Clinical Cases

Case of Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

Homeopath Lily Samardzic-Rafik documents with photos her treatment of a case of Herpes Zoster.

Herpes Zoster is a reactivation of the chickenpox virus, that is in the body. It develops into a very painful rash with blisters on the trunk of the body. The virus travels along the nerve roots and is the cause for the pain. In the first week the rash begins to spread. It normally takes 2-4 weeks for shingles (Homeopathy for Shingles) to resolve. Even after the rash is gone, pain can persist. Conventional treatment consists of anti virals, pain killers, anti histamines, antibiotics and corticosteroids, depending on the severity of symptoms.

Here is a case resolved in 7 days after starting homeopathic treatment.

A 17 year old boy arrives for treatment of Shingles. He came 3 days after symptoms started, and the rash is spreading, very painful, burning like a sunburn. It does not itch. This is the information that I had the first day. Treating herpes zoster is going to require a few remedies to complete the cure.

rafik-nov15-herpes-image001  rafik-nov15-herpes-image002

The first remedy I chose was VACCINOTOXINUM. Vaccinotoxinum is a remedy well known in France and is given at the onset of any Herpes eruption, including Herpes simplex 1 and 2. It is a nosode from vaccine matter; Cow-pox lymph (Concordant MM). It has proven to be very effective when given at the onset of the herpes eruption, and it stops the virus in its tracks , slows it down, or can completely erradicate it. Each case will be different.

DAY 1: VACCINOTOXINUM 30C, 5 pills under tongue, wait 24 hours

If symptoms persist, as in this case they did, another remedy must follow.

DAY 2: RHUS TOXICODENDRON 200C, 3 pills in 125 ml water, 5ml every 2 hours. Feedback in 48 hours.

Rhus Toxicodendron is a remedy very helpful in blister eruptions, herpes and vesicles, with burning sensation.

48 hours later, the rash did get bigger, but we see that it is drying out now, and it seems to have stopped spreading at this point.

The patient kept complaing of the burning pain. Some of the vesicles started to dry. The burning pain was very marked, and I would have expected there to be a dimunition in the burning pain, but there wasn’t. Some of the blisters started drying. I decided to change the remedy according to the predominant symptoms which were BURNING PAINS and Tingling

Although I was considering Arsenicum Album for the burning pains, the patient’s description of the pain was that it was burning  ‘ like a sunburn’, and was relieved with cold applications.

Arsenicum Album has relief with hot applications so it was eliminated. APIS was chosen on the basis of burning pain ameliorated by cold application.

DAY 4:   APIS 30C, 3 pills in 125 ml water, 5ml every 2 hours

DAY 6:   After taking APIS for the last 48 hours, the patient said that the burning has mostly stopped. There was just a bit of tingling left. As we see in the picture, the inflammation and vesicles have all dried up and the skin is healing. I advised the patient to rub some Shea butter or Calendula cream on the areas to avoid any scarring, and to finish with a dose of VARIOLINUM.

Variolinum was chosen to clear out any post effects of the virus or any lingering symptoms that do not lead to any specific remedy. It is a nosode made from the Small pox pustule.


The patient was happy with the results. Seven days after starting treatment the patient was cured, compared to the usual 2-4 weeks recovery. The patient was skeptical of homeopathic treatment but has since changed his mind about the efficacy of homeopathy since having this positive experience.

About the author

Lily Samardzic-Rafik

Lily Samardzic-Rafik, DiHom (Pract), MSc Hom Med, has been in private practice since 2009 in Casablanca , Morocco. She is a classically trained homeopath who graduated from the British Institute of Homeopathy Ireland and has a Masters in Science in Homeopathic Medicine. Visit Lily at her website:

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