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This forum discussion welcomes your experience with patients who have contracted Shingles

Can you tell anything special about the types of persons who get this disease?

Are they of a particular age range? Male or female? 

Did they have chicken pox or herpes previously in their life? 

What are the most prominent symptoms?

Would you add more approaches to healing?

Would you recommend any topical applications like oatmeal baths, teas, herbs?

Do you recommend vitamin supplements?

What homeopathic remedies have been most effective?


How the symptoms present themselves at onset of disease

  • Sensitive skin to touch
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Skin blisters at the 4-5th day of onset on chest, trunk, and face

Chronic Condition

  • Chronic pain for months in older patients
  • Usually occur in those aged over 60
  • More likely to occur in person's who had chickenpox before age one
  • If you have a weakened immune system from medications or other disease
  • Extremely stressful situations can trigger an outbreak

Quality of Eruptions

  • discoloration: red
  • burning
  • itching
  • stabbing
  • stinging
  • tingling
  • worse touch
  • discharge
  • changes location
  • spreads or radiates


Vitamin B12 Supplemental Treatment
Dr. Melvyne Werbach, in his book Nutritional Influences on Illness: A Sourcebook of Clinical Research, reports that in a research study 21 patients suffering with herpes zoster showed a dramatic improvement in symptoms. By the second or third day of treatment, using 1 mg injection of B12 per day, their pain was relieved and blisters rapidly disappeared. In a paper published in the journal Geriatrics researchers recommended using 1mg of vitamin B12 injected daily for six days and weekly for six weeks to treat the pain associated with herpes zoster. Pain reduction occurred in two days, even in post-pain syndrome that had continued for months to years. Vitamin B12 taken in sublingual form has been found to shorten the duration of herpes outbreaks and reduce pain.


Vitamin E Supplemental Treatment

In another experimental study published in the Archives of Dermatology, 13 patients with chronic pain caused by shingles received 1200-1600 IU of vitamin E daily before meals. Nine of the 13 experienced complete or almost complete control of pain. Two were moderately improved and two were slightly improved. Two of the patients who gained complete pain remission had been suffering with post-pain syndrome from shingles for 13 to 19 years respectively. 

Vitamin C Supplemental Treatment
Most of the published research behind vitamin C and herpes involves intravenous treatment and dates back as early as 1950. In one early study 321 patients suffering with herpes zoster were all cured following three days of intravenous vitamin C, seven reported complete cessation of pain within two hours of the first treatment. Intravenous vitamin C is much more effective than oral vitamin C to treat an acute or new outbreak of shingles. 


Zinc Oxide and Castor Oil Paste

John Clarke, MD suggests painting this paste over the eruptions, or when the eruption has disappeared and the pain persists, or when there is pain without eruption.


Plantago Tincture

John Clarke, MD suggests painting on areas when the scalp is affected


Lysine Supplemental Treatment

You may read on the internet that 3 grams (3,000 mg) of lysine daily may shorten the duration of a shingles attack and reduce pain and itching. Be warned that lysine must be in a fine balanced ratio with arginine in the body. Use only with a doctor's supervision. Arginine is an amino acid that stimulates your growth hormone and helps with cell division, wound healing, and immune function. High doses of lysine may raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of gallstones.


Homeopathy and Shingles

Arsenicum for symptoms of restlessness and anxiety,with incredible pain. The person feels 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. 

Apis, like the honeybee sting, will help for shingles outbreaks with the stinging, burning, itching sensations that will feel better with cold applications and being outdoors and much worse for heat. We are familiar with the jealous nature, sensitivity to touch and irritability. Like the bee, the person may desire sweets.

Iris versicolor
Iris versicolor has been used for those afflicted with shingles with concomitant stomach problems 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.



A late stage plant remedy in the ranunculous family, person's feeling hopeless about recovery may benefit from this remedy. As the typical blisters have herpes itch, washing and cold water feels much worse. The time periodicity, the itching becomes worse at night and getting warm in the bed. We know pulsatilla feels better for cool air and being outdoors, clematis also feels the same. So, if you think of pulsatilla, consider clematis.

Rhus tox.
Rhus tox., the most well-known for skin rash like poison ivy, with many small, red, itching blisters that spread into a rash. Unlike apis, the skin feels better with hot compresses, baths and warmth. Like arsenicum, restlessness prevails. 



The small pox nosode variolinum 200C two doses every day for 3 days. Good recordings of improvement with this remedy.


Each of the remedies presented must be differentiated from each other. We notice the similarities of "itching, burning, rash," but can you see the time of aggravation, the seasonal changes, the desire for hot or cold air, water or application, the location of outbreak, the discoloration of skin and other desires? It is best to visit with a professional homeopath, who can differentiate the symptoms and make a close energy selection. 



In chronic cases for after shingles neuralgia. Another remedy with intense burning, itching and red eruptions that feels worse for hot applications and better for cold, like apis. The fresh air alleviates some pain, as in pulsatilla. The person typically feels cold, and symptoms are worse for getting cold, but the local eruptions feel better from the cool air. 


Hypericum perforatum

We know hypericum as St. John's Wort, which homeopathically assists the nervous system. Useful in wounds, infections and nervous affections or injury, hypericum has been used for herpes. As indicated, herpes may travel along in branches of the nerves and this might be a clue.  Even in material doses, clinical studies have found that Hypericum extract was effective in reducing the frequency and severity of recurrent episodes of herpes labalis (oral cold sores) and herpes genitalis (genital herpes). Hypericum perforatum is known to have potent antiviral and antibacterial properties.


Ranunculus bulbosus 

An acute remedy from the ranunculous plant family, well-known, for the irritability, itching, rash and bursting pains from blue-colored blisters has been helpful for intense itching along the trunk. The outbreaks feel sore and can be much more for touch or cold air, even though we think of pulsatilla in the same plant family feeling better for outdoor cooler air.


Cantharis vesicatoria

The Spanish fly remedy can produce similar response to the apis honeybee. The bee outbreaks have more of the stinging pain, while the cantharis feels more intense burning. Some have used even the mother tincture to quiet the pain. We know the typical herpes outbreak consists of burning and itching sensations, but since cantharis is a primary remedy for burns and scalds and burning sensations, like from the stove or the sun, it can also help with herpes. The wide use of cantharis covers acute nephritis, and the locations of pain vary to all mucus membranes, eyes, mouth, throat, stomach, intestinal tract, plus skin. Notes the receptivity of the urinary tract. Click to view an incredible close-up photo.


Shingles Vaccine

CDC report about the Shingles Vaccine

"The vaccine for shingles (Zostavax®) is licensed for use in people 60 years old and older to prevent shingles. The older a person is, the more severe the effects of shingles typically are, so all adults 60 years old or older should get the shingles vaccine.

The shingles vaccine is specifically designed to protect people against shingles and willnot protect people against other forms of herpes, such as genital herpes. The shingles vaccine is not recommended to treat active shingles or post-herpetic neuralgia (pain after the rash is gone) once it develops."

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Replies to This Discussion

Herpes zoster (commonly known as shingles) is a viral infection that causes extremely painful blisterlike eruptions to break out along the course of nerves. After a period of fever and malaise, the eruptions appear on parts of the ribcage area (back, sides, or abdomen) or sometimes on the face. Homoeopathic remedies are often very helpful for pain relief and recovery. Outbreaks near the eyes require medical attention.

Follwing remedies are Useful in shingles.

Arsenicum album: If a person feels chilly, anxious, restless, and exhausted during fever—and the burning pain of the eruptions is relieved by heat—this remedy may be indicated. Discomfort is often worse around midnight.

Apis mellifica: Swollen, tender eruptions with burning, stinging pain and itching suggest a need for this remedy. Symptoms are aggravated by warmth, and relieved by cold applications or exposure to cool air. The person may be irritable and very sensitive to touch.

Clematis: Red, burning, blisterlike eruptions with terrible itching, worse from washing or contact with cold water, may indicate a need for this remedy. The person feels worse at night and from the warmth of bed—being better in open air. People who need this remedy may also have a tendency toward genito-urinary conditions.

Iris versicolor: This remedy is often helpful for herpes zoster infection that is accompanied by stomach problems with burning sensations and nausea. Eruptions may appear especially on the right side of the abdomen.

Mezereum: When this remedy is indicated, intense burning is followed by bright red eruptions that itch intolerably. The local pain of the eruptions is worse from heat and relieved by cold applications, and cool fresh air is soothing—although the person is chilly in general and worse from getting cold.

Ranunculus bulbosus: This remedy is indicated for intensely itching shingles on the ribcage (either on the back or chest), which are also very sore, and worse from contact with clothing or any kind of touch. The blisters may look bluish. The person may feel worse from alcoholic drinks, and from exposure to cold air.

Rhus toxicodendron: This remedy may be indicated for a rash that begins with many small blisters, is red and intensely itchy, and is relieved by hot baths or hot wet compresses. Restlessness makes the person want to pace the room or constantly move around


Awesome news, Claudia. I've been reading that this works like a charm. Thanks for your confirmation.


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