Shingles originate in the chicken pox virus most of us had as children. Unfortunately, the virus can lay dormant for many years, then rear its ugly head again once you reach adulthood. Instead of itchy spots all over your body, you may feel a tingly or burning sensation just under the skin. Soon, tiny blisters form, and you have shingles. Herbal remedies will soothe the rash along with helping the body fight the virus.
A chamomile compress can help to soothe the itching associated with shingles, and diminish the appearance of the rash. Once the shingles blisters burst, they can get rather sticky. Applying a chamomile compress helps clean away any residual stickiness associated with the rash, allowing for an easier application of cream or medicinal oil treatments, if you choose to use them. Make a chamomile compress by brewing 2 tbsp. of dried chamomile in one cup of boiling water. Strain the mixture, taking care to remove all of the dried herb. Soak a cotton cloth in the mixture, wring out and place on the affected shingles area. Cover with a clean, dry towel, and leave in place for 15 minutes. Remove the compress and clean the area with a clean, white cotton cloth. Repeat this process as often as you like.
Chickweed is an herb useful in soothing itchy, irritated skin. Look for commercially prepared chickweed cream in local health food stores; smooth on a thin layer of this cream twice a day for relief.
Echinacea and Garlic
Echinacea helps with the production of beneficial white blood cells that fight off infection. It is particularly effective in fighting viral infections such as shingles. To treat shingles, take two 250-mg capsules three times a day during the infection period.
Garlic is a powerful medicinal food and herb that can help fight viral infections. Eat three cloves of garlic a day, raw or cooked, to fight the shingles virus.
Lemon balm is a member of the mint family, and can be helpful in treating viruses in the body and healing lesions that come with shingles. Make a tea using 1 tsp. dried lemon balm, along with your choice of other minty herbs such as oregano, peppermint, rosemary or sage. Use 1 tsp. of each or all of them. Combine with 1 cup of boiling water, and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and drink. Also use this tea as a topical treatment for shingles; simply saturate a cotton ball with the tea and apply directly to the affected area as often as you like.