Treating Shingles Naturally With These Essential Oils
Herpes Zoster, Zoster, or Zona are names associated with the viral disease known as Shingles. Blisters and painful skin rashes characterize the disease and are caused by the same virus responsible for chicken pox — varicella zoster virus (VZV). While chicken pox is a result of exposure to VZV, Shingles is caused by the reactivation of varicella zoster virus in the body. This means that people that have once been treated for chicken pox (especially before 18 months or age) are more susceptible to this disease. Once Chicken Pox is treated, the virus stays redundant in the nerve cell and can be triggered by old age or poor immune system. Initial exposure to the virus (in the blisters) will cause chicken pox and not shingles.
What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles?
Normally, the infection happens on the left or right side of the body and starts with mild pain or tingling in the area. Other symptoms include a headache, fever and malaise and subsequently, sensation of burning pain, itching, hyperesthesia (oversensitivity), or paresthesia ("pins and needles": tingling, pricking, or numbness). The degree of pain varies; shingles in kids are painless but can be severe as people age. Two, three days, or even three weeks, after the initial symptoms, the rash appears characterized by fluid-filled blisters containing the virus. The rash commonly occurs on the torso or face but can appear on other parts of the body. Skin changes are limited to a dermatome, running across on the side of the trunk by the waistline.
How To Treat Shingles?
Scientists are unable to pinpoint the exact reason the virus reactivates, and according to CDC, about 1 out of 3 people in the United States will develop shingles. Since there is no medical cure, most prescriptions treat the symptoms, unable to get rid of the underlying cause. This necessitates an alternative – natural remedy – for treating symptoms. Essential Oils are known for their excellent antiviral, antibacterial and astringent properties, and have been used for ages in treating many viral diseases. In this article I address the best essential oils for treating shingles and suggested proper and safe usage.
The Best Essential Oils For Shingles Treatment
Ravintsara Oil is extracted from a plant native to Madagascar by steam distillation of its leaves. Due to its medicinal properties, it has been used for ages in treating various skin conditions. Of all essential oils, it has a particular note as an antiviral oil. It is not only useful for viral hepatitis, but also for treating shingles. It is highly effective that within a few days of topical usage, the pain and inflammation will subside.
Tea Tree Oil
Also called Melaleuca oil, Tea Tree oil is gotten from Melaleuca alternifolia, a plant native to Australia and has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for many ailments. It has astringent and antiviral properties that make it an excellent oil for shingles treatment. With its anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties, using Tea Tree Oil for shingles will help relieve the pain and inflammation. Its antibacterial properties help avert further infections and scarring. Tea Tree is also used in treating many other skin conditions like Acne and stretch marks.
Usage: Tea Tree Oil requires caution due to its potency. Preferably, dilute with a carrier oil like olive oil. You can also blend with Lavender oil. Mixing Tea Tree and Lavender Oils have fantastic effects on shingles. Alternatively, you can mix with your body lotion. Apply topically on the affected area, or use hot compress several times daily.
Lavender Oil is undeniably one of the best and versatile essential oils for natural treatment. It has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties that help ease the pain, inflammation, and combat the virus. Applying Lavender oil to the blisters will not only soothe the area, but it will also help you relax.
Usage: After noticing the symptoms of shingles, start by rubbing Lavender Oil on the spinal cord and the affected areas. You can also rub on your neck or forehead to get relief from headaches or nausea.
Alternatively, you can add a few drops to your bath water.
Another Essential Oil for Shingles rash is Geranium Oil. It is gentle on the skin and therefore suitable for all skin types (including sensitive skin). It is a proven remedy for shingles and relieves the pain minutes after application. It does not just clear the rash, but it helps to prevent subsequent pain caused by post-herpetic neuralgia. This is the medical notation for the nerve pain caused by the varicella zoster virus. The skin becomes very sensitive that slight touches hurt severely. According to a study, Geranium oil is more effective than capsaicin cream for quick relief from shingles pain.
One of the most commonly used Essential Oil is Peppermint oil. It is not only effective for treating many respiratory conditions, but it also works for shingles. It has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that help to treat shingles naturally. Peppermint Oil also helps boost the body’s immune system to fight against the virus.
Bergamot Oil has outstanding healing properties. It is suitable for treating Shingles and prevents future infections. Aside from being an antiviral oil, it is also a potent analgesic and antidepressant will help you relax and relieve shingles pain.
The two types, Roman and German Chamomile oils are both useful in treating shingles. Chamomile oil will help you relax, soothe your skin, and provide lasting relief.
Other Essential Oils with antiviral properties include Eucalyptus, manuka, black cumin seed and clove oils.
How To Apply Essential Oils for Shingles?
- Topical Usage: Directly rubbing the affected area can provide significant relief from the pain caused by Shingles. Before topical application, however, dilute the oil with a carrier oil (sweet almond, coconut, or jojoba oil). Dilution will prevent cases of skin irritation especially if you have sensitive skin.
- Diffusing: Using Essential Oils with a diffuser can also help treat shingles. When you inhale essential oil molecules, it will circulate through your body, help you relax and achieve antiviral effects.
- Hot Compress: You will need to dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil. Pour the blend into hot water. Afterward, dip a towel in the water, wring out and compress on the affected area for up to 20 minutes.
- Bath: You can also add a few drops to your bath water and soak yourself for up to 20-30 minutes.
- Use with Body Lotion: You can also mix essential oils with your cream and rub on the blisters several times daily.
Essential Oil Blends for Shingles
To enhance the effectiveness of essential oils, you can blend two or more. Here are recipes to try.
- 30 drops of Lavender Oil
- 30 drops of Tea Tree Oil
- 30 drops of Eucalyptus Oil
- Any preferred Carrier Oil
Mix the oils and store in glass bottle away from sunlight. You can also store in a spray bottle and spray over the affected area.
- 2-3 drops of ravintsara oil
- 2-3 drops of geranium oil
- 1 tablespoon of calophyllum (tamanu) oil – as your carrier oil
- Mix the ingredients and dab on the affected area. Continue to apply when blisters subside to ensure a lasting antiviral effect.
Recipe 3 – Gentle topical blend
- 2 drops of lavender oil
- 2 drops of manuka oil
- 2 drops of eucalyptus oil
- 1 tablespoon of carrier oil (coconut oil)
- Mix them together and apply on the blisters three to five times daily.
Recipe 4 – Strong Topical Blend
- 2 drops of clove oil
- 2 drops of peppermint oil
- 2 drops of Melissa oil
- 1 tablespoon of carrier oil (coconut or almond oil)
- Most essential oils are concentrated in pure form and should be diluted with a carrier oil before topical application.
- Pregnant women are advised to seek medical advice before using essential oils.
- Essential Oils are unsafe for children due to their sensitive skins.
- In cases of allergies or severe irritations, discontinue using essential oils and consult a medical expert.
Essential will help get rid of the skin condition and also reduce the chances of future occurrences. Shingles are sometimes triggered by stress and unhealthy diet and lifestyle. It is important that you observe a course of healthy diet during and after treatment to boost your immune system and to hasten the healing process. If you recurrently develop shingles, I would advise you visit the doctor to determine the underlying cause.