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Cure Shingles: Home Remedies for Shingles Treatment

Last Modified on Mar 25, 2015

Apple Cider Vinegar   39  3   

Posted by Sandra (Pahrump, NV) on 01/30/2006

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  I have had this for nine days and having a baby was less painful, I am trying ACV on the lesions for the first time today and we'll see but benadryl ointment extra strenght seemed to take the pain away faster, I did mix honey, ACV and water for internal help. Hope something works have Dr. s app. tomorrow and will try anything to make this go away. It's on my neck, right ear, cheek and head, right side only. Pain is terrible like hot needles inserted, a branding iron on the skin!!!

Posted by Peter (Oakland Park, FL) on 01/23/2006

[NAY]  apple cider vinegar did nothing for me. i tried aluminum acetate diluted in water applied via a compress, which dried the area and had a soothing effect. however, i must say that acyclovir, and zovarax cream seemed to do the best. for pain good luck,tylenol helps, as some rx's the docs can supply you with. i am 16 days into this and can not wait for it to be over. PAINFUL.

Posted by Virgil (Houston, Texas) on 06/05/2005

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  Can't say I am cured but applying the vinegar sure gave me pain relief. I apply when the posthepetic neuralgia pain kicks up and befroe bedtime. Started using the ACV last Tuesday, just 6 days ago. This is the best treatment so far. I had acupunture initially and it reduced the most severe pain by a lot however 6 treatments could not erase the remaining pain.

Posted by Brenda (Bear, DE)

[YEA]  I have lost 23 lbs. in 2 months. ACV Also helped me through a bout of shingles in a very short time. I use 2 TBS. of vinegar in 6 oz. water twice a day. I find it helps me more to take it right after lunch and supper. I don't feel so bloated after my vinegar drinks and swear this has took the weight off and makes me feel better overall.

Posted by Anonymous

[YEA]  Yes, I tried vinegar, not orally, but rubbed it on the spot in my back that has given me horrific pain for 6 years, I have used Zonalon ($85 per tube, Empi ($45 per oz) and Capsascin, even athletes foot medicine, Aspercream, and this is so far, the most relief I have had. My shingles never blistered, but I was left with Posthepetic neuralgia which has been terrible. Worth a try, and you have it in your kitchen. I wonder how does it work, is it the acid?

Replied by Natasha
Los Angeles, Ca
I was 13 when I was diagnosed with my first outbreak of shingles. In the States herpes is diagnosed as type I and type II. My blood tests recently confirmed that I contracted both types, at different stages of my life. For the past twenty years I get burning sensation almost every month just around my period. I also get it almost guaranteed when I am stressed out, tired, or about to come down with a cold. It almost looks like we can't live without each other anymore. And, just to show how easy it is to activate the virus - last week I got a small patch of burnt skin from sun over exposure, and sure enough, my "friend" followed shortly after. In a way I consider myself lucky only because I rarely experience blisters, maybe up to twice a year. More often I get the burning and itching sensation that can last for days and up to a few weeks at worst. This time I got blisters before I realized what was coming. I wear a loose shirt and I cover the affected area so that I don't get to touch it by accident. I am aware that I am contagious these days, thus I avoid physical touch with my husband, to protect him from getting infected. All the affected clothing, towels and bedding is washed in hot water and bleached, to further prevent possible contamination. My doc tried me initially with pills that made me feel as sick as I could imagine. Then I got switched to new medicine that seems to work ok. I only need to take it for one day, and while it doesn't reverse the first signs, it seems to be helpful with decreased number of recurrences. I went from about 10-12 annual occurrences down to 4-5, which is for me a great improvement. I have not tried any natural remedy described here, but I am aware of ACV's effectiveness with all sorts of medical issues, not just with shingles. I will most positively give it a try as soon as possible. After two decades of suffering I believe it's about time to send my friend for some vaccation.
Replied by Katherine
Asheville, Nc
[YEA]   Apple Cider Vinegar for Shingles.

Thanks to this site, used Apple Cider Vinegar very successfully. Cold compresses for 1/2 hour at a time, 1 part ACV to 2-3 parts water. Leave the ACV on for about an hour after, then rinse and then used an oil from my Chinese acupuncture clinic (not as effective as ACV, but good for soothing and healing). Do this as 4-5 times a day. Also used acupuncture and homeopathic remedies included arnica, belladonna and rhus tox. I worked with a homeopath who helped me figure out what I needed when. I also took the antiviral Acly (whatever it's called... Finished it and threw out the bottle... normally hate meds and only go natural but worked with everything I could to alleviate this condition).

Also took Lysine, vitamins and herbs... everything I could to strengthen my immune system.

Also, muscle tightness in my back (outbreak was on my chest and back) was intense. Did lots of breathing and stretching exercises to keep the energy moving, even when it was painful. Carefully worked thru the pain.

Got thru what my acupuncturist said was a pretty severe reaction pretty quickly... Again, thanks primarily to ACV and this site. Really grateful.

Replied by Breizhbabe
Woodley, Reading, Berkshire, Uk
[YEA]   Hi, When our children had chicken pox, which is the same virus as shingles - to ease the pain of the blisters we were advised to put some oats in a muslin cloth, tie it and place it in the bath. This produces a milk which bathes the sores and soothes. I tried this last year when I had shingles for the first time and it was very soothing. I also put calamine lotion onto the spots (you can also use this for sunburn). I currently have shingles and I think they have affected my scalp. When I wash my hair I put one drop of tea tree oil into the final rinse water and this has soothed the scalp. I wonder whether peppermint might also help. Now I have read the article on apple cider vinegar will try that. You can buy organic apple cider that isn't that much more expensive.
Replied by Ja
Burlington, Vt
I think I may have shingles, though not 100% sure. It is some kind of rash. Began as a light pink 1" round spot on my left upper thigh--almost hip level. Next day the same thing on the other side and they both grow more red and splotchy. If I look very close there seems to be a tiny little head. Then same thing on my left ankle. I apply a 3X antibiotic, Neosporin with no effect. There is no deep pain and very little itching with these three. But for a couple nights my left leg itched like crazy. I realized my skin was rather dry and started using Dermasil lotion on the non-affected areas.

Within a couple days I notice the same thing on my forearm. Within a day I had 5-6 little bumps and in another day my left forearm had 1 or 2. This is war. I applied Betadine to all of them for a week. Still red but seem better with the B drying out the skin very much and some skin peel. Never saw blisters, but I think I may have.

I'm 55 and the last few months have been very stressful and 15 years ago I did get shingles when I was working 2 demanding jobs--stressed. Dr told me to work less. Now some of the spots are a faded brownish color, but I do notice a few very tiny new ones beginning.

I'm going to try this ACV treatment and let you know if it does any good. Right now I'm drinking a couple TBS in my ice tea.

Replied by Ja8877
Burlington, Vt
I am nearly positive this is shingles now but the symptoms etc are confusing. I've had very little pain, the little pain I get is usually in the evening and I have the urge to scratch. On a pain or discomfort level it is a 2 out of 10. It's on both of my forearms which is strange. I've called a few Dr's and they are all too busy and tell me to go to the Hospital Emergency. That shingles are very serious and I need immediate medical attention. Really no help there.

I have 2 full days of ACV now and the jury is not in yet. I use it diluted, but strong as a half hour compress which does help and feels much better. After the half hour compress I daub with cotton ball full strength. I do this 2 or 3 times per day and I drink about 4 oz per day diluted with water. I've also used calamine lotion on some areas as a test to see if it does help. And yes calamine lotion does help.

I can definitely say the ACV does help, to what extent I am not sure, but I think fairly significant. I'm sure I'd be in worse shape without it. I've also increased my vitamins, like C and B Complex and take an oral anti-histamine daily.

Since it's a virus I'm just going to let it run it's course and manage it. If I feel pain or if it spreads to my face I'll find a Dr who is not too busy. I did have shingles about 18 years ago--but I knew what it was as soon as I saw it and it was extremely painful--this is mild--so far.

Replied by Ja
Burlington, Vt
[YEA]   Follow-up. YEA! ACV is a big help. I can definitely say that over the last 5 days ACV has drastically helped alleviate my shingles. The first few days the skin on both arms were a flaming scarlet red with little dots appearing like crazy. For the first few days I diluted the ACV with about 2-3 parts water and would use a compress for about 40 minutes, 2-3X per day and then daub with full strength. The first day I used a full strength compress and my skin was really irritated from that.

I then would daub any new little red dots with calamine lotion and that over the course of a couple days dried them up. I was really impressed with the results of the combo of ACV and calamine lotion. Finally yesterday my arms began to return to normal, but it took a few days to get there. The last 2 days my arms are looking so good I only do 1 compress and ACV daub/calamine lotion per day.

My flaming red arms are now retuning to their normal color. I have a few other small areas to deal with--but my arms were the worst. At one point they were flaming red 12"x 4" and I never saw anything so virulent and rapid. I'll list some things I've learned to help you.

1. Dilute the ACV with 2-3 parts water for a long compress. Then daub with full strength.

2. Let dry and apply calamine lotion to any small red dots and let it dry. Wear loose cotton clothing. And drink at least 2 oz per day of ACV per day--dilute with 6 parts or more of water.

3. I would take a Benadryl capsule with antihistamine if there was any itching. Sometimes the itch urge can drive you crazy.

4. I beefed up my vitamins and took a good multi, 2000mg of C, and a B Complex.

5. Wash with cool or tepid water and minimal mild soap. Warm or hot water only aggravates the skin. When you wash you are throwing trauma at your skin.

6. Try to rest and don't eat any junk food. Also no sugar, coffee, choclate, nuts, strawberries and spinach--they will aggravate your skin.

7. Any rash on your face--get to a Dr.

8. Shingles is a virus and will run its course. Once you have it all you can really do is to alleviate the pain and itchiness and keep the shingles from being infected and to reduce the dots as fast as you can. ACV with calamine worked for me.

Replied by Jennifer
Orient, Ny, Usa
ACV can work wonders for many different types of rashes. I'm glad you're feeling better, but not sure if what you had was shingles since the rash only emerges on one side of the body at a time, along the nerve pathway affected (as told by doctors when I got it over 2 weeks ago). Of course, they could be wrong, and I'm certainly no expert, just thought your symptoms sounded odd for shingles. Mine started with neck pain, pain in the right side of my throat when swallowing, and mild skin irritation on the right side my neck. This happened about two days before a small red spot appeared just right of the median line of my neck. When I woke the following day it had spread to the right on my neck and developed blisters. I also had a new, blistered area under by right ear. It quickly spread up to the right side of my face and to my right ear, spreading behind it and into the ear. It also caused multiple round, swollen spots which are about the diameter of a golf ball across the right side of my skull. Although the rash is almost cleared up, the bumps on my skull remain and I continue to have severe pain: constant headache, occasional severe shooting pain starting under my chin, running up the right side of my face, ending about two inches into my hairline, and deep ear pain. I have barely been able to get off the couch, which I have to (try to) sleep on so I can rest my head on the left side, something I couldn't maintain in bed.

I've finished the antviral medication and steroid prescribed (for inflammation) by my doctor, but had no recommendations for the pain due to other medication I need to be on. Although my blisters and rash itched me, they were nothing compared to the nerve pain. I will start taking ACV internally today with the hopes it will relieve some of the pain and increase my energy. Will let you know how it works for my nerve pain. Also planning on taking Lysine, which many people here recommend to help boost my immune system since I am under constant stress lately, which I suspect triggered the virus.

Posted by Ursula (Barrington, IL)

[YEA]  ACV has helped me with a recent bout of shingles. Instead of drinking the vinegar, I applied a solution of 1 tsp. ACV with 1/4 cup of water with some cotton balls. I also made a foot-bath with 1/4 cup of ACV and 1 gallon of warm water, twice a day for three days. The sores were healed within a few days and gone was the pain.

Replied by Tom
Elgin, Il
Valtrex, prednisone, Lydocane patches, take an edible vitamin C 4 times a day, one Lysine amino acid a day, small amount of zinc every day vitamin B-12. I was cured in a week. Watch your diet and avoid an acid stomach. I used ibuprofin to ease pain it worked.Some say crushed aspirin mixed with nail polish remover as a topical pain reliever, I didn't try it. I didnt try ACV either but will give it a shot if I feel symptoms again.

Posted by Stan (Glendale, AZ)

[YEA]  I read the ACV cure 3 days into a breakout of shingles and started taking a teaspoon twice a day in water. My shingles were gone in another 4 days. A month later, I got an itch and the small beginning bumps on both my right wrist and side, I started the ACV immeadiatly and the breakout never happened! Seems to work as a preventative too.

Posted by Linda (Holt, MO)

[YEA]  I had shingles around my waist a few years ago and the RX creme burned terribly. I put a little ACV on a cotton ball and applied it to the spots and the relief was immediate. The doctor was amazed (duh!).

Posted by Donna (Aspen, CO)

[NAY]  My sister has shingles, she has tried ACV per your listed suggestions to no avail. After 5 days she is giving up and she is on the drug.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Aloe, Cayenne   1  0   

Posted by Bob (Boston, Ma) on 10/05/2008

[YEA]  I ended up on your site looking for a cure for shingles. I found it and it involved among other things Apple cider vinegar to be ingested and a mix of Aloe vera and crushed cayenne pepper rubbed on the redness which almost instantly brought the blisters to a head. I was done with shingles in about a week. Because of all the testimonials here, I decided to keep on taking the ACV orally 3 times a day. In liquid form or capsules. I realized that my flow of urine got stronger and started to last much longer. I had prostate problems for a few years and I was taking every day some very expensive herbal tea that was working somewhat. I decided to stop the herbal tea and stay on the ACV only. I now pee like a 15 years old and I'm not on any medication. ACV also cured me of my insomnia! Thank you Earth Clinic for such a great site.

Replied by Roy
Redding, California
Bob continues indicating that this also cured his swollen prostate. I would like to know what the dosage of apple cider vinegar, and whatever else he combined with it, that he took 3 times daily for three weeks. Thank you, Roy
Replied by Rob
Underberg, Kzn South Africa
Could you please let me have Bob from Boston's email address. He posted a comment on the 10/05/08 re ACV re shingles and re prostrate. As I have the same problem I would appreciate speaking to him directly

EC: Sorry, Bob did not post an email address in his submission.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Cayenne   1  0   

Posted by Anna (Roswell, Ga) on 09/06/2013

My boyfried had what we think to be shingles. That is when I discovered Earth Clinic. I fixed him a bottle water with ACV, cayenne pepper (3 good size shakes) honey to taste. had him drink this 3 times a day and mixed cayenne pepper with ACV (heavy on cayenne) took cottonball and put it on him everywhere, three times a day and shingles were gone within 3 to 5 days. It made him a believer. Now we both drank ACV as a often as we can.

Posted by Gene (Sarasota, FL) on 04/11/2009

[YEA]  This is my second shingles attack, folks! First one lasted 60 days and was the most unbelievably painful thing I had ever experienced. Interestingly enough, 100% of the shingles was sub-surface, with no redness, raised areas or pustules. The deep pain was beyond words.

Now, four years later, in a period of incredible stress, I've got the damned thing again -- this time, with a left leg and the front/back of the left side of my torso covered in mega-patches of fiery pustules. Pain inside (emanating from the locus deep inside the nerve) and out.

Then, a friend of a friend mentioned ACV and I went surfing and found your site.

Last night (day 3), I covered the sores with ACV&Cayenne, and took two half shot glasses of ACV mixed with Cayenne. Within about an hour the pain - inside and out - completely went away. Yes, completely, and I had what seemed like one of the best sleeps I had had in a long time.

This AM thru noon, I felt great, but this early afternoon I'm still a little shakey -- a slight twinge here, a slight twinge there. And the pustules are still there, but not increasing in size (and, as I write this, only a very, very, very occasional itch/pain from my little read friends.

I am going to keep this up, and have absolutely no doubt that this will do the trick. In fact, I'm going to apply your ACV/CP elixer as soon as I press 'send'.

Replied by Gene
Sarasota, FL USA
I have a previous posting on Apr. 11, 2009 (day 3 of my attack), which is currently logged under ACV+Cayenne. It would be helpful if you started there. This is an update, ten days later, and should be tremendously useful if you are debating whether to try a natural remeby for Shingles, specifically Apple Cide Vinegar.

Ten days ago, with a bad shingles rash and moderate deep pain, I turned to ACV/C. I had already been on western meds, specifically valtrex & prednisone, and I had no sense that they were doing any good.

Almost immediately, the pain (bit NOT the rash) went away. I continued swigging about half a shot glass of ACV sprinkled with Cayenne, three times a day, and used the same mixture topically a few times daily as well.

After a week, I felt I was completely cured, with the exception of the rash, and dutifully forgot about everything. After all, the smell and taste of ACV don't set the world on fire and aren't powerful motivators to hang in there once cured!

I realized yesterday that, during the past three days, the pain was back and had been for a couple of days now. Particularly, at night, I'd say the pain (in my case deep nerve pain) was perhaps a 7-8 out of 10 (the first time I had shingles it was a 10 out of 10, many times, so I know the scale!).

I had been lazy and listened to all my friends, including several doctors, saying 'It's the Western meds, dummy', and I figured I was in good hands once it stopped. Also, since the rash was taking forever to disappear, receding glacially, but no longer hurting, I felt that I didn't the ACV/C and it was probably an old wives tale anyway.

Boy was I wrong.

This is what I've learned:

1. A virus isn't over when you say it is. It's over when it decides it's run the course.

2. In going back on ACV, the topical pain (which had come back a bit in the past couple of days), stopped on the spot. Taking it yesterday AM, the topical cleared up immediately and the pain stopped throughout the day. Night was a different matter.

3. Two nights ago, the pain was terrible through the night. Last night - the first night since I had been back on ACV - the pain was gone until 5:58am (I went to sleep at 10pm, so I had 7 solid hours).

4. I finally got out of bed around 7:30, with a deep pain in the left side of my lower back. Within 10 minutes of takinf ACV internally and topically, the slight itching was gone and the internal pain had gone from a 7/8 to a 2/3.

Everyones disease and progress is different, and anecdotal evidence for me does not mean a hell of a lot in your case. But I wanted to give as much detail as possible so that you could see exactly how ACV has impacted what I'm going through.

I am dissapointed that the rash is only abating slowly, but - if I had to choose between reallybad, debilitating pain and the side effects pain and sleeplessness produces, and a rash, which in my case is under the shirt/pants and not visible, I'll take the rash anyday!

Count me as an ACV believer. Not once - but twice - in the same illness! Good luck with your shingles!!


Apple Cider Vinegar, L-Lysine, Vitamin C   1  0   

Posted by Bruce (Hart, Michigan) on 07/27/2009

[YEA]  I have had shingles for about 10 years. It started at age 69. I never had a serious rash but the pain has been the worst. My shingles is concentrated in my right forehead, around my eye and in my nose and in my teeth- upper right. When I first had the pain I would fall down and see stars. I've tried all the bad drugs with very limited results and gave them up. Until I was referred to this web site just 4 weeks ago. I now take 2 tablespoons of acv and 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup in distilled water twice a day, one acv tablet 3 times a day, one LLysine capsule daily, 3000 mg of Vitamin C daily and I go in once a week to receive a Vitamin C intravenous injection once a week. From the first swallow of acv the pain left me and has not returned. Prior to this I could hardly eat, talk and I lived with constant pain. It is a real miracle. Thank you everyone for your input to this great web site.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Lysine   2  0   

Posted by Monica J (Western Suburbs Of Chicago, Illinois ) on 05/15/2011

[YEA]  Hi all. Just finished a recent bout with shingles and thought I would share here in repayment for the great advice I have read here over the years.

I have had shingles a few times before and found the apple cider vinegar treatment (swabbing lesions with cotton soaked ACV) has worked for me. In fact, even treated my son when he had chicken pox that same way and lessened his time spent with that awful childhood illness.

This last time was different for me however. Instead of having shingles in a 'convenient' location, grouped together on my back or leg where I could treat with ACV, dry and then coat with an OTC anti itch cream and then cover with a bandage... No, this time they appeared on my foot. And like many here didn't recognize it as shingles - thought I had some nasty spider bites. After a day or two as they were spreading, realized well into the problem that this was a new location for shingles.

Maybe waiting a day or two to treat with ACV made it less effective than it was in the past. I was able to soak my foot a few times a day in a small foot bath of ACV and that helped with current lesions. However, having it on my toes made it difficult to keep the lesions from spreading and multiplying. One area would sprout a lesion and then go thru its stages and break as it was rubbing against another toe and then that toe would have a lesion (or two) the next day.

Then I remembered this site and read thru the comments here again for another clue as to what to do. The clue was the amino acid Lysine. The lack of the amino acid in one's diet is considered to make one liable to viruses such as shingles.

I had an older bottle of bee pollen in my cabinet. Bee pollen is a 'complete food' and contains all aminos. I took three tabs immediately and then 3 every 12 hours. (Why that time? Made it up - thought it would take that long to get thru my system.)

So, will keep up with the Lysine intake and of course, keep a supply of ACV on hand in case of future outbreaks.

Replied by Schuyler
Mullins, Sc
I started with shingles Dec. 2012. Have had ongoing problems since then. It was hard to diagnose because it never came out as a rash, but stayed "inside. " It's in the left side of neck, left upper roof gum area, temple, top left side of head, partially down left neck and left shoulder. Been on antivirals & steroids 3 times. Now, back on antivirals alone. BUT... This time, I'm having an actual outbreak on the inside of the lower lid of my left eye. It's very uncomfortable. I've just taken the ACV for the first time after reading all the comments, but can anyone suggest what I might possibly be able to use for my eye to help with the bad discomfort? I know I can't put vinegar in there--UGH! Thanks for any help.
Replied by Lisa
Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa
Hi Schuyler, I have sent two friends who had shingles to my friend who is a Chinese herbalist. He doesn't do acupuncture but specializes in Chinese herbalism.

One of my friend's husband was hit with a terrible case of shingles along the same area where yours is. His work sent him home saying he could not return until it was resolved. Of course, he was in pain and upset about not being able to work. He's also a scientist and when his wife told him about my recommendation for this he said he would not go there and have his tongue "read". She said fine, went by herself and told him her husband had shingles and where it was located. He sent her home with herbs and instructions and within 2 days the shingles were gone and he could return to work.

Again, I don't think I can emphasize how powerful Chinese medicine is. I hope this helps. Lisa

P.S. Forgot to mention, my herbalist friend treated his own dad successfully for shingles as well!

Replied by Connie
Slc, Utah, Usa
Hi Schuyler; I would recommend high dose B12, even injections for shingles. B12 has antiviral properties, and it used to be used to treat them before the advent of antivirals. Shingles near the eyes may even cause blindness, so I can't help but ask you to hurry. B12 will also treat post herpetic neuralgia, which can be debilitating.
Replied by Liz
Melbourne, Australia
Hi l have had shingles 3 times in 3 months but quite mildly, l use colloidal silver and keep a wet solution on at all times with cotton wool , you can put it in your eyes, l have been using it successfully for 15 years on any external infection, sometimes l drink it for my ulcer helps straight away, sore throats, eye infections fantastic, good luck
Replied by Maryann
Emporia, Kansas
Collodial Silver (liquid dietary supplement) is great to use as eye drops if you want to protect your eyes from your shingles outbreak. It's safe to use in eyes.

Posted by ELFGIRL (Buffalo, NY) on 04/21/2009

[YEA]  I'm a 52 year old female - the ACV works! I admit that the bout of Shingles I had was not too bad. The first night I tried the ACV both internal and external the redness and itching started to go away. I included in fight against shingles by taking between 3,000 - 4,000 mg of lysine. This helps boost your immune system both for shingles and cold sores. I also used calamine lotion and Zorvorax. In less than 2 days the blisters were drying up and the itching was going away I finally could sleep. I highly recommend the ACV as a great method in treating shingles.

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DISCLAIMER: Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.

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