26 Home Remedies for Shingles Symptoms
Shingles is a virus that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus. Shingles are found in most people who had chickenpox because the varicella-zoster virus is dormant in the nerve tissue by your spinal cord and brain. The virus can become active again years after you suffered from chickenpox.
Shingles often shows itself as a rash anywhere on your body or usually just in one strip of a rash that looks like blisters around the right or left side of your torso. Other than the rash that appears a couple days after the pain, people have experienced fatigue, pain (numbness, tingling, or burning), headaches, itching, sensitivity to light and touch, fever, and blisters filled with fluid that can burst and crust over.
Home Remedies for Shingles
Shingles, while painful, is not fatal. It should be mentioned that if you have not had the chickenpox, you will not get shingles. For this reason, if you have not already gotten the chickenpox, it is best to get vaccinated before you get it. Being vaccinated for chickenpox will save you the trouble of getting shingles later in life.
If you have had the chickenpox, and you have not yet had shingles, you can get a shingles vaccination. While the shingles vaccine, like any vaccine, might come with minor side-effects like itching, redness, or bruising, it is much better than getting shingles.
Despite Shingles not being fatal, there are times when you should talk to your doctor. If you are over 60, there are areas where the virus could serious complications (loss of eyesight, further skin infections, brain swelling); the rash spreads in area coverage or pain; if the rash gets too close to an as it can do permanent damage; or if someone in your family- especially you- have a history with a weak immune system. If none of these apply to you, then feel free to use these home remedies and save yourself an expensive doctor’s visit.
Whether you use a cool compress or took a cool bath, it should be nice to cool your body down now and again. The cool can help to ease the pain of the rash and limit the amount of fluid that can build up in blisters.
Using a cold compress can also help to remove scabs to lessen the chances of infections. However, once you begin getting blisters, you should not do that compress for a while as it can dry out your skin which can lead to itching.
Do Not Scratch
This is also a rule when it comes to chickenpox. Scratching and picking at the sores, while it may feel good for a little bit, can actually lead to scarring and infection. You can get creams over the counter if the shingles are causing too much itch to deal with.
With blisters, they ‘weep’ if they get scratched open or burst on their own. You want to be very careful with these as they are usually contagious and can spread the varicella-zoster virus. This can put anyone who has not had the chickenpox or shingles vaccine at risk for getting one of these ailments.
Wear Loose Clothing
Tighter clothing can rub and pull against the blisters and can open the blisters or their scabs. Looser clothing will not bother the blisters as much, nor will increase itching like tighter clothing can.
Petroleum jelly can be used to the soothe the scabs, blisters, and itch that comes along with Shingles. You want to make sure that the area where you are putting the jelly is gently cleaned with soap for sensitive skin and water.
Cornstarch or Baking Soda
The rash that comes with shingles can be calmed at least a little with a paste of water, baking soda, and cornstarch. To make the paste, you take either cornstarch or baking soda and add water to the one you choose until you have your desired consistency. Once you reach that, you apply it to the rash and keep the paste in place for 10 or 15 minutes before rinsing it off. You can repeat this whenever you need relief from the itching sensation that is common with shingles.
Like the creams mentioned in two, there are lotions that can soothe itching. The lotions should not be scented or medicated. After you bathe, use a cold compress, or use the cornstarch/baking soda paste, you should apply the lotion. You do not want to use the lotion too much as that can actually slow the healing of the sores and rash.
There are herbs that you can use to calm anxiety, fight the shingles virus, and help to keep insomnia that often comes with it at bay. You can get most of them in teas. Some of the best natural herbs to try include St. John’s Wort, green tea, echinacea, witch hazel, oregano, and lemon balm.
There are pretty simple dietary changes that can be made to your diet that can promote healing through vitamins and minerals. You want the amino acid lysine and vitamins C, E, A, and B-12.
Some foods you can try that should help you with shingles include leafy greens, red meat, citrus fruits, eggs, spinach, poultry, whole grains, tomatoes, legumes, wild caught fish, and beans.
There also foods that you should avoid because they can increase the swelling and therefore the pain of the rash. Foods to avoid are carbonated drinks, foods with high saturated fat, caffeine, arginine-heavy foods (nuts, chocolate, gelatin), fried food, refined carbs, and high sugared juices or juices.
Like the aforementioned herbs have medicinal properties, as do the oils that are drawn from the herbs. What is truly interesting, is that the oil sometimes as different effects than the herb. You can buy an oil diffuser and breath them in or you can add a couple of drops to your cool bath.
One great oil to try is eucalyptus oil. This oil had antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory compounds so it can help to induce healing of the rash and the sores that shingles bring.
Much the same as eucalyptus, chamomile essential oil helps you sores and rash to heal, but unlike the prior, chamomile can also help with skin-cell regeneration.
Lastly, tea tree oil is another essential oil that helps the sores to heal.
The components from the oats an help to soothe the itchiness and pain from the shingles rash. For oat baths, you can buy the powder pre-made or you can make it yourself with the simple oatmeal you eat for breakfast. If you buy the powder, instructions should come with it. If you are making your own: here is how to do it.
Take a fourth of a cup of oats and crush them into a powder. Once you have done this, you want to put it in a cheesecloth pouch. The cheesecloth allows to flow in and out, the healing properties out, but keeps the oat powder in. You can just leave this little pouch in the tub while it fills up and take it out as you get in.
This is a purple or blue flower that grows all over the country and is often used to decrease the chances of developing postherpetic neuralgia and can relieve at least a little pain from Shingles. You can get this flower in a tea and drink it to relief your shingles pain.
Stress is bad for your body in so many different ways. Being too stressed can increase a handful symptoms that you might suffer, as well as help you to sleep at night.
The chemicals in smoking drastically increase a person’s chances of getting a number of cancers. Not only that, the chemicals can even weaken the immune system and make it easier for you to get infections. This does not just illnesses, but infected sores as well.
Turmeric paste is easy to make and should relieve how much your rash and blisters itch. To make the paste, you boil down a cup of water, one to one and a half teaspoons of ground black pepper, and turmeric for about eight minutes. As the water evaporates, you are likely to still have a small amount of water. Once this cools, you can apply it the rash or blister.
It should be mentioned that this paste can stain most plastics and clothing, so be mindful of that while using it.
Being hydrated is very important, especially when fighting off any virus. So while there is not a cure for shingles, water can at least help to flush some of the toxins from your system so that the virus is a little more manageable.
Garlic and Onion
Raw onion and garlic have something called allicin in them which can help to boost your immune system to keep off other infections while also lessen the effects of Shingles. You can simply add both to your cooking, or you can garlic in a capsule over the counter.
Zinc is known for having an antiviral effect that can kill off or weaken the illness while building the immune system up at the same time. This home remedy can help at any time, but it works best when the illness is just starting to show itself since its weakest at its start. You can get zinc in pill form over the counter or take in zinc from food. Some foods that are rich in zinc include meat, beans, seeds, nuts, eggs, whole grains, and dairy products.
You can apply manuka honey to the affected area a number of times a day. The manuka honey lessens the symptoms of Shingles and soothes the itchiness. This because of the antiviral action that the honey contributes.
Neem Leaf is another plant that you can just add to your bath water for a good soak. The neem leaves can help to fight against shingles because of the antiviral powers it posses.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is used in the healing of blisters and to stop the itchiness. This remedy is not one you want to try with open blisters. To use apple cider vinegar for treating shingles, you want either apply a mix of equal amounts of water and apple cider vinegar directly to the itching area; or add two cups of apple cider vinegar to a bath.
You can buy a salve with cayenne pepper that can be applied to the affected area twice a day to reduce pain. You may feel a slight burning sensation. This is normal, so do not worry if this happens to you.
Alternatively, you can also add more cayenne pepper to your diet. This can be bought in actual pepper form, or in powder form. Watch out! Both of these are very spicy!
This fruit can either be eaten or smeared onto the rash or blister. The elderberry will build the immune system, lessen symptoms, and even stop shingles from spreading.
Holy basil induces the healing of blisters and rashes while also calming inflammation and stress levels. You add this to food as a seasoning, put a handful of leaves in a bath, or get in a tea.
Olive leaf is something that you can get in capsules. This plant can stop Shingles from spreading and fight away infections.
This plant has vitamins C, B, A, and E as long as iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, enzymes, calcium, and amino acids. So because of all of these, Aloe Vera is perfect for disinfecting, healing skin wounds, being energized longer, soothing itching, and maintaining a healthy weight. After getting the gel from the plant itself or buying some organic gels from the store, you can apply it the affected area.
Fig leaves are used to stop shingles pain because it kills bacteria within the rash and blisters while also easing inflammation. Using fig leaves to treat shingles is quite easy. You rinse three of four fig leaves, grind them up with a food processor or a mortar and pestle. Once the leaves have been ground up and are almost like a paste, you apply them to the affected area and leave it there for 20 minutes before rinsing off using warm water.
Which of these home remedies are you likely to try? Comment below.
Flower picture: https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:Gentiana_scabra2.jpg
Cover photo: Photo by https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:BruceBlaus