by Todd Walker
Last November DRG and I drove up to Vogel State Park to hike some trails at the base of Blood Mountain. The weather cooperated with a nip in the air. I wore a wicking base layer top which, by mid-way through the hike, seemed to irritate the skin on my chest with a tingling, itchy sensation.
Was my skin reacting to the synthetic fabric… or maybe DRG had used a new washing detergent? The discomfort was bearable but annoying. We hiked on enjoying the beautiful fall weather.
After returning home late Saturday evening, I stripped down to shower and noticed a few red splotches had begun to form near the base of my sternum eventually forming a sporadic line to the left around my chest.
What had I gotten into? I didn’t remember romping through poison ivy.
Being the stubborn man that I am, I went to school that Monday against DRG’s advice. Tuesday, same thing. Halfway through that day, however, I went to the doctor when blister lesions appeared. Not to get the pharmaceuticals I knew they’d prescribe, but to have my itching suspicions confirmed.
Before removing my shirt, I told my doctor that I had shingles and needed a medical confirmation. She took a quick look and confirmed my self-diagnosis. The circular splotches of rash had wrapped under my left arm pit hellbent on reaching my spinal column while whipping my body with its belt of pain.
Doc wrote me the orthodox Rx of pain killers, antivirals, steroid cream made with petro-chemicals, and even an anti-depressant. I almost told her to save the paper but I wanted to attempt to read what she scribbled on the square pad. I couldn’t. She told me.
Having never swallowed antidepressants before, I wasn’t about to fill the script or take any of the other meds. My premeditated decision was firm.
Note: This is not medical advice. I am not a physician nor do I play one on TV. Your mileage may vary with modern pharmaceuticals. I chose a natural path to eliminate my shingles outbreak. You choose your path carefully.
Here’s how I treated and eliminated shingles naturally in under a week.
Natural Shingles Protocol
If you’ve ever had chicken pox or the vaccine, the shingles (herpes zoster) virus lurks within waiting for an opportunity to show up through a weak immune system. Apparently, my immune system was compromised and the virus woke up from a 47 year hibernation like a hungry mama bear… and in a very foul mood!
My research reveled that herbal remedies have little to no effect on the herpes family of viruses. Abandoning my typical herbal strategy for ailments, I focused on a diet high in lysine-rich foods, topical treatments for pain and drawing, and stuff that would kill this painful scourge.
- Raw Apple Cider Vinegar – Bragg’s Organic ACV applied on the lesions via a cotton compress daily (as needed for pain).
- Cayenne Pepper – Sprinkled on the rash before covering with the damp ACV compress. (Taken internally as well)
- Bentonite Clay – In powered form, mix with water to create a thick poultice. A pancake batter consistency is too runny to apply. Think of mud pies that kids make after a rain storm. Cover the entire affected area. Wrap the poultice with a roll of gauze bandages to hold in place. I tried equine tape the first time and it rolled up under my arms and chest pulling body hair out by the roots. Go with cotton gauze! Change the dressing twice daily. Remove as much of the clay poultice as possible and shower to remove the rest. Dry off and reapply. The drawing properties of bentonite clay dried up the lesions in 3 to 4 days.
- Colloidal Silver – Apply to lesions once daily with a Q-Tip or cotton ball, twice if I remembered. CS is anti-viral. Viruses are harmed and killed by silver. (Taken internally as well)
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
One bit of knowledge I found and didn’t like was that my diet was high in L-arginine (amino acid) which feeds the herpes family of viruses. Being a nut lover, I had to give up eating my daily dose of cashews and the occasional dark chocolate topped with almond butter.
Nuts and chocolate are high in L-arginine. To swing my system back in balance, I needed to eat foods high in L-lysine until the outbreak cleared. I found this helpful list of lysine-rich foods over at Health Wyze. My intake of high lysine foods was already in place. Just needed stop eating nuts and dark chocolate!
- Apple Cider Vinegar – A lot of the stuff I used topically I ate/drank as well. ACV in a shot glass down the hatch twice daily. Takes your breath away but helped with the pain. If you’re not that hardcore, mix ACV with water to get it down.
- Cayenne Pepper – DRG bought some capsules and we filled them with cayenne pepper. I popped 4 or 5 of these each morning. The capsules allowed me to swallow large doses without setting my throat and mouth on fire.
- Colloidal Silver – One teaspoon twice daily (morning and evening). The CS we bought was labeled as a dietary supplement with 15 ppm with no additives. No, my skin didn’t turn blue.
- White Pine Needle Tea – Without knowing the cause of my discomfort, I harvested a batch of needles from White Pines along the trail and roadside to enjoy at my leisure when we got home. The Eastern White Pine needles contain the highest amounts of Vitamin C in the pine family. However, all pine needles contain Vitamin C. Little did I know how much I’d need these until my condition was confirmed.
- Lysine Dietary Supplement – The recommended dosage was 3 tablets daily. I doubled up. The brand was Super Lysine + which contained Vitamin C, Echinacea, Licorice, Propolis, and Garlic.
- B-Complex Supplement – The bottle said to take one “Easy-to-Swallow” capsule daily. I choked down four not-so-easy-to-swallow tablets each day. They were the size of horse pills! Each capsule contained Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Folate (folic acid), Biotin, and Pantothenic Acid (calcium D-pantothenate)… manufactured by Bluebonnet Nutrition Corporation in Texas.
This information is purely my experience. The natural remedy described here is limited to what I researched and employed. Even with modern medicines available, I personally would choose the natural route again if they ever return, God forbid. I was pleased with my outcome.
The lesions dried up within 3 to 4 days. Once scabbed over I stopped applying the clay poultice and other topical treatments. I continued taking the internal protocol and eating foods high in lysine throughout the ordeal.
Phantom pain (post-herpetic neuralgia) continued with an occasional shockwave to the affected area gradually disappeared in two weeks after the initial outbreak.
Having no way to compare conventional medical treatment to my natural remedy, I can’t say which is better… and hope to never find out with another outbreak. I have read reports of people experiencing multiple bouts and even chronic cases lasting months and even years. I can’t begin to imagine having to deal with this virus longer than a week or two.
If any of our readers have gone through multiple shingles outbreaks and tried conventional and home remedies, please share your experience with both methods. And, if so, my sympathies go out to you!
Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,
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