Got shingles? I sure hope not, but if you do then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve compiled all the information I could find on the best home remedies that eliminate shingles quickly and effectively. I hope you enjoy!~
Shingles is the chickenpox come back to torment you. Actually, torment puts it rather lightly, it’s more like “searing, shooting, relentless pain from hell” as a friend of mine describes. Most people when they are diagnosed with shingles are given Rx meds to help with the infection and the pain, but are there home remedies that can help eliminate shingles naturally?
What is Shingles?
To better understand and treat shingles naturally, you must first know how you got shingles to begin with.
Everyone who develops shingles had at one point in their life the chickenpox virus. Once the chicken pox has run its course, the varicella-zoster virus doesn’t go away. Instead, it migrates to the spinal cord and nerve ganglia where it lays dormant for the rest of our lives.
If our immune system becomes weak or overly compromised, the dormant varicella-zoster virus (the same virus that causes the chicken pox), begins to reactivate. In fact, 10-20 people out of 100 will get shingles in their lifetime and 4 out of 100 people will get it more than once. It can appear at any age, though typically the virus effects those 60 and older with weaker immune systems.
Once activated by a temporary or permanent weakening of the immune system, the shingles virus begins to replicate and move to the nerve endings where it sends impulses to the brain. These impulses are interpreted as sharp pain, burning, or itching sensations that render the skin extremely sensitive. The skin will blister and become extremely painful to even the slightest touch.
After all this you may be wondering…Is shingles contagious?
Those who have never had chicken pox are very unlikely to contract shingles as it is not very contagious, so no! That’s good news at least.
What Does Shingles Look Like?
Once the virus reawakens, it is common to see raised lesions with tiny fluid filled bumps. These lesions are red in color and tend to follow nerve pathways along the abdomen, but can also appear on the face, scalp, and even in the eyes. It normally stays on just one side of the body.
What Causes the Onset of Shingles?
The chances of activating shingles largely depends on the strength of our immune system. If you are under intense stress, have cancer or are going through cancer treatments, have suffered a spinal injury, have a condition that suppresses the immune system (like HIV), or use certain medications, then your chances of developing a shingles outbreak are higher. However, you do not need to be ill in order to activate the virus. Simply enduring intense physical or emotional stress, or even a mild cold or injury can lead to an outbreak in an otherwise healthy person.
What are The Symptoms of Shingles?
An attack of shingles is often preceded by several days of chills, fever, and body aches with pain in areas where the virus may surface on the skin. When it begins to surface, you will typically feel a tingly slightly burning sensation before a lesion erupts, most often a fluid filled blister with a red ring around it. These will often clump together.
Since shingles affects the nerves, it is also very common to experience sharp shooting pain every few minutes lasting anywhere from 1 week to several years even after the lesions have disappeared. However, the average person’s shingles outbreak will last 7-14 days.
If the pain continues for several months or longer, it is called Postherpetic Neuralgia. This syndrome usually occurs in older people and is very difficult to treat and can be incapacitating. The pain is described to be so severe that you cannot tolerate clothing or even a gentle breeze to touch the affected areas.
In the severest of localized cases, shingles can cause blindness, deafness, or paralysis. It can even effect the internal organs.
Other symptoms of shingles include:
• Extreme sensitivity
• Shooting pain
• Swollen tender lymph nodes
Eventually, the blisters crust over into scabs that drop off after 7-14 days. In severe cases, scars can be left behind so it’s important to try and keep the scabs moist if possible.
What are The Best Home Remedies that Eliminate Shingles?
Now we can get into the nitty gritty! Remedies that can help you get rid of shingles faster and with eased symptoms.
Unless otherwise specified, the remedies below are adult dosages. For shingles in children ages 12-17, reduce the dose by 1/4. For shingles in children ages 6-12, reduce the dose by 1/2 and for shingles in children under 6, reduce the dose by 3/4.
Supplements for Shingles
These are useful supplements that will help eliminate shingles more quickly and offer some relief. I have listed them from must have to helpful.
Must Have Supplements for Shingles
L-lysine– Very important for healing and fighting the shingles virus.
Vitamin C (with bioflavonoids)– Boosts the immune system and aids in fighting the virus.
To use: Take 2,000 mg 4 times a day. Get it here.
Very Important Supplements for Shingles
Beta D Glucans– Effective against bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
To use– Follow instructions on the label for best results. Get my favorite here.
Vitamin B Complex (w/ extra B12)– Supports nerve health.
To use: Use a complex that lists the major B vitamins as 100 mg each. Take 3 times daily. Get it here.
Zinc– Protects the body against infection and enhances immunity.
To use: Get a chelated zinc supplement that contains 80 mg of zinc. Take daily for 1 week. Get it here.
Important Supplements for Shingles
Calcium Magnesium– enhances nerve function and protects the body and mind against stress.
To use: Take 1,500 mg of calcium chelate with 750 mg of magnesium chelate daily. This is a nice combo supplement you can get here.
Garlic by Kyolic– An excellent immune stimulant.
To use: Take 2 capsules 3 times a day. Get it here.
SAMe (S-Adenosylmethionine)– Reduces pain and inflammation and boosts mood.
To use: Use as directed on the label. Do not use if you have a bipolar condition or take prescription anti-depressants. I like this one.
Vitamin A, D, and E– Boosts immunity and protects the body from infection, aids in tissue healing, and prevents the formation of scar tissue.
Helpful Remedies for Shingles
• Take a good probiotic to help boost immunity. I like this one.
• Take homepathics like Apis mellifica, Arsenicum album, Clematis flower essence, Iris versicolor, and Rhus toxidendron.
• Use essential oils for shingles like bergamot, eucalyptus, geranium, goldenseal, and lemon.
I’ve also written an entire post on essential oils for shingles relief.
The Best Herbal Remedies for Shingles
Here are some supportive herbal remedies that will help eliminate shingles more quickly. Some of them have been very effective at reducing pain and shortening the duration of the outbreak.
Cayenne Pepper– Cayenne is a powerful pain reliever when applied topically to the skin. Most find it best to use a cayenne salve for soothing pain relief.
To use: Apply the cayenne salve in an even layer over the affected areas twice a day. If able, cover with gauze.
Elderberry – Elderberry is useful to use both topically and internally for all types of herpes related viruses. It reduces symptoms, prevents shingles from spreading, and stimulates the immune system.
Goldenseal– Goldenseal is an amazing herb to use against infections.
To use: Apply the tincture topically and rub into the skin 2-3 times a day and take internally as directed with plenty of rest.
Holy Basil – Use holy basil during healing to help relieve and lower stress. it’s also a potent antiviral that helps reduce inflammation and pain associated with shingles. Holy basil is also great to use for PHN symptoms.
Lemon Balm Tea – Drinking lemon balm tea may help your body overcome herpes that has become resistant to prescription medications. it also helps prevent the spread of shingles as it’s a powerful antiviral.
You can also apply the tea topically by spritzing it on affected areas.
Licorice Root– When used topically in extract form, licorice root has the ability to help boost the immune system and prevent the virus from spreading.
To use: If you are able, apply a few drops of licorice root extract to the affected areas 2-3 times a day.
If you take medicines for heart conditions, high blood pressure, digitalis, or are pregnant, avoid using licorice root.
Neem – Neem oil is a powerful antiviral that can be used to help control shingles symptoms and soothe itching. Apply topically using a clean cotton swab 3-5 times a day.
Oats– Oats are incredibly soothing for the skin and helps reduce redness and inflammation.
To use: Blend up some dry oats until powdered and make a poultice by adding a little water at a time until spreadable. Apply to affected areas. If able, you can also soak in an oatmeal bath for 20 minutes.
Olive Leaf– Olive leaf is another powerful ally against infection and will help inhibit the virus.
Rose Hips– These are high in Vitamin C and are perfect to make a delicious hydrating tea with. When you have shingles, it’s very important to stay hydrated.
To use: Add a few TB of rose hips to a quart of boiling water and let steep for at least 15 minutes. Drink throughout the day hot or cold.
St. John’s Wort – This herb is effective against all herpes viruses and helps aid the body in restoring damaged nerves caused by shingles. Using the infused oil on active shingles legions can prevent the virus from spreading and can also be used for PHN relief.
Valerian– Valerian is a wonderful relaxant and will help dull the pain of shingles while you sleep. It will also calm nerve pain.
To use: take as directed on the label. I like the tincture best for quick relief.
What have been you best remedies that eliminate shingles faster?
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