How do I cure shingles with coconut oil?

I’m afraid, as far as I know, you can’t actually cure shingles with anything. There are some anti-viral medications that can shorten the length of the episode and severity of symptoms. A doctor would be able to advise you more fully and specifically, but I think, without this medication, you may have symptoms for up to a month - depending on your underlying health and general well-being.

In terms of lessening the pain of the lesions or the itching, as with other skin inflammation and irritation, colloidal oats are often used to treat both. You can simply make a spreadable consistency, by adding water. Alternatively, use a hydrosol instead of water - I would recommend cornflower, chamomile, calendula, rose and honeysuckle. Lavender works for some and lemon verbena can also be very good.

Some people recommend essential oils for both soothing skin and anti-inflammation and I agree that some work very well - on some people. You need to be careful of doses and your own particular sensitivity. I think it would be unwise to put anything other than a simple oat compress or maybe spray aloe vera on to the blisters, but when these have dried, using coconut oil as a carrier and adding certain essential oils could increase the soothing effect. But there are potential problems with essential oils and they don’t always have the same effect on everyone. I would recommend you try a hydrosol first, to see if there is any relief and to check for any unwanted reactions with a less potent treatment.

If you already know that you have no adverse reaction to the oils mentioned, then these could be very useful in this situation. We have a thermo-receptor in our skin for the sort of soothing cold we associate with mint for instance, due to it containing 1,8-cineole. This is in: eucalyptus, tea-tree, rosemary, lavender, sage and mint (eucalyptus contains the most). 1–8 cineole can calm an ion channel in our skin that senses a particular type of pain associated with itching and inflammation and it also helps activate another sensor that detects cool, including menthol, which is soothing. You could find some relief by using a colloidal oat compress and then applying coconut oil with one of these essential oils, in recommended dilution (no more than 5 drops of eucalyptus oil to 25ml coconut oil - and I would start with 2 drops).

Another potential anti-irritant/soother that you may have at home, is rice water - boil up 1 part rice with 2.5 parts water. When it is cooked, leave it to soak (and cool!) for 30 mins. Then strain-off the water and put it into a spray bottle. You can keep this in the fridge and spray liberally over the affected area for some relief.

Do make sure you cover the affected area when you are in company, especially whilst the skin is blistered. It is quite easy to pass this on - either via skin contact or even in air-borne particles, and it can be particularly dangerous to pregnant women and young children.

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