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Natural Remedies for Shingles

natural remedies for shingles

Shingles affect the nerve endings in the skin of more than 1 million people every year. If you’re one of them, you’ve come to the right place. Here you will find safe, side-effect free, natural remedies for shingles, including home remedies, Ayurvedic remedies, lifestyle suggestions and Yoga asanas. They will help you manage, heal and recover more quickly.

What is Shingles?

Shingles are the Herpes zoster virus.

In fact, it’s the same infectious virus that causes chickenpox.

Here’s the difference:

Chickenpox is spread easily through coughing, sneezing. It can also spread by touching or breathing the virus particles that come from the blisters of someone infected by the virus. Also, you only get the chicken pox once, and usually when you’re young.

Shingles occur when the same virus reactivates due to stress and/or low immune function. It can only happen to a person who has previously had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccination. Shingles is rarely transmitted from person to person either through the air or through exposure to the blisters. Additionally, shingles usually affect people over age 50.

natural remedies for shingles

Virus lies dormant

Once the virus enters the body and has caused chickenpox, it doesn’t go away. Instead, it lies dormant in the spinal cord and nerve ganglia forbears until it’s activated again (usually) by stress or low immune function.

The virus begins in the lymph nodes and is treated by conventional medications including NSAIDs, analgesics, and corticosteroid topical creams.

Medical science suggests that there is no definitive treatment for this condition. The most effective way to treat Shingles is to boost the immune system. Therefore, natural remedies for shingles are often recommended as the safest and best way to ease the painful outbreaks and even get rid of the virus.

But before we get deep into the natural remedies for Shingles, let’s get a closer view of the symptoms and causes.

Symptoms of Shingles

Herpes zoster, or shingles, as it is known medically, is a condition when the dormant chickenpox virus reemerges in the nervous tissue. Shingles are quite often localized with the painful blisters popping up in just one area.

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Once these blisters break, they heal, leaving a pale scar behind, after about 7 days.

The common signs and symptoms of shingles include:

  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Burning sensation
  • Tingling
  • Rashes
  • Fluid-filled blisters
  • Fatigue that persists
  • Body-ache
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to light

Shingles can appear anywhere on the body; however, it is most commonly found on the skin on the trunk of the body by the rigs. Other common areas are on the vaginal tissues and inside of the mouth.

What Causes Shingles?

As I mentioned in the beginning, Herpes zoster is the primary culprit, but what’s interesting is that science is yet to unravel the actual reason behind this reactivation of this virus. Here are some of the most guessed causes of shingles:

  • Intense chronic stress
  • Fatigue
  • Weak immune system
  • Excessive exposure to heat
  • Age (People between 50-80 years are at higher risk)
  • Cancer
  • Radiation treatments
  • HIV/AIDs or such autoimmune conditions

Now that you have an idea of the symptoms and causes, let’s talk about how you can heal using natural remedies for Shingles.

Natural Remedies for Shingles

Lifestyle Solutions

Home Remedies

Ayurvedic Remedies

Yoga

Lifestyle Remedies for Shingles

Keep yourself clean and cool

Take cool baths to ease the pain.

Soak yourself in clean, cool water and allow the skin to dry naturally. Gently, dab yourself dry using a soft, clean cloth. Do not expose the affected skin to warm water or harsh chemicals or hot sun because it could exacerbate or worsen the pain.  natural remedies for shingles

Get rest

Adequate bed rest is the key to faster healing. Through sleep and relaxation, your immune system will be able to restore its strength, encouraging quicker and complete recuperation.

natural remedies for shingles

Sugar diminishes the white blood cell count, delaying your recovery. Don’t eat it. Find out what happens when you quit eating sugar.

Likewise, caffeine and carbonated beverages dehydrate your body, making it more acidic. Avoid junk foods from your diet (especially while sick). Consequently, they are responsible for low immune function.

Also, avoid processed foods, sugar, (especially high fructose corn syrup), white flour, coffee, fried foods, alcohol, soft drinks, chocolate, peanut butter.natural remedies for shingles

Include anti-inflammatory and antioxidant foods in your diet

Eat lots of foods rich in antioxidants that boost your immune system. For example, anti-inflammatory foods like onions and garlic as well as other herbs can boost recovery by enhancing your immune power.

Drink adequate water natural remedies for shingles

Hydrate yourself with clean, pure water to eliminate the virus from your body. Aim to drink at least 8 oz water once in 90 minutes to flush your intestines and kidneys.

Home Remedies for Shingles

natural remedies for shinglesCool Compresses

Use cool compresses to ease your irritation and pain. Place a clean, soft cloth soaked in cool water over your rash for a few minutes. Repeat with a clean cloth again. However, remember to discard the cloth after use to prevent the spread of the infection.

Colloidal Oatmealnatural remedies for shingles

Oatmeal baths are known to be beneficial for healing irritated skin.

Prepare colloidal oatmeal by mixing 1 cup oats to lukewarm bath water. Allow the water to turn cool before soaking yourself for about 15 to 20 minutes. Wash off with clean, cool water and softly dab dry using a soft cloth.

natural remedies for shinglesCalendula

Non-alcohol Calendula tincture, in diluted form, is one of the most recommended natural remedies for shingles.

Alternatively, you can brew the herb by placing 1/2 cup calendula petals in a jar and cover 1 cup 80-proof vodka. Seal with top and leave in sunlight for 2-8 weeks. Strain and transfer to amber tincture bottle. Use this tincture as a topical application to promote healing.

Essential Oils

Tea tree oil, Peppermint oil, and Helichrysum oil

All these essential oils are rich in anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Mix 2 drops of each oil to ½ tsp coconut or virgin olive or castor oil and apply on the affected area to ease the pain, promote healing, and prevent scars.

 tea-treepeppermintnatural remedies for fibromyalgia

 Baking Soda

One of the most popular natural remedies for various itchy skin conditions is baking soda. And, it is pretty safe to use on skin, unless the blisters have ruptured. Prepare a paste by mixing 1 tbsp soda with 1 tsp water and apply on the affected area. Clean the area after 15 to 20 minutes using a soft cloth dipped in cool water. You can even dissolve a ¼ cup of baking soda in cool water and use it as a compress.

Calamine Lotionnatural remedies for shingles

Apply a generous amount on the affected area to ease the itching and inflammation. Calamine soothes the itching and irritation and calms the redness. natural remedies for shingles

Rose Hip Oil

The essential oil of Rosehip has moisturizing properties that help in hydrating the affected area and easing the pain induced by dryness.

Mix 4 drops each of lavender and rose hip essential oil with 1 tsp coconut oil and apply on the blisters to promote scar-free healing. Apply it before bedtime to speed healing.

Vitamin E Oil natural remedies for shingles

Use vitamin E oil topically. It is an anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants and can even help with scarring.

Ayurvedic Remedies for Shingles

Ayurveda is an ancient science teaches you nature’s great principles of health and natural living. If you are new to Ayurveda, start here: What is Ayurveda?

Shingles is a sign of the fire element (Pitta) going out of balance due to a build up of toxins in the body related to diet and or lifestyle, which affects the immune system. It’s important that you eat foods that are cooling, (Pitta reducing) and easy to digest. 

Ayurveda treats the person, not the disease… So get to know yourself, learn what combination of qualities you have in your body and mind. When you know which elements make up the majority of your constitution you will know which conditions you thrive in.

Kitchari

I recommend eating kitchari with cooling spices like coriander, cumin, and fennel frequently. (You can use the recipe I hyperlinked and substitute 1/2 teaspoon of coriander, cumin, and fennel)

Licorice

A demulcent herb, licorice adds moisture to the tissues of the body. In addition, it brings heat down in the body. natural remedies for shinglesYou can consume internally or apply topically to ease the painful blisters of shingles.

Mix 1 tbsp powdered licorice with enough coconut oil to make a paste. Apply it over the affected area. Soak a clean, soft cloth in cool water and clean the dried paste after 20 minutes.natural remedies for shingles

You can also prepare licorice tea and consume it 2x a day to soothe and tone your mucous membranes and reduce inflammation.

Echinacea

natural remedies for shingles

Maybe the best detoxifying herb in herbalism, Echinacea reduces heat in the body. It is a natural antibiotic. Therefore, echinacea cleanses the blood and lymph and can have a positive effect on puss formation. Additionally, it stimulates the release of anti-inflammatory corticosteroids and eases the pain and inflammation.

Most of all, the immunity-boosting properties of this herb fights the infection from within. Consume about 2500 mg Echinacea  2x daily to speed up your recovery.

Turmeric

natural remedies for shinglesA natural antibiotic, antibacterial, and antiseptic, Turmeric strengthens digestion. (Digestion is key to good health).  In addition, turmeric is also a tonic to the skin.

You can take it both internally, and make a paste to apply externally to alleviate pain. Add a little cool water to freshly ground turmeric to prepare a paste with a spreadable consistency. Apply on the infected area and dry off after 20 minutes using clean water.

Golden Milk

I also recommend drinking “Golden Milk” before bed at night. It’s an anti-inflammatory delicious drink to boost your immune system.

Spices for Fall

Neem

Natural remedies for shingles

One of the most powerful blood-purifiers and detoxifiers in Ayurveda.  It helps to clear the toxins in most inflammatory skin diseases. It’s antimicrobial, antiseptic, antifungal, and it contains fatty acids like oleic acid and linoleum acid which are highly beneficial for the skin.

Apply neem oil mixed with olive oil on the affected area. A paste made by adding neem oil and turmeric with yogurt could also be used to heal shingles.

Castor Oil

natural remedies for shingles

Another sought after natural remedies for shingles. While its analgesic properties ease the pain, the anti-inflammatory properties eliminate the tenderness and redness. It hydrates the area, thus easing the itching and irritation. Just apply this oil on the affected area and leave on.

Manage Stress

Taking walks in nature in the morning when it’s cool is a wonderful way to reduce the fire element. Additionally, learn to meditate. Meditating for even 10 minutes a day can help you control stress, anxiety and gain a capacity for relaxation.

Yoga For Shingles

Once you start to practice Yoga, you will begin to enjoy better health, deeper sleep and a better outlook on life. Yoga has been practiced by countless people for thousands of years for good reason!

You’ll also notice an improvement in your posture, flexibility, vision and general appearance. In other words, you’ll feel more vibrantly alive and enjoy better health.

The Yoga postures suggested here help in easing stress and cooling the body, which will set the stage for faster healing. Feel free to use bolsters to support yourself and help you relax deeper.

  1. Natural remedies for shingles

    Reclining Bound Angle Pose

    Supta Baddha Konasana

    Reclined Bound Angle Pose opens the chest stimulating better circulation. The greater the flow of blood to the brain, the higher the relaxation.

Sit on the floor and extend your legs out. Make sure that your sitting bones are resting on the floor. Bend the knees and join the soles of your feet. Slowly, start reclining on the floor, pushing the elbows on the floor. You can place a bolster at the tip of your spine to help you recline.

Once you lie down completely, rest the hands on either side of your chest, palms facing up and fingers facing back.

Close your eyes and relax. To come out, press the elbows into the floor and come back to starting position.

Balasana

Child’s Pose is one of the most recommended restorative yoga poses to help ease the pain by triggering the release of endorphins through better circulation.

natural remedies for shingles

Balasana

Kneel on the floor, buttocks resting on the heels. Spread the knees as wide as your hips, while heels are in touch. Place a folded blanket between your buttocks and heels if they are not in contact.

Inhale and swing your arms over your head. Exhale and fold forward, resting the abdomen in the space in between your thighs. Make a pillow with your hands and rest your forehead on that.

Close your eyes and hold the posture, breathing deeply into the abdomen. To come out, straighten your torso on an inhalation, swing your legs to the front, and relax.

Abdominal Breathing

Belly breathing is one of the most effective stress busting techniques. It is pretty simple and cam be practiced while sitting or lying down. Just make sure you are doing it on an empty stomach.

Sit down in a comfortable seated posture of your choice, keeping the spine erect. Relax your neck and shoulders and the entire body. Let the palms rest on the knees. Close your eyes. As you inhale, let your abdomen expand.

With your exhalation, allow the belly to fall back and close to your spine. Inhale for a count of 5 and exhale for a count of 10. The idea is to keep the length of exhalations twice as that of inhalations. Hence, choose a count that you are comfortable.

Seethali Pranayama

Calming, cooling breath. This yogic breathing helps to cool the body (which is useful because shingles is a heating condition) and calms anxiety and stress.

Sit down in any comfortable seated position, lengthening your neck and spine, tucking the chin slightly.

Close your eyes and rest the palms on your knees. Curl your tongue inward, allowing the tip to rest on the middle side. Inhale deeply via the tongue, allowing the cool breath to fill through your body.

Once you complete inhalation, restore the natural position of your tongue and exhale through your nostrils.

One breath cycle of inhalation and exhalation makes 1 repetition.

Do 10 to 15 such repetitions.

I’ve given you lots of natural remedies for shingles here. So, it can be helpful to read it over again to digest all the information, or perhaps bookmark it for future reference.

Now, it’s necessary to take action. This may mean learning to modify your diet and/or lifestyle, or learning how improve your immune system with Ayurveda, essential oils or Yoga.

Make sure you take the Ayurvedic body/type quiz and check out what a regular YogaDownload practice has to offer you today.

Finally, while natural remedies for shingles are quite effective and come with zero side effects, it is advisable to visit a physician if you feel that you are not able to tolerate the pain.

Seek immediate medical attention if you notice a rash near the eye, failing which you could lose your vision. Also, if the affected person is between 60 to 80 years or has a weakened immune system, immediate medical care is unavoidable.

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natural remedies for shingles

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31 Comments

  • Great website! I feel more calm and in healing mode just by being on it – you have an awesome vibe going on. You list some awesome remedies on here. It’s great that you’ve gone through so many options so if one thing doesn’t work then there’s a bunch of other things you can try. I noticed you don’t mention Epsom Salts – are these not good for Shingles? I know they’re super helpful with other skin conditions.

    Thanks!
    Martina

    • Hi Martina, Yes, mixing Epsom with Baking soda is great to relieve nerve pain, itching and also helps to bring swelling down on skin lesions. 1 cup baking soda, 3/4 cup Epsom salt to a luke warm bath.

  • Wow, you really did your research on shingles home remedies, all your suggestions seems to be what we really should be doing to be healthy anyway. I am a bit scared now after reading your article, I am 57 years old and I had chicken pox as a boy. I did not realize shingles can hit you up to 80 years old, but I love your home remedies and recipes which I saved just in case I do need them to save the day.

    I am happy to have found your website while surfing today, do you have any home remedies for other health problems for a rainy day?

  • Very interesting read. I was very curious about how one got shingles. I was not aware that we had so much control to prevent it in the first place. When they say “1 in 3 develop shingles i figured it was a crap shoot. Now I know what to do if I end up getting it. As well as what I can do now to lessen the chance of getting it. Thank you for the very insightful topic, enjoyed very much learning about what I need to combat this virus. I am 45 now, no time like before it happens to know how to deal with it. If and when I were to get it.

  • This is a complete and in depth study of the shingles disease. Illustrations of the symptoms help to tell the story of what is happening in the body when shingles appears. There are causes , remedies and diets discussed on the landing page which suggest knowledge of the disease and develops trust for the suggested remedies. The illustrations are realistic and impressive.
    The website if filled with helpful suggestions for combating shingles and would be very helpful for anyone who had the misfortune to contract this disease.
    This is a very impressive website and I find it hard to critical of any aspect of it. It is well done.

  • Goodness, you truly did your exploration on shingles home cures, every one of your recommendations is by all accounts what we should do to be solid in any case. I am somewhat frightened now in the wake of perusing your article, I am 36 years of age and I had chicken pox as a kid. I didn’t understand shingles can hit you up to 80 years of age, however, I adore your home cures and formulas which I spared just on the off chance that I do require them to spare the day.

    Yours Truly,
    Carlton

    • Thanks Carlton, Just be sure to keep your immune system functioning well through diet and lifestyle and you should be able to avoid a relapse. Thank you for commenting. I appreciate it. 🙂

  • Jackie,
    That was an extremely informative article about shingles. As a person now in my late 50’s, and who had chicken pox as a kid I previously have heard the fact that it would be possible that I could get shingles. As is the case I know of a person who did end up getting shingles and from what she told me it was not a very pleasant experience, this now over a decade ago.
    It’s too bad that this great article that you had to take you a lot of time to research was not available.

    There is just so much depth of remedies that you included in the article, after initially explaining to the readers exactly what shingles is and the difference between that and chicken pox.

    You did not include the dreaded prescription medications as being the only solution to this disease. My now deceased mom, being a member of the medical profession for over 40 years was always extremely cautious when advising people/patients of these types of medications. Often she concluded they were loaded with chemicals that could produce potentially dangerous side effects, including a person becoming addicted to the medication.

    It made so much sense that your discussion of yoga being a form of therapy to help a person with shingles was included. As shingles as you stated is partially caused by stress that one encounters in life, yoga is perhaps the greatest form of exercise/meditation that helps a person relieve stress in his/her body.

    I will bookmark this article Jackie – just in case for my sake.

    Thank you for taking the time to write out the article Jackie, one that will be of great benefit to your readers.

    Jeff

    • Hey Jeff, What a great comment and thank you for taking the time to write it!

      Thankfully as a culture we’re moving away from a pharmaceutical model to more holistic ways of caring for our bodies, right? 🙂 Sometimes the cure is more dangerous than the disease.

  • I had no idea you could use Yoga for Shingles, that is awesome! I am a big proponent of peppermint oil and tea tree oil though, as well as changing your diet and the increased water intake. I also suggest reflexology and Reiki in addition to what you described.
    Great article!

  • I really like your post because it’s really informative. I also like your layout, it’s simple and clean. I work in a nursing home so I know quite a bit about shingles since it is really common in the elderly. However, I had no idea that yoga was a natural remedy for shingles.That’s pretty cool. Great job on your site.

    • Thanks Lyndsay… As you know yoga is the BEST for stress and certain asanas (poses) can be structured to cool the body down quite effectively. Thanks for commenting.

  • Such a awesome article on shingles, I never knew there were any home remedies for shingles until reading your article today. I have been concerned about getting shingles lately, I am 57 years old and I had the chick pox at the age of 6 years old.I am saving these remedies to share with others plus keep for myself, just in case I ever need them.

    • Hi there, Don’t be concerned. Just eat well and make sure you’re digesting well (digestion is the key to good health). If you have good digestion, your immune system is healthier. Thanks for commenting and come back anytime for more natural remedies. 🙂

  • Thanks for a great article on shingles.I am certain your readers, like myself appreciate the information you have put forward. It is is very informative.

    I am very moved to know that there are no definitive treatment for shingles. Let us thank God for the natural remedies. I do know that these diseases have to run its course.

    Surely I have learnt something. Thanks again. Keep up the good work.

  • What an awesome in-depth and informative post! I thankfully do not have shingles but I used to have an acquaintance with it. The poor woman would have to take weeks off from work, and she could never find a comfortable position to be in. I’ll have to refer her to your page. Lots of really great stuff here. Thanks for the information!

  • What an in-depth explanation of shingles. I just knew that chicken pox and shingles have connection. By the way, I have a question. Can a person gets shingles twice in their lifetime or only once like chicken pox? Cheers!

  • I’ve seen a sign about shingles at my pharmacy – It seems like a pretty big deal. Luckily I’m not 50 yet – I’ll let furture me deal with this 🙂

    • Hi Matt, If you keep your immune system functioning well through a healthy diet and lifestyle and keep your stress levels in check, you can minimize your chances. Take good care.

  • Wow! Very detailed article on shingles. I hope I never get it but at least now i know ways I can prevent it and treat it. I guess the best thing to do is to keep yourself active and healthy. I read the whole article and even the part about Ayurvedic remedies. What does that actually mean?

  • I have been suffering from (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS) disease for the past four years and had constant pain, especially in my knees. During the first year,I had faith in God that i would be healed someday.This disease started circulating all over my body and i have been taking treatment from my doctor, few weeks ago i came on search on the internet if i could get any information concerning the prevention of this disease, on my search i saw a testimony of someone who has been healed from (Hepatitis B and Cancer) by this Man Dr BOADI and she also gave the email address of this man and advise we should contact him for any sickness that he would be of help, so i wrote to Dr. boadi telling him about my (HERPES Virus) he told me not to worry that i was going to be cured!! hmm i never believed it,,well after all the procedures and remedy given to me by this man few weeks later i started experiencing changes all over me as the Dr assured me that i have cured,after some time i went to my doctor to confirmed if i have be finally healed behold it was TRUE.

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