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CHICKENPOX  ( Varicella-zoster virus)


Chicken pox rash on face

Chicken pox is an infectious disease causing a mild fever and a rash of itchy inflamed pimples which turn to blisters and then loose scabs. It is caused by the Varicella zoster virus and mainly affects children.

The virus can spread through air or contact with saliva, mucus or fluid from blisters of an infected individual. The infected person is contagious from a day or two before the rashes appear, until the time when all the blisters have dried.

It usually takes 10-21 days for the symptoms to develop the symptoms after being exposed to the virus. The most common symptoms are an itchy rash and red spots or blisters all over the body.

Other symptoms include

  • Aching muscles

  • Fatigue

  • Fever

  • Loss of appetite.

There is no cure for the virus but it usually clears up of its own accord after around two weeks.


Shingles (herpes zostz virus) rash

Shingles, also known as Herpes zoster, is an infection of a nerve and the skin around it that is caused by the Varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox and can reoccur many times throughout life. Once contracted, the chicken pox virus remains dormant in the body and can erupt in later life causing painful shingles blisters anywhere on the body although usually on the trunk. The virus resides in the nerves and, in some cases, can cause post-herpetic neuralgia.

Consumption of yeast products, mushrooms and steroid medications or eye drops can cause recurrences of shingles attacks.


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Natural remedies to consume to treat chicken pox and shingles

  • Aloe vera juice

  • Apple cider vinegar

  • Astragalus

  • Bicarbonate of soda

  • Carrot and coriander soup can help to fight off the virus from the inside.

  • Chilli peppers contain capsaicin that has been shown to help fight the virus and provide relief from post-herpetic neuralgia caused by shingles.

  • Citrus fruit

  • Cloves

  • Garlic

  • Herbal teas made with chamomile, holy basil, lemon balm or marigold and drunk three times a day can help with recovery from chickenpox. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of cinnamon and a teaspoon of honey for best results.

  • Honey

  • Peppermint: Drinking peppermint tea can help with the pain caused by chicken pox and shingles blisters.

Nutrients that can help to fight the chickenpox virus

Bioflavonoids (vitamin P)

Foods contain bioflavonoids consumed three times a day at least, will help treat and can help to eliminate the chicken pox virus and prevent recurring shingles blisters.

Natural sources of bioflavonoids

Natural foods rich in lysine are known to inhibit recurring attacks of shingles (herpes zosta virus).

Highest sources of lycine in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Spirulina (dried) 3025 mg

  • Chlorella (dried) 3000 mg

  • Whelks 2930 mg

  • Chicken 2635 mg

  • Pumpkin and squash seeds 2463 mg

  • Tuna (tinned ) 2343 mg

  • Pheasant 2230 mg

  • Beef (lean mince) 2211 mg

  • Calf’s liver 2141 mg

  • Mackerel  (tinned) 2130 mg

  • Cod 2108 mg

  • Cheddar cheese 2072 mg

  • Quail 1977 mg

  • Rabbit (wild) 1908 mg

  • Shrimp/prawns 1820 mg

  • Lobster 1784 mg

  • Venison 1756 mg

  • Caviar (fish roe) 1699 mg

  • Lamb’s liver 1653 mg

  • Turkey 1609 mg

  • Crab 1592 mg

  • Black beans 1483 mg

  • Crayfish (wild)1388 mg

  • Crayfish (farmed) 1253 mg

  • Mussels 1179 mg

  • Squid 1164 mg

  • Soya beans 1108 mg

  • Peanuts 945 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 937 mg

  • Eggs 914 mg

  • Flaxseeds 862 mg

  • Quinoa 766 mg

  • Rye 605

  • Almonds 580 mg

  • Pine nuts 540 mg

  • Brazil nuts 492 mg

  • Walnuts 424 mg

  • Wheat 378 mg

  • Brown rice 303 mg


Balancing the intestinal flora is vital in the fight against viruses as this will boost the body's immune system which can then inhibit the replication of any virus naturally. Add extra fibre and prebiotic and probiotic foods to the diet daily.

Prebiotic foods that feed the existing beneficial bacteria

  • Agave

  • Apples

  • Asparagus

  • Banana

  • Beans

  • Bran

  • Broccoli

  • Burdock root

  • Cabbage

  • Cauliflower

  • Celeriac

  • Chicory root

  • Cocoa (raw)

  • Coconut flesh

  • Dandelion root

  • Elecampane

  • Elephant foot yam

  • Garlic

  • Jerusalem artichoke

  • Jicama root

  • Kale

  • Leeks

  • Lentils

  • Mashua

  • Mugwort

  • Oats

  • Onions

  • Parsnips

  • Peas

  • Radish

  • Rampion

  • Salsify

  • Turnip

  • Swede

  • Sweet potato

  • Whole grains

  • Yacon root

  • Yams

Probiotic foods that contain beneficial bacteria

  • Brine pickles (eggs, fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetables that have been fermented by lactic acid bacteria)

  • Kefir (fermented milk drink)

  • Kimchi (a fermented, spicy Korean side dish)

  • Kombucha (fermented black or green Asian tea)

  • Miso (a Japanese fermented seasoning made with soya beans, salt and a type of fungus called koji)

  • Sauerkraut (finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid bacteria)

  • Tempeh (fermented soya beans)

  • Yoghurt (plain with live cultures)

Vitamin C-rich foods can help with the treatment of viruses.

Highest sources of vitamin C in milligrams per 100 grams

  1. Acerola cherries 1677.6 mg

  2. Camu camu berries 532 mg

  3. Rosehips 426 mg

  4. Green chillies 242.5 mg

  5. Guavas 228.3 mg

  6. Yellow bell peppers 183.5 mg

  7. Black currants 181 mg

  8. Thyme 160.01 mg

  9. Red chillies 143.7 mg

  10. Drumstick pods 141 mg

  11. Kale 120 mg

  12. Jalapeno peppers 118.6 mg

  13. Kiwi fruit 105.4 mg

  14. Sun dried tomatoes 102 mg

  15. Broccoli 89 mg

  16. Brussel sprouts 85 mg

  17. Cloves, saffron 81 mg

  18. Chilli pepper 76 mg

  19. Mustard greens 70 mg

  20. Cress 69 mg

  1. Persimmons fruit 66 mg

  2. Swede 62 mg

  3. Basil 61 mg

  4. Papaya 60 mg

  5. Rosemary 61 mg

  6. Pomelo fruit 61 mg

  7. Strawberries 58 mg

  8. Chives 58 mg

  9. Oranges 53.2 mg

  10. Lemons 53 mg

  11. Pineapple 48 mg

  12. Cauliflower 48 mg

  13. Kumquats 43.9 mg

  14. Watercress 43 mg

  15. Wasabi root 41.9 mg

  16. Kidney bean sprouts 38.7 mg

  17. Melon 36.7 mg

  18. Elderberries 36 mg

  19. Breadfruit 29 mg

  20. Coriander 27 mg

Vitamin E

When consuming extra vitamin C-rich foods, it is important to balance with the same amount of vitamin E-rich foods as they have an opposite effect upon iron, manganese and zinc levels in the body. Vitamin E will also help to heal the skin faster and prevent scarring.

Highest sources of vitamin E in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Wheat germ 149.4 mg

  • Hemp seeds 55 mg

  • Hazelnut oil 47 mg

  • Almond oil 39 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 38.3 mg

  • Chilli powder 38.1 mg

  • Paprika 38 mg

  • Rice bran oil 32 mg

  • Grape seed oil 29 mg

  • Almonds 26.2 mg

  • Oregano 18.3 mg

  • Hazelnuts 17 mg

  • Flaxseed oil 17 mg

  • Peanut oil 16 mg

  • Hazelnuts 15.3 mg

  • Corn oil 15 mg

  • Olive oil 14 mg

  • Soya bean oil 12 mg

  • Pine nuts 9.3 mg

  • Cloves (ground) 9 mg

  • Peanuts 8 mg

  • Celery flakes (dried) 6 mg

  • Spirulina 5 mg

  • Dried apricots 4.3 mg

  • Bell peppers (red), eel, olives and salmon 4 mg

  • Jalapeno peppers 3.6 mg

  • Anchovies 3.3 mg

  • Broccoli, chicken, chilli peppers (sun-dried), cod, crayfish, dandelion greens, egg yolk, duck, goose, pecan nuts, spinach, tomatoes (tinned or pureed) turkey and turnip greens 3 mg

  • Avocado, beef, bilberries, blue berries, butter, chicory greens, cinnamon (ground), crab, halibut, herring (pickled), mackerel, marjoram, mustard greens, pistachio nuts, poppy seeds, sardines, sesame seeds, Swiss chard, trout, tuna, turnips and walnuts 2 mg

  • Fish roe 1.9 mg

  • Asparagus, kiwi fruit and parsnips 1.5 mg

  • Black berries 1.2 mg

  • Chlorella 1.1 mg

Many herbs and spices have antiviral properties which can keep virus infections in check. Visit the Medicinal herbs and spices page for more information.

External remedies for chicken pox and shingles

Baths: Adding aloe vera gel, apple cider vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, Epsom salts or tea tree oil to a warm bath and soaking in it for 10-20 minutes once a day can help to heal the sores more quickly.

NOTE: Always take care to clean the shower or bath if it is shared with anyone and never share towels to avoid transmitting the virus to them. Following a shower or bath, make sure to dry the affected area thoroughly, as moisture prolongs symptomatic sores. Patting with bicarbonate of soda after a bath will help to dry up sores quickly and helps to kill off the active virus.

Bicarbonate of soda: Using a cotton ball, pat bicarbonate of soda on the sores to dry them out and decrease itching. Be careful not to contaminate the bicarbonate of soda so that someone else can catch the virus from it.

Liquorice root: Glycyrrhizic acid, an ingredient in liquorice root, kills the cold sore virus cells. Dab some of the powdered liquorice root on the sore then use petroleum jelly for instant relief. Alternatively, apply a herbal paste made with liquorice root and ground rice.

Ice held on to the shingles blisters just as they are appearing can reduce the time it takes to heal. Fill a plastic bag with crushed ice, wrapping the bag in material the thickness of a sheet. Apply for 10 or 15 minutes and repeat several times a day. Make sure to discard any plastic bags after one use. As a precaution, take care with the amount of time applied, because prolonged exposure to ice can cause tissue damage.

Milk: Soak a cotton ball in milk and apply it to the shingles blisters to relieve pain. If this is done as soon as the tingling is felt before the blisters surface, it can help speed the healing right from the beginning.

Petroleum jelly: Covering a cold sore with petroleum jelly will speed healing and help protect it from secondary infection with bacteria.

Teabags: Placing a cold, wet black tea bag directly to the sores has been known as an alternative treatment to flare-ups.

Associated articles

"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC


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