So last week, for a change, I decided to cut off my almost waist-length hair in favour of a shingle bob (think Phryne Fisher, but without the fringe), with plans to eventually grow it out. Since then I have been meaning to write a blog post about shingles-the-disease and how to treat it naturally. Why? Sure it's usually not as serious as diabetes/aging/cancer/etc, but from all accounts I have heard, it is a painful, debilitating problem that can put you out of action for 3-4 weeks!
One treatment for shingles that should be more available is vitamin C injections, however I have heard of people achieving similar results with liposome-coated vitamin C as this apparently aids absorption. In one study, Dr Frederick Klenner gave 2,000-3,000mg of vitamin C by injection every 12 hours, as well as 1,000mg by mouth in fruit juice every two hours to eight patients with shingles. In seven of these eight, complete pain relief was observed within two hours of the first injection! Those lucky little - Anyway, their blisters also healed very quickly, with complete resolution in 72 hours (three days)! However treatment must go on for a few more days in order to prevent recurrence, according to Dr Klenner, who saw similar results with chickenpox (caused by the same virus as shingles, chicken pox is the original infection, shingles is the recurrence). Another study from 1950 showed complete resolution of shingles again within 72 hours in all 327 patients! These results are amazing, and with all of the other studies and case reports of viral infections being wiped out by vitamin C injections or intravenous administration, I am surprised that research and use did not continue.
Despite all of this success, upon describing the study with 327 patients to a teacher, he asked me, "is it right?" in terms of naturopathic philosophy. Well...it's natural, safe and effective so I would say YES! We are treating the cause (by also boosting immunity); using the power of nature; teaching patients of vitamin C's benefits; and doing no harm! I would much rather have this than another vaccination (I know very damaged young men), and if I did get chickenpox or shingles, I would seek out vitamin C injections or highly bioavailable oral supplements. I am not, nor will I ever be, another "wellness warrior" who makes her money off martyrdom and does not use the best natural therapies available because they do not fit in with narrow, arbitrary principles! I do not care if it appears to be "green allopathy" from a distance, as long as it works and I am not poisoning myself/giving myself another disease in the process then I'm for it. That is why I still mentioned chilli/capsaicin in another post on neuropathy. And also why I am linking to this study here, showing that reishi mushrooms, among other things, can reduce pain associated with this infection. Capsaicin can help with post-herpetic neuralgia too, but because these are symptomatic treatments only, I would recommend them alongside things to actually boost immunity and kill off as much virus as possible.