Alternative Medicine: Choraphor
In my quest to find effective alternative medicine, I came across several websites that revealed an Australian-made topical solution called Choraphor. This solution is essentially a mixture of sulfur and St. John’s Wort. (I know, St. John’s Wort, sounds kinda hippy-dippy, right? But it’s the sulfur that is supposedly the active ingredient. Apparently soldiers in WWII used sulfur to clean and heal their wounds.) The consumer is supposed to wait until his/her outbreak has reached full peak and the blisters are open (which, as any herpes-sufferer knows, can be very hard to do) and then apply a couple drops to the sores. The idea is that the solution then kills off the exposed part of the herpes virus, so that when it retracts into the body there is less of it than before. Subsequently, outbreaks will not only go away faster than when treated with anti-virals, but outbreaks will become less frequent as well"or so the company claims. I’m not a scientist, so I can’t verify that this is even possible, but that is the intention of the makers of Choraphor.
Bloggers on several different websites I checked out had very mixed reactions. Some of them believe it’s a scam, and the product had little to no effect on them. Others, however, swear by it and believe it’s a great alternative to anti-virals. I became very curious and decided to try it out for myself. I purchased the $80 bottle (good for about 50 applications) online and followed the directions carefully. I tried very hard to wait until my blisters where open enough for the solution to get to them and, of course, remained abstinent during this very contagious period. Then when it was time to apply the Choraphor, I whipped out a Q-Tip, wet it with some water and two drops of Choraphor, then went in for the kill. I’m sure you can imagine that putting a sulfuric solution on an open wound is pretty damn painful, but in case you don’t, it stings like hell Even still, when I imagined that the solution was "killing" bits of the herpes virus, I was more than happy to embrace the pain. Fry, you little herpes molecules!!
So here is my assessment: The Choraphor DID, in fact, clear up my outbreaks without the use of anti-virals. The product did more or less what it said, that it would dry up the sores, and in just a few days the blisters would be gone. My outbreaks did go away faster than when I treated them with Acyclovir"at least at first (placebo effect, possibly?). However, I soon noticed I was having to use more and more of it to make my outbreaks go away (although I think that’s because I was becoming impatient about waiting for the peak of the outbreak). And, in my experience, the outbreaks were just as frequent as before.
So, in conclusion, I could see this product working for some people, but not for everyone. For those of you who rarely have outbreaks and like the idea of using a topical solution instead of taking a pill, this might be a good product to check out. You only have to use it when you need to, and it will most likely dry up and eliminate the current outbreak faster than prescription medication. However, if you have recurring outbreaks or don’t have the patience to wait until your outbreak reaches its peak, then sticking to anti-virals is probably the way to go. Choraphor is a drag because you have to wait to have the full outbreak before you can treat it at all. So, for those of us who get them often, suppression is a better solution.
Has anyone else tried Choraphor? What was your experience with it?
Penelope wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Sexual Health.