Can Essential Oils be used to Treat Shingles?

Using essential oils to treat shingles

Almost everyone is vaccinated against chickenpox in childhood. However, it is still possible to get shingles in older age even if you got chickenpox as a child. Shingles is caused by the same strain of the virus as chickenpox. This virus can remain dormant in your nerve cells until you get older. The virus can lead to damage that can cause pain and the revealing signs of shingles rash.

Dr. Nicole Van Groningen, a clinical fellow at the UCSF School of Medicine in San Francisco said certain essential oils may cotain an antiviral effect, but there is no data to support the use of topical oils for the treatment of shingles.

Dr. Van Groningen recommends using capsaicin, peppermint oil, or geranium oil as accompaniments to the medications prescribed by your doctor. There are many brands of over-the-counter ointments, capsaicin lotions, and patches.

An holistic health expert based in California, Birgitta Lauren, recommends mixing about 10 drops each of thyme, geranium, and lemon essential oils into about a tablespoon of high-quality coconut oil. Then apply the mixture to your blisters.

READ ALSO: Chickenpox: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Risks of using essential oils to treat shingles

Using essential oils for shingles may not be best for all persons. Some people report a burning sensation where they apply capsaicin. Consult your doctor first to check if essential oils can be used on your shingles.

Risk factors for shingles

The major risk factor for shingles is aging, that’s if you already have the herpes zoster virus in your nerve cells. A person’s immunity decreases with age, thereby increasing the chances for the virus to spread. An outbreak can be activated by stress, cancer treatments, and certain medications.

READ ALSO: Shingles

Diagnosis and treatment

Your immune system has a fitted defenses against viruses like shingles, so it will run its course. So if you’re healthy, your body will likely resolve this issue on its own.

There are several antiviral medications that fast-track the healing process. They can help you manage and decrease the risk of pain.

Dr. Van Groningen advices that you consult your doctor as soon as you have pain or the first sign of a rash.  Your doctor will need to prescribe medications within 72 hours of the start of symptoms in order to have an utmost effect,” she says.

Disclaimer: The content provided on is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical doctor or healthcare professional.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *