note that symptoms related to infectious mononucleosis caused by EBV infection seldom last for more than 4 months. When such an illness lasts more than 6 months, it is frequently called chronic EBV infection. However, valid laboratory evidence for continued active EBV infection is seldom found in these patients. The illness should be investigated further to determine if it meets the criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS. This process includes ruling out other causes of chronic illness or fatigue.

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Most cases of glandular fever are caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), one of the most common viruses to affect humans. Most EBV infections are thought to take place during childhood and cause mild symptoms. However, if a person develops an EBV infection during early adulthood, they can develop symptoms of glandular fever. Glandular fever is spread through saliva. It can be spread through:

– kissing (it is often referred to as the “kissing disease”)

– exposure to coughs and sneezes

– sharing eating and drinking utensils, such as cups, glasses and unwashed forks and spoons

Someone with glandular fever is contagious for at least two months after initially being infected with EBV. However, some people can have EBV in their saliva for up to 18 months after having the infection. A few may continue to have the virus in their saliva on and off for years.

Once you have had glandular fever, it is highly unlikely you will develop a second bout of the infection. This is because almost everyone develops a life-long immunity to glandular fever after the initial infection.

Causes

EBV is a contagious virus that spreads from person to person and occurs throughout the world. The virus contains double-stranded DNA and multiplies in human lymphocytes (lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell) and other cells, such as those lining the mouth, tongue, and nose.

The human immune system usually contains the virus effectively, reducing but not eliminating the viruses. A few living viruses persist in a line of lymphocytes for the rest of the person’s life. This is known as “latent” infection. Occasionally, the virus may multiply (reactivate), but this does not cause symptoms unless the person’s immune system is not working properly.

NATURAL TREATMENTS FOR EBV

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Diet

Healthy eating is of primary importance. Drink plenty of pure filtered water and increase your intake of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, and complex whole grains, as well as organic, free-range meats, poultry, and wild-caught fish that are rich in essential fatty acids, such as sardines and salmon.

Drink plenty of pure water and avoid excessive animal proteins. Also eat four to six smaller meals throughout the day and avoid overeating at each meal. For best results, eat as many raw foods as possible, especially sprouts, seeds, and nuts. Avoid processed foods, soft drinks, sugar, caffeine, white flour products, and fried foods.

Before retiring, take several bites of complex carbohydrate foods (crackers, potatoes, pasta, etc.) along with several bites of a non-animal protein (nut butter, yogurt, cheese, seeds, etc.) along with a large glass of pure water or warm herbal tea.

It is important to not add further toxicity to your system so try to adhere to the following:

  • Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
  • Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
  • Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
  • Avoid all fast food restaurants.
  • Avoid all canned food.
  • Eliminate conventional dairy products.  The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows.  If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
  • Avoid conventional beef.  The best beef is organic grass fed beef. The second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey.
  •  Avoid wheat and wheat products.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine and tobacco.
  • Do not eat saturated, trans-, hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated fats and oils. Instead choose from extra virgin olive oil, high lignin flax seed oil, and unrefined hemp seed, walnut, and sunflower oils.
  • Eliminate conventional dairy products.  The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows.  If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
  • Foods high in the amino acid arginine should be avoided, since arginine can trigger more frequent herpes outbreaks. Such foods include almonds, peanuts, and other nuts and seeds, including sesame and sunflower seeds, coconut, chocolate, wheat and wheat byproducts, soy, lentils, oats, corn, rice, barley, tomatoes, and squash
  • Avoid acid producing foods, such as citrus fruits, including tomatoes, during outbreaks, as these foods will increase the severity of herpes outbreaks.
  • Undergo testing for potential food allergies and sensitivities and avoid those foods to which you test positive, as these can reduce immune function. Consider a rotation diet or elimination diet in order to further reduce the likelihood of food allergies.

Nutrition and diet are key players in the healing and elimination of imbalance and disease. For a complete, nutrition packed, whole foods eating plan, read the Whole Foods Diet. In many cases, a raw food eating plan can be extremely beneficial.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy uses essential oils that are believed to be effecting in treating herpes simplex because of their strong anti-viral properties. These include:

  • Tea tree – anti-bacterial, antifungal, antiviral
  • Bergamot – antiseptic
  • Eucalyptus – antiseptic, germicidal, healing
  • Lavender – calming, soothing, antiseptic, antibacterial
  • Chamomile – effective for irritation, soothing
  • Palmarosa oil – antiseptic, antiviral
  • True rose oil – powerful antiseptic, encourages wound healing
  • Melissa oil – antibacterial
  • Lemon – beneficial in treating inflamed areas
  • Geranium – anti-inflammatory and astringent

Combinations – such as lemon and geranium or eucalyptus and bergamot – applied topically at the first sign of an outbreak can lessen or prevent outbreaks and speed recovery when they occur. Consult a licensed practitioner.

The following anti-viral oils are recommended: hyssop,  ravenscara aromatic, oregano, thyme, cinnamon and mountain savory. Thieves is also an excellent, broad spectrum anti-viral oil.

Use 4 drops of essential oil per 25ml of carrier oil.

To ensure positive results, always check that the essential oil is a 100% pure plant distillation and that it comes from a reputable source.

Herbs

  • Echinacea – detoxicant, antiseptic, mild antibiotic, immune-stimulant
  • Siberian ginseng –  immuno stimulant, antioxidant, overall tonic
  • Nettle – good for staunching wounds, feed and support the whole body, immune system
  • Goldenseal – anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial

Other useful herbs include:

  • Indian gooseberry – antioxidant, flushes out toxins
  • licorice root –  antifungal, antiseptic
  • Lomatium –  antiviral

Other

Larrea leaf resin capsules:

Many people have reported benefit from taking one to two Larrea leaf resin capsules daily. Larrea naturally helps combat the virus, while also supporting the immune system. Taking oral Larrea leaf resin capsules during and after an episode of infectious mononucleosis can also help prevent the chronic fatigue that may otherwise linger for weeks or months even after the other symptoms of the infection have cleared.

Elderberry: Elderberry is gaining popularity as an effective supplement for fighting colds and flus. Elderberry is primarily recognized as providing natural support for the immune system. Elderberry contains concentrated amounts of vitamin C, flavinoids, fruit acids, and anthocyanic pigments. It is also an excellent source for vitamins A and B and may also have antiviral properties.
Juice Therapy: Carrot, beet, and celery juice combined together can help immune function. Avoid all citrus juices, however, including orange, grapefruit, and pineapple, as citrus can aggravate symptoms.

Honey: Honey — which was a conventional therapy for infection up until the early 20th century when penicillin took center stage has recently started inching its way back into the medical mainstream but some kinds of honey should never be applied to an open sore or wound, and the antibacterial activity in some honeys is 100 times more powerful than in others.

Processed, refined honey that you typically find in grocery stores is NOT appropriate for use in wound care. In fact, your average domestic “Grade A” type honey will likely increase infection.

It also will not offer you the same health benefits as raw honey when consumed. Manuka honey from New Zealand is a specific type of honey that has actually been approved for use as a medical device due to its healing properties and superior potency. But you could also use raw honey -it’s just not as potent as Manuka. Good quality honey offers several topical wound-care benefits that can explain some of its success as a remedy for herpes sores as it draws fluid away from your wound and the high sugar content suppresses micro-organism growth.

Olive Leaf extract – this has proven beneficial

 

ARABIC HERBAL MEDICINE AND EBV

Arabic Herbal Medicine possess a natural cure for EBV, maded from our experts to treat the EBV within about six months with the wish of God. There are six natural medicines that must be taken from the patient 2-3 times a day, for the final result of EBV Negative. Contact us for the details.