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Shingles and Ayurveda


Herpes zoster, commonly known as Shingles, is a viral infection caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox.   


Factors contributing to a reactivation include a weakened immune system due to stress, aging, certain medical conditions, a history of chickenpox infection, and/or close contact with individuals with active shingles.


Shingles require proper medical evaluation, care, and attention. Ayurveda offers a holistic approach to managing symptoms, reducing pain, promoting healing, and supporting the immune system.


According to Ayurveda, shingles is primarily an imbalance of the Pitta and Vata doshas.  Aggravated Pitta dosha leads to inflammation, heat, and blister formation, while imbalanced Vata dosha can cause pain, itching, and nerve-related symptoms. Ayurvedic treatment aims to balance the doshas, reduce inflammation, soothe the affected nerves, support the immune system, and promote overall well-being.


The symptoms of shingles can vary, but common signs include pain, burning, or tingling sensation in specific areas, rash or cluster of fluid-filled blisters, itching or skin sensitivity, nerve-related symptoms, headaches, and possible fever and fatigue.


Ayurvedic Treatment Approach:

Ayurvedic management is a supportive therapy and practice that helps alleviate symptoms, reduce pain, promote healing, support the immune system, and promote overall well-being. An Ayurvedic treatment approach can include:


•Herbal Medicines: Neem, Manjistha, Guduchi, Shatavari, Boswellia, and Ashwagandha can reduce inflammation, manage pain, soothe the nervous system, support immunity (Ojas), and promote healing.


•Diet and Lifestyle: Follow a Doshic-appropriate diet designed by a practitioner, which includes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid processed foods, excessive sugar, and unhealthy fats. Practice stress reduction techniques, get adequate sleep, and maintain proper hygiene.


•External Therapies: Medicated oils and pastes with cooling and soothing properties can be applied topically to reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, promote healing, and soothe the nerves.


•Panchakarma Therapy: Ayurvedic detoxification procedures eliminate toxins, balance the doshas, and support overall well-being. Based on the individual's condition.  Treatments include Abhyanga (oil massage), Swedana (herbal steam therapy), and Virechana (purgation) may be advised.

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