You may know that a nasty virus called varicella (herpes zoster or chicken pox virus) can cause a painful condition known as shingles. You may have suffered through it, or know someone who has. The virus infects a peripheral nerve causing intense itching and pain. For most, it is self limited, meaning it stops after the bout is finished. But for some, especially seniors, there’s a risk of post herpetic neuralgia, which causes ongoing pain for months and years after the virus clears.
Big Pharma has tried for years to sell you drugs and vaccines for this condition. The author of a recent study on one such vaccine touted it as a great discovery. But here’s the truth and what you should do instead. In the study, the vaccine reduced the number of cases from 3.3% in the placebo group to 1.6% in the vaccinated group. The vaccine essentially cut the number of cases in half. Not bad, until you look at the sub-study, which studied the vaccine’s adverse effects. The researchers discovered that those who received the vaccine had a staggering 24% greater number of severe side effects than the placebo group.
1. Vitamin C
Now, compare those numbers to those obtained in a study conducted over 30 years ago using intravenous vitamin C therapy. Between 1949 and 1974, Frederick Klenner, MD reported that seven out of eight adults treated with only two to three grams of IV vitamin C were free of pain within two hours of the first injection. (These patients also received one gram of vitamin C orally every two hours.)
And another researcher, Dr. Dainow (in 1943) reported 14 of 14 cures with intravenous vitamin C. And another study, this one by Dr. Zureik in 1950, studied 327 cases of shingles. Again, there was a 100% cure rate just three days after using intravenous vitamin C. If you get shingles, head to your nearest integrative physician although I can appreciate this is harder than it might appear. There’s no reason to suffer from shingles or post herpetic neuralgia. [ Ref: JAPS, vol 10, no 4.] In item #5 below, we give a self-remedy using Vitamin C for shingles. But the IV vitamin C is absolutely your first choice.
2. Olive Leaf Extract
In combination there is a second thing to take, some olive leaf extract which is anti-viral. Take the stronger version with 20% oleuropein, the active component, in the larger 750 mg capsule, such as Swanson’s product SWH139, $9.49 for 60 capsules. Swanson can be found at www.swansonvitamins.com or call 800-437-4148. If you have shingles, take 2 a day for a month [one bottle]. The Olive Leaf Extract is a powerful addition to this regimen.
3. Halting the Shingles Virus
Many of us know a friend or relative who has had shingles, or worse, we may have had it. The current typical treatment is often meager, with skin lotions and pain relief medications. Some physicians may also prescribe an anti-viral agent such as Acyclovir. However there is something your doctor will not possibly mention but which may be vital to know. The story begins in 1977 when a patient developed shingles just before starting a course of therapy of cimetidine. Remarkably the patient experienced dramatic relief from his shingles. A small trial of 21 shingles patients was then tried, with 18 of 21 patients responding very well. In another trial of 7 patients, 6 responded. In 1980, a summary article1 indicated these preliminary trials showed the potential role of cimetidine in markedly reducing the duration and frequency of attacks of shingles.
In 1983, Hayne2 reported cimetidine therapy reduced the expected length of the active phase of shingles from 35 days or more to just 10 days. A randomized trial3 in 1989 concluded that cimetidine treatment “shortened the median interval until the first decrease in pain, shortened the median interval until the complete resolution of pain, and promoted faster complete healing of skin lesions.” In 1994, a double-blind, placebo-controlled study4 on 22 patients showed cimetidine resulted in patient recovery much more quickly from skin lesions and pain than the placebo group.
Finally, in 1996, a study5 on 221 patients showed that cimetidine shortened the period of disease duration, and the researchers indicated it should be used during the earliest stages of the disease. The conclusion from these studies is that when cimetidine is provided to patients with shingles, the results are a dramatic relief of pain and a much more rapid disappearance of skin lesions.
And just what IS cimetidine? It is nothing but Tagamet, the stomach ulcer medication you can easily buy over-the-counter. Viruses like shingles can be put into quick remission when T-lymphocyte suppressor cells function is inhibited6. This is what Tagamet does. So the next time you or someone you know gets shingles, follow the Tagamet protocol below and you will probably be very glad you did:
Immediately take 200 mg of Tagamet 3 times a day, plus 400 mg at bedtime. Continue taking it for 1-2 weeks after all the symptoms have ended.
References for Cimetidine
1. van der Spuy, S. et al. Cimetidine in the treatment of herpes virus infections. S. Afr. Med. J. 1980 Jul 19; 58(3): 112-6.
2. Hayne, S.T. et al. Herpes zoster; treatment with cimetidine. Can. Med. Assoc. J. 1983 Dec 15; 129(12): 1284-5.
3. Miller, A.,et al. Cimetidine as an immunomodulator in the treatment of herpes zoster. J. Neuroimmunol. 1989 Mar; 22(1): 69-76.
4. Komlos, L. et al. In vitro cell-mediated immune reactions in herpes zoster patients treated with cimetidine. Asian Pac. J. Allergy Immunol. 1994 Jun; 12(1): 51-8.
5. Kapinska-Mrowiecka, M. et al. Efficacy of cimetidine in treatment of herpes zoster in the first 5 days from the moment of disease manifestation. Pol. Tyg. Lek. 1996 Jun; 51(23-26): 338-9 (in Polish).
6. Kumar, A. Cimetidine; an immunomodulator. DICP 1990 Mar; 24(3): 289-95.
4. Shorten the Duration and Lessen the Pain
The amino acid lysine will significantly shorten the duration and lessen the pain of shingles. Take 3000 mg daily. Swanson has a product, SWU452, $4.99 for 90 capsules. Take 2 capsules, three times a day. In addition, you should add vitamin B-12 which soothes the nerve endings. Consider Swanson’s SWU122, a 5 mg tablet, $9.99 for 60 tablets. Take one per day for at least three to four days.
5. The Protocol for the Self-Administration of Vitamin C: A TREATMENT THAT WORKS
Shingles can be cleared up by using a safe, convenient, inexpensive, nonprescription treatment of vitamin C. Vitamin C is anti-viral and anti-toxin and inactivates the virus that causes shingles. If you have shingles and want relief, you can try this: Go to a discount store and buy a large bottle of 1000 mg vitamin C tablets. The cost should be less than $15.
Begin when you wake in the morning by taking 3000 mg of vitamin C every 30 minutes and continue until you have a single episode of loose stool (not quite diarrhea). If you haven't had loose stool after 15 hours on this dosage, increase the vitamin C to 4000 mg every 30 minutes.
After you have a loose bowel movement, reduce the dosage to 2000 mg of vitamin C taken every hour. You will quickly find the dosage that is right for you. Adjust the dosage of vitamin C downward to stay below the dosage that will cause loose stools and adjust it upward to relieve shingles symptoms. Continue the oral vitamin C therapy until the shingles disappear.
It sounds too simple to be true, doesn't it? But it works in the majority of cases, as recently further reconfirmed by Thomas E. Levy, M.D., J.D. [see reference 1 below]
Sometimes it's necessary to take vitamin C intravenously (IV) for massive shingles outbreaks. [see reference 2 below]. Much higher concentrations of vitamin C in the blood can be achieved intravenously than when taken orally. As early as 1950, the medical literature reported that one physician had confirmed intravenous vitamin C curing shingles in 327 patients within 72 hours. [see reference 3 below]. Ask your doctor if he or she offers vitamin C IV and, if not, ask friends or search the Internet to find a doctor or facility that does offer this treatment. The IV approach is the best way to go.
Vitamin C blood serum levels of individuals fall during periods of high stress and they develop sub-clinical scurvy (depleted vitamin C levels). This situation can set the stage for a shingles attack.
(1) Levy TE. Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins. 2002: Xlibris. www.xlibris.com. p 80-85.
(2) Klenner FR. Observations on the dose and administration of ascorbic acid when employed beyond the range of a vitamin in human pathology. Journal of Applied Nutrition, 1971. Vol. 23, No. 3 & 4.
(3) Zureick M. [Therapy of herpes and herpes zoster with intravenous vitamin C.] J Prat Rev Gen Clin Ther. 1950 Nov 30;64(48):586. PMID: 14908970.
Possible Additional Therapy
A shingles outbreak can cause pain and itching that at times can be overwhelmingly pronounced. I offer a suggestion that in theory should help, but I have not personally tried it. To make a therapeutic lotion, combine DMSO with vitamin C and apply it topically. DMSO is a safe topical solution that transports anything across the outer skin layer to the layer underneath.
First, obtain the DMSO. You need a very pure product. I use ihealthtree.com which has a product, #DMS31126, unscented 99.9% pure DMSO liquid, $11.95 for 8 ounces [plus shipping]. Otherwise find a 99.9% pure product. Pour a quarter cup into a very clean container. Be sure to have extremely clean hands in this process since it will transport bacteria too if your are not attentive. Ideally you would add another quarter cup of distilled water [distilled since it must be very clean without contaminants]. If you don’t have any, you can still use it without the added water.
Then into the container add 4 teaspoons of liquid vitamin C with 1000 mg of C per teaspoons. For example, Swanson has product NAT097, 8 ounces (or 16 teaspoons) for $8.05 with each teaspoon at 1000 mg. Stir into the DMSO with a clean stirer. Using a cotton puff, apply to the skin. It should kill surface and below-surface viral agents even though you should also be following the protocol above too. This is just in supplement to the above recommendations.