By David Russell, Ph.D., D.S
If your eyes feel itchy, are red or have that sticky and gritty feel, relief is on the way. Try one of these simple, natural remedies for relief.
* Chamomile tea
* Eyebright (if available)
Gently clean the eye with a tissue that has been dipped in boiled water and cooled to lukewarm. Prepare an eyewash by making a cup of chamomile tea: steep 10 chamomile buds or one chamomile tea bag in hot water for 15 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt to the tea, plus one teaspoon of eyebright, if available. When the solution has cooled to lukewarm, pour it into an eyecup or shot glass. Put your eye down over the glass, press the glass against your face, and lift your head. Keep the eye open while the solution bathes the eye. Do this several times a day.
* Aloe vera extract
Place two drops of aloe vera extract in the eye by pulling down the lower lid and putting drops under the lid.
* Liquid glycerin
This remedy is for nose drops to be used when eye problems are accompanied by sinus problems. Nose drops can help open mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract. Boil eight ounces of water, then let it cool to lukewarm. Add one teaspoon of salt and one tablespoon of liquid glycerin to the water. Place 10 drops into each nostril with the head held back so the drops can move through the entire nasal passage. This procedure can be repeated several times a day.
Tissue Salts (Homeopathic remedies found in most natural health stores)
Use the following at the beginning of a cold or allergy when there is tendency to fever, a runny nose with clear mucus, and eyes are red with burning sensation and feel gritty:
* Ferrum phos. 6X
On the first day, take one dose every 1/2 hour (except when sleeping) until any of the symptoms change. If symptoms improve, lessen the number of doses to every two hours, but not for more than one day. Then, lessen the number of doses to three times daily for three additional days. If symptoms change from the first to the second stage, then stop this remedy and start using the remedies listed below.
Second stage of inflammation—after the cold or inflammation has begun to settle and a yellowish crust forms on the eyelids, accompanied by soreness and irritation:
* Nat phos. 6X
* Kali sulph. 6X
On the first day that symptoms are present, take one dose of both remedies every 1/2 hour (except when sleeping) until any of the symptoms change. If symptoms improve, decrease the frequency of doses to every two hours, but not for more than a day. Then, decrease the number of doses to three times daily for three additional days.
* Euphrasia 6X (D6 in Europe)
This remedy can be purchased at most health food stores in tablet or pill form. Take one dose every 1/2 hour up to five doses or until any change in the original symptoms. When any improvement occurs, decrease the number of doses to every three hours for up to 12 hours. Then stop the cycle and see if the improvement continues through the next 24 hours. You can repeat the cycle if symptoms recur.
David Russell, Ph.D., D.Sc. teaches and has practiced the Classical medical disciplines of Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Islamic and Tibent medicine, homeopathy, anthroposophy and spiritual psychology in Europe, Nepal, and the US. His book, Healthy Solutions: A Guide to Simple Healing and Healthy Wisdom, won the 2007 Arizona Book Award.