People have been using the aloe vera for its medicinal properties for thousands of years, dating back as far as 1750 B.C.E. Egyptian books from 550 B.C.E. mention its specific use to heal the skin [source: Shelton]. And unlike prescription drugs, aloe vera has little to no side effects. That includes herpes: A 1999 study showed that aloe vera cream was effective at stopping genital herpes outbreaks in 70 percent of study participants.
You can either apply an aloe vera cream or gel directly to herpes sores, or use a mature aloe vera plant. If you do purchase a cream, make sure aloe is the main ingredient, with a concentration of 95 percent or higher. Either way, the cooling effect will help with pain and promote healing [source: JH].