Postherpetic Neuralgia is an intense nerve pain that lingers after an episode of shingles. The virus that causes shingles is related to the chicken pox virus. It lays dormant in your body until something triggers a reactivation in the form of the herpes zoster virus. It causes an outbreak of very painful blisters along the nerves of the skin. In some cases it damages the nerves causing a deep stabbing or burning pain that may be sensitive to touch and is sometimes debilitating. Postherpetic neuralgia often diminishes with time and is more likely to occur in elderly individuals.
Pharmaceutical pain killers designed to treat postherpetic neuralgia are fraught with dangerous side-effects: fever, fatigue, lost concentration, swollen hands and feet, blurry vision, dry mouth, insomnia and dizziness.
There are two compounds found in red chilli peppers that are effective natural pain killers. Salicylates are aspirin-like compounds that have been used for over 100 years to treat inflammation and pain. And the other compound is capsaicin.
Capsaicin is clinically recognized for effective natural pain relief. It encourages the production of endorphins, the body's own natural pain killer. The more frequently capsaicin is consumed (in the form of cayenne pepper), the more effective it is as a pain killer. When applied to the skin, capsaicin creams inhibit the transmission of pain by depleting your nerves of a chemical called substance-P. The creams are sold over the counter and can be used to treat postherpetic neuralgia.
Capsaicin is well known as a digestive and anti-ulcer aid and is beneficial to the cardiovascular system. It is also well known as a metabolic agent that effectively stimulates the burning of fat for energy promoting weight loss.
Willow bark, peppermint, rosemary, ginger and turmeric all contain pain-killing compounds and can be used to make teas to treat postherpetic neuralgia. Willow Bark, ginger and turmeric also act to reduce inflammation, a common source of pain. Use willow bark, peppermint, rosemary and ginger to make individual teas or combine them together. When using willow bark, start with a weak tea and increase the strength until you get effective pain relief. Willow bark contains salicylates and should be used with the same caution as aspirin. Try Willow Bark.
Turmeric must be consumed in large quantities to be effective as a treatment for inflammation. It is regularly used in Asia as a spice in curries and turmeric juice combined with honey is consumed as a daily tonic. Research indicates that the regular consumption of turmeric is responsible for the low incidence of Alzheimer's in India. In addition to relieving pain, turmeric may help to reduce inflammation that is associated with postsherpetic neuralgia.
Lavendar, eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils are also effective pain killers when applied externally. Essential oils must be mixed with a light vegetable oil such as almond or grapeseed oil before application. The chemistry of essential oil is complex and very potent. They kill bacteria, fungi, viruses, balance the mood, lift the spirits and increase oxygenation and activity in the brain which is said to have a positive effect on the many bodily functions.
As with all medicinal remedies use essential oils, spices and herbs with caution. Start with small amounts to test for allergic reactions. Some herbs, spices and oils are not suitable for use by children or pregnant women. And please consult a trained health practitioner.
Learn more about inflammation and how to prevent or reduce it.
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