Shingles or herpes zoster is a disease caused by the varicella zoster virus that also causes chicken pox in both children and in adults. The disease commonly occurs in people who have had chicken pox at some point in their lives.
The virus lives inside the spinal cord and attacks the body when the immune system is at its lowest. The second time around the virus takes on the dimension of herpes zoster or shingles.
The rashes caused by shingles are extremely painful to touch along with being itchy. When the rashes start forming crusts they are very dry leading to stretching and pain in the area. For this reason it is very important to treat shingles at the earliest. Fortunately, there are many herbal remedies available that can easily and effectively treat the rashes. However, one has to be very regular with the treatment or the remedies will not have any major effect. Also, herbal remedies not only treat the rashes but also help in the removal of unsightly scars left behind.
Effective Herbal Treatment For Shingles
Despite the availability of over-the-counter medicines like valcyclovir, acyclovir and famciclovir for treating shingles many people still prefer using herbs for getting rid of the herpes zoster virus. In this article we will give you a list of the herbs that treat shingles and we will also tell you how to use the herbs for treatment.
1. Indian Lilac
Indian lilac is commonly called neem and as the name suggests the tree is a native of south Asia. The leaves and the bark of the tree are being used since times immemorial for the treatment of various ailments including infections caused by virus, bacteria and fungi. Hence, Indian lilac is a favorite among herbalists when it comes to treating shingles.
In a large pan of boiling water add a handful of clean neem leaves. Boil the leaves in the water for 10-15 minutes and then allow the mixture to cool. Once the mixture is cool strain it and discard the boiled leaves. Take a clean cloth and dip the cloth in the water treated with neem. Apply the treated cloth over the affected areas of the skin. This treatment should be done at least 4-5 times during the day. The anti viral properties of neem will not only attack the zoster virus but also help reduce the itching and pain associated with the problem.
Another effective way of using the neem leaves for shingles is by first washing the leaves thoroughly under running water and then grinding them. Application of the grinded leaves on the shingles affected area is known to bring immense relief from itching and pain.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree essential oil is well known for its anti bacterial and anti viral properties. This is one reason the oil is popularly used in the treatment of infections of various kinds. However, since tea tree is an essential oil it should always be mixed with carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil before being used in any form of treatment.
To treat shingles mix 3 ml or tea tree oil with 7 ml of olive oil. Combine well. Use your clean finger to apply a thin layer of the mixture over the infected skin. Do not rub in the oil but avoid wearing clothes over the particular part of the skin for at least 15-20 minutes. This will give the oils enough time to get absorbed into the skin completely.
The oils are a great way of treating the dryness caused by shingles. Follow the oil application at least four times a day for 15 days to fasten the process of healing. Tea tree oil is also used in the treatment of acne scars so when can be rest assured that their herpes zoster scars will also fade away completely with the oil.
3. Turmeric Powder
Turmeric is well known spice and herb that is used in cooking as well as for treating various infections. The herb has anti-inflammatory as well as anti-bacterial properties that help fasten the process of healing.
To treat shingles with herpes zoster use turmeric sticks instead of the commercially available turmeric powder. Take at least nine turmeric sticks and dry grind them to fine powder form. Add a little water or rose water to the turmeric powder to form paste of easily spreadable consistency but avoid making the paste runny.Apply a thin layer of turmeric paste on the infected parts of the skin and leave on for 20 minutes. Once the turmeric is dry wash it from the skin using cold water. The antiseptic properties of turmeric will provide your inflamed skin with much needed relief.
Just like turmeric, garlic too is an herb that is used as a spice in cooking. The herb has anti-bacterial properties due to which it is widely used for the treatment of various infections including shingles.Peel 10-12 garlic pods and crush the garlic well. Apply the crushed garlic on the skin in the form of layer. Do not mix water or any other liquid along with crushed garlic. Leave on for 45 minutes and then wash away the garlic using cold water. Do this treatment at least 3 times a day for a period of 10-15 days. Garlic will provide you with relief from pain as well as inflammation of the skin.
5. Rose Hip Oil
Rose hip is also an essential oil much like tea tree oil. However, rose hip does not have very strong anti-bacterial properties like tea tree does. But the oil is very effective in providing much needed moisture to the shingles affected area since the pain in the blisters is mainly due to dryness. Also, rose hip oil is excellent for treating scars left behind by skin infections.
Mix rose hip oil and olive oil in equal quantities and apply them over the affected skin. The treatment should be done once the rashes start turning into painful and itchy blisters. Rose hip oil will moisten and soften the area thus reducing the pain and the temptation to itch. Perform the treatment twice a day especially before going to bed at night. Rose hip oil is a rich source of vitamin C that will help repair the wear and tear of the tissues while your body rests at night.