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Cure Shingles Fast with Echinacea

Echinacea flower

Echinacea flower

Shingles are a Herpes zoster infection—the same as chicken pox. As with chicken pox, shingles can be quickly and easily cured by taking Echinacea. I used Echinacea to cure my children’s chicken-pox quickly (24-48 hours) back when the kids were little.

I learned of the effectiveness of Echinacea for shingles when one of my co-workers suffered from shingles. She knew a lot about herbs, and we had had many conversations about natural healing methods, so I was not surprised to learn that she had cured her shingles with Echinacea root—the root of the purple coneflower.

The woman purchased a small bottle of Echinacea tincture and began taking it as directed, a few drops two or three times a day, but improvement was slow. She grew inpatient and drank down the whole bottle—and was quickly cured.

The lesson in this: When using Echinacea, never skimp on the dose. For any condition that is causing fairly severe pain or discomfort, it’s best to take a whopping dose.

Another lesson: If at all possible, grow your own Echincea and make your own tincture. Those little 2-ounce bottles are expensive, and the best dose may well be one or two tablespoons of the tincture, taken three times a day. You will feel happier about this if you have a whole pint of homemade (and almost free) Echincea tincture in your cupboard.

For information on how to make your own Echinacea root tincture, see:

Echinacea has no known toxicity in any amount.

Any form of Echinacea root will work for this: a tea of the dried root, a tincture of the root, or capsules. Just make sure you are using the root, not “whole herb” or “aerial portions” preparations (which I don’t trust). Read the label.

If you are using capsules, take 4-6 capsules three times a day, or one or two tablespoons of the powdered root per cup of water three times a day. The decoction may be prepared using two tablespoons of the dried chopped root per cup of water, simmered for 30 minutes, and taken three times a day. If you are using the fresh root (dug from the garden), use about four tablespoons per cup of water to make the decoction.

Echinacea, the purple coneflower, is a lovely and popular garden flower, easily grown from seed and tending to re-seed itself abundantly. A tincture of the root is easily prepared, and the roots of very few plants will yield a pint of the tincture—quite a bargain compared to purchasing one-ounce bottles.

Echinacea has no known toxicity, so you need not be uneasy about exceeding the dose.


Black walnut hull tincture is a good external application for shingles. Maude Grieve, in A Modern Herbal, mentions black walnut as a cure for herpes. You may feel you don’t need this if you are taking Echinacea, but an extra bit of healing power can’t hurt, if you have this tincture available.

Warning: It stains the skin.

If you use black walnut hull tincture, it would be best to use the water-based kind, if possible, so it doesn’t sting. Apply externally to sores. Black walnut hull tincture may also be given internally, at a rate of two or three teaspoonfuls a day. An internal dose also can’t hurt, because black walnut hull will also kill parasites in the body.

Or you can make a tea of black walnut bark (inner bark) or leaves: one ounce of the dried bark or leaves to one pint of boiling water, steeped for six hours. This tea is taken internally in wineglassful doses, three times a day, and also applied externally.


Studies indicate that zinc supplements may be a simple and effective treatment for all herpes viruses.


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Fill a jar with fresh or dried chopped Echinacea roots. Add vodka to cover. Put a lid on the jar and let stand for about 28 days, shaking now and then. Strain and bottle.


Black walnut hull tincture can be made either with grain alcohol or plain water.

Alcohol-Based Tincture

Gather a few black walnuts that have fallen from the tree. (You may want to use gloves to avoid staining your hands.) The nuts will be encased in a thick green outer husk. Choose nuts whose husks are green, or as green as possible.

At home (preferably wearing plastic gloves), cut away the husks from the nuts, put the walnut husks in a jar and add grain alcohol (vodka) to cover. Cover the jar tightly and let it stand for two days. Strain off the tincture, add equal parts water, and bottle.

Water-Based Tincture

Gather a few black walnuts that have fallen from the tree. (You may want to use gloves to avoid staining your hands.) The nuts will be encased in a thick green outer husk. Choose nuts whose husks are green, or as green as possible.

At home (preferably wearing plastic gloves), cut away the husks from the nuts, put the husks in a saucepan, and add water to cover. Heat to boiling, turn off heat, cover tightly, and let stand for 24 hours. Strain and bottle. Some suggest adding ¼ teaspoon Vitamin C per quart as a preservative. Keep refrigerated. This can also be frozen.

I have known people who have made a very effective water-based tincture by simply soaking the hulls in water for 24 hours.

Surprisingly, this water-based tincture keeps very well. I know people whose water-based black walnut hull tincture has kept for more than two years without any preservatives. My suggestion would be to make it fresh every year, as black-walnut husks become available, and you could store it in the refrigerator, though this doesn’t seem to be necessary.

Even if you don’t have shingles, these tinctures are excellent to keep on hand. Black walnut hull tincture will treat shingles, chicken pox, eczema, and impetigo. Echinacea will treat myriad infections, including infected teeth and UTIs.

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