10 Best Home Remedies for Shingles That Heal

Shingles, which is caused by the Varicella Zoster Virus, is an extremely painful condition. Also known as Herpes Zoster, the condition leaves telltale marks that can be very annoying and embarrassing and cause a person discomfort. It is the same strain of virus that causes chicken pox in children, making their lives utterly miserable.

The problem is that the virus remains inactive in the body all the while through childhood only to manifest itself again as shingles in one’s adulthood. The rashes that appear when a person is stricken with shingles can spread all over the body and cause itching and immense pain, making everyday life very difficult.

The rashes may often be filled with a liquid that may ooze out from the blisters that form and the affected person may experience chills and attacks of fever and stomach ache in some cases. The consolation is that there are several easy home remedies for shingles pain that offer almost instant relief.

Causes of Shingles         

  • Reactivation of the dormant Varicella Zoster Virus
  • Coming in contact with people afflicted by shingles
  • It can spread by bodily contact
  • It is caused by increasing immunity with the advancement of age
  • Patients consuming steroids or immunosuppressants are prone

Symptoms of Shingles

  • Numbness, itching, pain in any part of the body
  • Appearance of rash following the pain after a few days
  • Red welts that become blisters filled with fluid
  • The infection can spread to other parts of the body, even the eyes
  • Headache, nausea along with bouts of high fever

See a doctor immediately if:

  • The high fever persists and does not subside
  • The rashes spread all over the body and affect the eyes
  • The itching, burning and pain do not subside in spite of treatment
  • Hearing loss, inability to differentiate tastes, loss of eye movement

10 Home Remedies for Shingles

Home Remedies for Shingles

10. Raw Banana (Plantain) and Mint leaves Paste

Procedure:

  • Take 3 to 4 raw, green bananas and a bunch of fresh mint leaves.
  • Wash the bananas and mint leaves. Grind them to a paste.
  • Gently apply the paste on the rashes. Repeat process every day for a week.

How does this work?

Bananas are loaded with Vitamin C, which is a great skin rejuvenator. It helps create collagen, which is responsible for giving skin tissue its structure. Bananas also enhance the skin’s elasticity and help remove wrinkles and scars.

The banana – mint paste provides a protective coating for the skin and prevents it from drying. The Vitamin A present in bananas ensure that essential moisture is not lost by the skin when stricken with shingles, and the mint leaves act as an effective antimicrobial agent and help with the healing process.

The Remedy is not Good if:

  • The infection is too severe and has reached an advanced stage.
  • It cannot help cure the fever and chills associated with an attack of shingles.
  • You attempt applying the paste on the eyes, which should not be done.

9. Aloe Vera, Cayenne Pepper and Turmeric

Procedure:

  • Cut a thick leave of Aloe Vera and shave off the prickly serrations. Cut the skin (rounded side) and extract the gel.
  • Take 2 to 3 teaspoons of Cayenne Pepper powder and mix it with gel. Add 2 teaspoons of organic turmeric too. Gently apply the paste on the blisters.
  • Repeat process twice daily for a couple of weeks.

How does this work?

Aloe Vera is the wonder herb that is used to treat a plethora of illnesses. It has excellent curative properties and helps heal the blisters and restores the skin very quickly. It has excellent anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties. Cayenne Pepper contains a compound called capsaicin which helps block the pain signals from the nerve endings under the skin.

Turmeric has excellent antiseptic properties that help heal all the blisters; it also helps relieve the severe itching caused by shingles, making this amazing homemade paste one of the best home remedies for shingles nerve pain.

The Remedy is not Good if:

  • There is unusually high fever or the infection is very severe
  • The paste is applied near the eyes (on the eyes as well) as it can cause damage

8. Apple Cider Vinegar

Procedure:

  • Take 2 to 3 teaspoons of undiluted apple cider vinegar (ACV).
  • Take a ball of surgical cotton and dip it in ACV.
  • Apply gently on the rashes and blisters.
  • Repeat process 2 to 3 times a day for a week or so.

How does this work?

Apple cider vinegar or ACV as it is often called has excellent anti-microbial properties and has a soothing and curative effect on the blisters caused by an attack of shingles. It is an astringent and helps get relief from the intense burning sensation and the pain almost instantly.

ACV also acts as an antiseptic agent and prevents the skin from further decaying in severe cases of shingles. Once the blisters have dried up, continue the treatment until all the symptoms vanish. ACV is probably one of the universally acclaimed home remedies for shingles and is used extensively all over the world.

The Remedy is not Good if:

  • The infection is too severe, where the ACV can have an abrasive effect and cause a burning sensation.
  • Applying ACV does not help in controlling the fever, and should never be applied in the eyes

7. Virgin Coconut Oil

Procedure:

  • Take 2 to 3 teaspoons of virgin coconut oil. Heat it gently if it is in a viscous state.
  • Take a ball of surgical cotton and dip it in the oil. Apply it on the rashes.
  • Let it sit for a couple of hours. Repeat the process if required.

How does this work?

The therapeutic effects of coconut oil have been extolled from ancient times. It was used as a remedy for various hair and skin related issues. Virgin coconut oil is very safe to use and has no side effects.

The anti-inflammatory properties of coconut oil help in containing the swelling and its anti-viral properties help cure shingles, offering fast relief from the pain and itching. Coconut oil also has a restorative effect on the skin and helps it attain its original tone by repeated applications.

The Remedy is not Good if:

  • The infection is too severe, where coconut oil may not have the desired effects.
  • Applying coconut oil does not help in controlling the fever, and should never be applied on the eyes.

6. Neem and Turmeric Paste

Procedure:

  • Take a bunch of fresh Neem leaves and 2 to 3 teaspoons of organic Turmeric.
  • Grind the Neem leaves into a smooth paste. Add the Turmeric powder and mix.
  • Apply the mixture on the blisters to form a layer. Repeat the process twice a day for a week.

How does this work?

Neem (Azadirachta indica) has been an important remedy for treating various illnesses and has been extolled in Ayurvedic texts as a divine remedy. It has been traditionally used as medicine for several centuries. Neem comprises nimbidol and edumin which have excellent antifungal properties that help cure shingles in an incredibly short time.

Turmeric is an excellent anti-oxidant that has great anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the swelling associated with shingles. Turmeric also prevents dehydration and prevents the affected skin from drying up. The Neem-Turmeric combo is one of the most effective home remedies for shingles pain.

The Remedy is not Good if:

  • There is no reason why this line of treatment won’t work. Both Turmeric and Neem can be applied on the severest of blisters or wounds and will never have any adverse effect.
  • However, this combo paste should not be applied in the eyes.

5. Organic Honey

  • Take 2 to 3 teaspoons of raw, organic honey.
  • Take a ball of surgical cotton and apply the honey.
  • Cover all the affected areas and let it sit for a couple of hours.
  • Repeat process a couple of times for a week.

How does this work?

Honey is another natural medicine that has been praised and used extensively in folk medicine for ages. It has been successfully used for treating severe burn injuries, and repeated application of pure honey can even help remove the ugly scars caused by burns. This amazing natural medicine has excellent anti-microbial properties that help contain the infection and cures it effectively.

It helps in destroying the harmful bacteria present in the blisters and hastens the healing process. Moreover, honey has a soothing effect and help gain relief from the itching and burning sensation making it one of the best natural remedies for shingles nerve pain.

The Remedy is not Good if:

  • The infection is severe, and the infection is spreading to other areas.
  • There is high fever as honey does not help control fever

4. Garlic

Procedure:

  • Take 2 to 3 fingers of garlic and peel the skin. Wash the garlic and grind into a paste.
  • Apply the paste on the blisters. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then wash with warm water.
  • Repeat the process twice a day at least for a week.

How does this work?

Garlic is a magic herb, and this wonder bulb has been used as medicine for thousands of years. Apart from being anti-parasitic it also has strong anti-microbial properties that help heal the blisters and restore the skin. Moreover, it is an excellent anti-fungal agent that prevents the growth of fungus in the affected skin, making it one of the choicest home remedies for shingles. Garlic can also be consumed internally as it helps build the immune system and fight the infection from within.

The Remedy is not Good if:

  • The infection has become too severe to treat with non-allopathic remedies.
  • Garlic paste is applied externally it does not offer relief from fever, and it should never be applied on the eyes.

3. Licorice Powder

  • Take 2 to 3 teaspoons of licorice powder. Mix it in some warm water to make a paste.
  • Gently apply the paste on the affected portions. Repeat the process twice daily for a week.

How does this work?

Licorice has been used as medicine, and it is a favorite of grandmothers who never fail to keep stock of some of it in their kitchens. It probably was used in folk medicine as well due to its efficacy as an anti-viral agent and for its wound healing properties.

You can either make the paste as directed above, or make a decoction by boiling licorice powder in water. Dip a surgical cotton ball in the decoction (allow it to cool first) and apply on the blisters. This gives almost instant relief from the pain and burning sensation making it one of the best home remedies for shingles nerve pain.

The Remedy is not Good if:

  • The infection has caused raw wounds and the blisters have burst and are leaking fluid.
  • Licorice is applied on the eyes as it can have an adverse effect.

Also Read: How Licorice Helps Lower Blood Pressure?

2. Cold Water

Procedure:

  • Take some ice cubes and put them in water. Allow the water to cool sufficiently.
  • Soak a washcloth or towel in the cold water. Wring the cold towel and apply on the blisters.
  • Let the towel sit for 20 minutes. Repeat the process as frequently as required.

How does this work?

Applying a towel or washcloth dipped in ice cold water has a soothing effect on the blisters. It helps relieve the pain and burning sensation. It also helps control the itching sensation as the cold towel causes temporary numbness.

Once done, do not allow others to use the towel without sanitizing properly. Better still, incinerate the washcloth or towel to be on the safe side so that the infection does not spread to others. Cold compresses offer instant relief and that is one reason why it is considered as one of the best and easiest remedies for shingles pain.

The Remedy is not Good if:

  • Ice cubes are applied directly on the blisters, which can cause infection
  • There is persistent fever, as cold compresses do not help cure fever.

1. Oatmeal Paste

Procedure:

  • Take two cups of oatmeal and grind them into a fine powder. Add some water and make a thick paste. Gently apply the paste on the blisters.
  • Allow the pack to dry and let it sit for an hour. Repeat the process a couple of times per day, at least for a week.

How does this work?

Oatmeal paste has a soothing effect on the burning blisters and gives instant relief from the irritation caused by the itching. It also helps with the healing process and hastens it. You can also add the oatmeal powder to your bath water and soak in the warm water for an hour to get relief from the pain and itching.

Pat yourself dry and repeat the process one more time before going to bed in the night. As it gives almost instant relief oatmeal is considered one of the best home remedies for shingles pain.

The Remedy is not Good if:

  • If the blisters are raw and infected heavily. In such cases it is better to consult your doctor who will suggest a suitable course of medication.

Some additional tips to note:

  • Try to keep the affected skin clean and dry always
  • Don’t try to pinch or pluck at the blisters or break them
  • Allow air to circulate around the affected parts
  • Do not share your clothes, books, combs, towels and other personal items with others

How long does it take to heal from shingles

  • Shingles takes around 2 to 4 weeks. That’s usually how long it takes for the blisters to erupt, scab over, and completely heal.

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