[toc]When the membrane in the outer portion of the eyes or its inner lids gets swollen, the person is diagnosed as having contracted an eye disease called conjunctivitis. Common complaints of a person suffering from this infectious disease are itchiness, redness, swelling of the eyelids and discharge of excessive fluids from the eyes. Herbs are a very effective way to counter this, along with medication.
Some of the most effective herbs for fending off conjunctivitis include Eyebright, Bilberry, Ginger, Turmeric, Licorice, Elderberry, Plantain and Calendula. Viral as well as bacterial infections generally cause this eye condition. Allergies can also lead to conjunctivitis. Antibacterial and antiviral herbs are therefore very effective in soothing this condition. This article covers some of the best herbal remedies for conjunctivitis.
Excellent Herbal Remedies For Conjunctivitis
Euphrasia Officinalis is the official botanical name of this herb. It is called Eyebright because it has been used since ancient times to cure eye ailments such as conjunctivitis and iritis as well as enhance vision. Eyebright is used as eyewash for healing eye maladies. This herb can also be made into a poultice or compress for soothing the eyes.
You can dip a compress into a solution containing about 2 cups of water and 5 to 8 drops of Eyebright tincture. Then, press this compress against your closed eyelids for relief from the symptoms of conjunctivitis. This herbal remedy helps to fight the infection and also dry-up excess fluid discharge from the eyes.
Calendula or Pot Marigold is known botanically as Calendula Officinalis. This herb has been used for treating irritation in the eyes since ancient times. You can apply Calendula infused oil or hot water over closed eyelids for cooling and soothing the eyes as well as preventing the redness and itchiness that is caused due to conjunctivitis.
Just place Calendula leaves and flowers into a jar containing carrier oil such as Avocado or Olive oil. Let the jar remain sealed for 3 weeks. This is the time during which the oil will absorb the nutrients of the herb. Then, unseal the jar and apply the oil on your eyelids for relief from ocular irritation. You can also infuse the herb in hot water and apply this over the eyelids for relief from the problem.
Zingiber Officinale is the Latin name by which Ginger is also known. More popular as a culinary herb, Ginger is also a herbal remedy which can heal some of the symptoms of conjunctivitis such as inflammation of the eyelids. Gingerols are substances found in this herb which make it a potent anti-inflammatory agent. You can boil Ginger root in hot water till it becomes soft. Then, allow it to cool and place the root in a clean cloth bag so that it becomes a poultice. Apply this poultice over your eyelids for bringing down the swelling and easing the itchiness. Ginger tea can also be consumed to deal with this eye ailment.
Known botanically as Curcuma Longa, Turmeric is a herb which is known as Haldi in India. This herb has immense curative powers. It contains an active ingredient called curcumin which is anti-inflammatory as well as antibacterial. Due to this reason, it can not only soothe swollen eyelids caused by conjunctivitis, it can also cure bacterial infection which may be causing this eye condition.
You can make a paste of grinded and crushed Turmeric root with lukewarm water and apply it over closed eyelids. Let the paste dry and wait for 10 minutes. Then, rinse off the paste. The paste will bring you relief from the inflammation and infection. You can also drink Turmeric powder dissolved in a glass of milk or hot water daily for availing the benefits of this herb.
This herb is known botanically as Plantago Lanceolata. It is also called Common Plantain. This herb is very efficacious in healing conjunctivitis because it is a natural astringent which soothes the eyes. It can relieve the redness and itchiness which is caused due to the eye infection. The fresh leaves of this herb have been proven by research to be the most beneficial part of this herb. You can crush fresh Plantain leaves and apply them on your eyes. You can leave this on for soothing the eyes and ensuring that the pain and itching reduces.
Glycyrrhiza Glabra or Licorice is a well known cure for digestive problems. The root of this herb is considered most beneficial for treating conjunctivitis. A saponin glycoside known as glycyrrhizin gives Licorice anti-inflammatory properties. Licorice is also a potent antiviral and antibacterial herb. Due to its immense curative powers, it can bring down inflammation of the eyelids and fight viral or bacterial infection which led to conjunctivitis in people suffering from this eye disease.
Licorice root can be crushed and boiled in hot water. The boiling water should be allowed to simmer for 20 minutes. Then, the water should be strained and used as an eyewash over the closed eyelids of the person suffering from conjunctivitis. You can also consume this herb in the form of an extract.
Elderberry is derived from a herbaceous tree known as Elder tree. Elderberry can be used to cure eye inflammation caused due to conjunctivitis. This herb is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. You can take this herb in extract form for best results. The berries of this herb also contain antiviral properties. So, in cases where the conjunctivitis is caused by a viral infection, Elderberry fruits can make a huge difference to the recovery process. The fruits or berries of this herb can be taken raw or in dried form for beneficial outcomes.
When pilots during the Second World War reported that they developed superior vision after eating jam made from the berries of this herb, researchers discovered that Bilberry is a very effective herbal cure for dealing with eye infections and diseases. Bilberry contains tannins which reduce the inflammation caused due to conjunctivitis.
Bilberry can be taken in extract or supplement form. It is also available as tea, tincture, jam or syrup and berries of this herb can also be taken raw or dried. You can also brew delicious tea made from the berries of this herb for gaining relief from conjunctivitis.