Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is an infectious disease that commonly afflicts older people or people who have weakened or compromised immune systems. Over-the-counter drugs and even some prescription drugs might be ineffective for treating shingles and relieving the pain. Shingles sufferers might turn to homeopathy or natural remedies for shingles to relieve some of the pain and other symptoms associated with the disease. Homeopathic shingles treatments include acupuncture, herbs, herbs in pill form, teas and creams made from cayenne and red peppers.
Named for its rough, scaled appearance on the skin, shingles occurs when the dormant varicella-zoster virus — the virus that causes chicken pox — reactivates within the patient's nervous system. Shingles can be very painful, causing nerve pain and oozing blisters on the skin. Sensitive rough patches form scabs on the skin. Severe shingles might afflict the eye or ear organs and cause blindness or deafness. Even with mild cases of shingles, a patient might develop severe chronic nerve pain that modern medicines cannot relieve.
The relatively harmless effects of homeopathic shingles remedies are why many patients turn to home remedies to treat the disease without experiencing the harmful side effects of synthetic or chemical prescription drugs. Many homeopathic shingles treatments offer only limited relief, and some remedies might be more effective on certain patients than on others. Acupuncture is a very common homeopathic shingles treatment. Originating in China, acupuncture is an ancient method of inserting the tips of needles below the surface of the skin in strategic areas of the body. Acupuncture often offers only short-term relief and is sometimes administered in conjunction with spinal manipulation and red pepper extract cream.
Creams derived from red peppers are one of the more effective homeopathic treatments for shingles sufferers. Red peppers contain the chemical capsaicin, which is responsible for producing spicy heat. Capsaicin-containing creams and ointments rubbed on the skin can provide some relief from nerve pain.
The blisters and blemishes that appear on the skin might be soothed by arsenicum album derived from the metal arsenic. Iris versicolor from the iris plant and rhus toxicodendron from the poison ivy plant are available in pill form. Chinese natural home remedies also include san sheng yin, a tea created from ginseng and ginger for neuralgia. St. John's wort and lavender tea or compresses can soothe the nervous system. The ranunculus bulb from the flower of the same name is a very common homeopathic shingles treatment for relieving severe pain, burning and large clusters of skin blisters.