Aromatherapy for pain
In the United States, 1 in 3 people will develop shingles in their lifetime.
It is caused by the same virus that is responsible for chickenpox.
Shingles is characterized by an outbreak of a rash or blisters on the skin, and symptoms that include burning or tingling pain, or sometimes numbness or itch.
Those at risk for shingles are individuals who have recovered from a chickenpox infection and has the virus resting dormant in their body.
Children can be affected by shingles, however, most cases appear in individuals over 60 years old.
While there is a shingles vaccine available and antiviral medications to treat shingles, aromatherapy can provide an alternative option to tackle the pain and stress of the condition.
Here is a look at aromatherapy for shingles and how it can be beneficial in a therapeutic capacity.
What is Aromatherapy?
According to the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, aromatherapy is the art and science of using naturally extracted essential oil “from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.”
Geranium Essential Oil
In adults, a common symptom of shingles is pain, and in the case of a complication with the infection, postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) can occur.
PHN is caused by the herpes zoster virus and affects nerve fibers and skin, resulting in burning pain that lasts for an extended period after the rash and blisters of shingles is gone.
Geranium essential oil has been shown in studies to have the ability to minimize pain associated with PHN.
It is known to be fast-acting once applied topically by reducing pain sensations within just a few minutes.
It has been demonstrated to be even more effective than capsaicin, which is perhaps the most recommended topical cream for shingles pain.
How you can use geranium essential oil for pain aromatherapy:
- Add 2 drops of this essential oil with 1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil
- Rub it on regions of the body where of shingles pain reside
You may begin to feel the effects within 2 to 10 minutes.
For sustained relief, it is recommended that you use the oil continuously for a period of 10 to 15 days.
Olive Leaf Extract
As far back as the late 1960s, it was uncovered that olive leaf extract had the ability to eliminate the herpes zoster virus.
This potential is possible because of a powerful compound called oleuropein, which destroys the virus, preventing it from moving from cell to cell, growing, and replicating, stopping the symptoms of shingles.
Olive leaf extract is available in capsule form.
Take two capsules (500 mg) three to four times per day, with meals
20 percent oleuropein per capsule recommended
Aromatherapy for shingles is an unconventional way of providing therapeutic treatment.
Geranium essential oil can play a crucial role in minimizing the pain caused by postherpetic neuralgia.
Olive leaf extract works to kill the virus and prevent the symptoms of shingles.
These appear to be two oils that could serve as an alternative to conventional treatment.