Shingles is a very painful reactivation of varicella zoster, the virus that causes chickenpox. Try some of the home remedies shingles in our site.
After a chickenpox infection, the virus does not go away, but lies dormant in a single or group of sensory nerve roots. Even many years later, it can come out to wreak havoc.
There are many home remedies for shingles which is most frequently experienced by people who are over fifty years old, who are immunosuppressed for one reason or another, or who have a triggering factor such as a severe physical or emotional stress that temporarily lowers the immune response.
Finally, one-sided, burning, extremely painful patches or groups of blisters appear on reddened skin for three to five days. The blisters are infectious for up to a week. After five days, the blisters dry out and scab over, and the lesions are usually totally gone within two weeks. However, very severe pain, called postherpetic neuralgia, may persist in the area where the rash was for months or even years. The pain is so extreme that it drives some people to have surgery to sever the sensory nerves.
Let's take a look at what conventional and alternative medicine have to offer to relieve the pain and rash of herpes zoster.
Oral antivirals such as acyclovir (Zovirax), famcyclovir (Famvir), and valcyclovir (Valtrex) are the cornerstone of conventional medical therapy for shingless. Treatment with valcyclovir requires taking three pills a day for seven days.
shingless is particularly dangerous for people with suppressed immune systems, in whom the infection can spread all over the body. For such individuals, treatment with intravenous acyclovir and recombinant interferon alpha-2a is generally recommended.
Warm compresses made with Burow's solution are soothing. Apply compresses to the affected areas for fifteen minutes four times a day until the blisters have cleared.
Calamine lotion can also be soothing.
Flaxseed oil supplies essential fatty acids that are important for a healthy nervous system and for healthy skin. Take 1 tablespoon twice a day.
Selenium is an antioxidant that works synergistically with vitamin E. Take 100 micrograms a day.
Acidophilus is important in maintaining the health of the digestive tract by encouraging the growth of "friendly" bacteria that maintain the strength and integrity of the intestinal wall. Take 1/2 teaspoon of acidophilus powder dissolved in 2 ounces of warm water twice a day, between meals.
List of Home Remedies for Shingles
Capsaicin, a natural compound derived from cayenne or chili pepper, can be used topically for pain relief. It is available in ointment form as Zostrix, and can be applied four to five times daily for pain relief. It works by blocking pain signals from nerves just under the skin, and is very effective in reducing the pain of herpes zoster.
Cat's-claw extract has anti-inflammatory and antiviral actions. Take 1,000 milligrams three times a day.
Caution: Do not take this herb if you are pregnant.
The combination of echinacea and goldenseal is antiviral, immune- stimulating, and detoxifying, and is helpful in the treatment of herpes. Take 1/4 teaspoon of tincture in tea or juice three times a day. Or combine equal parts of tinctures of echinacea, goldenseal, nettle, and Siberian ginseng, and take 1/2 teaspoon of this mixture three times a day to strengthen your immune system and make it less vulnerable to infection.
Garlic has antiviral properties. Take 2 capsules of garlic extract twice a day for a week. Or just add a few minced garlic cloves to food such as pasta or salad every day for as long as you have shingless.
Lemon balm, also known as melissa, contains compounds known as polyphenols that have anti-herpes properties, and is felt by some to be a first- choice herbal treatment. Use topical applications of lemon-balm tea, which you can make by steeping 2 to 4 teaspoons of herb per cup of boiling water. Apply the tea to the blisters with a cotton ball four times a day In Europe, an ointment containing 700 milligrams of dried lemon-balm leaf per gram is widely used.
Lemon balm is only one of the herbs in the mint family that are effective anti-herpes agents and contain at least four antiviral compounds that target herpes. Other members of this botanical family include hyssop, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme.
Licorice contains several antiviral and immune-boosting compounds. You can apply a licorice ointment locally, drink a weak licorice tea, and/or apply a strong tea directly to the rash three times a day.
Oat-straw extract calms the nervous system. Take 500 milligrams three times a day.
Reishi mushroom extract stimulates the immune system to fight infections such as herpes. Take 500 milligrams three times a day.
St. John's wort extract has antiviral properties. Take 300 milligrams three times a day.
A combination of equal parts of oat straw, St. John's wort, and skullcap can be mixed and one teaspoon taken four times a day.
Diluted tinctures of calendula, licorice, myrrh, St. John's wort, and slippery elm can be used topically to aid in healing. You can brew a strong tea from any of these herbs and dab it on your blisters with cotton balls after it cools.