Shingles: Overcome the Long-Term Effects Naturally
Many of us have experienced chickenpox’s discomfort and uncontrollable itching as children. However, the virus doesn’t go away completely when chickenpox clears. Instead, it resides in the body. It can be reactivated at any point, whether due to age, a weakened immune system, stress, or a combination of them. It then transforms into a herpes virus called shingles.
Shingles is a common and painful infection that affects one in three Americans at some point in their lives. It can affect people of all ages, although those under 40 rarely experience the virus. It starts with a burning sensation, tingling, and itching. From there, it transforms into a rash most typically around the torso and becomes more severe.
The Lasting Effects of Shingles
While most cases of shingles typically clear within 2-3 weeks and rarely affects the same person twice, there are long-term effects.
The most common side effect is postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN. It’s a condition that attacks the nerves and results in a burning pain that lasts long after the rash has cleared. The nerve disorder also has other symptoms, including:
- Sensitivity to touch
- Numbness, itching, and tingling
- Weakness and even paralysis
Anywhere from 10-18% of people who have shingles develop PHN. Some people suffer for years and can be so severe that it interferes with daily life.
How Herbs and Mushrooms Can Help
As with most nerve conditions, PHN is difficult to treat. However, ancient health practitioners observed that certain plants positively affected their patients. These remedies were passed down over generations because of their ability to promote patients’ well-being.
Today, scientists have been able to confirm much of what ancient cultures noticed about the health-promoting benefits of these plants. These plants have exciting implications for nerve disorders, including PHN. We have combined these mushrooms and plants in one convenient formula, Neuro Regen, to enable modern users to harness their ancient benefits.
Some of the benefits of these ingredients include:
Lion’s mane mushrooms gained their name based on their appearance. The white and shaggy mushroom has long been used in many Asian countries for both culinary and medicinal use. The mushroom is taken raw, dried, cooked, steep in tea, and cooked in Korea, Japan, India, and China.
Lion’s man contains many bioactive compounds that positively impact the brain, gut, and heart. It has most recently garnered interest for its ability to improve brain health.
However, extensive research shows that it is also potent for promoting nerve system health. Researchers have found that lion’s mane extract helps speed healing in the nerves by stimulating repair and growth in the nerve cells. One study on rats with injuries to their nervous system was given the extract. Researchers found that rats who took the mushroom reduced their recovery time by 23-41%.
Considering that many PHN suffers experience pain for a year after their initial rash, any reduction in time could significantly improve their quality of life.
Another study on rats with diabetic nerve damage also found that lion’s mane helped to significantly reduce nerve pain.
Much of lion’s mane’s ability to help speed healing in the nerves is due to two specific compounds in the mushroom, hericenones, and erinacines. These two properties stimulate Nerve Growth Fact (or NGF) to encourage neurons to grow and make new connections.
One study also found that lion’s mane helped protect the myelin sheaths, which cover the nerves. Research shows that PHN predominantly affects unmyelinated nerve fibers, so protecting myelination is critical.
Not only does lion’s mane support the healing mechanisms in the body, but they also reduce pain. One 2018 study showed that lion’s mane blocks specific pain signals in the body by stimulating NGF.
Inflammation is a significant cause of pain in the affected area. Lion’s mane can help to reduce this inflammation. Researchers found in one test-tube study that inflammation makers were reduced with lion’s mane. One study on mice also found that those who took lions mane increased antioxidant enzymes and reduced inflammation markers.
Chronic pain like PHN has more than a physical effect on the body. It is also associated with depression as many sufferers find themselves unable to keep up in their everyday life.
Research shows lion’s mane can help support mental health as well. One study found that the anti-inflammatory effects of lion’s mane helped reduce depressive behaviors in mice. Another animal study from 2018 also found that lion’s mane helped reduce depressed behavior in mice.
While research on lion’s mane is still limited to in vitro and animal studies so far, the science is impressive. It does appear to have a positive effect on nerve repair, inflammation, and mental health.
Mucuna pruriens also goes by “velvet bean” because of its appearance. This tropical legume has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for a number of health benefits. Most significantly, health practitioners would use the bean to strengthen the nervous system.
Mucuna earned the nickname “dopamine bean” because it is a significant source of L-Dopa. L-Dopa is a critical building block for dopamine in the body. Many of us know about dopamine as the driver of reward and motivation in the body. However, dopamine is also critical for nerve health. Specifically, the nervous system needs dopamine to send messages between nerve cells. Dysfunction of the dopamine system is implicated in various nervous system diseases. It is currently shown to have the potential for reducing symptoms of Parkinson’s, for example, because of its ability to promote nerve health.
Low dopamine is also a risk factor for depression and addiction that can be a part of dealing with chronic pain. Also, dopamine is critical for pain control, which is why many pain-relieving drugs affect dopamine receptors.
Research also shows that mucuna pruriens has potential antidepressant properties. However, it is critical to speak with a health practitioner first. The high levels of L-dopa might make depression worse in someone who has depression due to low serotonin.
With its ability to promote dopamine in the body, mucuna pruriens could provide the body with a valuable boost against PHN.
Epimedium often goes by “horny goat weed” because of its testosterone-like effects and ability to promote desire. Its use goes back to ancient China when, according to folklore, goat herders noticed that their flocks had heightened desire after eating the plant.
However, researchers have also found that Epimedium can help promote nerve health. Researchers have studied one of Epimedium’s compounds in particular, icariin, for its health benefits.
One study on rats with nerve injury found that Epimedium had neurotrophic effects to help boost healing. Another animal study also found that Epimedium promoted nerve regeneration, and rats that took it experienced improved function in their damaged nerves.
Researchers have also studied the icariin in Epimedium for its ability to promote a healthy mood. Stress and stressful life events are identified as risk factors for developing PHN after shingles. Dealing with stress is one way to help reduce symptoms and pain.
Epimedium might be able to help. One study on rats found that it helped regulate the stress circuits in the brain after chronic mild stress. Another animal study also found that it helped decrease dysregulation in the brain after chronic stress.
In addition, research also found that it had an antidepressant effect on rats undergoing chronic stress.
Although this research is limited to animals, it does have exciting potential for improving the physical and mental symptoms of PHN.
Sulforaphane glucosinolate (also called simply sulforaphane or SGS) is a potent plant compound. It is primarily found in cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and broccoli.
Sulforaphane is not an antioxidant in and of itself. However, it works like an antioxidant as an activator of the Nrf2 pathway. This pathway is critical for fighting oxidative stress and signs of aging. In fact, Nrf2 affects over 200 gene expressions, including neutralizing toxins and anti-inflammatory genes.
Its ability to inhibit oxidative stress is particularly important for those with PHN. One study found that impaired oxidative status predicts how shingles manifests. In the research, scientists discovered that high oxidative stress correlated with poor shingles outcomes, including PHN. Research shows that sulforaphane increases glutathione, one of the body’s most abundant antioxidants.
Studies also show that sulforaphane has strong anti-inflammatory effects even apart from its impact on Nrf2 pathways. A recent 2020 study found that it has exciting potential for chronic inflammatory diseases. Another 2020 study also found that it significantly reduces inflammation in the body.
In addition, sulforaphane has a protective effect on the nervous system. One 2019 study found that it had a neuroprotective effect and helped protect the nervous system. Another 2019 review of multiple studies also found that it helped defend the Central Nervous System.
Sulforaphane can provide a powerful boost to reduce inflammation and the effects of oxidative stress for those who are experiencing the long-term effects of shingles.
Life Hacks to Combat PHN
There is no one way to treat the long-term effects of shingles and PHN. However, it is possible to reduce pain, improve quality of life, and potentially speed healing with the right lifestyle adjustments.
Acupuncture is a practice that goes back 300 years in China. Today, researchers are finding that it can promote a range of benefits, including PHN. One 2019 review of six studies found that it helped reduce pain, lower anxiety, and increase the quality of life.
Biofeedback is a therapy that helps patients learn how to control their physiology to reduce pain and improve function using electronic instruments. Research shows that it can reduce pain in patients in a pilot study. Although more research needs to be done, it could be helpful
Exercise can help manage PHN symptoms. Choose simple and gentle exercises to control pain, such as walking and yoga. Gentle stretches are also powerful for maintaining health and longevity.
Yoga, relaxation techniques, and meditation are great ways to improve mental health, reduce pain, and increase quality of life.
Give the body the boost it needs by eating foods to improve the immune system. A PHN diet should include liberal amounts of vitamin C, zinc, B vitamins. Aim for plenty of vegetables, healthy fats, pastured meats, and fruits.
Improve Nerve Health After Shingles
Many people struggle with nerve pain after shingles. While there is no complete remedy for postherpetic neuralgia, improving the inflammatory response, immune system, and supporting nerve health can all help improve symptoms. For many people, the condition resolves in about a year.
Our formula, Neuro Regen, is packed with some of the most potent ingredients to help support nerve health. Sourced from the purest sources, each Neuro Regen compound is backed by traditional use and scientific research.
Shingles does not have to mean permanent pain. Give Neuro Regen a try today and provide your nerves with the support they need!
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