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Shingles - Editor's Choice

Over the years, Earth Clinic readers have sent us many reports about their treatments for Shingles. The editors at Earth Clinic consider the below posts to be some of the most helpful and informative and have named them 'Editor's Choice'. We hope that you will find this useful.


Posted by Sherry (Phoenix, AZ) on 03/04/2021
5 out of 5 stars

Last year had an outbreak of shingles, had lysine on hand so upped my dose to help remove the shingles virus. Outbreak on the right side of my body in 3 weeks cleared. I've had 3 more outbreaks, the last one felt like it was going in my right eye so much pain, also in my scalp. It crossed over to the left side pain and burning on my hip, I took 6 lysine and within 20 minutes watched it dry up. Reading it is caused by too much arginine in the body, must keep more lysine than arginine. I was putting 1 tablespoon cocoa powder in my coffee every morning high in arginine, it blocks lysine. Now I watch my intake of arginine and take 4 lysine capsules a day. No more outbreak.

Eucalyptus Oil

Posted by Pam N. (Kent, WA) on 03/03/2021
5 out of 5 stars

I'm 67 yr old, got shingles on my face and in my ear and on my eardrum. Did the Dr thing, anti-viral, steroids, sleeping pill, pain pill, lidocaine gel. My search led me to eucalyptus oil, several drops in a tablespoon of hemp oil, which worked like a charm and took the pain away immediately, applied as needed. I was basically bedridden for a month feeling sick and vertigo from shingles on my eardrum. It has been 5 months of residual pain around my ear, across my cheek, on my lower lip, and my tongue. It continues to fade but my tongue always feels weird.

DMSO and Magnesium Oil

Posted by JJ (Australia) on 11/10/2020
5 out of 5 stars

I got one of the worst cases of shingles my doctors had ever seen - head, neck, throat, tongue. Nearly killed me.

As a medical scientist, I researched and tried everything. By far the best thing was dmso (topically and orally), better still combined with MgCl (Magnesium Chloride) oil. You just need to know how to use the dmso ie with clean hands, and it needs to be good quality/pure, glass bottle etc. See on youtube 'dmso 60 minutes Dr Jacobs'. It's natural and good for you anyways. If pain is bad can apply the combo several times per day. The mgcl is also calming/ good for sleep. Cheers.

Mama's Shingles Remedies

Posted by Mama to Many (TN) on 11/18/2019
5 out of 5 stars

It took me a week to realize I was dealing with shingles. I had a belt of pain around my lower ribcage on just one side. The pain was so intense I would become short of breath. Once I realized it was not injury or a lung issue, I began treating it as a virus. I was also experiencing itchy skin that felt burned, which was the clue to shingles.

1,ooo mg of lysine each day
2 t. coconut oil a few times a day
vitamin c

1 -2 dropperfuls of cayenne pepper tincture in juice 4 x a day

and...baking soda baths!

They helped more than Tylenol. 1-2 cups each, Epsom salt and baking soda. I recall that those baths helped my children when they had chicken pox. Sometimes I would use pain patches from the dollar store. They have a lot of menthol in them, and capsicum. Salonpas patches were hard to remove and irritated my skin - the generic pain patches never bothered me!

I hope you never get shingles, but if you do, I hope these remedies are helpful for you! ~Mama to Many~

Apple Cider Vinegar +

Posted by Angi (California) on 02/04/2019
5 out of 5 stars

My shingles episode started after Christmas 2018. My first trip was to the ER. They gave me Acyclovir, which in 24hr made the skin peel off my hands and a red rash. Threw that away. My next thought is EC and started reading.

1. I put paste of ACV and baking soda on the lesions. They dried in one day.

2. Then started dealing with nerve pain, my regiment was: 16 units of Vit E, Maca for nerve pain, Liposomal Vit C 6000-10000 daily for 1 month, B12 microlingual 5000 morning and night. Magnesium increased for 2 weeks, increase folic acid for 3 weeks. Increase Vit D to 4-5000 daily, as I was really low on that.

When I researched the cause of Shingles, I realized the foods that were high in arginine. I was eating chocolate, grapes, nuts, all in one week and was low in lysine at the same time. Once I found out the correlation between arginine and lysine, it was very important that Lysine keeps the shingles at bay from reoccurring.

I also started, acupuncture and chiropractic visits, that also helped with pain. I never had any itching, as I caught the lesions early and dried them up. The acupuncture visits also provided herbal medicines that helped with pain. It's also very important to continue to stretch and walk if at all possible. Even simple short yoga workouts help with pain. I was sleeping on the hard floor for 10 days because the pain was so exhausting, until my acupuncturist helped relieve most of the stinging pain in my leg.

Thank you EC for being a source of knowledge.

Colostrum, Lysine

Posted by Para (Tennessee) on 01/08/2019
5 out of 5 stars

Because of another underlying disease, I have Shingles every day of my life for 5 years.. The way I keep it from flaring up and causing me pain in my head is Colostrum LD Powder. I worked up gradually to 2 or 3 Tablespoons a day. This will take the pain away within an hour or two after taking it. I also take 500 to 1000 mg Lysine daily. Prevention for me is taking the Colostrum and Lysine without fail daily. If I have made mistakes (forgetting to take the above or eating arginine foods) and ended up with a severe bout of Shingles, I add in Manuka Honey from New Zealand 15+ officially graded it seems to give an extra punch when coupled with the other things.. How I get severe bouts - eating anything chocolate, eating Vanilla Bean not Vanilla flavored but the bean itself .. got to stay away from Arginine foods very important because if the Arginine fills up the pathways and is overpowering the Lysine in the pathways, you will get an outbreak of Shingles.

Vitamin D

Posted by Kathryn (Ar) on 05/01/2018
5 out of 5 stars

In response to Kayla (Md) post on 04/27/2018

I'm 25, and this current outbreak of Shingles is my 6th (yes, SIXTH) outbreak in the last YEAR. Yet I can't get the Shingles Vaccine. I have a 3 year old and a newborn that can both easily get Chicken Pox from me now. But nope, can't get the vaccine, I'm not 50 yet. Only 25 more years of this before I can get some long-term relief without taking pills every single day. I am so sick of getting Shingles!!!

Kayla, my sister in law is 47 and began having repeated outbreaks of shingles. Her doctor tested her vitamin D level and found it was low, he told her to start taking vitamin D capsules and once her level got up to where it was supposed to be, her shingles outbreaks stopped. She told me she hasn't had any outbreaks since. Maybe this could help you too.

Vitamin C

Posted by Alexander (Louisiana) on 12/22/2017
5 out of 5 stars

My shingles outbreaks were continously, in the same place. As soon as one outbreak would heal, another would break out.

Then I started taking Vitamin C to bowel tolerance daily and have never had another shingles outbreak in years. Not to mention my overall health has also improved.


Posted by Gloria (Florida) on 04/17/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Garlic was the only cure for my shingle's problem. I got sick in 2013. When I got the pain in the right side of my face, I thought it was a tooth problem. I took pain killers and went to the dentist on Friday. The dentist fixed a cavity, but the pain kept getting worse. It was a holiday weekend and the dentist couldn't see me. I couldn't eat, the pain was terrible. I went to see the doctor and he thought it was a trigeminal neuralgia and prescribed me an anti-inflammatory steroid with antibiotic. It was worse and I went to see the dentist again. My face was very swallowed and the dentist didn't find anything wrong, then he sent me again to the doctor. My daughter had to take me there, I was in very bad condition. At this time I already had some blisters in my face. The doctor prescribed me the acyclovir. By the time we left the doctor's office, the pain was impossible to manage. I was taking Tylenol 800. My daughter took me to the ER and they had to put me IV Acyclovir and Antibiotic . They gave me morphine and it didn't work.

Because the case was very severe, it almost took my eye and ear. The nerves were severely damaged and after that I got the shingles all the time. I never recover completely and I had to be in acyclovir most of the time. I tried every remedy possible but it didn't help. In Oct 2016 I stated taking (about) 8,000 milligrams. of fresh garlic a day. As few as 2 weeks I stopped the Acyclovir. I changed my diet. After a severe shingle's episode the nerve system gets deteriorated. You have to restore it. NO sugar. No alcohol. No spices. At least 8 glasses of water. I tried fruits and vegetables one at a time.

Remember the garlic lowers the blood pressure; start it in small amounts and see how your system reacts. The blueberries were great but effects me in the eyes. The sugar in pineapple helps to lower the levels of sugar in the blood. It's good for me. Out meal, olive oil and bananas work fine, but you can gain weight. In the morning I have a banana, I eat at least 2 eggs a day and one or two cucumbers (peeled) with lunch. I control the rice, bread and potatoes so I don't gain weight. I take two tablespoons of oatmeal with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in half glass or regular milk a day before bedtime. It helps me sleep. I eat sea food once a week.

At this time I am trying to substitute the fresh garlic for the odorless tablets. Sometimes is uncomfortable, but hey! I feel great and I Thank God for this new life that I have.


Aspirin in Water Based Cream

Posted by Art (California ) on 01/02/2016 930 posts
5 out of 5 stars

If the coconut oil doesn't work for shingles, try ground up aspirin mixed into a water-based cream. The cheap uncoated aspirin that dissolves quickly in water works for me.

It not only gives quick pain relief, it slows viral replication when applied topically because the localized concentration is much higher than you can get from taking aspirin orally at the highest recommended dose according to these studies below.

Aspirin is antiviral.



Posted by Michelle (United States) on 07/04/2015
5 out of 5 stars

My father had the worst outbreak of shingles ever seen by the local hospital.[he is diabetic, so immune compromised] I started him on 1000 mg of lysine, daily. He experienced rapid healing, and with one daily has experienced no further outbreaks. This also works for oral herpes, if taken at first sign of tingling- 2 1000 mg to start, then 1 cap 2x daily for one week.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Posted by Dthales (Ogden, Ut) on 03/01/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I was seriously doubting that Apple Cider Vinegar was working becasue so many people seemed to be also using some other form of treatment. My 16 year old son has shingles on his neck and was miserable for two days. He was beyond the time when antivirals would be effective so the doctor said he just had to wait it out and to take an allergy pill if itching became a problem.

My son was miserable and couldn't beleive all he could do was wait it out for a week or so. So he begged me to find some other form of releif and I found this website talking about Apple Cider Vinegar. I figured it couldn't hurt to try.

So I went and bought some and dabbed it on all the affected areas with a cotton ball about 5 times during the whole day yesterday and he drank one capfull of the ACV 2 times during the day. He also also put on calamine lotion on before bed.

This morning he woke up and says he feels 80% improved from yesterday! Holy cow the stuff really works! The sores even look better already! Drives me crazy I have to search the internet for this stuff though. The doctor should tell us these things!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Cayenne

Posted by Gene (Sarasota, FL USA) on 04/21/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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 Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and Cayenne. 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 (but 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 taking ACV internally and topically, the slight itching was gone and the internal pain had gone from a 7/8 to a 2/3.

Everyone's 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!!