Natural Home Remedies for Shingles

Shingles is a viral infection of a nerve that usually appears as a rash on your torso. The same virus is responsible for chickenpox. If you have had chickenpox, the virus lives in your nerve tissue near the spinal cord.

This is a painful condition that should be treated quickly. It may last only for several weeks but can return.

You are more at risk as you age, have a weakened immune system or are taking certain drugs.  Complications from shingles can be serious, so get medical attention promptly.

IS IT CONTAGIOUS?

If you are not immune to chickenpox, you can get this virus from contact with the sores on an infected person.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

PREVALENCE

The CDC reports the incidence is approximately 4 cases per 1,000 population in the US annually.  The incidence climbs to 10 per 1,000 in people over 60.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

SELF TREATMENT

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease and disorder and the best aid to healing.  Strengthen your immune system to keep shingles from spreading. 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 nutrition plan.

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

  • Bone broth
  • Foods rich in lysine, like meat, cheese, spirulina
  • Foods rich in vitamins A, B-12, C and E
  • Vitamin B rich foods (brewer’s yeast, bananas)

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Foods with arginine (i.e. nuts and seeds, tuna, beans, tofu)
  • Fried foods
  • Smoking
  • Sugar

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Green tea
  • Lemon balm
  • Rose hips

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Cayenne pepper
  • Elderberry
  • Gentiana scabra
  • Goldenseal
  • Holy basil
  • Neem
  • Olive leaf
  • Passionflower
  • Turmeric

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil (coconut, almond, olive, etc.), or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress.  Find recipes for blends on the web or create your own.

  • Chamomile
  • Eucalyptus
  • German chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Oregano
  • 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.

  • Colloidal silver
  • Garlic
  • L-lysine
  • Licorice root extract
  • Melatonin
  • Omega 3’s
  • Selenium
  • John’s Wort
  • Valerian
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc

HYDRATION

Water oxygenates blood and helps to rid the body of harmful toxins.  Without water, you cannot survive for many days.  Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? Stay hydrated but don’t overdo it. Too much water will deplete your stores of sodium. 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 to one 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.  Try just walking and stretching. Do what you can without making yourself feel worse.  Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

SLEEP

Studies show that lack of quality sleep affects the production of disease-fighting antibodies. If you wake in the morning after 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep feeling unrested, you aren’t getting enough sleep or you have an underlying health condition.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm.  Anxiety undermines health and it can make shingles worse. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend, meditate.  Do what works for you to stay mellow.  Some of the following relaxation methods may be helpful for you:

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Baking soda paste to relieve itchiness
  • Calamine lotion
  • Capsaicin cream, sparingly
  • Cool baths or shower to reduce the discomfort
  • Cool compresses
  • Hydrogen peroxide dabbed on infected blisters
  • Kawa cream
  • Warm oatmeal bath
  • Witch hazel

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

  • Acupressure – https://www.pointfinder.org/health-infographics/shingles-herpes-zoster/
  • Acupuncture – https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1729-acupuncture-painkilling-relief-for-shingles-found
  • Ayurveda – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xXn_hBUvp0
  • Chinese Medicine
  • Chiropractic – https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1908-acupuncture-and-herbs-stop-shingles-pain-outperforms-drugs
  • Homeopathyhttps://wa.kaiserpermanente.org/kbase/topic.jhtml?docId=hn-2257003
    • Arsenicum album
    • Apis mellifica
    • Iris versicolor
    • Mezereum
    • Ranunculus bulbosus
    • Rhus toxicodendron
  • Hypnosis, self hypnosis
  • Watercures – https://www.watercures.org/shingles-water-cures-testimonial.html

CAUTIONS

  • Consult your doctor immediately if the rash occurs near your eyes.
  • Don’t scratch!
  • If you do nothing, you could have irreversible nerve pain
  • Keep the rash covered.
  • Wash your hands often.

PREVENTION

Keep your immune system strong with

  • A wholesome, balanced diet
  • Adequate hydration
  • Regular exercise
  • Low stress levels
  • Quality sleep

 

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