If you have ever had chicken pox before, then there’s a good chance you may need shingles remedies one day, but luckily, there are a variety of shingles natural treatments. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. The virus can lay dormant in the body for decades, until—for reasons unknown—it reactivates, resulting in shingles.
Shingles appear as pus-filled blisters that appear in rashes. Not only do shingles look displeasing, but they can cause intense pain, itching, and even serious complications like permanent blindness, hearing loss, and facial paralysis.
Shingles: Natural Treatments to Help Combat the Condition
It’s important to treat shingles, although usually the condition runs its course in less than two months. Often, doctors will prescribe a variety of painkillers, anti-depressants, and topical creams for shingles. If antiviral treatments are administered promptly (within two days), they can speed up healing, ease discomfort, and reduce the risk of complications. While it’s important to see your doctor if you have shingles, there are also some natural treatments you can use to help combat the condition.
- Drink lots of water: It may sound simple, but one of the easiest ways to fight off shingles is to drink a lot of water. As with a cold or the flu, you want to flush the virus out of your system. Aim for eight glasses of water per day, and drink even more if you can.
- Take a cool bath: Shingles can cause intense pain, but soaking in a tub full of cool water will help relieve the symptoms. Shingles can be spread through skin contact, so wash your towel after use.
- Eat foods high in lysine: Foods with lysine help fight off the virus responsible for shingles. Lysine is an amino acid, and can be found in many different foods. Some foods with lysine include meat (all types), dairy, eggs, avocados, apples, pears, some beans, and pineapple. As well, it’s important to avoid foods high in argine, which is an amino acid that can actually make your shingles worse. Foods you should avoid are tomatoes, peanuts, grapes, many types of berries, chocolate, and any sugary product.
- Do a cold compress: If you want to ease pain and itchiness, a cold compress can help relieve some of the symptoms of shingles. Simply use a damp cloth or towel and hold it over the affected areas for a few minutes. For added effect, you can do a cold compress using apple cider vinegar instead of water. Remember to always wash the cloths or towels afterwards.
- Take immune-boosting supplements: One of the best ways to fight off shingles is by boosting your immune system and taking natural antivirals. There are a number of shingles treatments that can help you fight off the virus fast. Vitamin C is a great supplement for boosting your immune system. Taking 1,000 mg a few times per day will help stop shingles. As well, take minerals, herbs, and supplements with antiviral effect, such as zinc, oil of oregano, and Echinacea. Finally, take supplements that can help with faster healing. A good B-complex vitamin, particularly one with vitamin B12, can help speed up healing and recovery from shingles. You can boost the effect including more foods that are good for your immune system, such as citrus fruits, leafy greens, and potent herbs like garlic.
So if you have shingles, natural treatments are available. Shingles can be a real pain, literally, but there are enough natural treatments available that you can help control and fight off the condition. Shingles pain can be eased with cool water and cold compresses, while taking supplements with antiviral or immune-boosting benefits will help fight off the virus itself. It’s important to treat shingles, as serious complications can arise in some situations. Take advantage of the natural treatments for shingles available, but be sure to talk to your doctor as well.
Sources for Today’s Article:
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Holland, K., “5 Natural Treatments for Shingles,” Healthline web site, October 28, 2013; http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/shingles-natural-treatment#3, last accessed March 2, 2016.
“Shingles – Home Treatment,” Web MD web site, September 11, 2014; http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/shingles/shingles-home-treatment, last accessed March 2, 2016.
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“Shingles – Treatments and Drugs,” Mayo Clinic web site; December 11, 2014; http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shingles/basics/treatment/con-20019574 , last accessed March 2, 2016.