Shifting Shingles

stjohnswort You wouldn’t wish shingles on your worst enemy. The pain it causes on the skin has been likened to being on fire. An unbearable, intense burning feeling which can be quite striking in its intensity.

Shingles, also know as herpes zoster, results from a reactivation of infection with the virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox may develop shingles later in life.

Shingles typically develops along the path of one nerve on one side of the body. Following a tingling, burning sensation, a blistering rash is usually characteristic of the condition.

In most cases, an episode of shingles occurs for no apparent reason. Sometimes a period of stress or illness, which may weaken the immune system, seems to trigger it.

Herbal medicine can help relieve the symptoms of shingles and also fight the virus.

St John’s Wort, known more for its ability in relieving mild to moderate depression, has a strong, claret-red pigment in the flower petals called hypericin, which has shown to reduce infection caused by shingles.

Hypericin has also shown effectiveness in beating other enveloped viruses such as herpes, which causes cold sores, retroviruses such HIV and some forms of influenza, although the way it works is still not fully understood.

The oddly named herb, Jamaican dogwood, also know as Florida fish poison tree or Fishfuddle, was been traditionally used as a sedative to stun fish, allowing them to be caught by hand.

Today, Jamaican dogwood, is used as a herbal tincture to treat the neuralgic pain caused by shingles due to its powerful action as a nerve sedative.

It contains active ingredients called isoflavonoids which help block the pain associated with shingles and which are also anti-inflammatory.

Precaution must be taken in regards to Jamaica dogwood and it should only be used with the supervision of a qualified herbal practitioner.

The pain of shingles can be debilitating but there are some natural remedies which may help ease the pain and beat eliminate the virus from the body.