TCM remedies for shingles
09/27/2018 // Zoey Sky // Views

Shingles is a painful viral infection, which currently has no known cure. However, if you're looking for a natural way to relieve the symptoms of this condition, consider these traditional Chinese herbal remedies.

Herbal teas, hot compress, and soups

Lemon balm tea can be used to make a compress that can cool areas of the skin affected by shingles. It can also be combined with mint, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, sage, spearmint, and thyme for a soothing anti-viral tea. Another option is to make a soup by boiling Job’s tears in water for one hour. Once the mixture has cooled, drink the soup and eat the remaining grains. Consume the soup twice daily for one week to clear up symptoms.

Pain relievers

Shingles often cause excruciating pain. If you are suffering from a shingles outbreak, consider making a pain reliever that requires some unscented lotion and red pepper. Mix the two ingredients well, then apply the lotion over the affected area for relief. The pain reliever Yunnan Baiyao, which is also called White Medicine of Yunnan, can be used to stop bleeding if you have shingles.


Realgar powder, which has a primary ingredient called arsenic disulfide, must be used with caution. Mix the powder with vinegar to create a thin paste. Apply this paste daily for five to seven days to soothe the symptoms of shingles. (Related: Treating shingles with homeopathy.)

Over-the-counter (OTC) remedies

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) aims to restore balance to the body, and this includes temperatures. Purchase some Chuan Xin Lian Antiphlogistic Tablets if you have shingles. The tables have a cooling effect on the parts of the body affected by the condition. If your symptoms involve pain, use Superior Sore Throat Powder, an effective painkiller for shingles. Both the tablets and the powder can be found in Chinese pharmacies and herb shops.


What causes shingles?

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. The condition isn't contagious, but the varicella-zoster virus can infect those who haven't been exposed to the virus yet, causing the onset of chickenpox.

The varicella-zoster virus can stay in the infected person’s nerve tissue his whole life, where it may remain inactive. However, if his immune system isn't strong enough to contain the virus, it can be reactivated, even several years later. If this happens, an individual will develop shingles.

The symptoms of shingles include open and oozing blisters. The varicella-zoster virus may spread through contact with these unscabbed shingles blisters. The virus doesn’t spread after the blisters form crusty scabs or when the blisters are well-covered.

If you have shingles, stay at home and rest. If you need to go out in public, follow these tips to minimize infections:

  • Always wash your hands and refrain from touching your blisters.
  • Keep the shingles rash clean and covered so people don't come into contact with your blisters.
  • Avoid being around pregnant women, especially since the varicella-zoster virus may cause serious health risks in both pregnant women and their babies, such as pneumonia and birth defects.
  • Avoid other at-risk people such as premature babies, infants with low birth weights, and children who haven’t had chickenpox yet.
  • Try to avoid people with weak immune systems, e.g., those with HIV, organ transplant recipients, and people taking immunosuppressant medications or undergoing chemotherapy.

You can read more articles about effective TCM remedies for shingles at

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