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Eastern and Western Shingles Treatment

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Biology 103
2000 Second Web Report
On Serendip

Eastern and Western Shingles Treatment

Allison Hayes-Conroy

Shingles, or Herpes Zoster, is an infectious disease that effects nearly twenty percent of the US population at some point in their lives. Resulting from a reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (the same virus that causes Chicken Pox) shingles plagues the skin and nervous tissues. Often, the disease is very painful and although the skin blisters that result generally heal in a mere one to three weeks, severe nerve pain can last months to years (1). The treatment of this nerve pain, as well as of the shingles blisters, is the focus of this paper. For the sufferers of such a disease with no known cure, the discovery of treatments from both eastern and western medical traditions which can help alleviate the symptoms is paramount.

In order to discuss possible treatments, we first must look at the disease and its symptoms more closely. Shingles is most common in adults. Children who get Shingles will typically have a very mild case. Often, the disease is a sign of an immune system weakened by another condition. Shingles occurs when the varicella-zoster virus reactivates and travels through the nerves. Thus, the first symptoms are often burning or tingling sensation along the affected nerves. Forty eight to seventy two hours later, when the virus reaches the skin, red bumps or blisters develop along the skin above the affected nerve (1). This usually happens on one side of the torso, face, arm, or leg, and can be accompanied by flu-like symptoms, chills, or headache (5). Depending on where the disease manifests, there can be serious complications. Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus occurs when Shingles involves the eye and is very dangerous as it can affect vision and even cause blindness. Otic Zoster occurs when shingles affects the ears. Like Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus, it is dangerous as it can result in the loss of hearing. Bell's Palsy is yet another possible complication of Shingles. Bell's Palsy causes the facial nerve to be paralyzed. All three of these complications, being quite obviously serious, necessitate immediate professional attention and intensive treatment often including potent anti-viral drugs (1).

However, the most common complication of Shingles is perhaps the hardest to treat. Even worse, it often does not manifest until the virus has had time to "entrench" itself in the body, making anti-viral drugs somewhat less effective. This is Post-Herpetic Neuralgia (PHN), the severe pain that can remain with shingles sufferers months and occasionally even years after the blisters have healed. Of those shingles sufferers over sixty, as many as half will develop Post-Herpetic Neuralgia. Many liken the excruciating pain to the feeling of skin being ripped off or burned. Others say that the pain is worse than that of childbirth, a heart attack, or a war injury. Often the pain of PHN does not respond to medication and thus leaves patients depressed undernourished, dehydrated, and even suicidal (5).

Treatment for Post-Herpetic Neuralgia as well as Shingles blisters can come from a variety of different medicines from narcotics to epilepsy drugs to St. John's Wort to Chinese herbs. Dr. Fred Hui M.D., a Toronto physician, has developed a unique method of treatment for Shingles which combines elements of both eastern and western medicine. The basic principals behind his method, those of bringing together a wide array of treatments in a short time span, could be useful for anyone, patient or doctor, in helping to relieve Shingles symptoms (3).

Typical western medicine, of course, is still a part of this combined east/west Shingles treatment. Antiviral drugs, most effective within the first few days of the disease, are often given to patients. Such drugs include acyclovir and valacyclovir, and are used to help shorten the outbreak of the virus, thus diminishing the possibility of developing Post-Herpetic Neuralgia (5). The anti-viral drug Valtrex, a brand of valacylovir, has recently been developed, tested, and approved by the FDA for the treatment of Shingles (7). Vitamin C and bioflavonoids are also helpful as they are thought to have anti-viral activity (6).

If the patient does develop PHN, narcotics such as codeine, anti-depressants such as amitriptylie, and epilepsy drugs such as garbapertin are sometimes used. All three are thought to help blunt the nerve's perception of pain (5). Dr. Hui mentions "German Neurotherapy" in his list of methods for treating Shingles (3). This is a therapy which involves nerve blocks, a tactic in which a local anesthetic is injected directly into the affected nerve. However, the relief from nerve blocks is only temporary, lasting approximately a week and a half. And, unfortunately, all of the above mentioned methods only work about half of the time (5).

One typically eastern method of treatment which has been widely accepted by western doctors is a Capsaicin cream or ointment. Capsaicin is the chemical in red pepper responsible for heat (2). Ointments made with Capsaicin and rubbed into the affected area (usually after the blisters heal) are frequently used and have proven effective in relieving the lingering Shingles pain of some patients (6). Zostrix, an over the counter medication made with the red pepper extract, has been developed for this purpose (2).

Cayenne or red pepper is not the only "herbal" remedy which appears to be somewhat effective. The homeopathic remedies developed for Shingles are numerous. For example, Arsenicum album can be taken if the pain of the blisters seems to be relieved by heat and if the pain is worse at night. Iris versicolor is often helpful with shingles infection that is accompanied by gastro-intestinal problems and bumps which appear on the abdomen. If the patient is restless and the rash is itchy rather than burns, Rhus Toxicodendron can be taken in a low potency. All three of these remedies, though many claim to have found them helpful, have never been clinically tested. These remedies are probably best used in conjunction with other types of treatment (4).

Dr. Hui also mentions Chinese herbs as one of the methods in his "breakthrough" Shingles therapy. Though he does not specifically state which herbs he uses, there are a few which have been used in the past by other Chinese herbalists. Genitian ( Gentiana macrophylla ) and Oriental Wormwood have been used in treating Shingles blisters. In addition, a tea called San Sheng Yin, made of ginseng, ginger, acomite, costus root, and Tian Nin Xing (Arisalana erubescens), has been used for its pain killing effect (11). Saint Johns Wort, an herb that has been recognized more and more in western medicine, is also thought to be effective for milder cases of neuralgia. A tea or hot compress can be made from Saint Johns Wort and Lavender, both of which are thought to be good restoratives for the nervous system (10). The reason that Saint Johns Wort is thought to help is that it contains compounds that act as manomire-oxidase enzyme inhibitors. A warm lotion made from the flowers and leaves may also relieve the burning of the Shingles blisters (9).

In addition to herbs from Chinese and other cultures, Dr. Hui employs a number of hands-on methods in the treatment of Shingles. These include, spinal manipulation, energy techniques such as Reiki, Meditations, and acupuncture (2). Ms. Linda B. Hayes, a Shingles sufferer, uses acupuncture as part of a combined east/west Shingles therapy for the disease. She comments that acupuncture in points along the affected nerve area is helpful in relieving the pain; however, the relief is only temporary, lasting five to six hours. Also, the acupuncture must be done on both the back and front of the torso, or the method will be ineffectual. Interestingly, the acupuncture, in conjunction with Darvaset (a narcotic pain reliever) and a red pepper extract cream, relieves Shingles pain best during times of high barometric pressure. Pain is worst, Hayes claims, on days when the barometric pressure is low (8).

Ms. Hayes, like many other shingles sufferers has not come across a treatment that provides 100 percent alleviation of her symptoms. Unfortunately, as shown by the seeming affect of barometric pressure in Ms. Hayes, Shingles pain varies greatly from patient to patient. Perhaps this is the reason that methods which combine a variety of elements from the eastern and western medical traditions come closer to a "cure." Though such methods cannot be guaranteed, they show signs of offering some important relief. Perhaps more research conducted on this more rounded and wholistic style of treatment will yield even better theories for new Shingle pain therapy.

WWW Sources

1)"Discovery Health: Shingles", updated August 09, 2000

2)"Herbal Remedies Cayenne: The Hottest Healer", updated July, 2000

3)"Herpes Zoster, Shingles - A Dramatic Breakthrough", Herpes Zoster Treatment

4)"Homeopathic Remedies for Herpes Zoster", Herbal remedies

5)"Hope for Pain After Shingles", updated February 4, 1999

6)"Shingles", Marks, Thomas

7)"New Shingles Therapy Approved by FDA", October 12, 1995

Other Sources

8) Hayes, Linda. Personal Interview. November 7, 2000.

9) Lipp, Frank J. Herbalism. Duncan Baird Publishers, London. 1996.

10) Ody, Penelope. Home Herbal. Darling Kindserley, London. 1995.

11) Tang, Stephen, & Richard Craze. Chinese Herbal Medicine. Berkley Books, New York. 1995.

Comments made prior to 2007
i have had pain after shingles for almost a year now. looking into a number of treatments i have found GREAT CORYDALIS TEAPILLS, A HERBAL SUPPLEMENT, it has helped a lot in controling pain. if a back up is needed on a bad day i take an asprin. you take 8 tiny pills 3 times a day. inexpensive too.... worth a try. if you have any other help please let me know what you are doing....thank you all... god bless ... Elaine, 12 March 2006



my grandmother was taught a tea that I personally saw cure a man that had a belt of blisters and could not get out of bed he followed the directions and 2 days later he was up and shopping in town anyone interested ... Rob, 5 March 2007



Re "Eastern and Western Shingles Treatment" -- what exactly is "manomire-oxidase"? I'm guessing your author is thinking of "monoamine" oxidase ... Daniel Reeders, 26 May 2007


Serendip Visitor's picture

Green tea shingles recipe

Obviously, anyone who knows of the shingles recipe intends to keep the information to themselves. Does anyone know the recipe? Please let me know. My dear old dad would be eternally grateful. Gregx

shingles's picture


This is the most informative words I have read in the last two weeks of reading about the shingles virus. Very helpful. PRAYING for a full and total recovery from this virus. I have not had it as severe as many but not fun nonetheless! There is alot to learn here in the case of any lingering and/or long-lasting effects. Thank you much.

Serendip Visitor's picture

what will happen if children

what will happen if children get infected by shingles ?

Lynette's picture

Shingles pain and itch management after the intial attacK

My husband and I have searched for 3 years for solutions to relieve the pain and itch on his forehead, eyebrow and eye since getting shingles. We are still looking but the following is the only one that is still working for us after 3 years.
This is a solution we have found which does not cure but gives good relief. We use magnets. We have a biomag mattress cover and biomag pillow covers we found that by using a pillow cover and placing it on his head over the affected area all the tingling and pain would stop. On removing the cover he still got relief. After that I took the pillow apart and sewed strips of magnets in his hats, caps sun hats fishing hats etc if he leaves the hat on all day he gets no itch when it is on. The magnets are sewn into the lining in the area corresponding the damage. This solution is drug free and the magnets have a life time guarantee. I have made up some hats for other people affected and they also say it has given them relief. You can use a biomag pillow cover around and on any part of your body. I am from New Zealand and we purchase them here. I don't know what they are called in other places.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Microdermabrasion device for postherpetic itching...

My elderly dad got trigeminal shingles in Nov 2012, and he's had postherpetic itching on the right side of his face ever since. (He's on gabapentin and is using the Lidoderm patch. Sometimes the patch takes away his itching, other times it does not. Interestingly, though some people talk about how ice and cold washcloths help, my dad reports relief from the opposite--very hot washcloths applied to the right side of his face.)

However, one of the other things that has helped him is holding a vibration device to (or nearby) the area of the face that is itching. Perhaps it confuses the damaged nerves in some manner, I don't know. He uses the Neutrogena Microdermabrasion device (minus the attachment and pads). The first time he used the Neutrogena was on New Years Day, when he was particularly miserable with the itching and nothing was helping. He mentioned that his itching went away while being shaved...yet a shaver held to his face with a washcloth covering it did not help. I drove to Walgreens, fortunately open on the holiday, and got the Neutrogena microdermabrasion device (about $27 back then, as I recall but a bit cheaper these days...we go thru them about 1 every 2-3 months now. We also use rechargeable batteries). When he held it to his face that night he said he felt 'terrific'. He's used it ever since. Some times it seems to help more than others.

Ten months later, he still has these awful cycles where he has the itching sensation, sometimes 3-5 days at a time. Lately he has been choosing to use the Lidoderm patches during the day. But when he itches during the night, he turns his Neutrogena on and falls asleep with it on his face. So apparently this device is still helping him to some extent.

We are also looking into other therapies including LLLT (low level laser therapy) and others. My dad so wants to find a real cure for this horrible itching.

Wishing all the very best,

goo's picture

shingles (PHN)

Pain after shingles....March 16, 2013 to current (September 2013.) right face , hair, eyelid, forehead, and eyebrow. I have been on Gabapentin now for 5 months and would like to know what I can use in a natural form.....please cubes help to ease my facial pain. thank you...and I pray for a cure for this painful virsus... Rash and blisters are gone but I have a dark circle around my eye and my forehead is dark.....please can I remove the coloring from my face????????????????????

Jordanna DeHond's picture

Shingles pain natural relief

My daughter is only 11 and came down with Shingles a couple weeks ago. It is ruining her summer. She can't swim or finish her horseback lessons. I like natural or homeopathic remidies. She is taking medication but it is doing nothing for the pain. Somebody told me of a Homeopthatic remedy that starts with a "T" I lost the information. Apparently it works a couple days. Does anyone know what it is? Thanks.

Herbal Incense's picture

Herbal incense consists of

Herbal incense consists of aromatic biotic components, which let out thick, aromatic smoke once burned. The term "incense" refers back to the ingredient itself, as opposed to the aroma which it creates. It can be utilized in religious traditions, aromatherapy meditation, for developing a spiritual atmosphere, as well as for masking unpleasant odors.

Betsy Brockway's picture

Shingles on Face And In Hair

I was just diagnosed with Shingles yesterday. I am on Valtrex and 4 days of Prednisone. It is in my hair, on my forehead, across my one eyebrow and on the eyelid into the corner of of the eye. Everyone is right, the pain is HORRID. I had Shingles when I was 30 and I am now in my late 50's. I tried a cream you can buy online and it has done wonders for me. It is Corium 21. I understand it is one of the purest forms of Aloe. and it really helps

John M's picture

Alleviating Shingles Pain

In the last week of January this year, shingles started with mild pain at top of my floating ribs on the right side of my torso - front of body. The rash appeared about 4 days later and the pain was becomong more than irritable - similar to the pain from mild infection or inflammation; in a day it progressed to my back at the same level. Doctor prescribed valacyclovir (viral treatment) and gave me some free samples of pregabalin - a pharm rep had left with him. By the following day, the pain was unbearable, and I graduated to codeine/paracetomol. The blisters disappeared quickly - I assumed the antiviral worked, though the red colourations have taken 2-3 weeks to fade substantially. In this early stage the pain felt mainly internal - the rash/blisters were not too bothersome.

Five weeks later and the pain remains more than annoying, it is debilitating, prevents good rest and induced a return to the doctor, for stronger pain-killers (Oxycodone - a one week course). As the rash/blistered area became itchy/felt like sunburn I treated it with Solosite (tradename product), which worked reasonably well, and readily washes away, but as it dries, it collects inside your shirt. The pain, which has varied between the worst sensations of sunburn or cramp, broken ribs, backbone flu aches, reflux and electric shock has varied in intensity, duration and location (around the torso) - felt like the "quickening" or getting X-rayed for radioactive spider-bite when lightning strikes the radiology lab, except that I don't expect to gain immortality or superpowers. Hopefully, some indication of the pain has been conveyed.

I noticed early that some relief would onset soon after drinking coffee, lasting maybe 2-3 hours. The codeine products also worked initially, 3-4 hours of some relief, but not enough to make it disappear entirely. One frustrating night, I ingested the prescribed dosage of codeine and 20 mins later decided I would have very, very strong coffee to help alleviate more pain or simply make me so "speedy" I would not notice the tiredness afflicting me. Within another 20 minutes, the pain subsided substantially and remained that way for 6-8 hours. For the last 2 weeks I have been using this remedy very effectively, inconjunction with non-codeine additive products (ibuprofen, paracetomol) and the same with codeine added. It works best with the codeine added products. I take it in the day only, not at night time. Normally I am somewhat tolerant of coffee - I can sleep soon after drinking it, and require about 3 mugs to begin to feel wired (I prefer drinking tea). Like another comment here - I found the Oxycodone only worked about 1-2 hours, but I didn't mix this with the coffee as I saved it for when i wanted to sleep.

To offset constipation from Oxycodone and Codeine, I kept eating a variety of fruit (soft fibre - apples grapes, melon, peaches) and vegetables (firm fibre - carrots, beans, lettuce, sprouts etc). Passage took a while in the 2-3 weeks I daily took codeine, and required a senna based stimulant, but when it occurred, it happened smoothly and relatively quickly.

Any of you who have suffered this affliction, you are now in my prayers.


Serendip Visitor georgie palmer's picture

re shingles and coffee

I use coffee for yes think coffee is underatedvk

Serendip Visitor's picture

Coffee consumption for shingles

The only reason I can't take coffee is because having had Crohn's Disease surgery I lack the ileocecal valve and this means that anything I consume doesn't stop at the small/large bowel connection; instead it goes straight through almost as if the damn burst. Hence, diarrhea is quite common.

Elisa 's picture

help for Recurring shingles

My 85 yr old mother was attacked by Shingles on Nov 10 - starting on left side of her torso. It was diagnosed only diagnosed after 72 hours at which time FAMCYCLOVIR was prescribed. After 3 days of FAMCYCLOVIR, the blisters continued to spread to her back with excruciating pain so we decided to seek the help of a Chinese Herbal doctor who gave her some herbs to boil and drink for several days plus the daily application of a poultice-like paste. After 20 days, the blisters had dried up but the post herpetic pain was unbearable so we went to physician who hydromorphone which provided much relief..

Today is Jan 11, It seems that mom's shingles have reappeared and this time they are appearing all around her waist and not just on one side. Can someone please give us an idea which antivirals are the most effective. ( famcyclovir? , zovirax?).
Any suggestions on quick-acting natural antivirals? Any help will be appreciated. Please send tea recipe if this will help stop the spread of the shingles. thank you.

Serendip Visitor R STEVENS's picture


Am on daily dose of 600mg(2 pills 150mg each twice daily) of LYRICA PREGABALIN daily since DEC27, (10 days today) have noticed considerable success.good luck with your treatments...

Mande133's picture

Shingles tea recipe

I was just diagnosed with shingles and luckily I am also studying alternative and herbal Medicine. I created the following tea recipe and have been using it for the past day.
Boil water, take off heat, add in 1-2 teaspoon dried lemon balm leaves, 1/2 tsp lavender flowers, 1/2 tsp mullein leaves, 1/2 tsp liicorice root, (optional, fresh cut Ginger or crushed cinnamon sticks for flavor).

Lemon balm Is a nervine and has strong anti viral, antiseptic, and calming properties. Mullein Inhibits the herpes simplex virus and can also gently reduce pain. Lavender is a strong nervine and is commonly used for alleviating tension, stress, and insomnia. Licorice root stimulates the bodys immune system and fights inflammation, it is a very sweet herb on it's own, and it is not recommended for long term use ( no more than 6 weeks) also, DO NOT use licorice root if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or any disease of the thyroid, kidney, liver, or heart.

Also, if you are having pain due to shingles there is a paste that I make that works great without the side effects of OTC drugs. Mix 1 tbsp pure aloe Vera gel with 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper. Apply to test patch of skin, if it burns add more aloe Vera. It is a sensation like an icy hot patch that takes away the pain. Cayenne contains capsaicin, a substance responsible for temporarily blocking the nerve transmission of pain.

I also started supplementing with l-lysine, an amino acid responsible for healthy immune function and have used both the tea and the paste with no side effects. I bought all the herbs at whole foods market or vitamin cottage very cheap. I feel as if I have stopped the virus from spreading and am now in recovery. Hope this helps. May you all be on the road to healing and

Sharon's picture


I just wanted to let everyone on here know that I feel your pain. I was just diagnosed with Shingles for the first time, after a week of misdiagnosis and tests. The pain is almost unbearable. This is by far and away the worst experience, pain wise, of my entire life (almost 40 years). After reading down through all these comments, all I can offer is my understanding, and a cyber hug to everyone else who is suffering from this dreadful occurrance. I just missed what was supposed to be the best Thanksgiving ever because of this and to be blunt, it sucked. I'm on so many different medications at the moment, and have been for the last week that I feel like I could be a one woman drugstore. Ugh. My hugs, prayers, and heartfelt sympathy goes out to each and every one of you!!!



two weeks ago started with this sharp pain behind my shoulder, went for check up asking the doctor to check for skin cancer on my back and for my shoulder, sent me home saying take ibephopen for pain, then two days later got the rash thought it was allergies, went back in after having all the symphotoms, then I knew it was shingles too, was prescribed co-valacyclovir HCL, so looking to find out if you still have the nerve pain, trying to look for ways to get rid of the numbing and pain too.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Shingles Pain Relief

I contracted shingles two months ago. My doctor prescribed famciclovir and I started taking it the same day the rash appeared. She was reluctant to prescribe pain medication initially. I tried to gut it out but the pain was debilitating. Before going back to her I tried taking medical marijuana, which has been legalized in the state where I reside.

I took a cannabis concentrate which is created via a water process. The only two reagents are the plant material and water. I placed about 100 mg of this cannabis concentrate under my tongue. The taste was herbal and pleasant. The analgesic effect was remarkable. I did not experience a "high." I think the cannabis relaxed me in a way comparable to taking a valium. I typically took the cannabis twice per day, once late morning and once before bed. I maintained this regimen for a month, then I stopped using the cannabis and it has been a month before taking it. I did not experience any craving for the cannabis once I stopped taking it.

One week into my shingles I had to take a short trip via air. I did not want to go through TSA security with cannabis so I returned to my doctor for pain medication. During this trip I used oxycodone. The analgesic effect was about the same as the cannabis, although the relief was very short lived, typically only a couple of hours per pill. I experienced mild constipation and I was very apprehensive about risks to my liver from the acetaminophen in this medication. As soon as the trip ended I resumed cannabis use which seemed more effective and less risky.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Your positive experience with cannabis might help others

Thanks so much for sharing your positive experience with cannabis. If anyone who has such firsthand experience were willing to share it publicly, it might be very helpful in states such as mine (NH) where efforts to legalize medical cannabis are underway. If you enter "legalize medical cannabis NH" in your search engine, you will find sites that would appreciate your testimonies. Best wishes to all.

One note to the person who used coffee to diminish pain… I'm guessing it helps because it helps constrict the blood flow temporarily. Coffee is high in arginine, which the shingles virus thrives on. You might want to experiment with other substances that constrict blood vessels that are low in arginine. I had lots of short-term success with a topical ointment called "Tattoo Soothe" offered by the Piercing Pros, because it combines lidocaine and epinephrine. I don't use it regularly because it might have a rebound effect, similar to Afrin. But for 'special occasions' it's quite effective - even more so than the lidocaine gel my doctor prescribed that was 4 times the strength, but lacked epinephrine. Best luck to all!

Max's picture

Cure for shingles

Interesting enough. This is what worked for me and it if a free plant that grows everywhere ( should i say a shrub or a small tree). Shingles are contained if you make decoction. I applied leaves sap from the Mountain Laurel tree and it helped. Try it for yourself. Save some money. Peace.

Jan 's picture

happy herpicide tea

This is a tea I have used successfully on other herpes virus illnesses. I don't know if it will work for shingles or not. This is a direct quote from

"Lemon balm is not the only mint with antiviral, anti-herpes activity. There are a whole bunch of other herbs in the mint family that are almost as effective.

Here's where I plug my Happy Herpicide Tea, which is made from several herbs that are members of the mint family: hyssop, lemon balm, oregano, rosemary, sage, self-heal (yes, this is the name of a widely available herb) and thyme.

To make the tea, fill a saucepan half full of water. Bring the water to a boil, then add fresh lemon balm leaves until the pan is about three-quarters full. If you don't have access to fresh leaves, you can use about a quarter-cup of dried lemon balm. (This is an unusually high amount of herb for brewing a tea, but you really need a lot of it to get the antiviral action that you want.) To the lemon balm and water, add two parts each of dried oregano and self-heal and one part each of hyssop, rosemary, sage and thyme.

Aside from the lemon balm, the actual amounts of the other herbs don't make much difference; just make sure you use twice as much of the oregano and self-heal as you do of the others. Finally, toss in a little licorice root to sweeten the tea and steep it for 20 minutes.

This mixture contains a dozen compounds that are active against herpes. The list of chemicals in this brew is rather imposing, but you should know what you get for going to all this trouble: caffeic acid, geraniin, glycyrrhizic acid, glycyrrhizin, lysine, protocatechuic acid, quercetin, rosmarinic acid, tannic acid, thymol, tocopherol and zinc."

vicky's picture

for topical use

I've never suffered with shingles but my anut does. A naturopathic practitioner told her to get a glass jar of olive oil, put in bay leaves and leave in the sun until the oil goes pink/red then apply to painful sites to relieve pain and to clear up welts. Good lyck to you all, I hope this helps

Serendip Visitor's picture

Fenugreek maybe...

My mom has shingles and is taking Valtrex. She also takes Fenugreek seeds soaked overnight in water. She takes approximately a quarter teaspoon thrice a day....swallows, its too bitter to chew. It has L-lysine which seems to prevent the virus from multiplying. The blisters seem to be going down in a couple of days. She is also on a b_complex and vit. C...lower dose than I would like. The pain seems to be better. Green tea bags brewed for more than 3 minutes, squeezed and placed on the blisters should help...tannins a fabulous way to help with the pain and infection. Hope this helps some of you relieve your pain. Good luck.


June's picture


A week after my husband developed shingles and in a great deal of pain, I went to the health shop and on asking what might be good for it, I was given some homeopathic tablets called Rhustox. I also got some Lysine tablets and echinaccea. Although he had been taking antiviral drugs for five days given to him by his doctor, they did not appear to help. After one day of taking the Rhustox tablets, he had a lot less pain and after about a week his blisters were all dried up and all the pain was gone. He has never had a relapse from them since. I now have shingles in the ear and am taking antiviral drugs, but am also taking rhustox tablets. I have no pain in the ear. I have a sore lower back in the spinal area and feel very tired all the time. I also take turmeric and manuka honey for any inflammation.

joanne's picture

the Apple Cider Vinegar is

the Apple Cider Vinegar is definitely helping to reduce the roaming pains. I'm taking 2 tablespoons every 1-11/2 hours as soon as I notice the significant return of the roaming pains.

Serendip Visitor's picture

?Did you take it orally or

?Did you take it orally or topically? I am assuming orally, as 2 tablespoons is a lot.

joanne's picture

I have been scanning shingles

I have been scanning shingles sights for days (since I found out that I have shingles and not just a bite) this is day 8 for me and so far have tried acupuncture yesterday which so far seems to have made it worse as last night was the worst yet. i've been using lemon balm tee which i read about in my herb book and trying to cut out all sugar & processed foods as well as coconut oil topically and orally. I applied Apple Cider Vinegar at about 1am this morning after reading that it has helped some people and took 2tablespoons. I managed 4 hours sleep after that (I had also taken 4 paracetamol tablet though)and this morning i reapplied the ACV on a cloth and wrapped it on with cling film. I'm still in pain but am not in tears so maybe some relief?

Victor Karn's picture

Shingles Tea Recipe

My father has cancer and shingles and cannot take the pain any more. Nothing is really helping including the fact he's been hospitalized for the last 2.5 weeks for severe shingle pain treatment.

Would really appreciate the tea recipe to help treat shingles.

Thank You

Serendip Visitor's picture

tea recipe please

tea recipe please

Rosegate's picture

tea recipe please

tea recipe please

Serendip Visitor's picture

Herbal remedy nervine tonic herbs

The herbal remedy which offers me substantial releif to the nerve pain of shingles is available at Whole Foods Market or other health food stores with herbal supplements.

Gaia Herbs is the brand and Scullcap/St. Johnswort Supreme is the herbal extract combination I use. It can be applied topically, to the skin, and taken mixed with cold water as a tea. I buy it in 2 oz dropper bottles for about $22 and they usually have to special order it for me.

I always keep one or two bottles on hand, and if I feel the pain coming on, take two to three droppers full in a small amount of water three times a day. If I have breakouts, I put a few drops right on the area of the breakouts.

manaelle's picture

tea recipe

It seems that everyone who writes here is looking for this miraculous tea recipe...

Would you tell me where it is or at least what is it?

Sharon's picture

brother's shingles post herpetic pain stopped with seaweed salad

My brother's shingles post herpetic pain is stopped with seaweed salad for at least 3 days. If you suffer with shingles post herpetic pain check with your doctor first before trying this; however, my brother has achieved total relief if he eats about 1/4 cup of seaweed salad found in your grocery store near the sushi!!
His pain totally disappears; however, if he stops eating it, the pain slowly comes back. This is worth a try!!

darlene cunningham's picture

seaweed salad for shingles pain

How many days did your brother have to eat the seaweed salad before he noticed the reduction in his pain. I did buy some for my dad but he has only tried it once and it did not seem to help.

Anonymous's picture

A Green Tea treatment

I found this article about using Green Tea to alleviate the pain of after shingles outbreak. Wish I had it when my husband first had the outbreak. Here is what I copied:

Green Tea for Shingles

I was diagnosed with shingles and given Zocor, calamine lotion and pain meds for treatment and told that symptom relief is the only possibility and it takes three days.

Read someplace that green tea can be useful and as I had organic green tea bags in the cupboard, I tried it. If anyone has ever experienced shingles, they know they would try anything. I poured boiling water over the tea bag to hydrate it and then removed it from the water and squeezed as much excess water as possible. As soon as it was cool enough to touch, I placed it over the blisters and covered it with plastic wrap to keep my clothes dry.

After 20 minutes the burning and itching had burning had stopped completely. I changed the tea bag after about 3 hours but wore one placed over the affected area constantly for the day. By the end of the day, most of the swelling and redness had gone but more importantly the itching and burning was totally gone after the first 20 minutes and did not return. I continued to use the tea bags for three days and after that there was no sign they had ever existed.

I have scars and discolorations on my skin from previous episodes but since I have started using green tea, I have not gotten any new ones. How often I get the outbreaks have decreased and the severity is not as bad. They still have not gone away completely but I can now live with them. (substituted organic green tea with lemon one day as that was what I had in the house but it did not work at all. I just get the organic green tea bags in the grocery store and the ones with lemon were the same brand so who knows. Maybe it had to do with the lemon. So use only green tea)

Read more:

Nancy's picture

Shingles Tea

Please send me the tea recipe for shingles. Thank you in advance.

Everett C. Almeida's picture

tea recipe

can someone send me the recipe? Please?

Anonymous's picture

Tea Recipe

Please send me the tea recipe. Thank you

Anonymous's picture

Tea recipe

Does anyone have the "tea recipe"? I have seen several postings about a tea recipe but have not seen the actual recipe. Does the recipe exist?

Anonymous's picture

tea for shingles

shingles for 3 years off and on mostly on now for 3 months have tried all would love tea recipe totally miserable and desperate THANKS

Anonymous's picture

83 year old with shingles

Please send tea recipe. thank you

Anonymous's picture

check out this site.there is an effective nutritional support for Herpes virus sufferers called camu camu, putting shingles into remission and actually cutting the expected flare-up time .hope it provides some help .get well soon

Anonymous's picture

name of tea or tea recipe

Please advise the name of the tea or the tea recipe to help with the relief of shingles. Thank you.

mrcdr's picture

tea recipe please

tea recipe please

Anonymous's picture

Will someone please post the tea recipe on this page?

A friend of mine was just diagnosed with shingles and would like the recipe as well. Can someone who has the recipe please post it as a comment? That way others who want it can just read it and won't have to wait for someone to email it to them.
Thanks in advance!

Mike T's picture

I have been dealing with

I have been dealing with shingles on the left side of my face and in my ear for 3 months now. Nothing seems to work to delete the pain. It is driving me insane! Xanax at night gets me about 5 hrs of sleep. Thats a Godsend! I hate taking all the pain meds. Any suggestions? Also, what is the tea that evryone is speaking about? Thanks for any info and help.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Long term viruses curable by nosodes

My mother was completely cured of shingles and its virus in 2002 by a nosode and has not had it since. She got shingles from Measles which she'd had in childhood. She never had chicken pox. The practitioner said this was the second time he'd seen someone get shingles from measles virus.
Mom was cured within 3 months by taking a measles Nosode, which is a homeopathic prepared from the actual pathogen. A nosode removes the bug from the body.
There is also a nosode for herpes zoster. I had chicken pox and was cleared of that virus many years later by a nosode. There is a also a nosode for herpes simplex which cures that too (again speaking from experience).

I have used nosodes on many other pathogens besides viruses with a very high cure rate as long as you get the correct nosode for your bug from a good supplier. They cost about $8 plus shipping for one bottle, which is usually enough to determine whether it is working.

Alison Scott's picture

Nosodes for shingles

Thanks very much. I see that Reckeweg, a German homeopathic company, offers a nosode for shingles. I'll definitely buy the remedy/preventative and give it a try.

Serendip Visitor - Marla Svehla's picture

Herpes Zoster Cure?


My mother got Shingles, on her head, over 2 years ago and has been suffering from the after-affects ever since.

What are nosodes?

How do they work?

Could you please share a reliable nosode supplier? $8 sounds very affordable.

Be advised, she does not tolerate medications well. The Dr. keeps giving her various allergy meds to help w/the roaming pain. It seems to give here a little relief, but makes her light-headed and dizzy. Not Good!

Drugs to take the edge off, for example those given during outpatient surgery such as cataracs, knock her out completely.

Thanks for your help!


Cathy's picture

Help for Shingles

There is a book called, "Prescription for Nutritional Healing" that tells of vitamins, herbs and other recommendations. The Vitamin C with bioflavinoids aids in fighting the virus and boosts you immune system. Other vitamins to look into include: L-Lysine (actually and amino acid), Vitamin B complex, B12, Zinc, Calcium & Magnesium, Vitamins, A, D & E. Flax oil added to foods is supposed to promote healing of the skin and nerve tissue. A liver detox kit might help, too.