Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a skin infection caused as a result of the varicella zoster virus. This is the same virus that is responsible for chicken pox as well. The symptoms of shingles are painful rashes that appear in the form of a band running from the side of the chest to the middle of the back. Although the infection is not life threatening, it is rather painful and uncomfortable. The rashes turn into aching blisters because of the dryness and inflammation of the skin. Pain caused due to shingles can be effectively treated using certain herbs.
Herbal Remedies For Shingles Pain
Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, an active compound that is normally used in the formulation of OTC painkiller creams, gels and sprays. Capsaicin helps bring down the inflammation of the shingles rashes that is the major cause of pain.
Apply cream that contains 0.25 percent or higher quantity of capsaicin thrice a day over the affected skin. The cream will also keep the area moisturized thereby reducing the need to itch the place.
Peppermint oil is primarily used in the treatment of headaches, migraines, muscular aches and nerve pain. Rubbing 2-3 drops of the oil on the affected skin will not only alleviate the pain but also keep the rashes well moisturized thereby reducing the pain felt due to dry infected skin. Rub the oil 3-4 times during the day or as per requirement.
Like peppermint oil, geranium oil too is regarded as an effective herbal remedy for bringing down pain from shingles. However, ensure that you use 100 percent geranium oil for treating the pain as anything less will only provide minimum relief. Rub geranium oil 3-4 times on the skin especially once before sleeping so that you have undisturbed sleep.
Echinacea is a traditional herbal remedy for treating pain associated with shingles. The herb has constituents that effectively bring down inflammation of the nerves. The herb also provides the blisters protection against bacteria and viruses that may infect them during the course of the treatment. Take 100-350 mg of Echinacea pills three times during the day to get relief from pain.
Jamaican dogwood is a very powerful herb and has strong nerve sedative properties. It is also a natural anodyne and therefore alleviates neuralgia that is caused by virus attack on the nerves. The herb is available in extract, tincture and pill form but should be used only under medical supervision because of its high toxic content. The herb is not meant for children and pregnant women.
Passionflower has been used as a nerve tonic since long as it helps in the successful restoration of damaged nerve endings as is in the case of shingles. The herb gets rid of the painful symptoms of shingles by bringing down the inflammation. Drink 3-4 cups of passionflower tea every day until the symptoms of shingles disappear completely.
St. John’s Wort
St John’s wort is a great herbal remedy for restoring calm and peace to both mind and body. The herb is mildly sedative in nature due to which it is used in the treatment of insomnia, depression, anxiety and stress. The herb also provides immense relief against the pain associated with shingles because it helps treat the damaged nerve endings and brings down the inflammation. Drink three cups of St John’s herbal tea daily to treat the condition.