Early March of this year I was diagnosed with shingles on my upper chest, neck and hairline.
Q. Dear Terry, “Early March of this year I was diagnosed with shingles on my upper chest, neck and hairline. I have been taking a prescription medication, but I continue to have the burning feeling of my skin. The doctor said I might have to take the medication for a long time. I am almost 86 years old and would very much like to end the medication and resolve the burning feeling. I do already take the curcumin you recommend, what else can I take?” – Carol C., Ashland, OR
A. Dear Carol, Shingles is caused by the herpes zoster virus, which is the same virus that is responsible for chicken pox. The virus can remain dormant – for years or decades – until our immune system is weakened. To keep your immune system functioning optimally so it can naturally defend against viruses, I recommend elderberry. Elderberry works by neutralizing the virus particles so they cannot enter our cells. Additionally, elderberry helps with immune system activation and can assist in controlling the spread of viral infections. Look for an elderberry extract that is standardized to anthocyanins, to help give your immune system that extra boost.
I also think that vitamins A, C, E, and D3, along with calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and bioflavonoids work synergistically with elderberry and can help keep the immune system functioning optimally. All of these ingredients have antiviral, antibacterial, or immune-supportive properties.
I would take elderberry plus the other supportive ingredients once or twice per day.
I believe you would also benefit greatly by taking a combination of nutrients for nerve health like B vitamins, biotin, alpha lipoic acid, chromium, zinc, and boswellia. B vitamins (B1-B3, B6, B12, Folate, and Pantothenic Acid) help nerves function more effectively, delay damage to nerves, and reduce the frequency and intensity of any pain-related shingles symptoms. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) can boost levels of glutathione, one of the body’s natural antioxidants, which helps protect delicate nerves from oxidative damage. I would take these ingredients twice per day.
Additionally, you may want to consider adding berberine and andrographis to your daily routine. Both of these herbs have antiviral properties and offer powerful liver protection. You could take these herbs once or twice per day.
Terry . . . Naturally