Shingles: causes, symptoms and remedies

Shingles: causes, symptoms and remedies

Shingles is the popular name given to shingles. It is a very painful infectious disease attributed to the varicella virus which can be reactivated in adulthood, the Zoster-Varicella virus (VZV), which causes itching, burning and blistering skin manifestations.

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Shingles, the causes

The Herpes virus family has the characteristic, once contracted, to continue to lodge in the organism , even when the symptoms are resolved. 

So it happens that if in childhood you contract chickenpox , herpes zoster remains inactive refugee in the cranial nerves or in the dorsal areas of the spinal cord and in certain conditions it can manifest itself with virulence . What conditions?

Stress: the enemy of modern times, stress , has the great ability to make the human organism defenseless, because it weakens the immune system , fatigues and makes it easier to contract nearby viruses.

Unprotected sun exposure : sometimes it is confused with an erythema , but herpes zoster can reappear even if exposed to intense sunlight without any protective filter, especially in people with very light skin and particularly tired.

Drugs : the prolonged use of some immunosuppressive drugs , or corticosteroids, for prolonged times can sensitize to a reactivation of herpes zoster .

Age : This is not a general condition, but statistics show higher incidences of Shingles in elderly people with a weakened system. In general, after the age of 50 there are more frequent cases of herpes zoster .

Shingles, symptoms

How does the Shingles manifest themselves? It is a real rash , associated with itching and pain. 

The rash initially presents itself with a reddened area , generally in the thoracic area under the ribs, which itches and burns, where then vesicles more or less in relief, sometimes purulent, appear; this is the phase of greatest contagion. 

The areas in which the vesicles appear can also be different, generally they tend to follow the path of the nerve where the virus had nested and therefore also affect areas of the body that are more exposed, or of greater sensitivity and pain, such as the trigeminal nerve. 

Other associated symptoms :

> General malaise

> Spasms

> Burns


> Chills

> Pain in the head

Stomach pain

> Localized motor paralysis (from the nerves affected by the virus).

Within about 10 days, the vesicles dry up and form crusts subject to subsequent desquamation with the resolution of symptoms.

Shingles, the remedies

How do you intervene in case of Shingles? Naturally , one goes to one’s doctor who, after an accurate diagnosis, will prescribe the most suitable drugs as antiviral and anti- inflammatory drugs to contain the manifestation of herpes zoster .

We can also intervene with natural remedies to shorten the time of remission. Naturopathy advises to “embrace” the entire disorder and to support the body in countering the fire that burns between the nerves and the skin:

Support the immune system : there are natural remedies that serve to stimulate the immunological response, and to strengthen the body’s defenses in the event of a viral attack.

This aspect should always be taken care of, as a prophylaxis to prevent conditions such as the manifestation of herpes simplex or zoster. 

  • Echinacea : rich in polysaccharides, flavonoids , glycoproteins, echinacea is the elective remedy in case of shingles, as it performs the main actions required. It is immunostimulating, antiviral, antibacterial, bacteriostatic, anti-inflammatory.
  • Astragalus : possesses immunostimulating properties, indicated in the treatment of infectious diseases, astragalus performs antiviral, antioxidant activity, protects the liver.
  • Rosa Canina and Acerola : rich in carotenoids, flavonoids, L-ascorbic acid, dog rose and acerola, they represent an important supply of vitamin C. They perform an immunomodulating, antiastenic, antioxidant action, counteracting feverish states.


Countering the virus : there are natural remedies to be associated with those indicated above for their strong antiviral action, and they can be used both topically and internally.


  • Tea tree oil : tea tree oil is particularly suitable for herpes. The possibility of modulating its use allows you to take full advantage of all its antiviral, antibacterial, protective and soothing properties. Topically mixed with a carrier oil such as sweet almond  oil or extra virgin olive oil, or with a calendula ointment, it is able to soothe the injured part, limit the proliferation of vesicles and dry those present. , removing burning, and itching. 
  • Grapefruit seed extract : on the market we find various products based on this precious remedy. For shingles it is possible to use the dry extract, often produced in synergy with tea tree oil which enhances its effectiveness to be taken by mouth. It has an antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant action.


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