Excerpts are taken from the New Zealand best selling book:
Lani Lopez Natural Health An A-Z New Zealand Guide
Herpes zoster (shingles) is believed to come from the reactivation of the varicella (chicken pox) virus lying dormant in cells of a dorsal root ganglion (section of nerve). Chicken pox can occur at any age, but it's most common in children from 2-8 years old. Therefore shingles in adults may result from the herpes virus waiting to strike from childhood onward. This infection may become active in adult years in the form of shingles sores or blisters and localized pain along the course of the sensory nerves. The shingles lesions often are preceded by three days of fever and burning or irritation of the skin. Herpes zoster symptoms are more likely to occur in people whose immune systems are suppressed.
*This recommendation chapter on Shingles can also be used for genital herpes.
Warning: Patients with shingles may be infective, the virus being spread from fresh skin lesions by direct contact or by airborne transmission. Patients with shingles can be subject to complications, and therefore must be medically monitored.
Postherpetic neuralgia is pain in the zone of the previous eruption; it occurs in some 10% of patients (often elderly). It is a burning, continuous pain responding poorly to analgesics. Depression is almost universal. Treatment (orthodox) is unsatisfactory but there is a trend towards gradual recovery in two years.
In 1969, Harold E. Renis, PhD., a virologist with The Upjohn Company of the Kalamazoo, Michigan, proved that calcium elenolate from oleuropein in the olive leaf, is a virucidal for all viruses against which it was tested. In particular, Dr. Renis showed that calcium elenolate kills the herpes virus including varicella zoster virus (VZ).
Without treatment viruses can be immortal. Many orthodox treatments are symptomatic but cannot penetrate the viral hosts cell. Getting rid of symptoms related to the viral infection doesn't mean that the virus is eliminated. The virus can remain dormant and break out again when the host's immunity becomes compromised. Once a viral disease has invaded, the wellbeing of the host remains in danger of breaking down once again with the signs and symptoms of the disease.
Capsaicin — from cayenne, desensitizes nerves. About 10 % of all patients with herpes zoster experience a condition called 'post herpetic neuralgia' about 30 days after herpetic infection. 50% of the cases of herpes zoster, over the age of 60, may develop severe pain. Capsiacin cream is used for postherpetic pain from shingles, phantom limb pain, cluster headaches, neuropathies, osteoarthritis and pain from skin conditions including psoriasis and puritis. Capsaicin may be used to provide pain relief in these cases. In one study 14 patients suffering from post herpetic neuralgia were subjected to topical application of capsicin cream (0.025 %v capsaicin) on painful areas. Should be continued for 4 weeks with a response expected at the end of the four weeks of treatment. Hands must be washed thoroughly to avoid contact within the eyes.
St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) — has a specific effect on nerves acting as a mild sedative with a pain reducing effect and is beneficial for mild depression, anxiety and nervousness associated with ongoing chronic pain. Use internally: Take 450mg of extract (as dry extract) from St John's Wort aerial parts (Hypericum perforatum L.) (3-6:1) (equivalent to 1350-2700mg of St John's Wort). This should be available in tablet form from health stores and pharmacies. You can also apply St John's Wort on skin as a tincture, poultice, cream or oil on nerve pain sites.
Cailfornian Poppy — has mild analgesic and sedative properties. It also exhibits a relaxing affect on the mind and potential mood elevating actions without addictive side effects. Adults take 900mg daily.
Jamaican Dogwood — is used for neuralgia, migraines and insomnia due to its anti-inflammatory and sedative effects. Take 2-4g of dried root bark up to three times daily.