Essential Oils for Shingles

Shingles is also known as herpes zoster and forms part of the herpes family. Shingles, in fact, is a secondary outbreak of chicken pox. You might have had chicken pox years ago and the virus lay dormant in your body for years on end before breaking out into the shingles virus; a painful rash on the skin. Those of the older adults and certain individuals who have weakened immune systems are the ones at greatest risk for developing shingles.

Symptoms of shingles

  • Stabbing pain on one side of face or body
  • Itching, tingling, burning and stinging sensation followed by the outbreak of the rash
  • A headache with fever, chills and nausea
  • Bodily aches
  • A fluid-filled blistering type rash on the body or face

An amazing fact is that often shingles is caused from actually having the chickenpox vaccination. It’s amazing because the whole purpose of getting the vaccination is to halt the chickenpox virus from invading your body. And yet the opposite effect happens. The people who get the shingles as a result of the chicken pox vaccination usually get shingles in the worst form than those who just get it from the virus alone. If you do happen to have shingles, it is highly contagious and you can pass it on to a person who hasn’t had it and that includes new-born babies and children.


Medical or natural solutions

When you see your doctor about treatment for shingles, they will probably prescribe an anti-viral drug such as Acyclovir. They will prescribe painkillers and maybe a pharmaceutical cream. Many pharmaceutical products, however, come with potentially dangerous and unwanted side effects. Often they will lower the immune system as well as the immune response. Scientists aren’t even really sure as to why this virus reactivates itself but since there is no medical cure for shingles, most doctor’s prescriptions will aim at treating the symptoms, but they won’t dig down to the underlying cause.

You might be someone who would love to let nature treat the underlying cause because nature has the solutions in the form of essential oils. These are well known for the healing antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Some of the best essential oils for shingles are:

  • Ravintsara oil: This plant is native to Madagascar. The leaves are steam-distilled and used for various skin ailments, of which shingles benefits. Not only for shingles, it is excellent for viral hepatitis and within just a few days, the pain and inflammation of shingles will subside.
  • Tea tree oil: This plant is native to Australia, also known as Melaleuca alternifolia. With its antiviral and astringent properties, it is an excellent solution for shingles relieving the pain and inflammation. Tea tree is a skin doctor, treating other skin conditions like stretch marks and acne. Just apply topically on the affected area.
  • Lavender oil: This plant is native to the Old World (Afro-Eurasia). Lavender oil will combat the shingles virus, soothing and relaxing the outbreak with its antiviral, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Lavender essential oil can be rubbed onto the neck and forehead to relieve the headaches and nausea that come with having shingles.
  • Geranium oil: The geranium plant, found in temperate parts all over the world, is very gentle on the skin, relieving the pain of shingles almost immediately after applying it. It won’t clear the shingles rash, but it prevents the nerve pain that comes from the chicken pox virus.
  • Peppermint oil: This plant, indigenous to Europe and the Middle East is highly effective in dealing with shingles as well as respiratory conditions. It has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. It also boosts the immune system to help you fight the virus.
  • Bergamot oil: Grown mainly all around Europe, this plant has healing properties that will go so far as to prevent any future infections. It is a wonderful antidepressant too as well as an analgesic, helping you to relax which relieve the pain of the shingles.
  • Chamomile oil: The German, Roman and English chamomile plant are so useful for shingles let alone other benefits with its soothing and relaxing qualities. An all-rounder, chamomile essential oil.

How do you apply essential oil to the shingles area?

Topically:You directly rub the affected area, but before the topical application, first dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil such as jojoba, coconut or sweet almond oil. Diluting it prevents skin irritation should your skin be sensitive.

Diffuser:You use the essential oils with a diffuser. With a diffuser, you inhale the little molecules of the essential oils, helping them to circulate throughout your body to combat the virus.

Hot compress:Once again, dilute the essential oil with jojoba, coconut or sweet almond carrier oil and pour the solution into some hot water. Dip a clean towel in the water, wring it out and apply to the shingles affected area for about 20 minutes.

Warm bath:Add a few drops of essential oil to your bath, soaking for about 20-30 minutes.

Add to your body lotion:Just add some drops of essential oils with your body cream and rub onto the blisters a few times in the day.

Here is a recipe or two to apply to shingles:

Recipe 1

  • 2-3 drops of ravintsara oil
  • 2-3 drops of geranium oil
  • 1 tablespoon of carrier oil as mentioned above
  • Mix ingredients and dab on affected area, continuing to apply after blisters subside for the antiviral benefits.

Recipe 2

  • 2 drops of clove oil
  • 2 drops of peppermint oil
  • 2 drops of Melissa oil
  • 1 tablespoon of carrier oil
  • Apply 5-7 drops over the affected area a few times a day.


Remember that essential oils are in their pure form which means they are highly concentrated. They should be diluted with carrier oils like jojoba, coconut or sweet almond for example before applying topically. If you are pregnant, you should seek medical advice before applying essential oils. Essential oils should preferably not be used on children because of their sensitive and tender skin. If you do have an allergic reaction to essential oils, discontinue the use and preferably consult your doctor. It is also naturally important that you should follow a healthy diet when you have shingles to boost your immune system and continue to hasten the healing.

Consider your immune system as a bank account. Top it up to maximum levels of health if you want to fight disease. Once your immune system is up to the full level with excellent natural solutions like essential oils and good food, you surely will keep the shingles virus far away from touching you!

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