A woman has shingles and is left with unbearable dagger-like pain. She has been to the doctor and the pain clinic, but nothing helps. Can readers suggest any alternatives? One woman was given two homeopathic remedies: one Rhus tox, the other Variol, which she took every 4 hours (see a qualified homeopath or homeopathic pharmacist for a prescription appropriate to your constitution). There was a day's healing crisis to endure, with sharp nerve pain and some shaking, but within 3 days all the pustules had gone and the nerve pain was ancient history. Her GP was astounded on her follow-up visit just 5 days after he had first witnessed and confirmed the diagnosis! She was lucky to have recognised the disease fairly quickly and suspects that early treatment partly explains the amazingly swift recovery. Shingles mainly gets a grip when there is a good deal of stress around, so she recommends the usual panacea of cutting out sugar and caffeine while keeping to a good whole food diet, supplementing with vitamin B complex (to support good digestion and feed the nerves) and therapeutic levels (1-3g daily) of vitamin C (to control the virus). This nasty disease is actually very easily treated, but the solution is unlikely to seem clear to the patient as persistent stress, being generally run down and an inability to see the wood for the trees are common to all forms of Herpes viruses. Other readers suggested St. John’s Wort oil or pure geranium essential oil massaged into the painful area (avoiding contact with healthy skin). A lotion of either peppermint or geranium is also helpful (you can find recipes in “Aromatherapy for Women” by Maggie Tisserand). LDM-100, a liquid tincture of the herb Lomatium Dissectum, was recommended as well.