Essential oils for shingles offer alternative natural ways to a treatment of the indescribable nerve pain of shingles.
A disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus(VZR), the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you had chickenpox earlier in life, the virus lies inactive in the nerve tissues either of the brain or the spinal cord. Once the zoster virus is reactivated later in life, not in a form of chickenpox but is now shingles (herpes zoster). This is characterized by nerve pain and localized skin eruptions on the face or around the torso. However, this can occur anywhere on your body. Shingles is not a life-threatening condition but may lead to a serious problem like permanent loss of vision and postherpetic neuralgia.
How do you identify shingles from other viral skin infections? Shingles affect a certain localized part of the body. Common symptoms include burning nerve pain that will supersede rash, itching and fluid-filled blisters. Usually, you will not realize it is shingles until the fluid-filled blisters develop.
There is no cure for shingles but an immediate treatment of symptoms with prescription antiviral drugs helps and reduces the risk of complications. As you experience painful shingle infection, you may want to explore alternatives to relieve the discomfort by using essential oils. These are a blend of essential oils that relieve pain, itching, inflammation, and sedative properties. I listed alternative natural ways to the treatment of shingles by the use of essential oils.
List of Essential Oils for Shingles
Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender essential oil is a favorite of many because aside from its antiviral activity, it is also antibacterial. This essential oil is good for the treatment of secondary infections from blisters in shingles. Application of dilution with distilled water to the blister help stimulates cell regeneration, resulting in fast healing of the blister. Furthermore, this oil act as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory analgesic which can help heal minor wounds and insect bites. Studies also claimed that it may relieve stress and promotes sleep.
Peppermint Essential Oil (Mentha piperita)
Peppermint oil like lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils because of its versatility. The menthol in peppermint has cooling action that soothes inflamed skin, lowers fever, relieves itching and ease the pain. Like lavender oil, this essential oil is also antibacterial and antiviral in properties. But unlike lavender oil, peppermint oil is a stimulating oil and not to use before sleep.
Spearmint Essential Oil (Mentha spicata)
Spearmint essential oil is like peppermint oil but it contains a lower amount of menthol and has carvone as its main constituent. As a gentle version of peppermint oil makes this milder oil suitable for children and one with sensitive skin. It is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal in properties, reduces fever and has local anesthetic action. A good choice if you experience postherpetic neuralgia.
Geranium Essential Oil (Pelargonium graveolens)
Geranium oil is a flowery shrub native to South Africa. Is often compared to rose essential oil because of similar therapeutic effects and commonly used in aromatherapy. Its main chemical constituents are geraniol and citronellol. Geranium oil has a calming aroma that promotes relaxation. In addition, the Geranium essential oil is analgesic, anti-inflammatory in action, reduces itch and relieves rash discomfort.
Thyme Essential Oil (Thymus vulgaris)
Thyme’s history of importance for culinary and medicinal qualities goes back thousands of years to the Roman era. The essential oil thymol is used as disinfectant, antiseptic and stimulates the immune system. In addition, thyme essential oil is also antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal in action. It alleviates the pain and itch caused by shingles. A word of precaution, the essential oil of thyme is not to be taken internally, not for pregnant women and those taking blood-thinning medications. Externally, it should be diluted with a carrier oil before use.
Niaouli Essential Oil (Melaleuca viridiflora)
Niaouli essential oil is from the leaves of Melaleuca tree, native to Australia and New Guinea. Niaouli and Tea Tree essential oils have similar properties but the use of Niaouli has less chance of skin irritation. The essential oil main constituent is cineole and is a potent antiviral. Another benefit use of this oil is to prevent bacterial infection on the blister of the skin.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Eucalyptus radiata)
Eucalyptus essential oil is from leaves of the evergreen eucalyptus tree. This antiviral essential oil’s main constituent is cineole or eucalyptol. Its pain reliever properties ease neurologic pain which is an alternative treatment to shingles pain.
Ravintsara Essential Oil (Cinnamomum camphora)
This essential oil for shingles is extracted from leaves of Ravintsara tree and originated from Madagascar. A cineole and terpenes in composition. Referred to as a multipurpose oil that comes in handy for a variety of ailments from headaches to depression. As shingles lead to painful swelling, this anti-inflammatory oil will also relieve itch and will induce sleep.
Oregano Essential Oil (Origanum vulgare)
Oregano oil is derived from an oregano plant, a fragrant herb best known as an ingredient in Italian recipes. Its main constituent is carvacrol and offers many health benefits. This widely used herbal oil may help to alleviate shingles pain due to antiviral, antibacterial and pain-relieving properties. However, this is not recommended for use during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and while on blood thinners therapy.
Tea Tree Essential Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Tea Tree oil is from alternifolia plant, an Australian native plant with high terpineol content. The use of this essential oil in shingles is due to its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. It is also a powerful antiseptic immune system stimulant, beneficial in eliminating VZR. A soothing oil ideal for shingles because it relieves aches, pains and promotes a sense of calm.
German Chamomile Essential Oil (Matricaria recutita)
German chamomile flower had been a widely-used herb for over a thousand years ago, for its healing properties. This amazing essential oil is antibacterial, antiseptic, with powerful anti-inflammatory actions, helps reduce pain, calms the rash, and ease the itch of shingles. Most of all, German chamomile is a sedative. A good night’s sleep helps heal the body.
In conclusion, essential oils offer you alternatives that may relieve the signs and symptoms of shingles. Individual reactions vary in using essential oil for shingles, as there are derived from plants and may cause allergic reactions. As these are natural alternatives with minimal risk. The use of essential oils may alleviate signs and symptoms from shingles but should not replace your immediate medical treatment.