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I have been diagnosed with Ramsey-Hunt Syndrome.

Q. Dear Terry, “I have been diagnosed with Ramsey-Hunt Syndrome and am interested in finding a natural solution. I would welcome any suggestions.  Thank you!” — Donna B., Los Angeles, CA

A. Dear Donna, Ramsay Hunt syndrome is caused by reactivation of the herpes zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person has chickenpox the virus can go into hiding, lying dormant within the body until it becomes active again, usually later in life.

Ramsay Hunt syndrome (also termed Hunt's Syndrome or herpes zoster oticus) is a condition whereby the herpes zoster virus affects the facial nerve near one of the ears. The classic symptoms that distinguish Ramsay Hunt syndrome include a red painful rash associated with blisters in the ears or mouth and/or facial paralysis (for example, eyelid or mouth) on one side of the face. Other symptoms such as ear pain, hearing loss, dizziness (or vertigo), dry eye, and changes in taste sensation may also occur.

Since Ramsay Hunt is caused by a virus, the proper way to treat it is to strengthen the immune system’s ability to kill that virus. I always recommend that people who are affected by any virus avoid all grain products, particularly those containing gluten, along with dairy products, sugar and all soft drinks. All of these foods tend to weaken the immune system and may actually strengthen the virus that causes Ramsay Hunt.

You may also want to consider adding the following natural ingredients to help enhance your overall immune health. However, I would encourage you to talk with your doctor and see what they think about the following suggestions.

My first recommendation is for a combination of daily nutrients, including elderberry, vitamins A, C and D, along with calcium, magnesium, zinc, and bioflavonoids, that can help keep your immune system strong throughout the year, and – in higher dosages – give your immune system an additional boost when needed. All of these ingredients have antiviral, antibacterial, or immune-supportive properties. I suggest taking 2 tablets of this blend three times daily for 30 days, then drop down to 1 tablet three times daily thereafter.

I also recommend a combination of Ravintsara, Myrtle, Thyme, and Bay Leaf concentrated plant oils to boost the immune system. I would suggest taking 1 softgel of this blend twice daily. Just be sure to choose a formula that features concentrated plant oils that have been laboratory tested to accurately identify elements of their natural chemical composition. Unlike essential oils used for massage and aromatherapy, these plant oils are tested and “fingerprinted” based on specific molecular makeup, species, marker compounds, purity and safety for internal medicinal use. The extraordinary potency of these tested plant oils allows for relatively low doses, but very powerful health benefits.

I believe you would also benefit greatly by taking a blend of nutrients including B vitamins, biotin, alpha lipoic acid, chromium, and zinc, among others. B vitamins (B1-B3, B6, B12, Folate, and Pantothenic Acid) help to reduce the frequency and intensity of the pain 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. Current research also shows that ALA can help to reduce the pain and tingling symptoms. Extremely effective as an antioxidant, zinc helps to promote tissue and wound healing. When looking for a formula, choose one that features B vitamins in their “active” forms, as well as minerals in the form of amino acid chelates. Active B vitamins do not need to be converted in the liver and are already in the effective form our body needs. This is important because many people (some experts estimate up to 30% of our population) do not convert B vitamins well, and don’t receive full benefits. I also prefer the amino acid chelates for minerals, because they are so much better absorbed. I recommend taking 2 capsules of this formula three times daily, then reduce as desired.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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