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Parts of this were taken with permission from Essential Oils Overview and Reference Guide, published by: The Family Tree, 2008


see also Skin Problems for a general discussion of the body's largest organ, the skin, and links to other skin problems.

Shingles soresShingles, also know as herpes zoster, is a viral infection of the nerve roots.  The initial viral infection occurs with childhood chickenpox then lays dormant in the body for years and may resurface as shingles when the body is weakened from another disease or aging. 

The symptoms are much different than the original chickenpox.  Shingles is characterized by a very painful rash that can be anywhere on the body but most often will be on one side of the abdomen.  There will be symptoms prior to the rash, these may include headache, sensitivity to light, flu like discomfort with no fever.  The rash may progress to the point of pussy blisters and include pain and itching.

Shingles process

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends:  CloveC, EucalyptusEC, Frankincense, GeraniumEC, GI Cleansing Formula, LavenderC, LemonC, Marjoram, MelaleucaC, Protective Blend, Oregano

Essential oils based products:

Also consider: BergamotC, PeppermintE, Roman ChamomileC, Wintergreen

Note: to understand the E and C superscript go to Home and scroll to New Helps.

Suggested protocols:

Prevention.  Since the virus is in the body since childhood chickenpox and comes forth as shingles as the a person is weakened it is important to strengthen the body.  Using the Life Long Vitlaity supplements along with cleansing and rebuilding with GI Cleansing Formula and Probiotic Defense Formula will be crucial.  The Massage Blend Technique is an excellent way to build foundation strength in the immune system and other parts of the body.  It should be used routinely to strengthen they body.

Healing during an attack.  Start an oils protocol as early as the symptoms are detected.  The earlier the better. A common thread mentioned by those with success is a capsule taken internally 2 or 3 times daily with:

·   3 drops Melaleuca

·   3 drops Eucalyptus

·   3 drops Lemon

·   3 drops Oregano

Since each person is different also consider other combinations using Frankincense, Protective Blend, Wild Orange and/or Peppermint.  Many of these oils are in the GI Cleansing Formula so some may find using the GI Cleansing Formula regiment during the attack sufficient.

Pain during an attack.  Oils that have been mentioned for topical application to ease the pain are Marjoram (most often mentioned), Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender and Wintergreen. Another successful protocol for pain and healing suggested is:

Spray topically directly to the affected area as often as necessary to address the pain:

·   30 drops Melaleuca

·   30 drops Eucalyptus

·   30 drops Lavender

·   add to 4 ounce spray bottle, fill with fractionated coconut oil, shake before spraying.

Two important suggestions.  One is to make application less painful use a spritz (spray bottle) to apply the oils.  Also, remember that often people who suffer from shingles, can have sensitive skin, so test the oils before using them and use a carrier when necessary.

Experiences and Testimonials of others

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Stephanie - I had a friend who was suffering from shingles and I contacted him and told him about (...) and had the Modern Essential book. I explained to him that I would like him to try Eucalyptus, Lavender, and Melaleuca (as stated in the book) and he answered that he would TRY anything since his doctor said there is no cure for shingles. That very night, I brought a glass 4oz spray bottle and showed him (Adam) how to add the drops.  The recipe that I used is shown below. IMMEDIATELY after I sprayed the mixture on his shingles, he could feel the pain from the shingles going down. He asked me how often and how long and I told him as often as he needed even if it took every 10 minutes for the pain.

I contacted Adam the next morning and he said he slept like a baby (he had not been getting enough sleep due to the shingles for TWO weeks!) I was so happy for him. on the 2nd day, I asked if I could see him and see how the shingles were doing...sure enough, the shingles and swelling have gone down. From bright, bright red to brownish color, and what's more, the scabs were falling off on their own, the bumps on the shingles were flat, and Adam told me "Shingles is nothing right now because of the EO (essential oils)."

I am happy to report that after a week of doing that, his shingles are gone! And he has no scars. By the way his doctor told him there is no cream or lotion that would help with shingles. Adam's shingles was on his left breast to the armpit and starting to breakout to the back part...I told him to spray all over to prevent more breakouts on his back and front chest (including the armpit).

Recipe: 30 drops Eucalyptus, 30 drops Lavender, 30 drops Melaleuca. Add the oils to a empty 4oz spray bottle then add fractionated coconut oil and shake to mix.

Submissions directly to  EverythingEssential.me.  Our thanks to:


Mona - Last week I popped in on a surprise visit to my sister-in-law.  When she opened the door, I immediately knew something was wrong, health wise.  Her eyes were heavy, she moved slowly, as if her whole body was in pain.  When I asked, "what's wrong" she told me she had just been diagnosed with Shingles.  She showed me her fiery red breakout, that went from just under her left breast, under her left armpit to across her side and back to the spine.

I immediately went home determined to find some relief.  I came to this website and searched for answers. Gathering my oils, I filled about 25 empty gel capsules (recipe below) and made a spritz to spray on topically.  Next day I delivered her the capsules and gave her one treatment of spray over her entire blistered area, to include along the spine.(this is very painful and should not be touched.) Here is the protocol we used for the next several days... with absolutely WONDERFUL results.

Capsules:  about 3 drops of each: Protective Blend, Melaleuca, Eucalyptus, Oregano.

She took these every four hours, since I believe we needed to be aggressive with the Shingles since she now had a full blown attack.

Spritz:  fractionated coconut oil filled 1/4 of a 1 ounce bottle.  Added:  40 drops Frankincense, 20 drops Wintergreen, 20 drops Marjoram, 30 drops Wild Orange.

The spritz was healing as well as uplifting to her spirits.  She was able to lay down and take a nap, which she had not been able to do for 2 weeks, even with the drugs from the doctor.

She was pain free in two days.  Even slept through entire night on her back, where the outbreak was. She feels different sensations in other parts of her back and under both arms.  I am encouraging her to continue applying the spritz along her spine, to kill the virus that is living there, and taking the capsules until all pain is gone AND the skin / inflammation is gone. We are both amazed at how quickly she was able to get relief after just 2 days and is healing very nicely.  No new outbreaks at all.

Pete - A friend of mine who operates a wellness clinic went to the ANMA conference in Las Vegas this month and they are reporting a nationwide shingles epidemic. Now here's the odd part it's not viral, it's bacterial.

Here are the compliants: low ... fever, rash, gout type symptoms, extreme pain in the joints and muscles (may mimic arthritis type pain), and/or skin sensations with or without visible lesions.

What I believe they need is Oregano, Melaleuca, Protective Blend, Wild Orange and Peppermint internally. Wild Orange and Peppermint topically on the feet as well as soaking the feet in a very warm bath with drops of Soothing Blend and Wintergreen. I would imagine the GI Cleansing Formula would be a possibility as well and the Massage Blend Technique would probably be a good thing  to add as well.

KelliDonna - I have a cousin in Las Vegas that recently had shingles. She is only 25. Now I have an uncle in California who has them. I am really shocked to hear that it is bacterial and not viral. Has this been proven? I had shingles a couple years ago and it was absolute misery! I have permanent nerve damage from them.


Shelly - Can someone explain this shingles bacteria?  I understand that it is the herpes zoster virus that traditionally causes the shingles symptoms.  I read a book once in which the author believed that viruses and bacteria could mutate back and forth.  I thought that concept was unlikely but now I am wondering??  Any microbiologists out there?  Not that it matters because any (...) oils of choice for this problem will be antimicrobial and antiviral.

Pete - I found out today that's exactly what they're seeing, it's attacking the immune system mutating back and forth between a virus and a bacteria.  The oils most people are using are Melaleuca, Eucalyptus, Lemon and Oregano taken internally, about 3 drops each in a capsule.

Also, add the additional oils listed above to the Massage Blend Technique and Frankincense should probably be added to both the internal and Massage Blend regiments. Remember, the more coconut oil you use in the Massage Blend Technique the slower the absorption rate will be and so the relief may not be adequate if you apply too much

In addition to the LLW trio and Probiotic Defense Formula, extra supplementation includes vitamin D and a complete B complex with additional B12.

Dian - As Dr. Hill mentioned in the seminar last night, Protective Blend has both antiviral and antibacterial oils in it.  If it were me I would use this as well in a capsule or just drop it on the tongue and swallow.


Julia Ann - I have read questions and comments and I will now wade into this discussion with a story of my mother.  In Nov 2006 mom went through severe trauma and started with a small area the size of a nickel on her neck/shoulder area, right side.  I told her not to scratch it, and to use Lavender, but it itched...so she scratched, and within a week it was a necklace around her neck.  Shingles!  I treated her for about a month and when my family found out they had a fit, demanded that she see a doctor, and when we took her to a dermatologist, she contacted MRSA from his office.

Now she was covered in boils (some were the size of quarters) and shingles from head to toe within just a month.  Medicines reacted and made her worse, 3 doctors later and much duress and anxiety from the family....( I had backed off and just went with the flow so as not to seem a know it all,...but thinking all the time that we had almost had the shingles issue licked before the family waded into the picture), my mother came to me and said that she had had enough and that if she continued to cave into the families pressure she would soon be dead.  I agreed!  

She asked me if I would take her back on and I asked her these questions.  "Do you trust me?"  "Do you trust my judgment?"  "How much do you trust me?"  "Do you have enough faith in me and God that we can get you thorough this?"  She answered all the questions with what I needed to hear to know that her faith in me and God and nature would take us through.  I told her that we had a long hard fight in front of us but we would pull her through with God's help and a lot of grace.

We immediately started using this formula that I came up with after talking to some other essential oils experts.  4 drops of Rosemary, 4 drops of Thyme, 4 drops of Oregano in a capsule 3 times daily.  We literally started seeing immediate results within just a few days.  She was taking detoxification baths with Geranium, Helichrysum, Lavender, Roman Chamomile...etc oils in them.  Each night was whichever she wanted and felt like using that night.  We made up a bottle of Geranium with a carrier oil for topical application and she alternated the topical oils as she felt they were helping with the boils and itching.   I don't mind telling you it was nothing short of a living nightmare!!  We did poultices constantly, using Clay baths, herbs, etc, everything I had ever learned as a herbalist I pulled out of the cabinet and we worked steady for a year.  She lost the whole year of 2007...did not leave the house for anything...and was mostly bed bound....but today would I say that it was worth everything we had to do for the results of her being with us now??  ABSOLUTELY!!


Joyful - I was wondering if there is anything I could recommend to someone that had shingles and it is gone, but they are still having pain. Anybody have any ideas?

Jan - The Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV) Trio Pack, and doing the GI Cleansing Formula followed by the pro-biotics, Probiotic Defense Formula. My 18mo. old grand baby was diagnosed with this a month ago. We put Frankincense and Melaleuca with FCO on the rash. I would suggest putting it on the skin where there has been pain. I am not a doctor and these are just suggestions, but try anything that is recommended for pain. Helichrysum is also recommended along with Lavender and Peppermint.

Pat - There have been a lot of responses regarding shingles and it seems that Marjoram has a lot of votes for eliminating the pain.

Alisse - My mom has shingles and I made an ointment using 2 oz FCO with Melaleuca, Geranium, Lavender, and Clove.  That along with the LLW has gotten her on top of things for 9 months now.  If she notices a little sensitivity around the area where she broke out she applies the ointment and the tenderness is gone.


Pony (on 14 Oct 2009) - Oregano is the poor man's Frankincense.  I have COPD so I cannot afford to be compromised with a flu bug. Oregano is my savior!  I started using Oregano this last spring (because I ran out of Frankincense and couldn't afford more).  I put 8 drops in a shot glass of water with a few drops of Lemon to cut the heat and drank it. I did this 3-4 times a day for a week. Then I backed off for a few days, but the bug, a Super Bug, Pseudomonas Arugenosa, came back. And I couldn't breathe again. So, I started this regimen again.

After a couple months, I now take the mix when I feel something coming on or a tightness in my chest. I now mix only a few drops of the Oregano with Birch and Lemon. You can back off or spread it out over a longer period of time as long as the problem comes under control.    This also worked to stop a bout of shingles this spring. It only lasted 4 weeks and it was gone!  A double wammy spring. But it has been the clearest (lungs) summer I have enjoyed in a long time!  It is awesome to be able to breathe deep and not wheeze or start coughing!

I also use Respiratory Blend daily. Put a couple drops in my hand and cup over my nose & breathe slow at first, then deeply, until you can't smell the oil anymore. Clears you right out!


energy4life - The husband of a friend of mine has cystic fibrosis, and is closely monitored by his doctors. In November, my friend bought a diffuser and some oils. Right around that time, they both got H1N1, and were very ill. The H1N1 turned into pneumonia for my friend (thankfully, not for her husband though.) They diffused lots of Lemon throughout this time, as well as Geranium.

On an outing this evening, my friend announced to everyone that if it wasn't for the (...) oils and her diffuser, she is sure that she would have ended up in the hospital. Then she told me that her husband went for an MRI last week, to track his cystic fibrosis, and his doctors were very excited to see that his lungs are in comparable condition to what they were 10 years ago. Apparently a big improvement from the last MRI. Most significantly, the lower portion of his lungs were in excellent condition (it is not good if there is a lot of congestion very deep in the lungs, for a cystic fibrosis patient). I was thrilled to hear this, and just want to share about what a great oil Geranium is! I have also used it with another person for shingles with excellent results.


Alisse - I am hoping someone will help me. My mom has shingles and has been treating it with a Geranium and Melaleuca oil blend I made her.  Her shingles seem to be flaring up and she is almost out of the Inner Defense blend from Young Living she has used in the past but would like to use (...) products now. Which one is recommended?  

Jenyce - I would recommend that your mom take the Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV) Trio. She will benefit from that in so many ways. The EO Mega is the supplement that has the essential oils in it that are similar to the inner defense; Clove, Thyme, citrus and much much more! I would also consider having her do the candida cleanse; 5 drops Lemon, 5 drops Melaleuca, 3 drops Oregano in a 00 capsule daily for 30 days. One last thing I might add Clove and Lavender to the oils for her to apply topically using VCO (virgin cocunut oil) as a carrier. Hope that helps.

Editor’s note –(...) has introduced GI Cleansing Formula which has similar properties to the candida cleanse mentioned above.  It includes the oils Oregano, Melaleuca, Lemon, Lemongrass, Peppermint and Thyme.

Robert - A while back, there was a gentleman that had made a (...) version of Inner Defense.  I will list the oils that he used. 4 drops Oregano, 4 drops Thyme, 4 drops Clove, 4 drops Eucalyptus, 3 drops Cinnamon, 3 drops Rosemary, 3 drops Lemon, 3 drops Melaleuca.

Put the drops in a capsule and take 1-2 daily.  Also start a probiotics routine with the capsules.

This is an amazing blend that is highly antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti fungal.  It will kill yeast and candida is efficacious for the liver and rich in thymol, carvacrol, and eugenol for immune support.

Pat - Take the whole LLW pack and be consistent, also use Marjoram and the shingles will hopefully clear up, as they worked for others really well. It’s hard for some of us to offer suggestions when not the same thing works for everyone.


Rachel - Does anyone know anything about what you can do for shingles using essential oils?  I have looked up in books, but I was just wondering if anyone has had experience with it?

Pat - Shingles are so very painful that I found spritzing the oils on helped. Then you are not touching them. Frankincense, Melaleuca, Lavender and Geranium are really good oils to use for this. You can either muscle test them or just start with the Lavender and Melaleuca adding the other oils if needed.

After spritzing these on the affected area use a moist warm towel for quicker absorption and it also feels great. I would also have your friend take the candida blend of 5 drops Lemon, 5 drops Melaleuca and 3 drops Oregano in a gel capsule.

Editor’s note – (...) has introduced GI Cleansing Formula which has similar properties to the candida cleanse mentioned above.  It includes the oils Oregano, Melaleuca, Lemon, Lemongrass, Peppermint and Thyme.

Denise - We sent my 85 year-old mother-in-law a bottle of Marjoram and it worked wonders on her shingles! She called us back 2 weeks later and said she was out of oil. I couldn't believe she'd used so much in such a short time. Come to find out, she shared her oils with all the ladies who had shingles in her neighborhood, and they were all relieved of their pain.


Teressa - I have a cousin, that among other things, has a reoccurring case of shingles.  Does anyone know of a good protocol for helping against shingles?  I read Oregano once, but it didn't mention how to use it, and I know it can be a skin irritant.

Denise - I have a friend who says she's had great success with Oregano, Thyme and Cypress.

BK -  I know it sounds unrelated, but get them on the Probiotic Defense Formula as soon as possible.

I have used a blend of Frankincense and Sandalwood for 2 days then switching to Lemongrass and Protective Blend for 2 days.  Apply 3 times daily and you might want to add a carrier oil such as VCO to the Lemongrass blend.

Also take 8 drops Oregano, 8 drops Thyme, 2 drops Frankincense in a 00 capsule twice daily.

Rob - Shingles is a herpes virus so properties in oils that are antiviral in nature are best considered.  I have heard of many oils that are helpful.  I would consider not only direct application but spinal treatment using the oils suggested below.

For direct application consider: Protective Blend, Frankincense, Sandalwood, Melaleuca, Lemongrass, Cypress, Lavender, Peppermint (make your own blend or test for the singles best for you.) Apply directly on affected area 2 or 3 times daily.

For spinal Treatment, consider... Grounding Blend, Basil. Frankincense, Oregano - (hot, use carrier), Cypress, Lavender, Marjoram, Peppermint, Myrrh, or Clove

Do the treatment at least 3 times per week.

I would also take the following internally in a 00 capsule, at least twice daily;    Protective Blend (12 drops), Oregano (6 drops), Frankincense (2 drops).

Often, people who suffer from shingles, can have sensitive skin, so test the oils before using and use a carrier when necessary.

(...) 2 - I have read a post on shingles with suggestions for oils to use, can you tell me the strength of the mixture I should recommend to rub on the affected area and how to take internally?  Thank you.

Denise -  We have had great success with Marjoram, neat. I haven't found many people who can't handle it directly applied. On some older people, I prefer to use the fractionated coconut oil, I apple an amount the size of a nickle with 2-3 drops of Marjoram.  This makes it easier to spread. If oil absorbs really quickly I use more FCO and more Marjoram.


Grounding Blend - What suggestions does anyone have/experience with essential oil choices for shingles?

Jan - I've helped several people that had shingles. One successfully applied Melaleuca, Geranium and Lavender with VCO or olive oil as a carrier topically to the effected area, and took a capsule of Lemon and Oregano for a few days after symptoms were gone.

Another took Oregano and a blend similar to Protective Blend internally and then topically applied Frankincense and Lavender neat.  Possibly she used Lemongrass with a carrier oils as well.

I have heard of someone using Wintergreen for the pain of shingles. Apply your choice several times throughout the day.

Pat - I have helped a couple of people with shingles and found that a mixture of Lavender, Helichrysum, Soothing Blend and Frankincense was very helpful and removed their pain.

Protocols folks recommend for children



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NOTE: The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. As members offer or look for answers, kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance - thus helping the body's natural defenses to restore homeostasis. Essential oils are not used to "treat" medical problems.