Herpes zoster (Shingles)

Herpes zoster, Shingles

Herpes zoster, also known as shingles, are small fluid filled blisters similar to chicken pox. Herpes zoster or shingles is also known as the secondary outbreak of chicken pox. It occurs due to the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus. The virus usually lies dormant in the nervous system of the body for many decades. If the body’s immune response does not completely destroy the virus, the favourable conditions can allow them to travel along the path of the nerves upto the skin’s surface. The risk of developing shingles increases with age.

Shingles can also lead to other potentially dangerous nervous system complications such as inflammation of the brain and spinal fluid. If shingles occur on the face, it can cause hearing problems and temporary or permanent blindness, loss of facial movements. Untreated blisters can lead to bacterial skin infections.

The condition lasts for about 7-21 days. It does not spread through coughing or sneezing but through direct contact with fluid filled blisters.


  • Weak immune system
  • Bacteria causing pneumonia, pneumococcal and streptococcal also support in the eruption of herpes.
  • Leprosy, tuberculosis, diabetes, mouth related problems, metabolic faults, head injury, pain in the backbone, fever, drowsiness, tumor, cancerous tumor and lymphatic tumor in the hips, backbone and spinal nerves, AIDS and immune-suppressive diseases also support the eruptions.


  • It usually begins with an itch, a tingling sensation or a stabbing pain, usually in the torso or the face on one side of the body.
  • Rash after sometime changes into the fluid filled blisters similar to those seen in chicken pox which then dry and crust out.
  • In early condition, there is extreme pain without any blisters
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch and temperature
  • Itching and numbness in the area
  • Swelling in the glands of the affected areas
  • Fever upto 102-104 degree Fahrenheit
  • Vision problems
  • Loss of eye movements
  • Generalized ill feeling
  • Severe neuralgic pain
  • Local hyperaesthesia
  • Tastelessness in the mouth


According to ayurveda, it is compared with the condition Kaksha and is caused due to vitiated vata and pitta dosha. It is a nervous system disorder caused due to pitta dosha. Aggravated pitta dosha causes eruption of reddish painful boils in the hands, armpit, shoulders, eyes and wrist. These eruptions occur in a single line resembling the sacred thread known as yagyopaveet. Herpes generally occurs in one armpit, at first one or two boils along with swelling, causing severe pain due to vata. In the beginning a group of red and flat boils erupt, which convert into big boils very soon.

Single ayurvedic herbs useful in this condition are:-

  • Giloy
  • Manjishthadi
  • Yashtimadhu
  • Chandan
  • Turmeric
  • Neem
  • Patola
  • Triphala
  • Aloe vera

Ayurvedic medications recommended in this case are:-

  • Ras manikya
  • Taal sindoor
  • Kaishore Guggulu
  • Aarogya vardhini vati
  • Prawal Pishti
  • Mukta Pishti
  • Gandhak rasayan
  • Kamdudha rasa
  • Guduchyadi kwatha
  • Kayakalpa vati
  • Madhuyashtyadi churna
  • Manjishthadi churna
  • Chandanadi taila
  • Manjishthadi taila
  • Jatyadi ghrit
  • Irimedadi taila
  • Shudh yoga vati
  • Panch tikta ghrit Guggulu
  • Yakrit vati
  • Panchaskar churna


  • Regular hand washing is advised.
  • Keep the rash covered.
  • Avoid contact with the people suffering from shingles
  • Avoid scratching or contact with the rash


  • Remove the thorns and outer skin from a few aloe vera leaves. Extract all the gel from the inside. Take one bowl of this aloe vera gel. Add one teaspoon of honey. Mix well and apply on the affected area two times a day.
  • Take one teaspoon of liquorice powder and add a little water to it. Mix well to prepare its paste and apply this on the affected area.
  • Crush 5-6 garlic cloves to prepare the paste. Apply this paste on the affected area. Leave it for 15 minutes and then wash off with water.
  • Take three parts of turmeric, three parts of darvi, three parts Lodhra, one and a half parts of yashad pushpa and 120 parts of gulabjal. Use this as an eye wash to protect eyes from this disease.


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