Shingles is a very painful condition caused by the Varicella Zoster virus. Also known as Herpes Zoster, the condition causes a lot of embarrassment as well as discomfort and need to be treated to bust the misery. Shingles is in fact caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox in human beings. The virus remains dormant in the body for many years and can surface during adulthood. Though shingles can clear off on its own in a matter of weeks, the symptoms are very annoying and can spread all over the body causing a lot of pain and sensitivity.
Symptoms include rashes and pus filled blisters that spread from one part of the body to other areas, pain, headache, chills, fever, pain in the stomach, itching etc. There are many medications that can treat shingles or just suppress the symptoms. These could surface again after a period of dormancy. Home remedies exist for shingles and can be safely administered for all age groups. Home remedies not only help in clearing the infection completely, but also in preventing other attacks by strengthening your immune system.
Natural Treatments For Shingles
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an anti microbial and helps in clearing the blisters caused by shingles. Being an astringent, it can also mask the pain to a certain extent and hence a great home remedy used by many to its great advantage. Take a cotton ball and soak it in apple cider vinegar. Apply on the affected area gently, without peeling the skin on the blisters. Pain relief follows almost immediately after the application. For the blisters to dry and clear away, apply apple cider vinegar two times daily until the infection is dealt with. For using apple cider vinegar as an internal cure as well, mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar along with water or any fresh juice of your choice and consume it every day to accelerate the effect.
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Honey is a healing and skin reviving agent and helps in clearing the blisters associated with shingles. While the curing action takes place, honey will also treat your skin gently, wiping away the damage caused on the skin and leaving it wonderfully moisturised and nourished. Take a bandage and apply honey on it. Place it on the area of shingles affected skin. Make sure that it covers the entire area without any gap. You can also use gauze soaked in honey for this purpose. Tie it around the area of shingles and replace with fresh honey every few hours. Honey will remove the shingles slowly with continuous application.
Virgin Coconut Oil
The benefits of coconut oil are not limited to hair care. They can be extended to your skin as well. For treating shingles, apply coconut oil directly on the affected skin or place gauze that is soaked in coconut oil. Replace every few hours. Coconut oil that is pure has anti inflammatory and anti viral qualities which help in removing the shingles virus and its troubles. While you use coconut oil, it is important to use virgin coconut oil and not refined ones available in the shops.
Strengthening the immune system will help in removing the shingles attack faster and prevent further attacks on your body. A healthy diet rich in vitamin C and a supplement of vitamin C will ensure that your immune system is strong enough to fight the viral attack and remove the infection as fast as it started. Patients must consume about 3000 – 4000 mg of vitamin C every day based on the severity of the condition.
Aloe Vera and Cayenne Pepper
Aloe Vera and Cayenne Pepper have both great antimicrobial qualities and can help in regeneration of damaged cells in the body. Take aloe vera gel and cayenne pepper in equal amounts and mix well. Apply on the skin that is affected by shingles. This will provide great relief from itching and pain. Apply on a daily basis to stop the infection and prevent further attacks from the varicella zoster virus.
Green tea is packed with anti viral properties and hence can be used as a supplementary treatment for shingles. Taking 4-5 cups of green tea will slowly disintegrate the virus and prevent their reproduction. Green tea is also very relaxing and relieves stress which too is a contributory factor that leads to shingles.
Essential oils too have been proven to be very effective in treating shingles. Essential oils like lemon, bergamot and eucalyptus oils help in clearing the shingles infection within days. As these oils are very strong they can be diluted with olive oil to tone down their strength. Apply on the shingles affected skin to get it cleared immediately.
Myrrh can be used for curing shingles infection. The tincture can be applied on the skin 3 times a day and one dropper of myrrh tincture can also be taken internally 4 times a day. This application and oral consumption must be continued until the infection clears completely.
Lemon Balm Compress
The pain and discomfort due to the blisters could sometimes be unbearable. To control the pain, you can use a warm compress. For making a warm compress using lemon balm, take a tablespoon of lemon balm that is dried along with a cup of water. Steep this for about 5 minutes and wait till it reaches room temperature. Now soak a clean towel and apply on the area of shingles infection. This treatment can be repeated couple of times a day and continued every day to keep the pain under control.
Acetone based nail polish removers can help in healing the shingles affected skin. Take a cotton ball and apply the nail polish remover on the skin. Leave it on for about 15 minutes and wash it with water. Nail polish removers help in removing the dead skin accumulated on the top and also the germs on the shingles affected skin. It also helps to control the burning sensation associated with shingles.