Friday, March 5, 2021

Stress and Shingles


Shingles is known medically under the name herpes zoster. Varicella zoster is part of a group of viruses called herpes viruses, which causes cold sores, mononucleosis, genital herpes and chickenpox.

A Link Between Immune-Stress and Shingles and Other Viruses of this Special Type

The human immune system is a very important “control Center” of stress. Stress can weaken our immune system and a weakened immune system can increase the risk for shingles and other viral related diseases from this group. Stress can affect the immune system in several ways such as: it reduces neutrophil activity. It decreases cytotoxic T-lymphocytes and natural killer cell activities (NK Cells) as well. In case of too much stress (and/or a low stress resistance), we can be sure that our immune system is down. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is the middle point of stress. Ours immune system watches & guides this axis. It is our own protecting wall (guard wall) against f.e. viruses and any other enemy that may assault our body.

Nutritional Supplements to Treat Shingles & Co.

Studies have shown that supplement Lysine (a natural amino acid) can reduce the frequency and intensity of herpes and cold sore outbreaks. L-Lysine is recommendable in case of Epstein-Barr-Virus, Mononucleosis, Shingles (Herpes Zoster). Lysine has much more effect together with vitamin c (as ester-c/ ascorbyl-palmitate).

My recommendation of possible L-Lysine Dosage: 4 to 6 g/d (and at least 1 g/d ester c)

L-Lysine and Possible Pharmacy Nutrition Interactions

A high dosage of Lysine (10 to 30 grams) can increases the toxicity of antibiotics such as f.e. neomycin, gentamycin and streptomycin.

Arginine is an Antagonist from Lysine

Arginine increases secretion of epinephrine and nor-epinephrine. A dietary supplement of Arginine and/or food with a high level of this amino acid is of a great support to short term (acute) stress. But Arginine is an antagonist of Lysine.

Patients with viral diseases from type herpes can benefit of a diet high in lysine and low in arginine. Nuts or chocolate (especially with high concentration of cacao) contain a lot of Arginine.

Oregano Oil – A Natural Antibiotic

Oil of origano is a natural substance that is extracted from wild origano. Two key compounds carvacrol and thymol are found in it. Common oregano is typically known as Origanum, Marjoram while oil of oregano is derives from origanum vulgare.

Studies have shown that both compounds have significant effects on harmful microorganisms. I recommend an initial dosage of at least 3 caps per day. I prefer f.e. a 150 mg softgel on a base of extra virgin olive oil. Also I know nutraceuticals of oregano leaf powder. These are good as well.

Instead nutraceuricals of oregano, you can use dried oregano in your daily meals.

Herxheimer Reaction of Anti-Viral Nutritional Supplements

Herxheimer Reaction is a detoxification reaction and not a kind of side effect to the anti-viral nutritional supplements.Patients experience some of these symptoms: greater fatigue, diarrhoea, headaches, muscle/joint aches or flu-like symptoms.

What’s the help? This reaction will be inhibited with:

  • Vitamin C
    Possible Dosage: 1 to 2 g/d
  • Milk Thistle (standardized extract contain 80 % of the flavonoligan mixture silymarin)
    Possible Dosage: 1 to 3 caps./d
  • L-Glutathione Reduced
    Possible Dosage: 1 to 3 caps./d (500 to 1500 mg)
  • Plenty of Rooibos tea, bamboos leaf tea, green tea or water

Vitamin C: This vitamin is a typically anti-stress vitamin. It is very important for short term stress situations, but also in long term stress phases. In case of viral related disease such as herpes I prefer vitamin C as a proprietary blend of ascorbyl palmitate and mineral ascorbate such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium and ginger for a better utilizing. Ester C is a natural boost for zinc. The natural metabolites of ester C provide quicker absorption and longer retention than the other form of vitamin C such as ascorbic acid. Ester C is an acid neutralized form of vitamin C with non-irritating effect on the digestive system. My recommendation of possible vitamin C Dosage: 2 to 4 g buffered C or 1 to 2 g ester C. I prefer ester C only or as ester C-complex on a base of rutin and other bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids also have anti-viral properties.

Zinc: Zinc helps to strengthen the immune system which as we know is our body key defense against infection and disease. Zinc in form of zinc chelate, zinc orotate, zinc gluconate and as picolinate is important in my nutrition consultation. Zinc in combination with a good vitamin c (f.e. ester-c or ascorbyl-palmitate) may have a better potential. My recommendation of possible zinc Dosage: 20 to 50 mg for 3 to 4 weeks.

Anti-Viral & Stress Support from Kingdom of Nature

Lemon balm tea: Varro Tyler, Ph.D., at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, suggests using lemon balm to treat viral infections. Lemon balm has properties to relax and it has benefits for acute and chronic stress forms.

Method: 1 cup boiling water to 2 tsp. dried leafes steep it for at least 10 minutes. My recommendation are two cups per day. The best time is in the morning and evenings.

Lemon balm-Pear Smoothie

Pears contain an antiviral substance, called caffeic acid. It works directly on the target of the virus causing shingles. The juice from any fresh pear contains large amounts of the antiviral caffeic acid. The pear is a good source of the immune power substance, called Arabinogalactan. Arabinogalactan (also known as “healthy sugar”) is a water-soluble polysaccharide to support generally immune system function and the immune-stress-balance. It reduces esp. an overproduction of the stresshormons Cortisol and adrenaline.


  • At least 1 cup cold lemon balm tea
  • 1 ripe pear, peeled and diced
  • If you prefer natural sweetener f.e. Stevia white extract powder

Method: Mix all ingredients in a blender and drink in the next while.

Goji Berry: These berries are good sources of glyconutrients (polysaccharides) for natural regulation of immune system and contain powerful provitamin A such as alpha-carotene and betacarotene. Provitamin A makes antibodies more responsive to various kinds of infections, increases the rate at which macrophages engulf and stimulates Natural Killer (NK) cells. The Goji Berry is an inhibitor of stress as well.

Method of Tea: 1 cup boiling water to 4 to 6 tsp. dried Goji Berries steep it for at least 30 minutes. My recommendation is at least one cup per day. The best time is in the morning.

Instead of Goji Berry tea you can eat dried Goji Berries. I recommend a min of 10 days.

My Dosage Recommendation:

Please notice that dried Goji Berries (Goji berry tea or supplements) are for me no general food or classic dried fruits. The Goji Berry is a berry with medical effects and it must have the right dosage per day.

  • In the Morning: 10 dried Goji Berries
  • Midday: 20 dried Goji Berries
  • Evenings: 10 dried Goji Berries

ABM Mushroom: This mushroom contains effective vital substances such as polysaccharides beta-1,3 glucan and beta-1,6 glucan, ribonucleic acid protein compounds, lectin, etc. . it enhances the activity of macrophage and this significantly activated our immune system. The substance Betaglucan is known for his anti-stress effects.

Method of Tea: It is obtained from 3 to 4 dried ABM mushrooms (chopped) macerated in a bowl with 1 cup of cold water, for a period over the night. Then mix in the blender, after which it is placed on the fire until it boils slightly. My recommendation is at least 2 cups per day.

Nutritional Supplements to Prevention and Treatment of Shingles & viral induced Stress Factors

Consult your health care practitioner before using the general recommendation.

Nutritional Supplement/HerbDaily Dosage to PreventionDaily Dosage to TreatmentStress related BenefitsPlease Notice
AHCC (Active Hexose Correlated Compound)At least 500 mgAt least 1 gIt reduces high level of long term induced adrenaline & Cortisol. it is ideal for long term stress, it is a great immune booster (immune-stress balance)
Arabinogalactan (from Larch)At least 500 mg + B-complex 50At least 3 x 500 mg + B-complex 50 or 100It reduces high level of long term induced stress adrenaline/Cortisol, it is ideal for long term stress, it is an immune booster (immune-stress balance) Do not take Arabinogalactan if you have autoimmune diseases such as lupus or macular degeneration, any kind of eyes problems f.e. cataract and any kind of problems with thyroid and if you take medical drug thyroxin
Acai (freeze dried)At least 1000 mg to 1500 mgAt least 1500 to 3.000 mg for 10 to 14 days (initial)It is ideal to treat stress, esp. long term, it is a great immune support has anti-viral properties
Beta-1,3/1,6-D-GlucanAt least 100 mgAt least 500 mg (1 to 2 x per day)Natural stress inhibitor, great immune modulator
Coriolus versicolor mushroom extractat least 250 to 500 mgat least 750 to 1000 mg It regulates the immune-stress balance, has anti-viral propertiesDo not take Coriolus if you have autoimmune diseases such as lupus
Coriolus mushroom powderAt least 500 to 1000 mgAt least 1500 to 2000 mgIt regulates the immune-stress balance, has anti-viral propertiesDo not take Coriolus if you have autoimmune diseases such as lupus
ABM mushroom extract250 to 500 mgAt least 1 g for 10 to 14 days (initial)Natural immune support & general stress support
ABM mushroom powderAt least 500 to 750 mgAt least 2 g for 10 to 14 days (initial)Natural immune support & general stress support
ColostrumAt least 500 mgAt least 1 to 2 g for at least 7 daysIt lowers Cortisol & adrenergic overproduction. It is an immune modulator (stress-immune balance)
Goji berry standardizedAt least 1 caps.At least 2 to 3 caps.Stress regulator, immune support Do not take Goji berry supplements if you take medical drugs for a high blood pressure
Astragalus standardizedAt least 1 to 2 caps. (450 to 500 mg)At least 2 to 4 caps (450 to 500 mg) for at least 14 days (initial)Stress regulator, immune booster (stress-immune balance)Do not take Astragalus if you have autoimmune diseases such as lupus
Echinacea flowers teaAt least 1 to 2 cupAt least 4 to 6 cups at least for 10 days (initial)It contains Arabinogalactan, but it is not so powerful as pure arabinogalactan (from Larch) for stress related functionsDo not take Echinacea if you have autoimmune diseases such as lupus or if you have an allergy against Echinacea

Other Possible Treatment Options to Shingles and other Viral Diseases

It is possible to use other anti-viral herbs/nutraceuticals with good results.

  • Red Marine Algae (RMA)
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive leaf (standardized)
  • Neem leaf/Neem leaf extract
  • Bioflavonoid-Complex
  • Anti-Viral herbal blends by several manufacturers

I know all these nutraceuticals and herbal products and have good experiences with them, but I recommend every time a stress support as well. Anyway drop your stress level – then you have a good chance to drops your risk to shingles.

Gloria Brown
Women's health and wellness retreat leader providing vacations and trips for women to get in shape -- and stay that way! On you can find my articles about weight loss, health and women's issues. Please feel free to contact me on

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