Friends today I am discussing about #Shingles #HerpesZoster .
Shingle is a viral disease characterized by a very painful skin rash which usually erupts in the form of cluster blisters on the body. It is also known as Herpes Zoster. The outbreak of shingles presents itself in the form of a cluster of fluid-filled blisters. The hallmark of shingles is that it affects only one side of the body particularly face or torso (torso refers to the trunk of the human body). The blisters are located as band or strip on one side of the chest and do not cross the midline. Other locations include one side of the forehead or eye. Many people develop only one episode of shingles in their life, but some people can have recurrent episodes depending upon their immunity. Homeopathic remedies for shingles helps boost the immunity, reduce the severity of the symptoms and also helps reduce the chances of recurrence of the disease.
What Causes Shingles?
The causative agent of Shingles is VZV (Varicella Zoster Virus). The reactivation of VZV causes shingles, and it is the same virus that causes Chickenpox (varicella). Only those who ever had Chickenpox can develop shingles later in their life. The first exposure to VZV that most commonly occurs in childhood or adolescent leads to chickenpox. After the chickenpox resolves in a person, the virus remains dormant in some nerve cells of the spine of our body. When the VZV is in an inactive state in our body, it shows no symptoms. In some people, the virus can get reactivated again due to some factors and travel along the nerve pathway. It then reaches the skin of the particular area supplied by that nerve and can cause shingles (painful blisters). The most important thing about VZV is that it never goes away from the human body but lies dormant within some nerve cells. Only when the virus is active, it produces symptoms in the human body.
Homeopathic Medicines for Shingles
Homeopathic treatment for shingles works in a gentle, yet effective manner to reduce the severity of the symptoms and also help clear up the infection rather than suppressing it. These medicines have no side effects and work very well for post-herpetic neuralgia.
There is no cure for shingles in the conventional system of Medicine; medications are aimed to reduce the duration of shingles episode and to minimize the intensity of pain. Some commonly used medicines include
Antivirals: These do not treat shingles but are meant to reduce the severity and duration of the disease. They are not effective for postherpetic neuralgia. Side effects of antiviral medicines include nausea, dizziness, pain in stomach, mild skin rashes, joint pains, and they can also cause a sore throat.
Analgesics: Pain medications are used to treat mild to moderate pains in shingles. When the pain is severe, excessive intake of painkillers can cause side effects and trigger anxiety in a person.
Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are indicated along with antivirals to reduce the pain and for postherpetic neuralgia. Prolonged usage of corticosteroids can cause immunosuppression.
1. Rhus Tox: For Shingles on the Right Side
Rhus tox is prepared from poison – ivy, a vine-like shrub. This shrub grows naturally all over North America. Rhus Toxicodendron belongs to the Anacardiaceae family. The leaves and stalks of this creeping shrub are collected at night. The oil found within the plant is said to be most potent at night. The curative effect of this shrub dates back to the 18th century when a French physician found that accidental exposure to poison ivy healed a patient with chronic skin lesions. Since then this plant is used to treat various skin disorders. Rhus tox is very useful in Herpes Zoster with intense itching in the affected skin area. There is burning and Neuralgic pains after herpes zoster, especially on the right side. Herpetic eruptions alternating with dysentery and pains in chest, itching with burning and smarting, feeling as if pierced with hot needles, increase in eruptions on rubbing, a feeling of burning pain on blistering skin rash and itching that gets better with the application of hot water are the main symptoms. It is also indicated for shingles alternating with asthma.
2. Ranunculus Bulbosus: For Bluish Vesicles and Intense Itching
Ranunculus bulbosus for shingles is derived from the plant bulbous buttercup or St Anthony’s Turnip. This is a perennially growing plant and belongs to the Buttercup family. Ranunculus bulbosus is prepared from the bulb of this plant. This plant is native of Western Europe and the northern Mediterranean coast. As an introduced weed it grows in eastern and western parts of North America.
It is the principle medicine for treating Herpes zoster. It is indicated for herpetic eruptions with itching where the eruptions are vesicular and pustular. It is highly recommended for shingles with blue blisters that are filled with serum. There is an intense burning and itching that gets worse with contact.
3. Mezereum: For Shingles with Blisters with Scabs
Mezereum is prepared from a plant called Daphne Mezereum (also known as Spurge olive). This plant belongs to the vegetable kingdom. The bark of the shrub is used to prepare Mezereum. This plant is native of hilly woods of nearly whole of Europe and Russian Asia.
It is indicated for Herpes Zoster with burning pains. Eruptions ooze out with a discharge of acrid, gluey moisture from thick crusts. Scab formation over herpetic blisters with pus beneath it, itching over affected skin rash that gets worse by warmth, a sensation of insects crawling are some symptoms. The eruptions are crusty with white scabs and can bleed when touched. The skin becomes cold in those places where there is intense itching.
Other Important Remedies
1. Croton Tiglinum: For Shingles on Face
Croton tiglinum is prepared from a plant known as purging cotton. It belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family. Croton tiglinum is also known as ‘Jamaal Gota’ in Hindi. This medicine is prepared using croton oilseeds. This shrub is found in Southeast Asia. It works well in cases of Herpes zoster where the eruptions have stinging and smarting pains, vesicles, and pustules run into one another and speedily develop a seropurulent exudation. There is the formation of large brown scabs with peeling of skin and falling off of the pustules. Blisters are present in clusters, confluent and oozing, especially on the face with itching that is followed by painful burning.
2. Dolichos: For Shingles on Armpit
Dolichos pruriens is prepared from a plant named cowhage, also known as the cow-itch plant. It is a bean-like plant that belongs to the Fabaceae family. Dolichos is prepared using hair scraped from the epidermis of the pod. This plant grows widely in the tropics, including Bahamas and India. It can also extend to southern Florida. It is indicated in those cases where herpetic eruptions are on the armpit, spreading in rings forward to the sternum and backward to the spine. Pains are burning and smarting over the affected area. This medicine is also indicated for shingles without eruptions, and there is intense itching which gets worse by scratching.
3. Dulcamara: For Shingles from Exposure to Cold
Dulcamara is prepared from the bittersweet plant, also known as the bitter nightshade. It belongs to family Solanaceae. It is made using freshly obtained green leaves and stems of the bittersweet plant. This is a perennially growing plant which is indigenous to Asia and Europe, and now it is widely found in North America. Dulcamara is a top grade remedy when Herpes Zoster occurs after being exposed to cold, especially in wet weather. Herpetic eruptions get worse at night and better by moving about and from external warmth. The eruptions are thick, crusty, moist and get worse before menses (in women). The crusts over blisters are thick and brownish –yellow which starts bleeding when scratched.
4. Natrum Mur: For Shingles on Flexures
Natrum Mur is a treatment for shingles that are worse on flexures (bent or curved part). Vesicles with watery contents burst and leave thin scurf (flakes on the skin). Blisters form on burning spots on the skin. Herpetic eruptions become crusty and dry in bends of the limbs and margins of the scalp.
Post Herpetic Neuralgia
Postherpetic neuralgia refers to the condition when there is a persistent and recurrent pain in the area of the body which was affected by Herpes Zoster. In some persons, the pain continues to be present for months or years even after the herpetic lesions have subsided. When pain persists for more than 90 days, it is termed as post-herpetic Neuralgia.
Homeopathy is very effective in treating postherpetic neuralgia. They can naturally help to reduce the intensity of pain without making the person dependent upon them. Following medicines are highly recommended for Postherpetic Neuralgia:
Mezereum: Natural Treatment for Postherpetic Neuralgia with Burning
Mezereum is a top grade remedy for neuralgic pains with violent itching and burning. The inter-costal neuralgia continuing after the disappearance of the eruptions can be effectively treated with Mezereum. It is also recommended for violent neuralgia of the face and teeth, that which towards spreads towards the ears at night. Neuralgic pains come and go quickly, leaving the part numb. Mezereum is used to treat neuralgia over the left eye, where the pain radiates and shoots downwards.
Kalmia: For Postherpetic Neuralgia with Pains
It is highly indicated remedy for neuralgic pains of the face or of those nerves that supply the part where there were herpetic eruptions. The neuralgic pains are violent, tearing and shooting type, and come and go suddenly. The pains are worse in the day, coming and going with the sun or else get worse at night by lying down
Ranunculus Bulbosus – For Neuralgia on Eye
Ranunculus Bulbosus is a treatment for postherpetic neuralgia on the supraorbital (above the eye orbit) or intercostal nerves (between the ribs) after herpes zoster with sharp neuralgic pains preceding it. Neuralgic pains are stitching, stabbing and shooting type, and the herpetic eruptions are bluish in color.
Zincum Mettalicum: For Postherpetic Neuralgia with Burning Pains
Zincum met is indicated for Herpes zoster when the blisters are dry, over the whole body or on the back and hands. Neuralgic pains are burning and jerking in nature, and the shingles get worse in the evening and from the slightest touch. It is also indicated for suppurating herpetic eruptions.