My husband struggles with shingles, can you provide any more support?
I am sorry to hear about your husbands’ struggle with shingles, I know that can be very painful. Your multi-pronged approach of working to fight off the virus with anti-virals while simultaneously building the immune system and reducing stress is very wise. This is exactly what I recommend from an herbal perspective as well. Here I will suggest some anti-viral, immune supportive, stress & pain management herbal allies that you might consider:
ANTIVIRAL HERBS Many herbs possess antiviral properties, but some of my favorite for shingles, specifically, include:
Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) – both antiviral as well as an adaptogen, licorice is a great choice to help support stress management and target the virus.
Thuja leaf (Thuja occidentalis) – this conifer really packs a punch when it comes to fending off viruses. You can add this to his protocol by adding Thuja essential oil to the topical SJW oil mentioned above. Thuja tincture or tablets can also be taken internally.
St. John’s Wort flowering herb (SJW) (Hypericum perforatum) – this sunny herb is well known for supporting those with depression, but is also a wonderful antiviral and liver supportive herb. Topically, this herb can be used safely and very effectively — apply SJW infused oil topically on his feet before bed (since it’s an oil I recommend wearing socks so he doesn’t get oil on the bedding). Galen’s Way makes a superb SJW oil, their entire product line is extremely high quality and practitioner only and is available for purchase at Farmacopia in Santa Rosa (they also ship). SJW topically and internally can also help manage the pain, so this would be one of my first choices for your husband. *Note: one must be careful if taking pharmaceuticals at the same time as SJW alters liver enzyme’s ability to breakdown drugs, resulting in increased breakdown or reduced uptake of the drug.
Your husband can consume all three of the above herbs in one liquid or tablet formula. For a tablet, I highly recommend a product called viranon by Mediherb.
Mediherb has been around a long time and they have excellent, pharmaceutical grade, quality. If he prefers a liquid, you can contact Farmacopia and have a professional herbalist compound a tincture formula for him (with any additional herbs in the below categories). IMMUNE SUPPORT In addition to anti-viral support, I recommend immune supportive herbs such as:
Echinacea root (Echinacea purpurea and/or E. angustifolia) This classic immune herb is an excellent choice for a shingles breakout. Note that one must use a higher dose in acute situations, for example, 2 Mediherb Echinacea Premium tablets 3 times a day. Eleuthero root (Eleuthero eleutherococcus) This restorative tonic has a broad range of effects, including assisting the body’s healthy, adaptive responses to stress. It also enhances immune system function so this is a great choice with its’ overlapping beneficial actions. MANAGING PAIN In addition to the approach of directly addressing the virus, which should help reduce pain, you might also consider some herbs for pain management during this acute phase. These 3 herbs all support nervous system discomfort — the system that sends pain signals throughout our body. CA poppy herb (Eschscholzia californica) – this local California beauty is both analgesic (pain relieving) as well as a relaxant. It has a long history of use and was traditionally used by Native Americans.
Corydalis tuber (Corydalis yanhusuo) – this Chinese herb has been traditionally used to ease muscular aches and pains.
Jamaican Dogwood stem bark (Piscidia piscipula) – this relaxing herb helps ease nervous system discomfort and pain. Mediherb combines all 3 of the above herbs in an excellent product called Nervagesic.