Preventing & Treating Shingles Naturally

We’ve all seen the commercials for Shingles and how you get it, right? Well antibiotics and prescribed chemicals are not the answer to preventing an outbreak nor the answer to treating an outbreak. This painful, burning rash that develops is caused by the Herpes Zoster Virus which is a dormant version of Chicken Pox.  It is true that anyone who has had Chicken Pox has this dormant version laying in wait in the nerve cells, just waiting for the immune system to be compromised to break free and attack.  But don’t fear there are options to prevent it’s release and to stop the infection when it does appear.

First and foremost there is a massive need to reduce stress and improve the health of anyone over 18. This world and its economy is killing us slowly with longer work days, making us work til we’re 75, and demanding everything we have without giving much in return.  No wonder shingles has hit almost epidemic proportions in every age group, but especially in those over 50. I’ve even read about adolescents developing shingles because of their stress filled lives with never ending homework, bullying, competition, maturity, electronics, and hormones.  It is very distressing, especially with how painful this infection is.

So where do we begin? Developing strategies for reducing stress and gaining competence in handling everyday stress more effectively is a great start.  Here are a few tips for effective prevention.

One main strategy is to get enough sleep, no matter your age.  The average is between 6 and 9 hours a night depending on the individual.  Of course the individual should be in tune with themselves enough to know how much sleep they need to feel good and remain competent. As for adolescents they require at least 8 hours just to rejuvenate and maintain hormonal balances during maturation.  Most school aged children and pre-teens do not get enough sleep because they have to follow their parents schedules.  Most adults don’t get enough sleep because of their own demanding schedules and their family life.  Elderly people don’t get enough sleep because they lack mental and emotional support from society and often stay up long nights thinking about and worrying over what they have lost with retirement, old age, physical limitations, and exclusion from everyday society.  Sufficient sleep is the most effective way to rest and rejuvenate the body and mind, preparing it for another day of stress filled life.

Secondly, American diets are a major cause of physical stress.  Our bodies are not made to digest highly processed, chemical laden foods.  The best way to reduce physical stress is to eat more fresh, unprocessed, and uncooked foods.  These chemical preservatives and artificial flavorings and sweeteners cause inflammation in the cells.  As the tissues become more and more inflamed the body has to work much harder to protect itself from the damaging effects of these foods thus taking away from it’s innate ability to defend against invaders such as viruses. Thus leading to a compromised immunity and tissue damage and deformation.  When cells die or deform they lead to the development of cancerous cells.

Third, everyone, no matter how thin or fit, needs some sort of exercise every single day.  Even a 5 minute walk has massive benefits for a sedentary individual.  Exercise is also a stress relieving practice.  Working the body gives the mind a minute to take a break and process, much like sleep.  Especially when your exercise is purposeful and focused and accompanied by proper breathing.

Fourth, proper breathing, from the stomach, is actually an amazing treatment for stress. Sitting anywhere quiet for 5 minutes while slowly and deeply inhaling and exhaling. You can sit in a chair if it’s to hard to get on the floor, but sitting cross-legged on the floor is the most beneficial. Just remember to sit up straight and calmly breathe using your stomach muscles, never limit your breathing just to your rib cage.  Moving your stomach muscles with in/out breaths actually activates and tones the diaphragm and allows for more efficient and effective oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange.

Now that we have covered prevention we can cover treatment. Some simple tips to utilize at home to alleviate the painful symptoms and cure the infection of the Herpes Zoster Virus (Shingles).

Buy some unrefined Coconut Oil (found at any grocery store).  It is so soothing and cooling to the burning sensation associated with this infection and very beneficial to immune support and healing.  Simply apply a small amount to the affected area and gently smooth around. Don’t rub it in, simply apply it gently and allow it to absorb into the skin.  Rubbing the affected area will only irritate it more. Coconut Oil is also very beneficial for treatment after chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or laser removal of cancerous tissue.

As for the anti-bacterial/antibiotic there are 2 essential oils that are very effective against this virus – Spanish (Red) Thyme and Jasmine Grandiflorum. Both of these have been scientifically tested and proven effective against any infection from bacterial growths and fungal infections to E. Coli and influenza.  Both of these are very strong, highly concentrated essential oils that must be highly diluted to avoid side effects.  This means that when utilized in an external application either one of these oils must be mixed with a carrier oil, such as the Coconut Oil or Sweet Almond Oil. To avoid interactions the mixture must be 2 drops of either or both oils to 1 ounce of carrier oil.  Mix well and apply gently and liberally at least 3 times a day.

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As for the pain and inflammation there are two more essential oils that are most beneficial.
For the pain, Peppermint essential oil has been proven effective at alleviating various kinds of pain through its cooling and numbing actions. It can be mixed into the previous mixture described.  It can also be irritating to the skin in high concentrations so it is best to begin with 5 drops to once ounce of carrier oil.
For the inflammation, Chamomile essential oil (especially Roman Chamomile) is the best at reducing the swelling and irritation of tissues.  It is also a very concentrated essential oil so it is best to stay at 2 drops per ounce of carrier oil and can be mixed directly into the above mixtures.

So the effective home treatment recipe is as follows –
2 oz – Coconut Oil (unrefined) or Sweet Almond Oil
2 drops each – Jasmine Grandiflorum, Spanish (Red) Thyme, and Roman Chamomile essential oils
5 drops – Peppermint essential oil
– Mix well and apply at least 3 times a day for effective relief of Shingles symptoms and curing the infection without the side effects of pain medications and antibiotics. Without any medication interactions and little to no chance of allergic or sensitivity reaction.

To accentuate the effectiveness of the skin treatment you can also make a room spray to diffuse these beneficial oils into the air.
How to make the room spray –
2 drops each – Jasmine Grandiflorum, Spanish (Red) Thyme, and Roman Chamomile essential oils
5 drops – Peppermint essential oil
7 oz – filtered water
8 to 12 oz spray bottle (glass is best, essential oils will dissolve any plastic besides PET over time)
– Mix the essential oils and water. Shake well before every use.  Spray around the room or entire house whenever you are home, or use at work as well. Spray on clothes or bedding, furniture or drapes.