Written by Sujata Owens, CCH, HMC
Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Also known as herpes zoster, it often appears as a band of blisters that wraps from the middle of your back around one side of your chest to your breastbone. Other parts of your body can be involved as well, including your neck, face or scalp.
The pain of shingles can be excruciating, and the cause might not be immediately evident. But once the telltale rash and blisters start on one side of your body, it's more easily identified as shingles.
Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you've had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive (dormant) in your nerves. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.
Shingles isn't a life-threatening condition, but it can be very painful. Sometimes, the rash leads to a debilitating complication called postherpetic neuralgia. This condition causes the skin to remain painful and sensitive to touch for months or even years after the rash clears up.
Homeopathy believes that signs and symptoms of any illness manifest themselves because the body has been unable to restore balance from its inner resources and needs helps. Well selected and well- matching homeopathic remedy for individual encourages a powerful strengthening of defense mechanism and helps restore a state of balance and well-being with disappearance of symptoms of illness.
Homeopathy can be successfully used to naturally, gently and rapidly treat symptoms associated with shingles. Homeopathy works by enhancing the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Homeopathy is derived from Latin words Homeo=similar and pathos=suffering. As the name suggests selection of appropriate homeopathic remedy for each individual is based on symptom similarity between individual’s symptoms and remedy symptoms. Thus to select any one of the following remedies for a person manifesting symptoms of shingles, symptoms must match closely.
The reputation of Homeopathic Remedy Mezereum is that it is the best medicine for shingles; and not only for eruption, but also for the consecutive neuralgia. Mezereum as a homeopathic remedy can be successfully used to treat crusta lactea, to various forms of pure impetigo; and to some of those ulcers on the lower extremities which are often so difficult to treat. I have frequently had occasion to witness the prompt curative action of Mezereum in these affections, in which I have generally used the 200th potency. As homeopathic remedy is prescribed on symptom similarity, I would like to add that if the symptoms experienced by client are similar to what is described below then you have a good match.
Rannunculosus bulbosus: This homeopathic remedy has treated successfully many cases of shingles too. It helps an eruption similar to herpes zoster or shingles, which occurs along the course of nerves; there are burning vesicles filled with serum and associated with sharp, stitching pains. If accompanied by intercostal rheumatism with a sharp stitch in the chest, much soreness, and a feeling as if the parts were pounded, worse from every change of weather, this remedy is very helpful.
It helps Herpes zoster where vesicles are filled with a yellowish serum which burn; vesicles sometimes dark, followed with sharp, stitching pains. Blisters can be very large, burst, leaving raw surfaces; in children blisters from two to three inches in diameter, restlessness and prostration, constantly returning eruptions of blisters, secreting a foul - smelling, gluey matter, forming crusts and healing from the centre. Eczema, vesicular, followed by scabs, then a fresh eruption of vesicles, with burning and itching, attended by thickening of the skin and the formation of hard, horny crusts. Flat, burning, stinging ulcers, with pus. Sensation of crawling, creeping, itching in scalp and palms of hands and fingers. Most symptoms are worse in the morning and evening, contact, on entering a cool place, wet weather.
Rhus toxicodendron: This remedy is helpful for burning and neuralgic pains after episode of herpes zoster. This remedy finds its use when client experiences intense itching. Itching better hot water. Itching with burning and smarting, feeling as if pierced with hot needles. Itching all over, worse on hairy parts. Itching worse sweating. Burning after scratching. Rubbing affected part aggravates eruptions. Eruptions, alternating with dysentery.
Herpetic eruptions alternating with dysentery and pains in chest. Herpes with vesicles filled with pus. Skin is dry, hot, and burning. Affected area is red, swollen with intense itching. Itching, tender blisters and rash. Sensitivity to cold air. Burning eruptions with tendency to scale formation. Symptoms worse from getting wet. Hives during chills and fever. Swollen glands. Pus erodes the hair. Restless sleep tossing about can't get comfortable.
Rhus tox is remedy par excellence in arthritis, fibrositis, rheumatism and sprains. It helps pains and stiffness - worse in cold, wet weather, cold air, after rest, on getting up from a chair or out of bed. First movements painful and stiff - keeping moving eases the pain and stiffness.
Rhus tox is known to help symptoms of flu or influenza with rheumatic pains and stiffness and a dry cough. Rhus tox also helps mouth ulcers and cold sores.
Variolinum: Variolinum helps when eruptions are pus filled. A favorite remedy with Burnett for shingles, to quote him "…Wipes it out, pain and all.” Sometimes accompanied by back pain which is described as - ache, as if back broken. Skin is hot and dry.
There are various other homeopathic remedies that have been extremely helpful in treating symptoms of shingles successfully. Please consult a homeopathic practitioner for more details.
Sujata Owens, CCH, RS Hom(NA), Homeopathic Master Clinician at Vital Force Consulting, Inc. Northfield, MN, can be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 507 645 4329 or www.vitalforceconsulting.com. Sujata Owens has been offering cost-effective, drug-free homeopathic approach for healthy mind and body for 22 years in Northfield.
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