Ayurvedic Treatment for Shingles or Herpes zoster

Ayurvedic Treatment for Shingles or Herpes zoster uses the Pitta Rakta vitiated diseases treatment principle. In this principle, we are giving focus to detoxify the body and reduce the heat inside the body. Shingles or Herpes zoster (HZ) infection is the reactivation of a latent varicella-zoster virus (VZV) with a history of chickenpox. It is a complication of herpes infection. A few of the infected people are affected by this complication. As it is a severe and painful condition, most of the cases are managed as an emergency. It is an infection of a nerve and the skin around the area of the nerve course. It is characterised by pain or a tingling sensation, in a limited area on the side of the face or torso, followed by a red rash with blisters. The fluid-filled blisters spread fast and are extremely painful.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS of Shingles ( Herpes zoster)

Unilateral, fluid-filled blisters with severe pain and burning sensation. Sometimes the itching is present.

The rash usually follows the course of the affected nerve.

CAUSES of Shingles ( Herpes zoster)

It occurs over the dermatome innervated by the ganglion, where the virus(Varicella zoster) resides for life until stress, immunosuppression, or some other condition allows it to travel to the skin served by the affected nerve.

PATHOPHYSIOLOGY of Shingles ( Herpes zoster)

Varicella-zoster virus is a highly contagious DNA virus. Varicella represents the primary infection in the nonimmune or incompletely immune person. During the primary infection, the virus enters the sensory dorsal root ganglia. How the virus enters the sensory dorsal root ganglia and whether it resides in neurons or supporting cells are not completely understood. The varicella-zoster virus genome is present in the trigeminal ganglia of nearly all seropositive patients. The virus remains latent for decades due to the immunity acquired during the primary infection. Reactivation of the virus happens when a decrease in the virus-specific cell-mediated immunity occurs. The reactivated virus goes down the sensory nerve and develops pain and skin lesions in the specific dermatome.

DIAGNOSIS of Shingles ( Herpes zoster)

Case history

Physical examination of the characteristic skin rash

TREATMENTS of Shingles ( Herpes zoster)

A live, attenuated vaccine aimed at boosting immunity to Varicella zoster virus and reducing the risk of Herpes Zoster. The vaccine has been shown to reduce significantly the incidence of both HZ and Post Herpetic Neuralgia.

PROGNOSIS of Shingles ( Herpes zoster)

Early recognition and treatment can reduce acute symptoms and may also reduce Postherpetic Neuralgia.

COMPLICATIONS of Shingles ( Herpes zoster)

Serious nerve pain called postherpetic neuralgia

Ayurvedic Concept of Shingles ( Herpes zoster)


Ayurvedic Nidana of Shingles ( Herpes zoster)

        Not mentioned separately.

            Causative factors of Sopha can cause the same

            Vidaahi food items  

Ayurvedic Purvaaroopa of Shingles ( Herpes zoster)

        Not mentioned.

Ayurvedic Samprapti of Shingles ( Herpes zoster)

        When the vitiated one, two or three doshas get lodged inside or outside of the body, spread very fast and causes inflammation. In baahyavisarpa, the inflammation affects skin and nerves leading to severe pain and other discomforts.

Ayurvedic Lakshana of Shingles ( Herpes zoster)

Sopha  – swelling

Sphurana – throbbing

Nistoda – piercing pain

Bheda  – stabbing pain

Arthi    – severe pain

Harsha – numbness

Ayurvedic Divisions of Shingles ( Herpes zoster)

  • Vaatika
    • Paittika
    • Kaphaja
  • Baahya
  • Aabhyantara
  • Baahya-aabhyantara

Ayurvedic Prognosis of Shingles ( Herpes zoster)


Ayurvedic Treatment (Chikithsa) for Shingles ( Herpes zoster)

Treatment of visarpa should start with Langhana (fasting) and Rookshana (drying) therapies. After proper aamapaachana, bloodletting should be done to clean the circulation. After bloodletting, Vamana and virechana are indicated. In cases of Visarpa, snehana (use of oils/fats) therapies are contraindicated.


Lepanam with Rookshana dravyas

Parisheka with soolahara-rooksha & seethadravyas





Commonly used Ayurvedic medicines for Shingles ( Herpes zoster)

Drakshadi kashayam

Patolakadurohinyadi Kashayam

Vasaguluchyadi Kashayam

Guduchyadi kashayam

Avipathy Choorna

Nimbadi Churna

Vaiswanara Churna

Gandhak Rasayan

Arogyavardhini Ras

Triphala Guggulu

Madhusnuhi Rasayan

Vilwadi gudika

            Naalpaamaradi kwatham



        Brands available

AVS Kottakal

AVP Coimbatore

SNA oushadhasala

Vaidyaratnam oushadhasala

Home remedies for Shingles ( Herpes zoster)

Shingles cause severe pain & discomforts which cannot be managed at home. No home remedy is proven to cure shingles. Following herbs may help to lessen the suffering.

Cold compresses

Essential oils

Aloe vera

Witch hazel


Turmeric paste

Diet for Shingles ( Herpes zoster)

  • To be avoided

Heavy meals and difficult to digest foods – cause indigestion.

Spicy and hot food items

Junk foods- cause disturbance in digestion and reduces the bioavailability of the medicine

Carbonated drinks – makes the stomach more acidic and disturbed digestion

Refrigerated and frozen foods – causes weak and sluggish digestion by weakening Agni (digestive fire)

Milk and milk products – increase kapha, cause obstruction in channels and obesity

Curd – causes vidaaha and thereby many other diseases

  • To be added

Light meals and easily digestible foods

Gooseberry, pomegranate, grapes etc.

Green gram, soups, food items with cold potency.

Freshly cooked and warm food processed with minimal spices.


Protect yourself from the hot climate.

Better to avoid exposure to excessive sunlight wind rain or dust.

Maintain a regular food and sleep schedule.

Avoid holding or forcing the urges like urine, faeces, cough, sneeze etc.

Avoid a sedentary lifestyle.

Yoga for Shingles ( Herpes zoster)

Exercise is not advised in cases with severe pain and discomforts. Regular stretching and mild cardio exercises are advised in mild cases. Also, specific yogacharya including naadisuddhi pranayama, bhujangaasana, pavanamuktasana is recommended.

Regular exercise helps improve the bioavailability of the medicine and food ingested and leads to positive health.

 Yoga can maintain harmony within the body and with the surrounding system.


Nadisudhi pranayama


Simple exercises for lungs and heart health

All the exercises and physical exertions must be decided and done under the supervision of a medical expert only.

Research articles on Shingles ( Herpes zoster)

DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1501184

A randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 3 study in 18 countries to evaluate the efficacy and safety of HZ/su in older adults (≥50 years of age), stratified according to age group (50 to 59, 60 to 69, and ≥70 years) was conducted. The HZ/su vaccine significantly reduced the risk of herpes zoster in adults who were 50 years of age or older.

DOI: 10.1001/jama.2019.9053

In a clinical study, among adults who had undergone autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation-HSCT, a 2-dose course of recombinant zoster vaccine compared with placebo significantly reduced the incidence of herpes zoster over a median follow-up of 21 months.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, United States. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your GP before the intake. All the Ayurveda Supplements mentioned here are in the Indian Market with GMP Certification from India. This is for information purpose only, and should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns

Dr. Rajesh Nair, the co-founder and chief consultant of Ayurvedaforall.Com, is a graduate of prestigious Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda College (affiliated with the University of Calicut), Kerala, India. Additionally, he holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Yoga Therapy from Annamalai University.

Dr. Nair offers consultation at two busy clinics in and around Haripad, Alleppey, Kerala, the southern state famous worldwide for authentic ayurvedic treatment and physicians. While offering consultation on all aspects of ayurvedic treatments Dr. Nair has a special interest in Panchkarma, Yoga, and Massage.

Through Ayurvedaforall Dr. Nair offers online consultation to patients worldwide and has served hundreds of patients over the last 20 years. In addition to his Ayurvedic practice, he is the chief editor of ayurveda-amai.org, the online portal of Ayurveda Medical Association of India, and the state committee member of Ayurveda Medical Association of India.

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