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Herpes zoster (commonly known as shingles)
is a viral infection that causes extremely painful blisterlike
eruptions to break out along the course of nerves. After a period of
fever and malaise, the eruptions appear on parts of the ribcage area
(back, sides, or abdomen) or sometimes on the face. Homeopathic
remedies are often very helpful for pain relief and recovery.
Outbreaks near the eyes require medical attention.
For dosage information, please read the information at the end of
this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional
Guidance” in What
Arsenicum album: If a person feels
chilly, anxious, restless, and exhausted during fever—and the
burning pain of the eruptions is relieved by heat—this remedy may
be indicated. Discomfort is often worse around midnight.
Apis mellifica: Swollen, tender
eruptions with burning, stinging pain and itching suggest a need for
this remedy. Symptoms are aggravated by warmth, and relieved by cold
applications or exposure to cool air. The person may be irritable
and very sensitive to touch.
Clematix: Red, burning, blisterlike
eruptions with terrible itching, worse from washing or contact with
cold water, may indicate a need for this remedy. The person feels
worse at night and from the warmth of bed—being better in open
air. People who need this remedy may also have a tendency toward
Iris versicolor: This remedy is
often helpful for herpes zoster infection that is accompanied by
stomach problems with burning sensations and nausea. Eruptions may
appear especially on the right side of the abdomen.
Mezereum: When this remedy is
indicated, intense burning is followed by bright red eruptions that
itch intolerably. The local pain of the eruptions is worse from heat
and relieved by cold applications, and cool fresh air is
soothing—although the person is chilly in general and worse from
Ranunculus bulbosus: This
remedy is indicated for intensely itching shingles on the ribcage
(either on the back or chest), which are also very sore, and worse
from contact with clothing or any kind of touch. The blisters may
look bluish. The person may feel worse from alcoholic beverages, and
from exposure to cold air.
Rhus toxicodendron: This
remedy may be indicated for a rash that begins with many small
blisters, is red and intensely itchy, and is relieved by hot baths
or hot wet compresses. Restlessness makes the person want to pace
the room or constantly move around.
Select the remedy that
most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where
self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a
physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C)
should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually
printed on the label.
physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one
dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue
to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags
significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be
taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and
the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times
an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a
day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be
If no response is seen
within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.
For more information, including references, see What
is Homeopathy? and Understanding
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Online is for informational purposes only. It is based on
scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical
experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article.
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individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment
with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also
available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented
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problem and before using any supplements or before making
any changes in prescribed medications.
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