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Essential Oils for Shingles- Safe and Effective Relief!

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Have you ever had an itchy, burning rash on your chest or back? If so, you may have had shingles. Shingles (also known as herpes zoster) is a viral infection that can cause a very painful and irritating rash. While there is no cure for shingles, there are some things that you can do to help ease the symptoms.

Essential oils for shingles are one of those things! In this post, we’ll discuss what shingles is, how essential oils can help, and some of the best essential oils for shingles.

Read on if you’d like to learn more!

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What is Shingles?

Shingles is an inactive viral infection that, in which the virus stays in nerve tissue near the spinal cord and brain, according to the Mayo Clinic. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After chickenpox, the virus stays dormant in the body. Shingles can occur in people who have had chickenpox at any time in their lives.

Shingles are patches of skin that appear like a rash, usually on one side of the body. The rash appears as a combination of itchy blisters and redness. It can also cause pain, which is sometimes severe.

But unlike chickenpox, you can get shingles more than once. Usually, the virus remains inactive after chickenpox heals. But sometimes it can reactivate years later in the form of shingles.

Symptoms of Shingles:

Other than the red rash that can occur, other symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to light
  • fatigue
  • Pain

It’s possible to experience pain without actually developing the rash.

How Long do Shingles Symptoms Last?

There are three stages for shingles, according to seniorcaring.com.

  1. Prodromal Stage lasting about a week. You may experience some flu-like symptoms, along with some pain, numbness, itching, or tingling around your nerves.
  2. The Active Stage will last up to four weeks. You’ll notice a rash form where you initially felt pain. Eventually the rash will produce blisters that will burst on their own.
  3. The Postherpetic Neuralgia can last a month up to several years. While most cases clear up within a month, if the pain persists or if the virus has caused nerve damage, shingles can be more serious. If you haven’t seen a doctor yet, this stage would be a good time to do so!

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What Can Activate Shingles?

If you’re an adult and you had chickenpox as a kid, chances are the virus remains inactive in your body. There are certain triggers that can activate the virus again, to cause shingles. Below are the most common!

Genetics

Shingles may, in fact, be hereditary.

“Twenty percent of people eventually develop shingles and 80 percent will not, no matter how long they live. So, what’s different about those 20 percent? It seems that the familial predisposition, which must translate into a genetic susceptibility, is a significant factor.”

Dr. Stephen Tyring of University of Texas Medical School says:

Age

As people age, their immune system weakens, making them more susceptible to contracting shingles. In fact, the risk of contracting shingles increases significantly after the age of 50. This is because the virus that causes shingles remains dormant in the body for many years before reactivating.

Having Chickenpox as a Child

Between 10 to 30% of people who have had chickenpox as a child end up developing shingles as an adult.

Stress

Stress can affect the immune system, weakening it. Several studies link stress as a risk factor and predecessor to shingles, especially if other factors are present.

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Best Essential Oils for Shingles

Lemongrass essential oil

Lemongrass essential oil, aka Melissa oil, is one of the most effective essential oils out there that actually help fight the virus associated with shingles. It’s a very powerful antibacterial and antiviral that can help speed up healing, killing the virus in the process.

Helichrysum Essential Oil

Helichrysum essential oil is useful for shingles since it has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It can also be used to soothe itching and is useful in promoting scar healing.

This essential oil can speed up healing of the skin, relieve pain, and decrease inflammation all in one! It can also help heal any nerve damage done from shingles!

Lavender Essential Oil

One of the most versatile and well known essential oils, you have to have a bottle of lavender in your alternative medicine cabinet!

Lavender essential oil is a calming oil, it has been known to be helpful in treating inflammation, neuralgia and soothe nerve pain. It is also useful in treating muscle stiffness and sore muscles. It can also be used to help prevent scarring.

Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense is known to be an analgesic that can help treat shingles pain. It is also known to help in the healing of skin lesions, wounds, and abrasions. It is known to be an anti-inflammatory and it also has a slight disinfectant property.

Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium essential oil has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce pain, itchiness and soften skin for better wound healing. It also helps to reduce scarring in the process of tissue repair. It helps in tissue regeneration and thus reduces the appearance of scars. Geranium essential oil also works as an antiseptic and helps to kill off bacteria.

Manuka Essential Oil

Manuka essential oil makes an excellent candidate for directly fighting the herpes simplex virus, therefore shortening the duration of shingles. The anti-inflammatory and anitviral properties can also help with the inflammation and redness.

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary essential oil is known to be a natural anti-inflammatory that can help reduce the pain of shingles. It is also an anti-septic which helps kill off bacteria and fungi that could cause an infection.

Cinnamon Essential Oil

Cinnamon essential oil is highly antiseptic, which helps kill bacteria, fungus and viruses in order to fight for good health. It is an analgesic that helps reduce pain and inflammation. It is also useful on healing wounds and other skin ailments because of its antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

Tee Tree Essential Oil

Tee tree essential oil is a natural astringent that can help reduce swelling and soothe the redness and irritation, while speeding up the healing. Besides being an antiseptic, it also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve itching, redness, and pain. Tee tree also helps to disinfect wounds, kill off harmful microorganisms, and aids in cell repair of skin tissue damaged by shingles lesions.

Ravensara Essential Oil

You can’t talk about the best essential oils for shingles without mentioning ravensara! It’s a powerful antiviral that have been proven effective against viruses like herpes simplex. It also helps in maintaining clear skin, while assisting with pain and inflammation.

Essential Oil Recipes for Shingles

Here are a few recipes you can try!

Essential Oils for Itchiness

When it comes to relieve itching from shingles, some essential oils are going to work better than others. Try these blends out!

Pick a Carrier Oil to use. I typically prefer fractionated coconut oil. Per 10 ml of carrier oil, add 12 to 15 drops of essential oils. Choose from one of the below blends to add to your carrier oil.

Blend 1

  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops geranium essential oil
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil

Blend 2

  • 6 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 6 drops myrrh essential oil
  • 3 drops helichrysum essential oil

Blend 3

  • 8 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 3 drops german chamomile essential oil

Instructions for Use:

Apply to the affected area 3 to 5 times a day with a cotton swab.

Essential Oils for the Herpes Zoster Virus

Pick a Carrier Oil to use. I typically prefer fractionated coconut oil. Per 10 ml of carrier oil, add 12 to 15 drops of essential oils. Choose from one of the below blends to add to your carrier oil.

Blend 1

  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops bergamot essential oil

Note: Bergamot essential oil contains a property that can make you sensitive to the sun. Exercise caution when going outside.

Blend 2

  • 7 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 8 drops ravensara essential oil

Blend 3

  • 5 drops manuka essential oil
  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 3 drops helichrysum essential oil
  • 3 drops lemongrass essential oil

Instructions for use:

Apply to the affected area 3 to 5 times a day with a cotton swab.

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