A friend has had a lot of stress in her life, and to add to it, now has come down with a case of shingles in her throat. She's under a doctor's care, but it's still very painful. Anyone that has ever had chicken pox can later get shingles - a painful rash of blisters and sores. I know it can be brought on by stress, so I suggested finding ways to reduce the stress in her life. She's going to start going to a yoga class, which might help. The only thing I could think of that might help the pain in her throat was my herbal remedy for cold sores in the mouth.
Cold sores, herpes outbreaks, and shingles are all caused by the same virus family, and lemon balm is a great anti-viral herb. Lemon balm is an easy-to-grow perennial, a member of the mint family. Though I rarely get colds, my first warning that one is coming on is usually a cold sore. The faster I can stop the virus, the better. Whenever I feel the start of a cold sore inside my lip, I immediately boil up a really strong detoction of equal amounts of dried lemon balm and water. After it cools, I strain it, soak a cotton ball in the dark brown liquid, and hold it against the sore for a few minutes several times a day. It usually heals within 24 hours. My friend is going to try gargling with a strong lemon balm detoction, and start drinking lemon balm tea. Since lemon balm is a calming and relaxing herb, it might help lower her stress level too.