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Shingles

The virus that causes the chicken pox in people belongs to the same class of viruses that causes the disease medically termed as herpes zoster, more commonly called shingles, it is an infection in the body from a herpes virus. Viral particles do not die away after an individual has been attacked during childhood attack by episodes of chicken pox, the virus can remain in a dormant state within nerve cells in the body for many years. Extremely painful clumps of skin blisters can result as the virus is reactivated in the body of the person and makes its presence felt. Though the poxvirus can be transmitted to children who have never faced an infection, the disease is not contagious, and transmission or contagious dispersal though rare can happen only through open sores on the body.

A weakening of the immune system through aging related processes, through the presence of factors like stress, the occurrence of other disorders like the flu, and the use of certain immune system affecting drugs and medications some immune suppressing illnesses are all thought to play a role in the reactivation of the virus and in the appearance of shingles in a person. The reason why the virus is induced or revitalized to bring on symptoms and infect an individual remains a mystery and is a phenomenon that is still medically unknown.

Supplements and herbs

There are two types of therapeutic medications and therapies for infections attributed to shingles, those that can be used in dealing with the pain that comes on after the full blown disorder has passed or has reduced in intensity and these post shingles pains can last for years on end at a stretch, and very different to this is the therapy meant for dealing with the sudden and acute flare-up of symptoms, these medications are also used till all the lesions heal on the body. Acute episode of shingles are again dealt with using two basic approaches and substances in tandem, external or topical therapies which are applied directly on to the lesions or blisters on the skin and these are taken along with the other class of supplements which are consumed and help to strengthened the immune system and play great roles in the restoration of the inflammation in the nerves and the skin of the afflicted individual.

Immediate relief can be obtained from some external applications and topical ointments such as the gel of the aloe vera herb in combination with the oil of the vitamin E. The chances of infections settling on the lesions of the shingles is reduced and restoration and healing of affected tissue is improved, by these soothing emollients, which also alleviate the painful and itching sensations in the affected region of the skin. The affected region of the skin can also be soothed and healed using creams made from melissa or the licorice herbs especially if they are used as direct topical applications.

Antioxidant substances such as the vitamin C, the plant based flavonoids, and the vitamin A can aid in the internal protection of the body during abrupt incidences of the disease, these antioxidants prevent cellular damage and play an important role in regulating the internal environment. Immune system performance is also promoted by the herbs such as the Echinacea and goldenseal, these bolsters the body's defenses against the herpes virus and other forms of bacterial infections that could affect the skin. The process of healing and restoration and the growth of healthy skin can be improved by supplements utilizing the amino acid lysine, as well as the essential mineral selenium and the oil of the flaxseed together in a combination supplement.

Combine the vitamin E at dosage levels of 400 IU twice a day with the medication you took during the acute phase of the condition to ward off the lingering and severe signs or symptoms of post shingles pain in the body and to prevent cellular damage. The supplements of the vitamin B12 can be used in dosage levels of 1,000 mcg combined with 400 mcg of folic acid each morning, to protect the nerves and to nourish the sheath that envelops them. Creams and topical applications of the cayenne plant, which is high in capsaicin, an active ingredient that can greatly reduce the pain, felt during the disease.

Homeopathy

The recovery from the discomfort and the alleviation of pain felt during the onset of the disease in the body are some of areas in which the following homeopathic remedies suggested below could be successfully and effectively utilized. Immediate professional and medical help must be consulted for all instances or outbreaks of the disease in areas near the eyes and there are no homeopathic remedies for such cases.

  • Arsenicum
    Arsenicum is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals suffering from shingles who display symptoms such as restlessness and anxiety, the person is always cold and shows signs of exhaustion when under a fever, blisters and eruptions cause burning pains on the skin which can only be relieved by applying heat on to the affected area as an external treatment. The patient may worsen in the nighttime especially in the early morning hours. The appearance or presence of one or any of these symptoms in an individual requires the utilization of Arsenicum as a homeopathic remedy against shingles in the patient.
  • Apis
    Apis is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of patients with shingles in whom the blisters from the shingles leads to eruptions on the skin that come accompanied by stinging and burning sensations, including intense itching sensations in the affected regions of the skin. Applying cold applications externally relieves and soothes the symptoms and the disorder is aggravated or worsened in its warmth, the patient may additionally enjoy being exposed to fresh air in the outdoors. Psychological symptom includes sensitivity to touch and other tactile sensations and irritability, which may be extreme. The presence or appearance of any of these symptoms in a person requires the utilization of Apis as a homeopathic remedy.
  • Iris versicolor
    Iris versicolor is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals afflicted with shingles in whom the symptoms include problems in the stomach along with the infection caused by the herpes zoster virus, the presence of burning sensations and nausea is a very common symptoms. On the skin the blisters may form on the right side of the abdominal region and there eruptions can be very painful. The appearance of any of these symptoms in the individual requires the use of the Iris versicolor as a homeopathic remedy.
  • Rhus tox.
    Rhus tox. is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals suffering from shingles in whom the symptoms include a skin rash that has its origin in the appearance of many small and minute blisters, which are red and extremely itchy, spreading out into the rash. The discomfort felt can be relieved by the external application of hot compresses on the affected region or through utilizing hot water in baths. Psychological symptoms include an extreme desire to move constantly and intense restlessness. The presence of any of these symptoms requires the use of the Rhus tox. as a homeopathic remedy.

Additional things you may do

It is important not to break or irritate and scratch or burst blisters as this can aggravate things for you, also make sure the affected region of the skin is cleaned and dried thoroughly to avoid bacterial infection. Pain can be reduced and minimized by topical application of ice packs or cold wet compresses on the affected regions of the skin from time to time or as needed. The skin can also be helped through the application of calamine lotion as an external measure against the disease.

Usual dosage

  • Aloe vera gel, Apply gel or fresh aloe leaf to the skin as needed.
  • Goldenseal / Echinacea, 125 mg goldenseal and 200 mg Echinacea four times daily only during acute stage.
  • Flaxseed oil, One tbsp (14gr) daily for flare-ups.
  • Vitamin A, 25,000 IU two times daily for acute attacks (up to ten days). Do not exceed 5,000 lU daily if you are pregnant or consider pregnancy.
  • Vitamin E, 400 IU orally two times a day, for post-shingles pain. For acute attacks, oil of vitamin E should be applied topically.
  • Flavonoids / Vitamin C, 500 mg flavonoids and 1,000 mg of vitamin C thrice daily. If diarrhea develops, reduce the dose of vitamin C.
  • Selenium, 600 mcg daily during acute stage only. Doses higher than 600 mcg a day may be toxic.
  • Lysine, 1,000 mg L-lysine thrice daily during acute stage only.

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