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- copyright by IM

copyright by IM

The past few weeks I have been busy, busy, busy, and only had little time for my relaxing cup of tea. An assignment was in the making and its hand-in date was rapidly approaching. I find that frequently exactly then, when I am in a hurry to have something done by a specific date, or when I simply have a lot on my hands, in those most inconvenient times something happens that complicates the situation even more…and so it was this time round too…

A close relative had called to say that he had been hospitalized for extensive and painful fatigue. He could hardly get up or walk about so very ˈheavyˈ, painful and exhausted did he feel. After 4 days he was dismissed from hospital with NO diagnosis. Two days later an itchy rash broke out on his thigh and up over the waist and back. Now he was in horrid pain. An emergency call for an ambulance and the subsequent doctors’ visit finally delivered a diagnosis…shingles.

This was about four weeks ago…two weeks later, my relative was still in agony:  pain, itching and loads of conventional meds that simply did not seem to work. 

At about the same time, and 3000km further at a distance, I suddenly got this ever so slight itch in my ear, like a hair tickling and no matter how much I tried, I could not remove that hair. The following night was no fun for me. Scratching when it itched was no relief. Only seconds after scratching, there was a new tickle and that all night long…

During that sleepless night something dawned upon me. Just a day or so before the itch in my ear began, I had been so exhausted. There had been two days on which I had thought the tiredness of spring had gotten at me. Every movement required much effort and I could hardly climb the stairs. When then, on the following day, I noticed that there were little vesicles forming in my ear, I began seeing parallels to the infliction with shingles that my relative exhibited. I had not realised at first, but a bit of research clarified it. I too had shingles…in the form of a zoster oticus.

From my initial symptoms I was able to identify Rhus tox  as a matching prescription, that I gave myself  in decimal potency. I repeated the intake 3 to 5 times per day, and hoped that the pain would not be as bad as my relative described. Two days later, the vesicles had become an oedematous, flaky, reddish patch covering the outer ear. No infection had formed, no pain had developed, and no vertigo, no paralysis or hearing loss, no tinnitus, the only thing that had happened was that the “rash” had moved from the inner to the outer ear. The itch had subsided from that constant tickle to ˈattacksˈ (!!!!!) of unbearable itching that lasted for about 30 seconds…and came on, about 2 or 3 times a day or in actual fact at night.

Sometime during the following week I took Arsenicum album. I had read somewhere that it was one of the prime remedies for shingles. I still had no inflammation or infection, and still, thankfully, no pain, or paralysis, or auditory restriction.

After about 2 weeks, this infestation was a thing of the past for me. The itching was almost gone, the redness and swelling barely noticeable. My relative though, was still in pain.

I know of two other cases of shingles; one, that was treated allopathically, and had given the patient immense neuralgic pain for years on after the outbreak. The other patient had seen a practitioner of traditional chinese medicine and had received just one session of cupping and acupuncture, and was relieved of all the symptoms by just that.

According to my own experiences and such reports, I think it very likely that the alternative practices may have some serious advantages over the orthodox treatments in the case of shingles….


Here are some of the remedies for shingles:

Apis – tender, swollen, burning and stinging pain, large vesicles, worse for heat, better for cold.

Arsenicum album – intense burning pain, better for warmth, vesicles are joined together, least of exertion causes exhaustion, restlessness.

Cantharis – large vesicles, burning pain, itching, improved by cold.

Mezereum – bright red, small vesicles, dry quickly, very painful, very itchy, especially for elder people to shorten duration.

Ranunculus bulbosus – burning and itching pain, clusters of vesicles, the contact of clothes is unbearable, severe neuralgic pain.

Rhus toxicodendron – itchy and tingling, small vesicles, swollen, restless, better for warmth.

Hypericum – neuralgia, numbness, burning & tingling.



Audet, M. (2013). Homeopathic treatments for shingles. Retrieved April 26, 2013, from http://herbs.lovetoknow.com/Homeopathic_Treatments_for_Shingles

DHU. (2011). Homöopathisches Repetitorium. Karlsruhe: Deutsche Homöopathie Union.

Dyke, L. (2010). Homeopathic treatment options for shingles. Retrieved April 26, 2013, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/110377-homeopathic-treatment-options-shingles/

“Gürtelrose”. (n.d.). Gürtelrose. Retrieved April 26, 2013, from http://www.guertelrose-infektion.de/homoeopathie.html

“Gürtelrose”. (2012). Homöopathie. Retrieved April 26, 2013, from http://www.homoeopathie-homoeopathisch.de/krankheiten/Guertelrose.htm

Whitmarsh, T. (2011). Shingles and post-herpetic neuralgia. Retrieved April 26, 2013 from http://www.britishhomeopathic.org/hh_article_bank/conditions_m_to_z/shingles_and_post_herpetic_neuralgia.html