How to Use Essential Oils for Shingles


Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. If you had chickenpox as a child, the virus is still lurking in your body and may cause shingles if your immune system weakens.

The varicella zoster virus is in the same family as the herpes simplex virus, so many essential oils that work for herpes may well also work for varicella zoster. The one big difference is that oils for shingles must be gentle on the skin to avoid causing more pain than you already experience, so they must be considerably diluted.

The Best Essential Oils for Shingles

Lemongrass oil and Lemon balm oil

Lemongrass oil is one of the strongest antiviral oils against herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) and it is potentially an effective treatment for shingles. However, since it is also an extremely hot oil that might burn your skin, lemon balm oil, also called Melissa or Melissa officinalis oil, is the better option if you want to apply it directly to the blisters.

Keep lemongrass oil for your bathwater and your diffuser. Melissa oil is gentler and has the same antiviral effects, but be warned, it is expensive.

Lavender oil

There are many good reasons to keep lavender oil in your first aid kit. Lavender oil is a gentle, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic oil that you can apply to the blisters to combat the virus, the inflammation and the pain. It will also make you feel relaxed and sleepy if you diffuse it, which is a good idea if you are struggling with the pain. You can also use my other top 16 essential oils for relieving pain and inflammation.

Clove oil

Clove oil is a powerful anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic oil and, accordingly, can treat the virus, the infection, and the pain. It is hotter than lavender, so needs to be diluted more if you want to apply straight to the blisters.

Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is a very versatile and one of the most commonly used essential oils. Peppermint oil has useful antiviral effects against the herpes virus, but needs to be diluted significantly before applying it to the blisters.

Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil is a reasonably good antiviral oil with impressive analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Tea Tree (Melaleuca) Oil

This essential oil it obtained from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, which is native to Australia. It has anti viral properties and some people find it helpful to clear up the shingles. This oil is very versatile and you can find more used for it in my article about top 5 medicinal uses for tea tree oil.

How to Use Essential Oils for Shingles

– You can apply essential oil(s) to the affected area after diluting it in a carrier oil such as jojoba oil or coconut oil.

– Since you want the antiviral effect of the oils, diffusing it in your diffuser can also work. As you inhale it, it will circulate through your body. There are many other ways to use essential oils in your diffuser.

– You can make a soothing hot compress: Dilute the oil with a carrier oil, place the blend in a bottle, put the bottle in hot water, and drop some on a towel. Put the hot compress on the affected area.

– Drop some essential oil(s) diluted in a carrier oil in your bathwater from where your body will also absorb it.


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