Herpes zoster is an acute infection associated with reactivation of the latent varicella zoster virus. It is self-limited and the rash usually clears up by itself within a few weeks, although many people continue to suffer from post-herpetic neuralgias. The following case shows how homeopathy effectively reduces the pain, shortens the suffering period, and prevents lingering pain thereafter. It also demonstrates how homeopathy boosts the immune system and improves emotional and overall well-being of the patient, when the remedy prescribed acutely also fits the picture.
The patient was a 52-year-old woman. She started having painful vesicular skin eruptions on the left side of her occiput a few days before the homeopathic consultation. The rashes were red-colored and extended to the back of her left ear. The affected area has burning, stinging, and constrictive pain. The diagnosis was herpes zoster. A few days before the shingles outbreak, she felt stiffness at her neck and shoulder.The pain was worse from touch but better from massage. She also felt better when lying on the left side, so that the painful parts were pressed by the pillow. The pain was markedly relieved by cold application.
In general, she tolerated coldness much better than heat. She had craving for sour food. She described herself as a hurried person who acts or speaks before she thinks. She was also clumsy – breaking or dropping things easily, and sometimes spraining her ankles. The clumsiness presented on her mental plane as well, as she admitted having fuzzy logic. On the emotional level, she became irritable very easily and had uncontrollable anger outbursts during which she screamed and wanted to do kickboxing. She wept easily and felt despondent about the life situations that she was facing.
Both the acute and chronic pictures point to the remedy Apismellifica. A dose of 30c was prescribed daily for three consecutive days. She had an initial aggravation of headache and nausea for one and a half days. After that the shingles subsided within a few days, and there was no pain at all thereafter.A week later she reported having better sleep, energy and appetite since taking the remedy. At the same time her feet (around toes) started to have eruptions and yellowish discharge with itchiness. This was an old symptom which she had as a teenager, and she had used allopathic cream to suppress it. The reappearance of old symptom as well as skin eruption with discharge were very good signs, meaning the previously suppressed skin eruption was undergoing a real cure. This process should not be interfered with, so I told the patient to simply wait for the healing process to run its course. The skin eruption and discharge continued for three months, and then began to lessen until it completely subsided in another few months. Five months after taking the remedy, the patient reported having better defense against colds and flu which she used to get frequently in winter. Her emotions improved as well, becoming less prone to anger outbursts and irritability.
In this case, it happened that the remedy picture during the acute flare-up coincided with the patient’s chronic picture. Therefore, the remedy prescribed treated not only the acute but also the chronic condition.