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What Is Shingles

Shingles, also known as Herpes Zoster, is a viral infection that commonly occurs in older people.  It can occur anywhere on the body, but usually appears in a band, strip, or small area on one side of the body or face.  Shingles is not a life-threatening condition, but it can take a toll on the body.  It is caused by the same virus that causes the Chickenpox.  The virus remains dormant in the body and can get reactivated in the form of Shingles later on.

Signs Of Shingles

Shingles usually affects one side of the body in the form of a band, strip, or small cluster.  The rash caused by Shingles is usually itchy and can often be accompanied by numbness or a burning sensation.  Other common symptoms are:

  • Pain, Burning, Numbness, or Tingling
  • Fluid-filled Blisters (that break open and crust over)
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Body Aches
  • Stomachache or Diarrhea
  • Itching
What Causes Shingles

Shingles is an infection that is caused by the varicella-zoster (Chickenpox) virus.  Anyone who has had the Chickenpox may possibly develop Shingles.  After Chickenpox subsides, the virus remains dormant in the nervous system.  Since elderly people tend to have weakened immune systems, the virus can reactivate and make its way to the skin via nerve pathways, thusly producing Shingles.  Even though Shingles is also called Herpes Zoster, it is not the same virus that causes cold sores, genital herpes, or other STIs.  Causes are listed below. 

  • The Varicella-zoster Virus
  • Age (Shingles is more likely to occur in people 60 and over)
  • Weakened Immune System
  • Diseases (Lymphoma or Leukemia cancers, or HIV/AIDS)
  • Cancer Treatments (chemotherapy or radiation therapy)
  • Stress or Trauma
  • Medications (sterroids or immunosupressive drugs)


Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • Apple cider vinegar is a great natural solution that can be ingested or applied directly on the skin.  If you mix 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with 8oz of water and consume that twice a day, this can help to restore your body's pH balance, which only contributes to a healthier immune system.  For topical use, mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and distilled water and spray this on the affected area several times a day.  You can also add apple cider vinegar to baths for added relief. 
  • An oatmeal bath can help soothe skin irritation because it helps moisturize the skin.  Mix one cup of blended oats in a luke warm bath and soak in it for 15-20 minutes every day until symptoms decrease.
  • Since coconut oil is an incredible moisturizer and has antimicrobial properties, it can help reduce the symptoms of Shingles if applied to the affected area(s).  For best results, gently apply warm coconut oil nightly before bed, as this softens the skin.  Symptoms may take a few days to reduce.  If you are using your finger to apply the coconut oil, be sure not to put that finger back in the coconut oil jar, as this can contaminate it. 
  • Because aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties, it is commonly used to reduce the rash associated with Shingles.  Applying the aloe vera to the affected area(s) helps to restore your skin's pH balance and relieve itching and irritation.  Like coconut oil, aloe vera also has moisturizing and antimicrobial properties. 
  • Make sure you stay hydrated.  Drinking alkaline water can be beneficial as it helps restore the body's natural pH balance.  The suggested amount of water to drink is eight 8oz glasses per day.  A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water.  If you weigh 150lbs, then you should drink 75oz of water every day. 
  • It can be beneficial to the healing process to eliminate processed foods, fried foods, sugar, caffeine, and carbonated beverages from your diet.  Unless you are juicing, do not drink bottled fruit or vegetable juices because they contain processed ingredients.  It's best to consume fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C, green leafy vegetables, garlic and onions, and anti-inflammatory herbs such as oregano, rosemary, echinacea, and turmeric.
  • Capsaisin cream can help relieve the itching or burning that accompanies a Shingles rash.  Capsaisin is the active ingredient that gives chili peppers their spice.  Capsaisin, when applied to the skin, depletes the amount of substance P, which is a neurochemical that transmits pain.  Be careful not to touch your eyes or sensitive skin aras when using this cream because it can burn.  It's best to apply this cream using disposable gloves so that it doesn't come in contact with anything but the Shingles
Things you should eat
  • Citrus fruit (oranges, grapefruit, & lemons)
  • Dark Leafy Greens (kale, spinach, & chard)
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano Oil
  • Bananas
  • Potatoes
  • Beans or Legumes
  • Seaweed
  • Spirulina
  • Kelp
  • Carrots
  • Raw Nuts
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