6 Essential Oils for Shingles + Self-Care Tips

Do you remember the painful experience of chickenpox in your childhood? Those itchy rashes and blisters all over your body?

Shingles is another addition to that medical condition coming from the same strain of virus as the chickenpox. Shingles or herpes zoster is a common viral infection.

Today you’ll learn how to use essential oils for shingles remedy at home and some self care tips to help you handle this medical problem.

Read more inside:

  • Shingles: an Overview
  • Traditional Medications vs. Essential oil Remedies for Shingles
  • Top 6 Essential Oils for Treating Shingles
  • How to Use Essential Oils for Shingles
  • Common Symptoms of Shingles include
  • Additional Home Care for preventing Shingles

Shingles: an Overview


You might be wondering why an episode of chickenpox doesn’t make you immune to shingles!

According to the researchers, more than 10% chickenpox victims are at risk of experiencing shingles in their later age. It is because varicella- zoster or chicken pox virus stays dormant inside your nerve cells.

As you grow old, you become more prone to suffering from this condition. Nearly half of the singles victims are in their 50s and above. A weak immune system in your old age cannot protect you from the virus. The virus gets reactivated, and you suffer the painful outbreak of shingles.  (1)

A shingles outbreak can be of two types.  If the condition remains on one side of your body, it is a localized zoster. When the rashes and blisters of shingles spread all over your body, we call it disseminated zoster.

It causes you significant pain, rashes, fever, and fluid-filled blisters on your body. The virus responsible for this disease is varicella-zoster. More than a million Americans suffer shingles outbreak annually. (2)

In most cases, shingles last for 3-5 weeks. It is possible to suffer from shingles outbreak more than once in your lifetime. (3)

Old age, weak immune system, trauma, and excessive stress are some of the triggers for reactivating varicella-zoster virus or developing shingles.

Traditional Medications vs. Essential oils for Shingles


The over the counter medications for controlling shingles symptoms include antiviral drugs, painkillers, antibiotics, pain numbing cream, etc.

These traditional treatments are quick to prevent the symptoms without addressing the underlying problem. Moreover, the prescription drugs come with the backlash of side effects.

It is worth considering a natural remedy for preventing shingles outbreak. In the recent times, many osteopaths and health experts recommend using essential oils as an alternative treatment for shingles.

Researchers have found out more than 90 essential oils in 1500 different combinations to be effective against various skin disorders. These oils are famous for their availability, anti-microbial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory resistance.

There are some useful essential oils can to fight off the virus responsible for shingles and boost your immune defense of the body. (4)

Top 6 Essential Oils for Shingles


1.Geranium Oil

Geranium essential oil comes from the leaves and stems of the geranium plant through steam distillation.

Some of the major chemical components of this herbal oil are alpha-pinene, limonene, linalool, myrcene, menthone, etc.

This sweet smelling aromatic oil has anti-inflammatory, antidepressant and antiseptic properties. The oil has holistic benefits for your physical, emotional and mental health.

In ancient Egypt, this herbal oil was favorite for treating skin disorders such as eczema, dermatitis, etc.

According to many types of research, the active antiseptic quality of geranium oil can relieve the post-herpetic neuralgia or PHN pains in the quickest possible time.

The effects of this aromatic oil in curing shingles are even better and faster than the traditional capsaicin solutions.  (5)

This fragrant oil can regulate circulation and digestion system as well.

2. Peppermint Oil

essential oils for shingles

Peppermint essential oil originates from the evergreen peppermint herbs. The medical use of this herb dates back to ancient Egyptian civilization.

Peppermint oil has extensive use in cosmetic and medical industries. Among a host of therapeutic components, it contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, antidepressants, and antifungal properties. (6)

These are potent agents to soothe your nervous system improve your psychological health.

Peppermint oil has the cooling effects because of menthol. It is also rich in anti-itch properties.  If you topically apply this oil, it can ease the irritations and itch of the shingles blisters.

Thus, it keeps you away from scratching the blisters and making it worse infection. The antidepressant in peppermint oil helps to reduce stress, which is a significant cause of shingles outbreak. The oil has significant uses in lowering aches, and fatigue as well. (7)

RELATED: 12 Uses and Health Benefits of Peppermint Oil

3. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is well known for a host of therapeutic properties. This favorite herbal oil comes from the evergreen foliage- Lavender, grown in Northern Africa.

This sweet-scented herbal oil is rich in anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, anxiolytic, anti-anxiety, sedative, and antimicrobial properties. (8)

From ancient time onwards this essential oil has been a potent remedy for various aches and pains, neurological and skin disorders.

The two major components of the lavender oil are linalool and linalyl acetate. If you topically use lavender oil or go for an aromatherapy these two chemical elements get absorbed through your skin instantly.

They help your limbic system and reduce the depression and anxiety to cure shingles symptoms. Lavender oil directly balances the serotonin level in your body to prevent discomforts. (9)

Lavender oil promotes relaxation and sound sleep. That’s why it is useful for giving you sound sleep at night during a shingles outbreak.   (10)

RELATED: 5 Ways to Use Lavender Oil for Hair Problems

4. Black Cumin Seed Oil

Black cumin seed oil comes from the cumin seeds of Nigella sativa. This medicinal herb is a native of southern Europe, Southeast Asia, North Africa and Mediterranean region.

Black cumin seed oil has an extensive use in Indian Ayurveda and Unani medical treatments.

The herbal oil contains high-quality anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, analgesic, anti-hypersensitive, and anti-itch properties.

These therapeutic compounds make black cumin seed oil a potent agent against herpes zoster or shingles.

Thymoquinone and crystalline nigellone are two powerful anti-inflammatory components in cumin seed oil. Moreover, it has vitamin B, minerals, and fatty acids to renew your affected skin.

Black cumin seed oil can boost the immune defense of your body and help prevent the spread of shingles. (11)

5. Lemon Oil

Lemon essential oil comes from the rind or peels of lemon.

This aromatic oil has a refreshing, earthy smell to uplift the spirits. It helps in flushing out the impurities from the cells and tissues, improving neuron functions and circulation system of the body, and lowering the inflammations. Thus, lemon oil helps to prevent shingles epidemic.  (12)

Moreover, the antiseptics in lemon oil can cut down the excessive oil from your skin. As a result, it lowers the inflammation.

Lemon oil can give a glow to your skin and help you remove the spots on the shingles blisters. The immune boosting abilities and the high vitamin C content contribute to your efficient circulation system in the body.

You can readily mix this citrusy oil with lavender or geranium oil for a potent blend of shingles.

6. Tea Tree Oil

tea tree oil benefits naturally daily

Tea tree oil comes from Melaleuca alternifolia of Australia. This herbal oil has a pale yellow color and champhorous odor. (13)

This cheap herbal oil is famous for curing fungal, viral, and bacterial infections. The skin care industries rely a lot on tea tree oil for a wide range of cosmetics and skin care products.

The antiseptic and anti-bacterial components of tea tree oil are ideal for the cure of shingles, scabies, skin tags, acne, yeast infections, itch, and blisters. (14)

RELATED: Tea Tree Oil for Scabies: 6 Home Remedies

How to Use Essential Oils for Shingles


As per the recommendation of health expert Birgitta Lauren, you can use the essential oils in the following methods to keep shingles at bay. (15)

Essential oil blend: Add peppermint, lemon, and geranium essential oils 10 drops each to a tablespoon of raw coconut oil. Now, rub and massage the oil blend gently all over the rashes and blisters.

The process will bring immediate relief from the irritations and pain. Moreover, the coconut oil will spread a moisturizing effect on the inflamed skin. You should repeat this treatment twice daily for the best results.

Essential oil diffuser: Diffusing the essential oils using a portable diffuser can provide the lasting effect of reducing the inflammations, and boosting immune defense against shingles.

You have to add 10-15 drops of lavender, lemon, tea tree or cumin seed oil into the diffuser and allow the oil to spread in the room environment.

Note: You should perform a patch test of the essential oil in case of treating the sensitive areas of your body.

Just rub a drop of you preffered essential oil on the back of your elbow and see for reactions. In case of allergic response, you should stop the treatment or dilute the oil with a carrier oil.

Common Symptoms of Shingles Include


  • Pain, burning and throbbing sensation on a small part of your body are the initial symptoms of a shingles outbreak. (16)
  • Within a few days or weeks, you may develop itchy rashes.
  • The shingles make your skin sensitive to touch. You feel numbness, tingling, burning, and a prickling sensation on your affected skin.
  • After several days, the rashes turn into fluid-filled blisters. The surface below the blisters remains red and inflamed. The shingles blisters crust over in the next few days.
  • Apart from the rashes and blisters the shingles outbreak come with fever, tiredness, headaches, light-sensitivity, etc. (17)
  • You may develop shingles on the left or right torso. Shingles may spread on your face, the neck, and around the eyes as well.

Additional Home Care for Preventing Shingles


Follow the below-listed home care tips for reducing the inflammations and symptoms of shingles:

Taking Care of the Rashes and Blisters

  • Make sure the shingles affected skin is exposed to air. Follow good skin hygiene and keep the inflamed skin dry and clean. (18)
  • Shingles itch may make you crazy at times. But stay away from scratching the blisters. Otherwise, the blisters may burst and make the infection worse.
  • You can soothe the itching rashes by trying an oatmeal bath. You have to mix the fine colloidal oatmeal powder to your tub water and dip in for 15 minutes. The process will bring ease to the rashes.
  • During a shingles outbreak calming the pain and itch seems to be the priority. You can use a cold compress on the blisters to relieve the pain and irritation instantly. Soak a washcloth on cold water and drape it on the blisters for 20 minutes. The simple method can clean the blisters as well.
  • Choose your clothing prudently during a shingles outbreak. You should wear loose clothing made of linen and cotton for the best comfort on your inflamed skin. 

Managing Stress and Mental Health

Stress is one of the primary reasons that can worsen shingles outbreak. A constant itch and pain during this viral infection can make your life miserable and put you off mentally. That’s why it is supremely important that you take care of your mental wellness to fight shingles effectively. (19)

  • Follow certain good habits to help the body fight the herpes zoster virus efficiently. You should intake nutritious foods and fruits during the outbreak. Don’t skip your meals and eat them at the proper time.
  • Even though itch and pains make you suffer a lot, you should try to get enough rest and sleep during the day. Having a sound and early sleep at night is important.
  • Keep up the metabolism of the body by indulging in light physical exercises. You can go for a long walk and do some stretching in the evening and morning.
  • Distracting your mind to something else may help you lower the effects of itch and pains. You can spend time with friends, listen to music, and pick up a book to read or watch a new movie to give yourself a break.
  • Relaxation and calmness are the requirements for a stress-free life. Handle the discomforts of the physical pains by indulging in emotionally uplifting activities. You may try doing yoga, meditation, consciousness exercises, tai chi, etc. to help to improve the emotional health.

Bottom Line


Unfortunately, shingles are a widespread viral infection. One in three individuals in the world is to suffer this condition once in his lifetime.

In case of an outbreak make the best use of the natural remedies and self-care tips that you have learned today.

Share with us your experience of beating shingles. Write your feedback in the comment section.

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