Natural Remedies

Cure Shingles: Home Remedies for Shingles Treatment

Jan 28, 2018

What is Shingles?

Shingles (also known as Herpes Zoster or the varicella-zoster virus) is a painful, blistering rash caused by the same virus as chickenpox. It is a reactivated form of the chicken pox viral infection, which has remained dormant in the body - usually for quite a long time after the initial infection - in the nerve tissue of the spinal cord and brain. Not life threatening, shingles can nevertheless be very painful. It is more common in older adults with weak immune systems. A vaccine for shingles is available, but due to the nature of the illness there's still a risk of infection.

Shingles symptoms usually occur in a small section of one side of the body as a red rash that appears after a few days of pain, burning, numbness, itching, or tingling. The rash may erupt into fluid-filled or crusty blisters. Some people also experience general aches, fever, and fatigue associated with shingles. Contagious as chickenpox is, you cannot spread shingles outbreaks, but can spread the varicella-zoster virus to those who have never contracted chickenpox.

Find a Natural Shingles Treatment Today

Below are some of the best home remedies (sent by our readers) to cure shingles quickly. Our most popular cure is apple cider vinegar, but other users have also reported success using aloe vera, cayenne pepper, coconut oil, and a whole lot of other remedies. Let us know what you try from Earth Clinic to cure shingles! Know of a remedy not yet listed here? Please don't hesitate to share it with us!


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Posted by Susan (California) on 07/01/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Thank you Chrissy (August 2011 post)! I awoke to what I believe was the onset of shingles with intense pain on my big toe, across my foot and up my leg. I immediately, after reading your story, contacted my acupuncturist/herbalist. She surrounded the area of my pain with needles plus a couple on my hand and then muscle tested me to find that echinacea and St. John's Wort would be good for me, including topical echinacea. It's the next morning now and the pain is 99% gone and I'm hoping that's the end of it.

Posted by Chrissy (Adelaide, Australia) on 08/28/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I recently had a serious bout of shingles; huge blisters from my clevage under my left arm through to my spine, After taking all the meds the doctor prescribed which did little to help the pain or help me to sleep, I decided to give acupuncture a try. The relief was instant, I have slept like a baby since beginning the treatment and the pain is very much under control. I'm only sorry I didn't get the treatment right from the onset as the acupuncturist says she could have stopped the shingles in it's tracks.

Alcohol, Distilled Water and Fastum Gel  

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Posted by Michael (South Africa) on 09/12/2006
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Half each 90% Alcohol and distilled water. And Fastum Gel a non steroidal anti inflammatory. Fixed my shingles in a week. Blisters all dried and healing. Pain still there in the nerve. Good news!

Aloe Vera  

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Posted by Awagner3216 (Albuquerque, Nm) on 12/07/2011
1 out of 5 stars

I tried some aloe from the plant that I have and it made the itching and pain worse! I'm going to go to the store and get some Apple Cider Vinegar and Tea Tree and Eucalyptus oil.... Hopefully it will work, I'm only 22 and this is the first time that I have ever dealt with this. I hope that this is not a life long thing that keeps coming back!

Posted by Susan (Sulphur, LA) on 04/28/2008
5 out of 5 stars

April 24th, 2008 I came down with shingles again. This is something I have dealt with for the last 13 years. In the past I have tried antibiotics, cortisone, etc. anything that I thought would bring relief. I was at my mothers and she told me to try the gel from an aloe leaf. To my surprise it brought great relief. I have done this 2 or 3 times a day. She also told me that once the blisters burst to apply honey to complete the healing process. I fully intend to try this at that time. It has been wonderful to have relief from this awful disease.

Posted by Mafri (Zurich, Switzerland) on 10/04/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Another wonder of the world to be added-YOUR SITE! For 20 years my Fiance has been suffering with horrific Shingles, he has been to every skin Specialist there is, tried every cream, every oil and every natural product on the market. His feet are so bad, and so painful, causing more pain with certain foods- We have noticed that the worst are garlic, onions and spicy foods. 3 days ago, I was looking on the internet for a certain cream, very expensive especially after you have bought and tried almost everything. I came to your site and read all the posts, while doing so I looked what ingredients I had in the house, Aloe vera Gel - YES! Cayenne pepper- YES! Corn flour -YES! I went to the kitchen mixed it all up in bowl , got my fiance's feet and pasted it with the above, Now what? How does he go to sleep with all this on his feet? I took plastic wrap and wrapped his feet up, looking like a Astronaut he went to sleep with the paste and plastic.......... In the morning............. there was such a huge difference,are those really his feet. WOW! We are now on the 3rd day of nightly pasting and wrapping, the blisters are gone, the hard scaling skin is almost away, the only thing left is the redness. This is amazing!!! My only concern is with the plastic wrapping----- the feet don't get fresh air during this time, Thank you so much, I will keep you posted of the complete results in the future.

Replied by Waltraud
Arkansas ( Usa )

Corn flour or oatmeal flour? There is a difference between the two, yet I have found that some people use both to mix with aloe vera and cayenne powder!!!!!! Can you comment please? Thank you Waltraud

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Waltraud,

It may be that the corn flour or oat flour are just to help the mixture thicken and stick easily to the skin. I do think that oat has something particularly helpful to skin conditions. (Thus, oatmeal baths.)

French green clay would be another dry ingredient that I think could be used to make the aloe and cayenne into a paste.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Lou
Tyler, Tx


I read in a couple of places today that BHT 250 mg plus Vitamin C cures a host of ailments, including Herpes Zoster (shingles). Here's the link:

It was also posted by someone on Curezone.

Replied by Janet

Lou Great article. How to take BHT has always perplexed me. Oscar and Ted talk about it. I tried it a few years ago. I did not do well getting up to take it in the night. This has 2 ways. Very clear and straightforward. Thank you. Janet

Antifungal Cream for Ringworm  

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Posted by Lizzy (Asheville, Nc) on 10/16/2014
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Thank you so much for posting about the antifungal cream for shingles. I bought some ringworm cream at the pharmacy yesterday and applied to my shingles patch. It was the 6th day of my shingles outbreak and even though Dave's wonderful remedies were helping, the blistering area was still painful and red. I can't believe it, in just over 24 hours and 2 applications, the area has almost completely dried up and is no longer painful. Remarkable!

Replied by Lou
Tyler, Tx
5 out of 5 stars

After reading your post, I searched for some antifungal cream and didn't have anything but Lamisil on hand. My husband didn't want to try that and then I remembered I bought some soap at Amazon for ringworm. I had about 6 bars of that. He tried it and the pain was gone immediately. He is going to wash with it once an hour to try to kill this. This has been going on for 3 months and we had done the ACV compresses and beverages. We also had the antiviral drugs and steroids. Thanks for your tip! I hope it helps him get over this.

Posted by Jody (Idaho, US) on 10/13/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I have also used an antifungal cream on my shingles and it seems to accelerated the shingles to blister then completely go away with no scarring in only a few days.

I had thought that I had ringworm on my hip and used the antifungal cream which cleared it up, but 6 months later it came back and my Dr said it was shingles. So I used the antifungal cream the second time and again within a few hours the itching was gone and healed within a few days. I don't know why it worked but I thank goodness it did. I can't imagine having to deal with the pain for weeks!

Posted by Izma (Hollywood, California) on 03/19/2007
5 out of 5 stars

From what I see of your numerous cures. It appears that Shingles may just dissappear. Personally I used the antifungal cream clotrimazole, followed the next day by Clorox disinfectant spray applied with a Q tip to each spot, and the shingles and the pain left.and havn't returned in more than five years. I had used the clorox spray before to no avail but when first used the anti fungal cream apparently that did the trick. Another thought viruses seem to be resistant to nearly everything but they may have a protective coating that takes a wetting agent to crack. and the anti fungal creme may have that ingredient. I know that it takes a wetting agent to break down ordinary mold, before clorox can disolve it. A chemist probably could explain this better than I can.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Cayenne  

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Posted by Anna (Roswell, Ga) on 09/06/2013
5 out of 5 stars

My boyfried had what we think to be shingles. That is when I discovered Earth Clinic. I fixed him a bottle water with ACV (apple cider vinegar), cayenne pepper (3 good size shakes) honey to taste. had him drink this 3 times a day and mixed cayenne pepper with ACV (heavy on cayenne) took cottonball and put it on him everywhere, three times a day and shingles were gone within 3 to 5 days. It made him a believer. Now we both drank ACV as a often as we can.

Replied by Bill

how much Apple Cider Vinegar should I add to the bottle?

Posted by Gene (Sarasota, FL) on 04/11/2009
5 out of 5 stars

This is my second shingles attack, folks! First one lasted 60 days and was the most unbelievably painful thing I had ever experienced. Interestingly enough, 100% of the shingles was sub-surface, with no redness, raised areas or pustules. The deep pain was beyond words.

Now, four years later, in a period of incredible stress, I've got the damned thing again -- this time, with a left leg and the front/back of the left side of my torso covered in mega-patches of fiery pustules. Pain inside (emanating from the locus deep inside the nerve) and out.

Then, a friend of a friend mentioned ACV and I went surfing and found your site.

Last night (day 3), I covered the sores with ACV&Cayenne, and took two half shot glasses of ACV mixed with Cayenne. Within about an hour the pain - inside and out - completely went away. Yes, completely, and I had what seemed like one of the best sleeps I had had in a long time.

This AM thru noon, I felt great, but this early afternoon I'm still a little shakey -- a slight twinge here, a slight twinge there. And the pustules are still there, but not increasing in size (and, as I write this, only a very, very, very occasional itch/pain from my little read friends.

I am going to keep this up, and have absolutely no doubt that this will do the trick. In fact, I'm going to apply your ACV/CP elixer as soon as I press 'send'.

Replied by Gene
Sarasota, FL USA

I have a previous posting on Apr. 11, 2009 (day 3 of my attack), which is currently logged under ACV+Cayenne. It would be helpful if you started there. This is an update, ten days later, and should be tremendously useful if you are debating whether to try a natural remeby for Shingles, specifically Apple Cide Vinegar.

Ten days ago, with a bad shingles rash and moderate deep pain, I turned to ACV/C. I had already been on western meds, specifically valtrex & prednisone, and I had no sense that they were doing any good.

Almost immediately, the pain (bit NOT the rash) went away. I continued swigging about half a shot glass of ACV sprinkled with Cayenne, three times a day, and used the same mixture topically a few times daily as well.

After a week, I felt I was completely cured, with the exception of the rash, and dutifully forgot about everything. After all, the smell and taste of ACV don't set the world on fire and aren't powerful motivators to hang in there once cured!

I realized yesterday that, during the past three days, the pain was back and had been for a couple of days now. Particularly, at night, I'd say the pain (in my case deep nerve pain) was perhaps a 7-8 out of 10 (the first time I had shingles it was a 10 out of 10, many times, so I know the scale!).

I had been lazy and listened to all my friends, including several doctors, saying 'It's the Western meds, dummy', and I figured I was in good hands once it stopped. Also, since the rash was taking forever to disappear, receding glacially, but no longer hurting, I felt that I didn't the ACV/C and it was probably an old wives tale anyway.

Boy was I wrong.

This is what I've learned:

1. A virus isn't over when you say it is. It's over when it decides it's run the course.

2. In going back on ACV, the topical pain (which had come back a bit in the past couple of days), stopped on the spot. Taking it yesterday AM, the topical cleared up immediately and the pain stopped throughout the day. Night was a different matter.

3. Two nights ago, the pain was terrible through the night. Last night - the first night since I had been back on ACV - the pain was gone until 5:58am (I went to sleep at 10pm, so I had 7 solid hours).

4. I finally got out of bed around 7:30, with a deep pain in the left side of my lower back. Within 10 minutes of takinf ACV internally and topically, the slight itching was gone and the internal pain had gone from a 7/8 to a 2/3.

Everyones disease and progress is different, and anecdotal evidence for me does not mean a hell of a lot in your case. But I wanted to give as much detail as possible so that you could see exactly how ACV has impacted what I'm going through.

I am dissapointed that the rash is only abating slowly, but - if I had to choose between reallybad, debilitating pain and the side effects pain and sleeplessness produces, and a rash, which in my case is under the shirt/pants and not visible, I'll take the rash anyday!

Count me as an ACV believer. Not once - but twice - in the same illness! Good luck with your shingles!!


Apple Cider Vinegar, Lysine  

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Posted by Earthgurl (Northern Virginia) on 06/02/2015
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I had to tell you my experience curing shingles. Organic apple cider vinegar on a cloth compressed onto the area. I also took L-Lysine. My doctor was blown away! No thanks Big Pharma. Thanks to this community! Keep in mind that is what worked for me. Everyone is different.

Replied by Lori
South Florida

Just realized I'm having a shingles outbreak on my inner thigh. Haven't had one in 10 yrs. Immediately took 1000mg of L-lysine and Vitamin C. Put apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball and put it on the rash for a few moments. Will come back to update.

9/7/15 UPDATE: Since 9/3 I've been taking 500mg L-lysine twice a day and using Apple Cider Vinegar on the rash twice a day on a cotton ball for a few seconds. Can say the rash is drying up! A few minutes after using ACV the pain and itch goes away for most of the day. It's working!

Posted by Monica J (Western Suburbs Of Chicago, Illinois ) on 05/15/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Hi all. Just finished a recent bout with shingles and thought I would share here in repayment for the great advice I have read here over the years.

I have had shingles a few times before and found the apple cider vinegar treatment (swabbing lesions with cotton soaked ACV) has worked for me. In fact, even treated my son when he had chicken pox that same way and lessened his time spent with that awful childhood illness.

This last time was different for me however. Instead of having shingles in a 'convenient' location, grouped together on my back or leg where I could treat with ACV, dry and then coat with an OTC anti itch cream and then cover with a bandage... No, this time they appeared on my foot. And like many here didn't recognize it as shingles - thought I had some nasty spider bites. After a day or two as they were spreading, realized well into the problem that this was a new location for shingles.

Maybe waiting a day or two to treat with ACV made it less effective than it was in the past. I was able to soak my foot a few times a day in a small foot bath of ACV and that helped with current lesions. However, having it on my toes made it difficult to keep the lesions from spreading and multiplying. One area would sprout a lesion and then go thru its stages and break as it was rubbing against another toe and then that toe would have a lesion (or two) the next day.

Then I remembered this site and read thru the comments here again for another clue as to what to do. The clue was the amino acid Lysine. The lack of the amino acid in one's diet is considered to make one liable to viruses such as shingles.

I had an older bottle of bee pollen in my cabinet. Bee pollen is a 'complete food' and contains all aminos. I took three tabs immediately and then 3 every 12 hours. (Why that time? Made it up - thought it would take that long to get thru my system.)

So, will keep up with the Lysine intake and of course, keep a supply of ACV on hand in case of future outbreaks.

Replied by Schuyler
Mullins, Sc

I started with shingles Dec. 2012. Have had ongoing problems since then. It was hard to diagnose because it never came out as a rash, but stayed "inside. " It's in the left side of neck, left upper roof gum area, temple, top left side of head, partially down left neck and left shoulder. Been on antivirals & steroids 3 times. Now, back on antivirals alone. BUT... This time, I'm having an actual outbreak on the inside of the lower lid of my left eye. It's very uncomfortable. I've just taken the ACV for the first time after reading all the comments, but can anyone suggest what I might possibly be able to use for my eye to help with the bad discomfort? I know I can't put vinegar in there--UGH! Thanks for any help.

Replied by Lisa
Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa

Hi Schuyler, I have sent two friends who had shingles to my friend who is a Chinese herbalist. He doesn't do acupuncture but specializes in Chinese herbalism.

One of my friend's husband was hit with a terrible case of shingles along the same area where yours is. His work sent him home saying he could not return until it was resolved. Of course, he was in pain and upset about not being able to work. He's also a scientist and when his wife told him about my recommendation for this he said he would not go there and have his tongue "read". She said fine, went by herself and told him her husband had shingles and where it was located. He sent her home with herbs and instructions and within 2 days the shingles were gone and he could return to work.

Again, I don't think I can emphasize how powerful Chinese medicine is. I hope this helps. Lisa

P.S. Forgot to mention, my herbalist friend treated his own dad successfully for shingles as well!

Replied by Connie
Slc, Utah, Usa

Hi Schuyler; I would recommend high dose B12, even injections for shingles. B12 has antiviral properties, and it used to be used to treat them before the advent of antivirals. Shingles near the eyes may even cause blindness, so I can't help but ask you to hurry. B12 will also treat post herpetic neuralgia, which can be debilitating.

Replied by Liz
Melbourne, Australia

Hi l have had shingles 3 times in 3 months but quite mildly, l use colloidal silver and keep a wet solution on at all times with cotton wool , you can put it in your eyes, l have been using it successfully for 15 years on any external infection, sometimes l drink it for my ulcer helps straight away, sore throats, eye infections fantastic, good luck

Replied by Maryann
Emporia, Kansas

Collodial Silver (liquid dietary supplement) is great to use as eye drops if you want to protect your eyes from your shingles outbreak. It's safe to use in eyes.

Replied by Mary
Arcadia, Ca

Yes, you can use ACV in your eyes but you have to dilute it too. 3 drops ACV to 10 drops water. It will sting a little but well worth it. Dilute it to the best way that suits you.



Black Salve  

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Posted by Kate (Nevada City, CA USA) on 10/16/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I have used black salve successfully on many different skin lesions, as well as moles. Two years ago I had an initial, very painful outbreak of shingles on my chest. After several days of suffering I decided to try black salve on the blisters. At first it hurt like heck, but it hurt anyway. By the next day the pain and itching were gone. It took a long time to heal completely, and a couple more spots appeared in the area along the way (which I treated also), but the pain was gone and it eventually healed nicely. I still have scars, but no more problems since.

I haven't seen any other postings for using it on shingles, so I thought someone might find it helpful.

Replied by Kat
Drummond, Montana

I just learned of black salve from a friend of mine who used it on a growth on her breast that looked like it had spider veins coming from it when xrayed. In 6 months time, when they re-xrayed that growth it was completely gone! I have psoriosis and am wondering if anyone has any info on me maybe trying this black salve on it

Black Tea  

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Posted by Suanne (Geelong, Australia) on 08/10/2010
5 out of 5 stars

I had shingles and the medication the dr gave me was not effective so I used tepid black tea to dab on the blisters and it cleared it up in a couple of days. I use the cut side of a slice of lemon to cure corns. Use it every time you think of it over the day. Soon gone forever.

Replied by Lou
Tyler, Tx

I saw a corn remedy on here that involved ACV on a piece of bread. Attach it to the corn. I usually wear a Ziploc bag over my foot when using ACV.