Natural Home Remedies for Herpes Zoster Virus (Shingles)

Shingles is defined as an acute inflammation of the nerve ganglia, accompanied by a skin eruption often forming a girdle around the middle of the body.

Image of a Reishi mushroom

The Herpes Zoster Virus is responsible for chickenpox and shingles.  If you had chickenpox, you can get shingles, as the virus can be dormant for years in the nervous system.

SYMPTOMS

Possible symptoms; you may have several and there may be additional symptoms:

  • Episodes lasting from two to four weeks
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Muscle pain
  • Pain (intermittent dull, burning, gnawing, sharp, stabbing—all possible)
  • Rash with blisters
  • Scarring
  • Swollen glands

RARE COMPLICATIONS

PREVALENCE

There are about one million cases a year in the U.S. According to immunize.org, about one third of all people who have been infected with chickenpox later develop shingles.

IS IT CONTAGIOUS?

While you cannot get shingles from someone who has it, you can get chickenpox if you come in contact with the fluid from the blisters.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

The medical community offers no cure for the shingles virus. A doctor may prescribe medications to alleviate the pain or an antiviral to decrease the duration. There is a vaccination against the virus but it does not work after the virus is present.   Even if vaccinated, you can still get chickenpox even though it is unlikely and may be milder and of shorter duration.

SELF TREATMENT

The substances and suggestions here are offered to you for further research.

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease and inflammation. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent starting point.

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

  • Bone broth
  • Calcium-rich foods
  • Coconut oil
  • Garlic
  • Grass fed beef
  • Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Magnesium-rich foods
  • Onions
  • Organic chicken
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Reishi mushrooms ((caution: blood thinner)
  • Vitamin B-rich foods
  • Vitamin C-rich foods
  • Wild fish

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

  • Alcohol
  • Black tea
  • Caffeine
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Cola
  • Dark chocolate (contains arginine)
  • Fatty, greasy foods
  • Fruit juices
  • Most grains because of arginine
  • Processed foods
  • Smoking
  • Soy (contains arginine)
  • Sugar

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Aloe Vera
  • Capsaicin cream
  • Cayenne
  • Cloves
  • Echinacea
  • Ginger
  • Lemon balm
  • St. John’s Wort

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil like coconut on the skin, or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress.

  • Bergamot
  • Buddy’s oil (12 essential oils combined)
  • Eucalyptus
  • Geranium
  • Ginger
  • Lavender
  • Lemon balm
  • Manuka
  • Melissa
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Ravensara
  • Tea tree

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need. If you are immune-compromised, you may need some extra nutrients but don’t take these long-term unless you really need them.

  • Acidophilus
  • Adrenal support formula
  • Colloidal silver, topically
  • Copper
  • Corn starch
  • Garlic
  • Larrea Tridentata (antiviral)
  • Licorice extract, topically
  • Lysine
  • MSM gel
  • Organic silica
  • Phenylalanine
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E oil, topically
  • Zinc ointment

HYDRATION

Viral infections can lead to hydration and dehydration will make your symptoms worse. Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½-1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stress depletes the body of vital nutrients and keeping your immune system strong, or making it that way, is the first step toward healing. Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to keep mellow.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Alternate hot and cold shower, ending with cold
  • Apple Cider Vinegar compress
  • Salt water bath
  • A wash made from fresh lemon balm leaves, brewed in water like a tea
  • Tamanu oil, externally
  • Baking powder paste, applied topically (make it with one or more herbs in the list above)

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

PREVENTION

  • A wholesome, balanced diet for a strong immune system
  • Regular exercise
  • Low stress levels
  • Quality sleep
  • Adequate hydration

 

 

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