Say No to Shingles by using these Natural Treatments

how to cure shingles

Many people develop very painful and itchy lesions on their face or across their torso. This may be diagnosed as Shingles otherwise called Herpes zoster. This is caused by the same virus that causes Chicken Pox. The first sign of developing shingles is usually burning or tingling pain, or sometimes itching or numbness, in one part on a single side of the body.

Did You Know!

  • 1 million cases of Shingles are recorded every year in the United States.
  • To protect against the virus, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration licensed a vaccine called Shingrix
  • It is recommended that adults over the age of 50 years take this vaccine to reduce their risk of falling prey to Shingles
  • The reactivation of the dormant herpes varicella-zoster virus is often referred to as Shingles.
  • Stress, Trauma, aging, and other illness can all be causes for triggering Shingles.

CURE 1: Home Remedies For Shingles

1. Aloe Vera For Shingles

benefits of aloe vera
Image:ShutterStock

Topical application of Aloe Vera provides a soothing effect against itching during Shingles and also speeds up the healing process.

How to Use

Ingredients:
  1. ½  cup Aloe Vera GelClean synthetic hand gloves
Procedure
  1. Wear the hand gloves
  2. Take Aloe Vera Gel and apply it directly on to the affected areas of the skin.
  3. Be generous while applying.
  4. Let it stay there for 15 to 20 minutes
  5. Wash off with lukewarm water
Benefits:

Aloe Vera is an effective moisturizer and has anti-inflammatory properties which help the skin in many ways. It repairs the damaged cells and protects newer cells. Aloe Vera has been regarded as one of the most effective remedies against Shingles(1).

2. Oatmeal bath for shingles

A shingles natural treatment that doesn’t cost a lot, but can really help with the common shingles symptoms of itching, is bathing in water infused with colloidal oatmeal. Make sure the bath is on the cooler side since hot water will only worsen the itch.

How to use?

Equipment & Ingredients
  • Warm water
  • 1 cup Oatmeal (For babies – ⅓ cup)
  • Food Processor or blender.

If you are unable to grind the oatmeal into a fine powder, you can use a small muslin bag with oatmeal in it and immerse it into your bathtub.

Procedure
  1. Grind the oatmeal very finely.
  2. Make sure that it is fine enough to absorb water.
  3. Ensure that the water is milky with a silky feel on the skin
  4. Add this to the bathtub of warm water and mix well.
  5. Immerse yourself into the water for about 20 minutes and take a nice bath.
  6. Be careful if you are bathing your baby in it, as the bottom of the bathtub would be slippery.
Benefits:

Skin problems like Shingles, Baby acne, Diaper rash, Dry Skin, Insect Bites, Chickenpox, Anal Itching, Windburn, Eczema, Poison Ivy, and Sunburn can be treated by an Oatmeal Bath.

3. Baking Soda For Shingles

baking soda benefits baby diaper rash
Image: ShutterStock

Baking Soda is another effective home remedy for treating Shingles. Topical application is the best way of using it.

How to Use

Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon Baking Soda
  • Distilled Water (enough to make the paste)
Procedure:
  1. Mix a Baking soda and cornstarch in equal quantities in a small bowl.
  2. Add some distilled water to it.
  3. Make a consistent paste.
  4. Apply this paste on the affected areas of the skin.
  5. Keep it for 15 minutes.
  6. Rinse off with cold water.
Benefits:

Baking Soda is gentle on the skin and helps bring down the itching and burning sensation.

[Also Read: Health Benefits of Baking Soda]

4. Cold Compresses

Itching and inflammation which are the major issues when you have shingles can be brought down with a cool compress or cool cloth, Just soak a clean cotton cloth or a towel in cold water, squeeze a little, and then hold it against the affected area. Repeat this till you get relief.

Also, be sure that you do not expose the affected areas of the skin to extreme temperatures. So, avoid very hot water or ice baths. The sensitivity of the skin is increased by ice and the blood flow is increased abnormally with hot water, both of which are bad for people affected with shingles.

5. Creams & Lotions

Excessive itching is one of the major symptoms of Shingles. This leads to scarring and blisters on the affected areas. If a cold compress or any of the above remedies haven’t worked, try to use lotions and creams that might give you a soothing effect.

Though creams and lotions do not speed up the healing process, they can bring down the symptoms and provide you with comfort from the burning and itching sensation.

Don’t go for scented creams and lotions as they might increase the inflammation and irritation, instead opt for unscented and mild ones. Going for organic mild creams and lotions would be a better option.

Creams and lotions which have capsaicin content can be the best option. Capsaicin is an active compound found in chili peppers.

Capsaicin reduces inflammation to a considerable extent. The pain and burning sensation may initially increase when you apply but the pain gradually comes down on regular application.

You can apply this cream or lotion 4 to 5 times a day.

6. Manuka Honey For Shingles

Manuka Honey
Image:ShutterStock

Application of Manuka Honey directly onto the affected areas of Shingle rashes is another effective natural remedy towards treating Shingles.

How to Use

Topical application of Manuka honey is the easiest way.

Benefits:

Manuka honey has properties and has an antiviral effect on Shingles. It also boosts antioxidant defenses and inhibits the growth of the Shingles virus.

7. Witch Hazel For Shingles

Witch Hazel normalizes the skin’s moisture balance as it is a natural astringent. It soothes pain and speeds up healing.

How to Use:

Topical application

Benefits:

It also helps in reducing and refining the appearance of large pores. It can be topically applied to reduce inflammation, thereby achieving relief.

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CURE 2: Food For Shingles

1. Coconut Oil For Shingles

coconut oil
Image:ShutterStock

Coconut Oil helps in giving strength to the body to fight Shingles by boosting the immune system. It can actually combat against viruses that cause Shingles.

How to Use

Ingredients:
  • Cotton Balls
  • Virgin Coconut Oil
Procedure:
  1. Take 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil in a small container.
  2. Dip the cotton ball into the oil
  3. Apply the oil onto the affected areas
  4. Leave it for about 20 to 30 minutes
  5. Let the skin absorb the oil
  6. After this, wash off with clean water

How much to use

You can perform this 2 times a day

Benefits:

Coconut Oil has analgesic and inflammatory properties that help alleviate the pain caused by Shingles.

2. Diet for Shingles

Eating healthy and nutritious food is very essential for fighting or preventing any ailment or illness.

Vegetables & Fruits

Having a diet which has lots of vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fruits, lean meat, and legumes is recommended by health experts to stay healthy and fit.

To fight against Shingles, consider foods that are orange, green and red which are rich in lycopene, carotenoids, provitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin as all these promote better immune system functioning.

People should aim to include orange, red, and green foods that contain the carotenoids lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and provitamin A in their diet. Carotenoids are very important for immune function, and existing the following foods:

      • Orange foods – Carrots, apricots, and Pumpkins
      • Red foods – Watermelon, grapefruit, cherry, and red pepper
      • Green foods – Spinach, kale, parsley, melon, endive, and lettuce,

Avoiding salt and added sugar to the most possible extent and limiting trans fat and saturated fats also strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation.

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CURE 3: Supplements For Shingles

People whose immune system is compromised and whose age is above 50 years, should consider taking supplements so as to maintain strong immunity and good health.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D
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Vitamin D and the immune system are linked. The risk of low vitamin D levels affects many older people. Adequate exposure to sunlight or resorting to Vitamin D supplements should be their option.

Benefits of Vitamin D for Shingles

  • Low Vitamin D levels worsen the condition of Shingles
  • Vitamin D lowers the pain associated with Shingles
  • It also considerably eliminates the risk of recurrence

Vitamin C – It boosts white blood cells and helps towards better immune system functioning(2).

Vitamin B12 – Vitamin B12  reduces pain and promotes faster recovery.

Vitamin E – Helps in preventing Scarred tissue formation.

Echinacea –. This is a herb that is well known to fight against virus and body infections.

Valerian root – Valerian root is usually taken at night to ensure a healing and a restful sleep. It calms the nervous system.

Cayenne – Capsaicin, present in Cayenne aids in quicker healing and is also considered a pain reliever. I can also be purchased in capsule form from a drug store.

Zinc – Zinc has antiviral properties and also supports immune system functioning. It protects the skin against different kinds of infections.

Essential fatty acids –. Promotes faster healing of nerve tissues and skin.

Colloidal silver – This is a very effective remedy for shingles as it is a natural antibiotic. It can be used topically and orally ingested.

Probiotics – Helps in boosting the immune system and provides beneficial bacteria to the intestines.

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CURE 4: Essential Oils For Shingles

Essential Oils have been used as herbal remedies from many decades, often for skin conditions. Many of these essential oils possess properties that help against skin irritation and healing. Given below are some of these essential oils that can be used as treatment remedies for Shingles on face, neck, chest, hands, and legs.

1. CBD Oil For Shingles

CBD oil
Image:ShutterStock

How to use

Ingredients:
  • 10 drops of CBD Oil 15 drops of Tamanu Oil
  • A small cup
Procedure:
  1. Mix the above ingredients in a small clean cup.
  2. With a piece of cotton, dab the affected areas of the skin with the solution.

How much to apply:

You can use this solution 3 to 4 times a day or whenever you feel skin irritations.

See Also
Canker Sores;

Take away:

CBD Oil has an affinity of clearing skin infections and reducing inflammation and pain. It holds the moisture of the skin and prevents the skin from getting dry.

Precautions:

Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil. Otherwise, the inflammation and irritation of the skin may worsen. Do a skin patch test before you apply it and check if you are allergic

Marijuana can be taken in a variety of ways as a treatment towards pain relief during Shingles.

  • Oral ingestion by adding it to food, tinctures, and beverages.
  • Topical application of creams containing cannabis that are absorbed into the skin.
  • Inhaling the   using an equipment
  • The traditional way of smoking it using pipes or cigarettes.

2. Tea Tree Oil for Shingles

tea tree oil benefits
Image:ShutterStock

How to use:

Ingredients:
  • 8 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil 3 Tablespoons Castor Oil A small clean container
Procedure;
  1. Add the above ingredients to a small container
  2. Mix them well to an even consistency.
  3. Apply the solution directly on to the affected areas.

How much to apply:

Apply this solution twice a day.  Do not wash after application. For better results, let it stay there and let the skin absorb it.

Take away:

Tea Tree essential oil soothes the irritation and redness on the blistering skin. Its anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties treat shingles and reduce pain. Consistent use can prevent further infection and scarring too.

Precaution:

Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil. Otherwise, the inflammation and irritation of the skin may worsen. Do a skin patch test before you apply it and check if you are allergic to it.

3. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender Essential Oil benefits
Image:ShutterStock

Lavender oil is an extremely useful essential oil since it is packed with essential properties which are varied in nature and owing to which there are many versatile uses of lavender oil.

How to use

  • Apply topically on the spinal column and affected areas.
  • Blend it with other essential oils to get effective results.
  • Apply on the forehead to ease off the pain.
  • Put drops of lavender oil in your bath.
Precautions:

Always dilute all essential oils with a carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil before applying topically, otherwise they may cause inflammation and irritation.

Benefits:

Numerous therapeutic properties of lavender oil such as antidepressants, antibiotic, analgesic, antiseptic and diuretic make it an excellent remedy to tackle shingles.

4. Melissa Essential Oil

Melissa Oil for canker sores
Image:ShutterStock

Melissa essential oil is an excellent remedy to prevent shingles as it contains polyphenol which reduces the severity of shingles.

How to use

Ingredients:
  • 8 drops Melissa Essential Oil
  • 15 drops Coconut Oil
  • A Small cup
Procedure:
  1. Add both of them in a small clean cup.
  2. Mix them well.
  3. Using a clean earbud, apply this solution on the affected areas.

How much to apply:

You can use this solution 2 times a day. If you feel that the solution is too concentrated, you can add a little more coconut oil to it and use.

Take away:

Melissa essential oil is an excellent remedy to prevent shingles as it contains polyphenol which reduces the severity of shingles. It also provides relief from itching & redness and speeds up the healing process. Coconut oil holds on the goodness of the essential oil on the skin for a longer time and thus promotes healing.

Precautions:

Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil. Otherwise, the inflammation and irritation of the skin may worsen. Do a skin patch test before you apply it and check if you are allergic to it.

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Shingles Precautions

Varicella immunization is a vaccine given against chickenpox. All adults who haven’t taken the vaccine should get it right away. However, children should have 2 doses of it. It is not necessary that you will not get chickenpox if you take this vaccine but 90% of people are prevented against this if they take the vaccine.

There are certain steps to be taken to prevent the spread of Shingles:

  • The rash on the skin should always be covered
  • Keep away from people who have a weak immune system
  • Keep away from people who have not had chickenpox previously
  • Wash your hands frequently so as to prevent the spread

Things to remember

If you have Shingles, there are a variety of things you can do to ease your situation and also prevent from affecting others.

  1. Keep the rash as clean and dry as possible.
  2. Do not scratch the rash as it leads to scarring, inflammation and further infection.
  3. Immediately after a shower or bath, pat yourself with a clean and dry towel instead of rubbing the towel. Also, do not share your towel.
  4. Wear loose cotton clothes  around the affected areas of your body, and avoid fabrics that do
  5. Use a non-sticky dress to prevent further contamination of the wound.
  6. DO NOT USE antibiotic creams as they would slow the healing process.
  7. Avoid applying gels or creams to open blisters can prove bad as it might lead to secondary bacterial infection.
  8. Pregnant women and babies less than a month old are not immune to chickenpox. So, stay away from them.
  9. Also, don’t go swimming as you might infect others.

Though Shingles cannot be cured completely, eating a healthy diet and following the above-mentioned remedies will ease the symptoms and help in recovery.

To increase comfort and mental well-being, use the treatment options of your choice and reduce your risk of postherpetic neuralgia.

As there is a vaccine available now to considerably prevent shingles, people who are aged above 50 or who have a risk of developing shingles, can consult a doctor and get the vaccine or a booster dose.

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FAQ’s

Are Shingles contagious?

Shingles spread from the fluid that comes out of the blisters formed on the skin. If the rash or the blister develops crusts, the person is not infectious. If the rash is covered the spread of Shingles is much lesser than that of chickenpox.

How long does Shingles last?

Shingles follow a certain pattern where the initial sign is tingling and burning pain which includes itching or numbness on only one side of the body. Between 1 to 5 days of this, a red rash appears on the skin. Shingles usually last from 3 to 5 weeks.

How is Shingles spread?

Shingles are spread by direct contact with the fluid coming out of the blisters caused by Shingles.  The person is not at all infectious before the appearance of blisters.

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