A highly contagious inflammation of the eye, conjunctivitis causes the eyes to get red, swollen, and itchy. The tendency is to rub the itchy eye and then, unthinkingly, rub the other eye, thereby transferring the infection. Children often pass conjunctivitis among themselves.
What to Do
The immune system is often compromised in cases of conjunctivitis; use echinacea to boost natural immunity. Administer ½ to 1 teaspoon every hour, decreasing the dosage as symptoms subside. For severe itching, pain, and irritation, make a tea using equal amounts of lemon balm, lavender, and chamomile; drink several cups a day. Augment the relaxing and pain-relieving properties of the tea with 1 teaspoon of valerian tincture several times daily.
Use this eyewash to treat conjunctivitis without antibiotics. Be sure to strain the liquid well; you don’t want any herb particles to get into the eyes. If you prefer, mix the herbs into a paste with a small amount of warm water, and then spread the paste on a piece of gauze and apply as a poultice over the eyes.
- 1 tablespoon comfrey root powder
- 1 teaspoon goldenseal root powder (organically cultivated)
- 1 cup boiling water
- Combine the herbs, and pour the boiling water over them.
- Strain well through two or three layers of muslin, or a fine coffee filter.
- Allow the liquid to cool to room temperature.
- Using an eyecup or eye dropper
- Wash the eyes several times a day with the eyewash.
- Continue until symptoms subside, usually within 4–5 days.