Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 18:30:04 MDT
From: Michael Moore <hrbmoore.RT66.COM>
Subject: Re: Shingles

>Natalie wrote:
> My sister cured her shingles with topical application of capsicum - it's a cayenne pepper based ointment available at most drug stores, usually kept behind the counter.
>This practice is also not recommended. Using Hot substances to treat Fire is not sensible. Though capsicum relieves pain (because it makes Qi flow), it is vastly better to use Cooling herbs to reduce the load of toxin, not merely allow that toxin to flow so as to relieve discomfort (until the pattern dissipates naturally).
>To say that you 'cured' shingles with capsicum is to engage in a polite lie. Therapy is NOT cure, unless it removes the CAUSE of the condition.

I would have to partially agree with Natalie's suggestion. I am almost over a herpes zoster "attack" that started SIX months ago. It was triggered by the local stress of an asymptomatic wisdom tooth abcess, which caused some long-dormant zoster virus flareup of the sensory branch of the facial nerve (technically called Ramsay Hunt Syndrome). It was three months of low-tech medical intervention before anyone (myself, actually) figured out what was going on.

I realized early on that the process was beyond my considerable skill at self-treatment (if not always self-prevention) ... NOTHING phased the facial pain and general malaise (and I have access to...and used ... everything from Aconite to Gelsemium to Kalmia to Conium to Veratrum to three species of Hypericum to SEVEN species of Scutellaria ... all self-gathered preparations) ... I got some temporary relief from an RN in my class that performed Healing Touch ... but everything pointed to an acute infection ... from bleeding from one ear, to endless tinia-like vesicals buried under a large beard, to sores on my tongue that nearly prevented swallowing.

I used my OWN and prescription fungicides ... to no avail ... four weeks of ibuprofin (800 mg doses) kept my sanity, constant external care of my ear, face, lips and lips with MY stuff helped some, I had two teeth pulled and took some DEBILITATING antibiotic ($100 for 10 days) which is something I have done 3 times in my life ... finally a retired pathologist friend mentioned that it sure SOUNDED like facial shingles could be involved ... sure enough, upon medlining for a couple of hours I brought my info to my internist ... who sheepishly agreed. (the dentist, however, wanted to pull MORE teeth).

For the last two months I have been applying a .025% capcaicin ointment to the most stubborn lesions (on my chin) simply to avoid pulling my hair out ... everything has leveled out ... no hearing loss, no CNS involvement, only moderate loss of sensation in my mouth ... and I probably would have gotten better SOONER without all the medical, dental (and maybe even the botanical) treatment. The only problem is, how could I have done it with a CONTROL group ... one me with the same regimen, one me relying on purely vitalist measures.

And, unlike the various stuff I have gone through over the years that I have learned from, I am left with little new information.

Except: Shingles is nasty...

Facial shingles is nastier...

Capsaicin ointment is the preferable local anesthetic after a certain stage...and fresh Motherwort tincture is the best agent to decrease the "edge"

...and sometimes Shit Happens, and a Cigar is only a Cigar, and you do what you have to do...and the energetic imbalances are only visible AFTER the fact.

Michael Moore (
All my teaching and clinical manuals, over 1,000 medicinal plant images and class announcements can be obtained at my web site.

From: Paul Iannone <pi.DIGITALPOPCORN.COM>

Michael Moore wrote:
> Facial shingles is nastier...

Very nasty indeed. The risk of blinding in some types is high. My comments were meant to refer only to spinal ganglia shingles---location means a lot in Chinese healing. Oral shingles suggests Stomach and Small Intestine Fire, but as you noted, the diagnosis itself was less important than finding an effective treatment. Capsicum certainly treats pain syndromes effectively. The concern is that it does not treat the underlying illness appropriately, so sequelae are to be expected.

With spinal ganglia shingles, residual symptomology ruins many lives (post herpetic neuralgia). The cases I have seen were treated with suppressive measures, then with capsicum by holistic healers, and then, in the cases I was able to help, with Cold herbal formulas like Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, which was very effective (if the patient had the leeway to stomach it).

How 'bout some raw licorice and peppermint tea for a few months, M. ?