Questions & Answers - Shingles

Today I am going to share with you an inquiry I received last week.

What can be done to relieve the pain of shingles?

Before we go in to an answer, let’s quickly review what shingles is from the Mayo Clinic (2014):

  • Shingles is a viral infection that cases a painful rash
  • The virus that causes chickenpox is the same that will lie dormant near the spinal cord and brain until it flares as shingles in adults
  • Symptoms include: pain, burning, sensitivity to touch, fluid-filled blisters, fever, headache and fatigue

The best thing to do is to seek medical attention from your primary care provider first as it can be contagious; besides other situations that necessitate immediate attention.  

There are things you can do on your own to alleviate the pain of shingles.  One of the most easily accessible items to use is cayenne pepper.  Cayenne pepper has antifungal, antibacterial, and pain relieving properties.  

Shingle Pain Relief Compress

  • ¼ to 1 tsp. of cayenne pepper
  • 1 c. hot water
  • Clean cotton


  • Stir the cayenne pepper into the hot water (You should start with ¼ tsp. of cayenne pepper until your body is comfortable with it a larger dosage.)
  • Soak the clean cotton in the mixture, wring out most of the liquid and apply to clean skin (Wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching eyes and mucous membranes.)
  • Leave the compress on for up to 30 minutes, less if desired (If discomfort occurs, remove the compress.)
  • After application, wash the skin with lukewarm water to remove any lingering cayenne pepper 
  • A compress can be applied twice a day as desired

If you have any questions that you would like answered, I welcome you to submit them through the Botanical Therapy Customer Service form

Shingles. (2014, December 11). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from

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