A case of shingles may last less than 10 days, but it’s the post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) that can hang on and cause considerable pain for long periods. Now research shows there may be an easy and natural way to get quick relief.
In a study published in The American Journal of Medicine, researchers divided 30 adults suffering PHN into four groups. One group received topical treatments of geranium oil, while two groups received a mix of geranium oil and mineral oil (at ratios of 1 to 1 and 1 to 10), and a fourth group received only mineral oil.
All of the subjects who received any amount of geranium oil reported pain reduction. And using a scale of zero (indicating no pain) to 100 (extreme pain), those who received treatments containing 100 percent geranium oil experienced the greatest pain relief. Little or no relief was reported by the placebo group, while relief was proportional to the amount of geranium oil in the other two groups: The more geranium oil, the greater the relief.
Some subjects experienced a slight irritation from the geranium oil, but these irritations subsided within an hour or so.
Injections of vitamin B-12 and topical applications of peppermint oil are also sometimes used to address PHN. More often, doctors prescribe anti-viral medications that sometimes take days to work, if they work at all.
Geranium oil (extracted from the leaves, stalks and flowers of an Egyptian variety of geranium) has long been used as an anti-inflammatory and a fungicidal. So if you’re diagnosed with shingles, prepare for the lingering pain that follows the healing of blisters by checking with your local health store for geranium oil. And as always, check with your doctor or naturopathic healthcare professional before using any natural or over-the-counter treatment.
“Temporary Relief of Postherpetic Neuralgia Pain with Topical Geranium Oil” The American Journal of Medicine” Vol. 115, No. 7, November 2003, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
“Geranium Oil Effective for Post-Shingles Pain” Darin Ingels, N.D., Healthnotes Newswire, 12/18/03, pccnaturalmarkets.comD., Healthnotes Newswire, 8/4/05, pccnaturalmarkets.com