Post Herpetic Neuralgia
Article by Angela Haldane
Q. I had shingles in the eye as a child and have suffered neuralgia-type headaches since. Can you recommend anything natural to help repair the nerve damage?
A. St Johns Wort (__Hypericum perforatum__) is an effective herb for neuralgia and nerve damage. It also has an anti-viral effect on enveloped viruses like those of the herpes simplex family, to which shingles belongs. If the neuralgia continues, you could try Hypericum as a homoepathic remedy for injured nerves, or rub Hypericum oil topically on the area affected (not too close to the eye though).
Your registered medical herbalist (MNZAMH) such as Natural Ange Ltd will be able to source good quality sources of Hypericum.
Potassium phosphate and magnesium phosphate also soothe nerves; magnesium also helps to relax muscles and therefore alleviate the headaches. These minerals are available from your naturopath (Natural Ange Ltd) or you could assess your mineral status on this website – under the about section.
Lysine tablets, which inhibit the herpes simplex family, may also help. These can settle the shingles virus, which lies dormant in the nerve root ganglia in between attacks. I've known this to prevent neuralgia-type symptoms.