Aromatherapy for Post Herpetic Neuralgia

Post Herpetic Neuralgia Treatment Series


The Sense of Smell is Real Powerful!

It is very likely that you have encountered a situation where a certain smell reminded you of an experience that you had as a child, perhaps the smell of cookies or bread reminded you of coming home from school just as your mother was baking something good. If the experience was a positive one, your body might possibly have responded by releasing “feel good” hormones, such as serotonin.

Did you know that smells can change the chemistry of your body? Well, they can and science has proven this. Did you know that certain smells can be used as medical treatments? They can! The treatment is referred to as “aromatherapy”.  Aromatherapy uses pure essential oils to enhance physical and mental well being. For example, lavender oil has the ability to increase the release of serotonin.

Essential Oils

Essential oils can be used as complementary therapy for medications or over-the-counter drugs. Also, we can use essential oils as a single therapy to make ourselves feel better. Moreover, essential oils can be used in a wide variety of ways to improve the way we live without the need for harsh industrial chemicals.

Essential oils can be used in the bathtub, as body lotion, to refresh carpets, condition hair, as massage oils, perfume, shampoo, and many other ways. Some essential oils are applied topically to the skin due to their healing properties. Just what are essential oils?

Essential oils are made by using an odor less oil to extract the pure essential oil from various parts of plants. There are a variety of extraction processes including distillation, solvent extraction, carbon dioxide extraction, and others. The type and part of the plant determine the extraction method used.

How Are Essential Oils Applied to the Body?The way in which essential oils are used are usually described on the label of the bottle. Usually the manufacturer will provide recommendations on the proper method of application. Some oils are inhaled and others are applied to the skin. It is common to dilute essential oil in almond oil, olive oil, grape seed oil or water before applying to the skin. Inhaled essential oils are commonly used in special devices such as diffusers, simmer pots, aromatherapy lamps and light bulb rings. Simply follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Where Do I Buy Essential Oils?

Almost all health food stores carry essential oils. They have grown in popularity over the past 20 years and now are considered to be “therapeutic” rather than just something that hippies use to cover up other odors. When shopping for essential oils, buy only small quantities because oxygen in the bottle may deteriorate the oil. Do not buy the chemical equivalent of the smell because the body will not respond the same as it does to pure essential oils.

Potential Benefits

Essential oils can be used as an anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antibiotic, anti-fungal, antiseptic, sedative, decongestant, disinfectant, expectorant, flea repellent, mood balancer, insect repellent, immune system booster, mood and hundreds of other functions. Each essential oil has specific properties and therefore should be selected based on the specific desired outcome.

For example, one may select peppermint to help with headaches, congestion, fatigue, fever, muscle soreness, sinus problems, and stomach problems. Lavender is useful as an antiseptic and for improving the immune system, calming and normalizing the body, fighting bacterial and fungal infection, easing depression, and reducing inflammation.

The list of benefits for all the oils may be found at health food stores. Most health food stores have trained assistants to help you select the proper oil.

Here is a short list of a few of the essential oils and their benefits:

  • Geranium Oil – in a recent clinical trial was shown to effectively relieve pain
  • Coconut Oil – caused disintegration of the Herpes virus
  • Lavender – Soothes nerves
  • Basil – soothes nerves
  • Hops – soothes nerves
  • Cloves soothes nerves


If you are pregnant, you should be careful in using any over-the-counter medications including essential oils. Some oils, such as clary sage, specifically note that it should not be used in the first months of pregnancy. In general, it is wise to investigate any substance that you ingest or apply to your body during pregnancy.

Other cautions apply to essential oils; for example, most oils are diluted prior to use. Do not use oil near the eyes, face or mucous membranes. Keep essential oils out of the reach of children. Several oils caution against the use if you are exposed to the sun. Generally speaking, essential oils are regarded as very safe when used according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Give them a try!

If you have not yet done so, request a free sample of Painbreak®, the topical analgesic that is bringing relief to thousands of postherpetic neuralgia sufferers.

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It is always wise to seek advice from your own health practitioner before making any major changes to your current course of treatment.

From Boyce N Berkel, MD, PhD – Neuralgia Relief Center – For Your Health and Betterment