Natural relief from shingles 1260x542

Natural relief from shingles

34478 views 2 min to read

Are you looking for relief from shingles? Naturopath Kate Ferguson takes a look at natural remedies that may help to combat the pain and irritation of shingles.

Shingles occur when the varicella zoster virus that lies dormant in a nerve root ganglion (a collection of nerve cell bodies) is reactivated following chickenpox earlier. This reactivation is more often triggered at times of lowered immunity and is more common as we get older.

With an attack of shingles the first symptom felt is usually pain in the distribution of the affected nerve root. This is followed by a rash and blisters on the skin of the affected area.

While the pain often subsides once the eruptions on the skin have faded, some suffers can experience postherpetic pain (pain persisting for longer than one month) long after an acute shingles attack.

Immune support for shingles sufferers

Lowered immunity is one the main risks for an acute shingles attack and so immune support with herbal medicines and nutrients is vital in shingles prevention.

  • Echinacea – may help to boost immune function 
  • Olive leaf – may help to support immunity and has antioxidant properties. 
  • Zinc & Vitamin D – zinc is necessary for healthy immune function and optimal vitamin D levels help support normal immune function.

Pain relief from shingles

The pain experienced as a result of shingles can range from mild to severe, and many people find it very distressing.

Shingles causes neuralgic pain which is a sharp stabbing, shooting type of pain. Herbal remedies traditionally used to help with shingles pain include:

  • St John’s wort
  • Passionflower 
  • Oats

Topical soothers with aromatherapy

Applying essential oils topically may help to provide pain relief and help the healing process of the affected areas of the skin.

One of the best oils to use is bergamot. Bergamot has antiviral and antiseptic properties and combines well with tea tree oil and lavender against shingles. Lavender and German chamomile in a base of St John’s wort-infused oil may provide relief from postherpetic pain.

Postherpetic pain relief

Postherpetic neuralgia is pain that occurs more than a month after the initial attack of shingles. It is not uncommon for shingles suffers to experience this pain, with the risk increasing with age.

Acupuncture has a long traditional use for the management of pain relief and has been shown to be of some benefit in postherpetic neuralgia.

References available on request

Tell us what you think login or sign up to share your thoughts.

Hi, could you please provide the references for the topical soothers of post herpetic pain please. thanks, Lisa
Lisa
Lisa 23 Mar 2017
Toni, I am sorry to hear the shingles pain that you are experiencing. I hope that the supplements you have bought provide some relief. Acupuncture is a great idea, you can find a local practitioner through the Australian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Association on 1800 025 334. I hope this helps, if you would like to discuss this further please contact Blackmores Naturopathic Advisory Service on 1800 803 760. Kind regards, Danielle, Blackmores Naturopath
Danielle
Danielle 14 Oct 2014
Hello Colleen,

I’m sorry to hear of the pain you’ve been experiencing. Kellie, a fellow Blackmores naturopaths, has given some very useful tips for assisting in the management of shingle-related nerve pain below. Using herbs such as St John’s Wort, passionflower and oats can be very helpful during the recovery period, as can topical essential oils such as bergamot, lavender and chamomile in a St-John’s wort-infused oil base. The herbs mentioned all have a place in the traditional remedy cupboard as nervous system tonics. For specific advice and other recommendations for your condition, please feel free to call Blackmores Advisory service on 1800 803 760. All the best, Leanne (Blackmores naturopath)
Leanne
Leanne 13 Feb 2014
I recently had Shingles & am now suffering post Shingles pain & creepycrawly sensation under skin. I have tried many creams from Chemist but nothing that really helps. AlsotakePanadol Osteo for pain
Anonymous
Anonymous 11 Feb 2014
Hi Charmaine, although apple cider vinegar is great for digestion, decreasing acidity, and assisting with detox, as a naturopath I am not aware of any mechanism whereby apple cider vinegar would directly help with shingles. Does anyone else have any further thoughts? Thanks, Jen (Blackmores naturopath)
Jennifer
Jennifer 13 Dec 2013
I have read Apple Cider Vinegar is very good for shingles...has anyone else heard or used this?...Thanks
Anonymous
Anonymous 11 Dec 2013
Dear Kerry,

I am so sorry to hear about your friend whom is suffering from Shingles.

Shingles occurs when the varicella zoster virus is reactivated following chickenpox earlier in life. This reactivation is triggered at times of lowered immunity and is more common as we get older, hence, supporting the immune system with various herbs such as Echinacea and Olive Leaf, which may help to support immunity and provides antioxidant properties, along with nutrients Zinc and Vitamin D are all necessary for healthy immune function.

The pain experienced known as neuralgic pain which is a sharp stabbing, shooting type of pain may be assisted by herbal remedies such as St John’s wort, Passionflower and Oats. To reduce stress and anxiety Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is also useful and a herbal sedative with a mild effect against nerve pain.

Applying topical soothers such as essential oils may help to provide pain relief and help the healing process of the affected areas of the skin. One of the best oils to use is bergamot which has antiviral and antiseptic properties and combines well with tea tree oil and lavender against shingles. Lavender and German chamomile in a base of St John’s wort-infused oil may provide relief from postherpetic pain.

I trust the information above and below is helpful to you, please contact the Naturopathic Advisory Service on 1800 803 760 or email advice@blackmores.com.au for further assistance.

Kind regards, Kellie (A Blackmores Naturopath)
Kellie
Kellie 08 Nov 2013
Hello. I have a friend in her late 60's that is suffering with shingles for last week and is having very many sleepless nights because of the pain down her left side. She says if she could cut her arm off at the shoulder it would be fine. Do have any suggestions for some pain relief. She has already seen a doctor and they have subscribe some medication for her,but sadly it is not helping her much.
Regards
Kerry.
Anonymous
Anonymous 06 Nov 2013