Shingles is a viral disease that causes painful blisters in a small area, usually only on one side of the body. Though shingles usually dissipates after three to four weeks, it can sometimes cause residual pain that can last for years. Though many prescription treatments are available for shingles, they can be expensive and have negative side effects. There are many natural remedies for shingles readily available that can reduce and eliminate painful symptoms.

Lemon Balm:

Lemon BalmLemon balm is an herb in the mint family that has been proven effective against viral infections. It is one of the more common remedies for shingles and is used extensively in Europe. Dried lemon balm can be made into a tea that can reduce the time required for shingles sores to heal by several days.

Lemon balm tea can be made by adding two teaspoons of dried lemon balm to one cup of hot water. Allow the tea to steep for 10 to 15 minutes, strain and drink immediately. Alternatively, a clean cloth can be used to apply the tea directly to the sores for more immediate results. For best results, apply the tea to the shingles several times each day and consume at least 2 cups of tea per day.

Cayenne Pepper:

CayenneCayenne pepper contains a compound called capsaicin, which is responsible for the burning sensation that occurs when consumed. However, capsaicin also blocks the nerves just under the skin from sending pain signals. It can be incorporated into lotion to make one of the more effective home remedies for shingles at relieving pain and irritation.

Cayenne lotion is made by adding small amounts of dried cayenne pepper to a white moisturizing lotion. Continue adding cayenne pepper one pinch at a time until the lotion turns pink in color. A small dab of lotion should be applied to a healthy patch of skin to ensure there is no irritation. Once made, apply the lotion to shingles blisters as necessary to relieve pain.

Essential Oils:

Essential OilsEssential oils are highly concentrated extracts from herbs and plants. These oils are commonly used by herbalists and in aromatherapy to treat many ailments. Several essential oils have proven effective as natural remedies for shingles, including camomile, bergamot, geranium, lemon, lavender and tea tree. However, since essential oils are extremely potent, they must be diluted before they can be applied to the skin.

Add three drops of the chosen essential oil to two tablespoons of vegetable oil, and then apply directly to the afflicted area. Essential oils should never be ingested, as even small portions can be toxic. They are safe when applied externally, however, as long as they are properly diluted first.


Licorice RootLicorice can be used similarly to lemon balm to decrease inflammation and pain related to shingles. It contains many compounds that are anti-viral and boost the effectiveness of the immune system. A tea can be made by adding 3 pieces of dried licorice root to two cups of boiling water. Let the tea steep for about 10 to 15 minutes, and then strain out the licorice root. Sweeten with honey, if desired. Drink several cups per day and apply to the sores as necessary for natural relief of shingles pain.