A patient suffering from shingles.
Shingles (herpes zoster) is a secondary outbreak of the chicken pox virus. It can happen decades after the original infection, and it is usually less severe. It may strike people who have had either chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccination. It is often caused by the vaccine, and people who get the vaccine strain get a much worse version of shingles. It can happen many years later. The virus is opportunistic and will strike whenever the immune system is sufficiently impaired. Those who have never contracted chickenpox are at risk of contracting it from people with shingles. When it first occurs, shingles rashes usually appear in circular patterns.

You Should Not Visit Your Doctor

Doctors will prescribe just about anything for these conditions, except for something that actually works. Some prescribe painkillers, anti-depressants, and petrochemical creams. The establishment's resultant help-to-harm ratio is rather disturbing. More often than not, standard treatments actually stress the immune system to make the outbreak last longer. Prescribing anti-depressants for a shingles outbreak is insanity, and places the patient at more risk than the original virus. All of the orthodox treatment options have risks, and are rarely effective. Chicken Pox and shingles will eventually disappear without treatment, and the amount of time depends upon the strength of the immune system.

Natural Treatments

A natural, holistic approach takes into account that this virus is part of the herpes family. Whenever it is treated appropriately, the virus outbreak is short-lived. Herpes can only thrive in a body with a weakened immune system. The herpes family of viruses are particularly effected by a person's L-arginine to L-lysine ratio. These are natural amino acids that are found inside the human body, but they must be obtained from foods. There must be a greater level of arginine in the body for herpes viruses to thrive.

Lysine is found in proteins, dairy, and most vegetables. Arginine is found in nuts, chocolate, and tomatoes. Use the chart below to ensure that the diet is higher in lysine foods, until the outbreak passes.

Foods with Lysine

All meats
Green beans
Foods with Arginine

Wheat Germ
Brussels sprouts
Pumpkin Seeds

It would be wise to temporarily supplement with large doses of lysine of up to 2,000 mg. per day (2 grams), until the outbreak is gone. However, this large dosage may cause health problems if it is continued for an extended period. A mere handful of peanuts is usually enough to unfavorably shift the balance in favor of arginine, so a carefully planned diet is absolutely critical for fast recovery. Oral doses of colloidal silver can be helpful too, because colloidal silver is harmful to viruses. Large doses of vitamin C are known for being helpful in reducing the recovery time. We intentionally neglected to list herbs as an option, because herbs have almost no effect on herpes, chickenpox, or shingles.

A chiropractor will generally be more helpful than a standard doctor. The virus dwells in the spinal column, where it may remain dormant for decades. Spinal misalignment is a strong contributing factor in outbreaks, and their duration. Therefore, chiropractic adjustments can dramatically speed the recovery process.

In order to reduce pain and stimulate recovery, soak a cloth rag in apple cider vinegar. Next, sprinkle cayenne pepper powder over the lesions, and cover them with the damp rag. Put a hot water bottle on top of the rag, or use some other safe source for heat. Be careful not to burn the skin. This procedure should dramatically reduce recovery time if repeated regularly. It will also provide much-needed relief from the itching.

Related Links

The Chickenpox Vaccine and Vaccine Mythology

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R L Timpson
# Mr.R L Timpson 2013-02-20 10:07
I used Homemade Garlic oil (Garlic plus Olive Oil blended in a blender) with a Q-Tip to break the blisters....rubbing them until there was pink on the Q-Tip. They would scab over and dry up.
Mine was a cronic case and I use this method for 10 years successfully. I learned other methods but this was the fastest, and yes a little painful when rubbing the blisters until they bring a small amount of blood. Interesting enough I have zero scaring.
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K Richardson
# my experience with herbs and shinglesK Richardson 2013-04-25 15:15
After hospitilization in an ICU, I developed shingles. Equal parts of tamanu and tea tree oil (Calophyllum inophyllum and melaleuca alternofolia) 5x a day diminished the pain (after initial burning when used) and within 5 days the blisters had healed completely leaving only a red patch. No further recurrence after 2 years. I'd use this again in an instant.
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Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2013-06-22 01:35
To clarify, this person almost certainly used the solution topically, and not internally.
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Linda Hargraves
# Linda Hargraves 2014-01-15 13:59
I had my first outbreak of shingles right around the time I was five years old. I'm pretty convinced it was due to one of the inoculations I had to have before kindergarten. That first outbreak was the worst one, affecting almost every inch of my body. After that the outbreaks were rare until adulthood. I would always get them when under stress. Now that I'm 55 I have found that GABA keeps it under control. I use the pure, powdered form that you take sublingually. I take it every morning and more often during times of stress. I sleep much better now and the shingles have gone from being a monthly occurrence to a yearly one.
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Christian Mccreery
# Emu aid cream helps!Christian Mccreery 2014-04-15 18:19
I had an outbreak of shingles and found the information on this healthwyze website to be very helpful,especially the chart about the foods to avoid and the ones that are encouraged...very helpful! I also found a cream called Emuaid that is somewhat pricey but I ordered it and used it as directed and it also was very helpful. In fact it gave me relief from the pain in a matter of hours and I noticed the swelling and redness of the blisters diminish overnight! I am very impressed! The cream is all natural and no petrochemicals! The only thing that I didn't like was the price of the cream which was around $50 for 2 oz. It really did help heal my shingles blisters and I didn't have to go to the hospital and have drugs prescribed.From what I understand, a lot of these drugs do not help much anyway and some of them cause a lot more problems than they help. I also used colloidal silver for the first week and supplemented with lysine as recommended and I believe that this also helped. I tried the vinegar and cayenne pepper treatment but discontinued that immediately as it irritated and burned like torture! I would not recommend this at all but to each his own. The Emuaid cream really is a miracle product that works! If you can afford it you should try it!
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valerie wood
# msvalerie wood 2014-07-25 07:18
I found the dietary advice very helpful too and had to resort to painkillers at the initial outbreak of shingles. I also would highly recommend the frequent application of calamine lotion for instant temporary relief it both soothes the sores and has a cool calming effect and also keeps the sores dry which helps in the healing process.
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Suzanne McKinley
# ShinglesSuzanne McKinley 2014-08-31 14:15
Do you have a more complete list of food to eat for Shingles? I printed your list from your site.

I have Shingles and had the Shingles shot in 2009. I don't think I ever had chickenpox. The Shingles shot may have made my Shingles a milder case or they gave me the Shingles.

I went to my M.D. doctor and my Chiropractor and the Chiropractor is giving me laser treatment and adjusting me.

I take pain pills prescribed by the M.D. doctor. I have not been eating meat so will include it again in my diet. I didn't get blisters - just a rash that is almost gone.

The doctor prescribed Gabapentin too and I'm afraid to take it because of side effects. I have taken 3 of them. I also take something called Shingles. It's drops from Newton and they are in Conyers, Ga..

Any help/suggestions you can give me will be very appreciated. Thank you.
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Meredith Twiss
# ShinglesMeredith Twiss 2014-10-28 10:52
This is a great article. I had shingles for the first (and only time so far) in 2009 and did the Lysine, Vit C, and topical ACV treatment. One thing I also did which seemed to help was take high doses of sublingual B12 to protect the nerve sheath. I had no problems with neuralgia at all.

Hope this is helpful to someone.
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Christine macleod
# Christine macleod 2014-12-26 20:24
I had shingles many years ago and never repeated except when my immune system is compromised and I get sick I also get the same excruciating pain in my back. No rash, itching or blisters just pain. Does anyone have an holistic treatment for this?
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Tami Wilcox
# Propolis and NeemTami Wilcox 2015-02-05 02:49
I used Propolis and Neem to g cure my shingles. It worked very fast and was cheap. The propolis liquid I applied to blisters and it deflated them within 15 mins. I used this for the first day, then I mixed the propolis and Neem cream and applied it where ever I had the rash and pain. It was completely gone in less than 2 weeks. The pain was lessened in the first day or so. It cures the shingles and keeps it from recurring. This was more than 5 years ago and it has never returned.
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Elisa Ruehlmann
# Elisa Ruehlmann 2015-03-11 17:34
I just ordered some neem cream and propolis tincture. Can't wait to try them out. Thanks for the recommendation.

I also tried the ACV today and there was a dramatic difference in the look of my shingles and I already feel much more comfortable. As usual, the homeopathic solution was better than the medicine my doctor subcribed (valtrex).
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Molly Hawkins
# Molly Hawkins 2015-03-26 16:21
same here, Elisa! I'm waiting on the neem cream and propolis to come in. Eager to try them out, too! I'm using the ACV constantly as well
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Molly Hawkins
# Molly Hawkins 2015-03-26 15:42
Thanks for the advice, Tami! I ordered both o them online yesterday after reading your advice. Thank you!!
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Jane Gulley
# cold soreJane Gulley 2015-02-08 23:37
I just found out that putting real vanilla extract on a cold sore would help and it did. It was gone in a few days and so was the tingle.
Just a thought...
Maybe it would help shingles outbreak?
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Kresentia Silaban
# ShinglesKresentia Silaban 2015-02-09 15:07
Great Article!!! Thank you so much!!! I feel better in just one week !! I follow the diet, take Anti Viral from the doctor, Vit C, Vit B6, B Complex and do Lysine Food Diet. I put AVC to help dry the Shingles.
Once again thank you!!
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Molly Hawkins
# Molly Hawkins 2015-03-26 15:49
ditto, Kresentia!! same with me -- so very thankful for this article!
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Molly Hawkins
# Thank You!!Molly Hawkins 2015-03-26 15:48
I was diagnosed three days ago and immediately started the apple cider vinegar after finding this cite. I'm dabbing it on throughout the day and am also drinking a capful of it three or four times daily. My initial breakout is healing and it the places where it began to spread seem to have been stopped in their tracks. I'm also taking the antiviral prescription from my doctor, plus extra multi-vitamins and extra b vitamins. I also went strictly by your food plus others I googled that were high in lysine. I can't imagine that I would have gotten better this quickly without finding your article.

I've also shared all of this with an older man in our town who's had a terrible bout of shingles for THREE YEARS now --- he'd been to two neurologists and to a pain management specialist. NONE had ever mentioned diet or ACV --- WOW!!(Oh, and he told me that he's been eating peanuts and peanut butter almost daily for the past three years!!) Thanks so very much!
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Carmen Gomez
# Carmen Gomez 2015-03-26 22:53
I began feeling my shingle symptoms and rapidly searched for alternatives to medical treatments. I found in this site what would be my remedy. Definitely what cured my shingles was the apple cider vinegar. I applied it on my rash alone during the day and in a mixture with coconut oil and cayenne pepper in the morning and night. I also mixed ACV with aloe vera and baking soda and drank one tablespoon every 4 hours. I am very greatfull I read about this remedy in this site because this happened two weeks ago and today I only have a small insignificant dot, but I will keep applying ACV until its gone. I do not have any pain at all thanks be to God and this site.
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Sherry Thompson
# Sherry Thompson 2015-05-26 18:46
Today was my 2 month anniversary of my mother death and was diagnosed with Shingles. I want to thank all of you for you comments and I will be taking a holistic approach for relief.

Thank you again.
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Lynn Summer
# Lynn Summer 2015-08-09 18:41
I looked on your website instantly when I thought I had Shingles. I was terrified from horror stories I heard from others having Shingles. My naturopatic doctor was out of town and so was I. So I took food grade Hydrogen Peroxide and diluted it 1 oz of 35% peroxide to 15 oz of distiller water. I put it on a cotton ball and held it on the sores. Then I took the unscented organic Hand and Heel repair cream from Sage Stone Botanicals and put it on 2-3 times per day. I also took a naturopathic pain drops for 3 days, After one week I had no pain and my sores had diminished to just a light rash. The cream helped with the itching and kept my clothes from irritating it. I never lost a day of work!! My naturopathic doctor was amazed that it healed so quickly. :-)
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Georgina Haul
# Georgina Haul 2015-09-06 20:36
Fabulous article. The only thing I can add is that, surprisingly, soluble Aspirin worked a treat for me regarding the pain, every time.I'd feel human for at least 5 hours :-)
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kenneth l. lane
# kenneth l. lane 2015-09-20 15:54
OMG! I wish that I had found this site three weeks ago. My blisters healed 10 days. The burning nerve pain is unbelievable unbearable! Please help,I'm a 62 year old male in construction. Unfortunately, I love tomatoes,one a day. Gabapentin 1800 a day. Six weeks of prednisone caused this.
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Laurel Brown
# Laurel Brown 2015-11-16 21:23
I am so grateful to have come across this report. I wish I would have taken pictures. I woke up last Tuesday with such a bad case of shingles and using ACV, cayenne pepper, lysine supplements, colloidal silver and changing my diet has been so effective. Thank you so much.
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Laurel Brown
# Laurel Brown 2015-11-25 17:46
I am wondering if anyone has had the shingles start back up after drinking red wine.
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Ashley Hart
# Ashley Hart 2015-11-28 18:54
I was just diagnosed and stumbled onto this website while researching shingles. I wasn't given a whole lot of information from the doctor for the relief of the symptoms. I was prescribed the anti viral medicine and looking for relief from the itching of this rash. I tried the calamine lotion that the doctor suggested and that doesn't work and today I found a product called terrasil. I really hope this helps. I also found the lysine tablets and thanks to the food list, I know I need to stop drinking v-8 juice. I was eating all the items on the arginine list and now I will be choosing foods on the lysine list. Thank you for the information.
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# Get Rid of Cold SoresV R 2017-11-13 21:41
Thank you so much for this article! It helped me get rid of my cold sores! I read this article by accident because my husband had a very painful shingles outbreak a few years ago. While I was reading, I noticed the part that shingles is related to herpes. I had been having horrible frequent cold sores all my life, and my husband never gets it anymore. Then I read the list of foods in the above article, and realized - I love ketchup and tomatoes and I eat a lot of them. I can eat 3-4 whole tomatoes a day. I also eat nuts quite often, and sugary things here and there. My husband hates tomatoes, almost never eats nuts and very little sugar, but he drinks a lot of milk. It was a huge revelation for me, as well as for my mom, who also suffered cold sores within about an hour of eating tomatoes. We realized that we can get the ugly cold sores under control by just not eating or eating certain foods. It is pretty amazing to see how the bulging bums at the beginning of an outbreak goes away in about an hour of drinking a glass of milk! But it has to be done pretty soon, before the blisters appear. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your website! (I also almost cured my acid reflux with Apple Cider Vinegar, that article is so true, and now I can at least sleep through the night without waking up from stomach ache.) I hope that this article can help other people suffering from cold sores.
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Kathy Bryan
# ShinglesKathy Bryan 2017-12-04 14:44
I was . My doctor prescribed Acyclovir 800 mg, but after researching this medication and effects, I'm scared to take it. I am so glad that I stumbled on this website. I will certainly give it a try.
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Walter Schwenk
# hot waterWalter Schwenk 2019-03-07 18:38
I don't think my shingles ever fully healed, but after a couple sleepless nights of headache pain tried hot baths to the affected areas. Killed pain within seconds. Took up to 4 hot baths a day, but was preferable to the excruciating eyeball-spinning pain.
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Adrienne Reid
# Shingles nerveend painAdrienne Reid 2020-09-29 03:37
Hi. I have had shingles for nearly four years now and still get the stabbing nerve end stabbing pain all the time. Has anyone got any info on how to cure this after effect of shingles
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