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Shingles is an acute, painful inflammation of the nerve cell bodies with skin eruptions. It is caused by the same virus as chicken pox (herpes zoster). The initial infection with varicella zoster virus causes the acute, short-lived illness we call chickenpox, but once an episode of chickenpox is resolved, the virus is not eliminated from the body, but lies dormant in sensory (skin) nerves. If the immune system is compromised (from things including emotional stress, illness or long-term use of corticosteroids), the dormant viruses may start to infect the pathway of the skin nerves, which is called shingles, and happens ofttimes many years after the initial infection.
The earliest symptoms of shingles often include headache, fever, malaise and at times, intestinal upset, and are followed by sensations of burning pain, itching, oversensitivity and a “pins and needles” tingling, pricking or numbness. The pain can be mild to extreme. This initial phase (generally 1-2 days, but sometimes as long as 3 weeks) is followed by a painful skin rash of blisters that erupt along the nerve pathway, which is commonly on the torso, but can appear on the face, eyes and other parts of the body. Occurrences of shingles around the eyes or on the forehead can cause blindness. The rash typically appears in a stripe or belt-like pattern that is characteristically limited to one side of the body and does not cross the midline.
Equal amounts of RAVENSARA essential oil and TAMANU oil (Calophyllum) applied to a shingles outbreak have produced dramatic improvement and complete remission within 7 days (Alternative Medicine, The Definitive Guide, p. 56, 971). We call this blend SHINGLES B GONE and added GERANIUM essential oil to this protocol because of its positive affects for nerves and skin regeneration.
Geranium Oil Effective for Post-Shingles Pain
Once a person has had chicken pox, the varicella-zoster virus lies dormant in their body and can develop into a painful case of shingles many years after the original chicken pox infection.
The initial manifestation of shingles is a cluster of painful blisters that appear on an area of the skin, which typically heal within three to ten days. In some cases, the skin lesions are followed by chronic nerve pain near the area where the skin lesions occurred. It is believed that the chronic pain is due to the virus settling in the root of the nerve that supplies that area of the skin.
Shingles is more likely to occur in people with challenged immune function such as the elderly or those with cancer. Traditional allopathic treatment is prescription anti-viral medications such as Zovirax, Famvir or Valtrex. In addition to antibiotics, some mainstream physicians prescribe steroids, antidepressants, and in severe cases nerve blocks, because the pain can persist for months or even years.
In 2003 a preliminary study in The American Journal of Medicine (115:586-7) suggested that topical, undiluted GERANIUM essential oil is a superior and effective option for immediate relief from post-herpetic neuralgia (shingles). The more highly concentrated the oil, the better, with study participants reporting pain relief in direct proportion to the percentage of geranium oil present in their topical mixture. Capsaicin cream has also been shown to provide some relief, although it was outdone by the undiluted geranium oil in this study. Those using 100% Geranium essential oil had greater pain relief than those using 10% Geranium oil. The study noted that a few minor skin reactions occurred in those using Geranium oil, but all reactions resolved within one hour. Two other essential oils mentioned are PEPPERMINT (Mentha piperita) and LICORICE (Glycyrrhiza glabra).
1. I am close to four people who have bouts with Shingles, and in every case they have found relief with equal parts of PLAGUE DEFENSE and RAVENSARA in a capsule ever few hours. For three of them, it took less than a day for relief, and the other one was much better after 2 days. [Heritage Blend: SHINGLES INTERNAL DEFENSE]
2. We have had great results using your SHINGLES INTERNAL DEFENSE blend in a capsule two-to-three times daily. Blood tests were done before and after, and my doctor was astounded at how significantly the herpes zoster count dropped. I shared this with a friend, and she reported relief within minutes of taking the blend internally. After 3 doses (1 day) the breakout was over and has never reoccurred (in three years). [Shingles Internal Defense is a blend of Ravensara, Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata and Rosemary.]
3. I am a massage therapist, and had a client who spent two months on medication for her shingles outbreak and was still suffering. I used ELEMI on the arm that was affected. After this one application, she was able to get relief. The next time I saw her, I applied Elemi again on this arm, and she completely recovered and hasn’t had any problems in over a year.
4. Red Clover herb by Nature’s Way and Heritage's SHINGLES B GONE applied topically helped me tremendously. [Shingles B Gone is a blend of Ravensara and Geranium in a base of Calophyllum, which is also known as Tamanu oil.]
5. I recently used MELISSA to get rid of a case of shingles. I took one drop under my tongue several times daily for a while, and then I upped it to four drops in a capsule morning and night. My herpes zoster count went to 0! Melissa is expensive, but it works, and it’s far less expensive than doctor visits and medications.
6. When my shingles acted up this last time, I blended 10 drops each of LAVENDER, TEA TREE and THYME in massage oil and applied it topically for relief.
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