How Do I Choose the Best Herbal Treatment for Shingles?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2019
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Choosing the best herbal treatment for shingles is often a matter of trial and error, as each person may respond differently to the various remedies available. Some of the most commonly used herbs for shingles include St. John's wort, echinacea, and lemon balm. Additional supplements that may be useful in the herbal treatment for shingles include goldenseal, cayenne pepper, and licorice. There may be negative side effects or medication interactions associated with the use of these supplements, so a doctor should be consulted with any questions or concerns before choosing an herbal treatment for shingles.

St. John's wort is a popular herbal treatment for shingles and is thought to have a variety of benefits. In addition to providing pain relief, this herb is believed to possess antiviral properties and may help the body to fight the virus responsible for this condition. Weight gain, constipation, and an increased sensitivity to sunlight are possible side effects of St. John's wort, and allergic reactions are experienced by some who use this supplement.

Echinacea may be used as an herbal treatment for shingles. This supplement is often taken to help boost the immune system and also contains antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that may help treat the symptoms of shingles. Side effects of echinacea may include nausea, fever, and a worsening of symptoms among those who have respiratory disorders such as asthma.


Lemon balm and buchu are thought to be beneficial to those who have shingles. As a natural antiviral remedy, lemon balm may be especially helpful in fighting infections caused by the herpes virus. Drowsiness is the most commonly reported side effect of lemon balm and may be increased when taken with alcohol. Goldenseal is thought to boost the effectiveness of the immune system and may also contain antimicrobial properties. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use products containing goldenseal due to possible brain damage affecting a newborn.

Cayenne pepper and licorice are often used to treat the symptoms of shingles. Used as a topical preparation, cayenne pepper may help to relieve nerve pain and itching caused by this viral illness. Skin irritation is often experienced when using products containing cayenne pepper, so caution should be used when choosing this herbal treatment for shingles. Licorice can be used topically or taken as an oral supplement and is thought to cause the virus that causes shingles to become inactive. Nausea, muscle weakness, and allergic reactions are among the possible side effects of licorice.


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