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Have you ever worried about shingles? It is a disturbing skin disease with rash, blisters, itching, and pain in some particular skin areas. Essential oils for shingles treatment is a perfect option for you among many natural remedies. They can cut down uncomfortable sensations, speed up the healing process, and reduce inflammation.
With lots of wonderful benefits and reasonable price, you should keep essential oils in your first list of natural remedies. Here are some best essential oils for shingles you must know.
What is shingles?
Shingles (or Herpes Zoster), is a disease caused by Varicella Zoster Virus – the same reason for chickenpox. When the virus of chickenpox first infected the patient, it still remains in nerve system. It may “sleeps” forever, but will reactivate and form shingles in some specific cases. That is when the immune system is weakened (such as sickness, aging or even stress) .
Where can I have shingles?
Shingles may locate in various parts, but usually at one side of the body. In some particular cases, it still can cross over the midline of the body. Here are some particular locations of shingles:
- 50% of shingles appears at the torso, chest, and abdomen.
- Neck-shoulder-arm involvement
- Head and face involvement
- Eye involvement
Among those areas, eye shingles is usually more severe and required careful treatment.
What are symptoms of shingles?
The typical shingles happens in two stages.
At first, you may feel burning, itching, numbness and pain in a certain skin area. Normally, these symptoms last for one to five days and might get worse at night. Sometimes headache or sensitivity to light can occur.
After that, a band or strip of rash appears on the surface of the skin, assembles along the path of nerve fibers. A few days later, they form fluid-filled-blisters with the shape of a bunch of grapes. The fluid is clear at first, then becomes opaque pus before tearing.
It takes about two to four weeks for skin damage to heal, depends on the condition of the immune system. Sometimes, patients may suffer post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) years after shingles. This is a severe condition as touching the patient’s skin can cause pain and burning sensation. PHN seriously affect the patient’s quality of life.
How to treat shingles?
Normally, antiviral medications and analgesia are necessary to control the infection. Sometimes, doctors may state antibiotics or antidepressant drugs in severe cases.
Besides medical therapies, scientists also claim the huge benefits of essential oils to cure shingles. They speed up skin damage to heal by their natural anti-inflammation elements. Using essential oil for rash can prevent them from spreading and reduce the pain.
Top 9 essential oils for shingles
1. Geranium oil
First, geranium oil is a perfect natural remedy for shingles. It is proven to relieve post-herpetic neuralgia pain within minutes. The effect of geranium oil depends on the dose consumption and the length of treatment. So it usually requires weeks to improve the pain.
Geranium oil is well tolerated but sometimes includes mild adverse reaction. It may cause burning if applied at the eye surrounded area ,.
2. Coconut oil
Virgin coconut oil is one of the most popular nature skincare products. It can be purchased easily anywhere with a reasonable price.
Using coconut oil for shingles daily on the affected skin to boost healing process and prevent scars. It also helps blur the redness and soften shingles blisters, with a comfortable odor.
3. Peppermint oil
Due to its menthol extract, peppermint oil can calm almost kinds of skin irritation. With natural skincare ingredients, it can smooth the rash and reduce shingles itch. Besides, it has the antiviral benefit to prevent inflammation and relieve the pain. The painkiller effect of this oil works immediately and last for 4-6 hours after applying. That is why this is one of the most effective essential oils for shingles nerve pain ,.
4. Lemongrass oil
Lemongrass oil is widely known for its excellent antiviral, anti-inflammation and antifungal components. It can stop Herpes Simplex Virus reproduction and kill almost common bacteria. The oil works even with a minimal concentration. It is used during and after the treatment period to avoid skin inflammation.
However, lemongrass oil is considered hot and may cause burning or irritation. It is better to dilute lemongrass oil in cold compressor or bath water rather than applying directly on the skin .
5. Lavender oil
This essential oil should be kept in your first aid kit to deal with shingles. For a long time, people have used lavender oil in Aromatherapy to reduce stress, release muscle spasm, relieve pain and boost energy.
Lavender oil is gently applied on the blisters to inhibit virus and bacteria. With its relaxation effect, shingles pain and itch will reduce within mere minutes.
6. Manuka oil
Manuka is a typical and unique plant raised in Australia and New Zealand. Scientists have proved the miracle effects of Manuka extract compounds in improving the immune system. Likewise, it could speed up wound healing and have anti-inflammation properties.
Manuka oil helps drain fluid in blisters and boosts the recovery of damaged tissues. This is one of the best essential oils for herpes, shingles, and chickenpox.
Combine with Manuka honey – a unique and expensive product of native bees – your immune system will be upgraded. It prevents you from getting illness by virus, bacteria or environmental agents .
7. Tea tree oil
This is also known as Melaleuca alternifolia oil – collected from Australian tree leaves. For centuries, native aboriginal tribes used this natural antibiotic to cure many diseases.
With great anti-inflammatory power, it is used to fade red marks caused by acne or shingles rash. You can apply tea tree oil for shingles on the affected skin area, or mix with cream before using if you have sensitive skin .
8. Bergamot oil
They extract Bergamot oil from the rind of fresh fruit and leaves of Bergamot. It is one of Citrus species grows in a restricted area of Italy. Bergamot contains high quality of antiseptic elements that can speed up wound healing. Besides, applying this essential oil for shingles pain is very effective, because it helps release painkiller hormones. With long-lasting effect, it keeps your body away from stress and depression .
9. Licorice oil
Licorice oil has been used for centuries in many countries as a traditional treatment. It contains antiviral agents and a high source of B vitamins. Using licorice oil helps stimulate the action of the immune system and defeat virus/bacteria infection. It also heals herpetic lesions, shingles damage and other atopic dermatitis. Nowadays, there are many ways to use licorice, such as essential oils, shower gel, shampoo or cream .
How to use essential oils for shingles?
In general, essential oils are very simple to use. Except for some sensitive types of skin, you can apply the oils directly onto the skin surface, 4 – 5 times daily. Do not let the oils touch your eyes, or apply close to them. Using too many kinds of oils at one time is not recommended.
Here are some other ways to use essential oils:
- Drop some essential oil(s) into your bathtub with warm water and soak yourself within 5 – 10 minutes.
- Apply a few drops of essential oils on a cotton pad and gently massage your affected skin.
- Mix essential oils with shower gel and apply to your body when taking a bath.
- Dilute other essential oils into jojoba oil or coconut oil and use 4 – 5 times daily.
- Make a hot compress. Add 10-15 drops of essential oil into a hot pot of water, then soak a towel in it and squeeze. Apply the towel on the rash area and wait until it reaches the body temperature.
- Mix the oils with your lotion/cream/moisturizer, or any skincare products. After that, directly apply on the skin.
You should maintain your essential oils therapy, even when rash and blisters have gone to avoid post-herpetic pain and scars. Almost nature remedies need time to get their best results, so it is necessary to be patient.
Besides, changing your lifestyle plays a key role in preventing diseases. Shingles appears when your immune systems decrease, so pay attention to your diet and daily routines. You should eat more food with high consumption of B vitamins (such as beef, chicken, egg, and fish). Sources of C vitamins is also important (such as oranges and citrus).
Remember to drink an adequate amount of water (1.5 – 2 liters per day). It keeps your body and mental health in the greatest condition to deal with any diseases.
Be careful while using essential oils for shingles
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. Please ask for doctor’s advice, because not every essential oil is suitable for moms and infants.
- You have sensitive skin. In this case, you should test a few drops of essential oils in the area under your elbow or inner wrist. This can make sure you are not allergy with these oils.
- You are suffering severe or chronic condition (pulmonary or heart diseases). Make sure to consult a doctor before using.
- Your skin is irritated, or any adverse effects appear, stop using and ask your doctor if necessary.
- If the oil stick into your eyes, rinse it carefully with clear water, then apply eye drops if needed.
Conclusion, essential oils for shingles treatment are effective home remedies. They are easy to buy and should be kept in every home’s first aid.
Question & Answer
1. My husband/wife is having shingles, is him/her contagious?
A: It is impossible to give anyone shingles. But you might be infected by chickenpox if you haven’t had this disease or been vaccinated before
2. What about other natural remedies for shingles?
A: There are some natural ways to keep this disease away.
- Using a wet and cold compress can reduce pain and irritated skin. Soak a cloth in a cold water, squeeze, then apply on the rash and blisters several times per day.
- Taking a bath with colloidal oatmeal can prevent itching. Infuse an amount of colloidal oatmeal into cold water, and soak yourself within 10-15 minutes. After that, using a towel to dry yourself, remember to wash it carefully to prevent contagion.
3. There are so many kinds and brands of essential oils, how to test the quality of them?
A: It is very hard for customers to distinguish the high quality essential oils if they just smell. Only chemists of experts who have many years working with chemical extracts and odors can tell which one is better. But you can look at the botanical name, the brand and the concentration of the oil when purchasing. Remember to choose the one with clearly botanical name, well-known brand and original status (ex. 100% pure) as much as possible.
4. How should I store essential oils?
A: Essential oils could be deteriorated by light, air, heat, and moisture. Remember to keep your oil in a tight container, away from those factors to support therapeutic strength.
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