Homeopathic treatment options for shingles

Updated April 17, 2017

Shingles is caused by the herpes zoster virus. It results in painful outbreaks on the skin which are red and form blisters, frequently appearing along nerve pathways. While medications now exist to help with the pain of shingles, homeopathic treatments can also provide relief. Homeopathic remedies are safe and can work with any other treatments for shingles. For best results, choose the remedy that most closely matches all of your symptoms.

Ranunculus Bulbosus

The most frequently used homeopathic treatment for shingles is Ranunculus bulbosus (Ranunc Bulb). Choose this remedy if you have clusters of blisters that produce severe nerve pain, especially on your chest wall. Other indications for this remedy include having the rash mainly on your trunk, blisters having a bluish cast and blisters that burn and itch and are worse in the evening or during wet weather. This is also the right remedy if you feel worse when you move. If you are having trouble deciding on a homeopathic remedy for shingles, start with this one.

Rhus Toxicodendron

Choose this remedy if you have small blisters that tingle, itch and feel better when you apply warm compresses or move around. Other indications for Rhus toxicodendron (Rhus tox) include skin that looks swollen around the blisters; feeling restless, apprehensive or depressed; having odd dreams and feeling worse at night.

Apis Mellifica

If you have large blisters that burn and sting and feel better with the application of cold, choose the remedy Apis mellifica (Apis). Other indications for this remedy include a high fever that does not make you feel thirsty, and feeling worse in the afternoon or from heat. You may feel restless, tearful, drowsy or whiny; you may also find yourself dropping things or moving awkwardly.

Arsenicum album

Choose Arsenicum album (Ars alb) if you are exhausted by even the slightest exertion, have an unreasonable fear of dying and feel restless, especially late at night. Other indications for this remedy include blisters that join together and intense, burning pain that is relieved by the application of warmth.


Small, itchy blisters that quickly dry to form thick scabs indicate the remedy Mezereum. Other indications for this remedy include brownish scabs, pain that continues even after the blisters have healed and feeling chilly and worse when it is cold. You may respond well to Mezereum if your pain is concentrated between your ribs or above your eyes.


For shingles, purchase the 12X or 30C potency remedies. One dose is three pellets (tablets). Dissolve one dose under your tongue four times a day until your blisters are healing and crusted over. If you are using Mezereum, continue to take it until your pain is relieved and has been gone for a few days. For best results, avoid drinking or eating 30 minutes before or after taking a homeopathic remedy. Do not swallow the pills.

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About the Author

Stephanie Crumley Hill is a childbirth educator who for more than 20 years has written professionally about pregnancy, family and a variety of health and medical topics. A former print magazine editor, her insurance articles for “Resource” magazine garnered numerous awards. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Georgia.