Conjunctivitis or also known as pink eye is a disease that can affect anyone, no matter the gender or age. There are many different types, causes, and treatments. A person suffering from pink eye may want to dismiss the thought of going to the doctor, so he or she considers taking various types of medications to avoid going through the whole stress in general. The fortunate thing is that there are many holistic treatments for conjunctivitis that will help you get better without spending too much money on doctors and artificial medications.
Holistic medicine, also known as holistic health, is a form of healing wherein the patient is treated as a whole, considering his/her mind, body, and spirit. It is an alternative branch of medicine, which focuses on the overall wellness of the patient rather than addressing only the disease.
Holistic physicians use all forms of medicine, starting from conventional medications up to alternative therapies. The difference between a medical and a holistic doctor is that a holistic doctor will try to see all the different factors that may have caused the disease, and try to heal the body as a whole and not just the affected area of the body. When treating conjunctivitis, it is just like treating almost all other diseases. However, there are a few steps that every patient should follow at the beginning of a holistic therapy.
A holistic treatment usually includes:
- Diet plan
- Exercise routine
- Massage therapy
- Chiropractic care
Depending on the type of conjunctivitis and its severity, there are different treatments and lifestyle plans that the holistic doctor may prescribe. Along with the holistic treatments for conjunctivitis, there are many natural ways to treat these types of infections. They are:
Milk and Honey
Even though it sounds strange, warm milk mixed with honey is a great way to treat conjunctivitis. The power of the honey comes from its antibacterial properties. If you do not want to use milk, you can mix water with the honey instead.
Just warm two cups of water or milk and then add three tablespoons of honey. Stir the mixture until the honey is completely incorporated into the water. Let the syrup cool down. You can directly use this mixture using a sterilized dropper. Apply a few drops of the mixture in your eyes. You can also use this mixture as an eyewash. All you have to do is to soak a cotton ball in the mixture, drain the excess syrup, and then put it on the affected eye/s. Do any of these two options for two to three times per day.
You can put a raw potato on the infected eye several times per day. To prepare, cut the potato in half. Lie down comfortably and put half of the potato on the affected eye/s. Leave it for at least 15 minutes to half an hour. It will reduce the swelling and it will stop the itchiness due to its astringent properties.
Boric acid, also known as hydrogen borate is a weak acid that is used for treating minor cuts and burns. You can use boric acid for treating conjunctivitis if you mix it with water, and then use the mixture as an eyewash.
The power of probiotics is effective in the treatment of conjunctivitis. Probiotics are live microorganisms that are beneficial to our health, particularly in our gut. They can get rid of harmful bacteria that cause the illness by multiplying their number to the infected part of the body.
Examples of natural probiotics would be a mother’s breast milk or colostrum (the baby’s first milk) and kefir (fermented milk similar to yogurt).
According to research, aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that can hasten the healing process. Once your pink eye has started to show symptoms, extract the aloe vera gel and apply it externally around your eyes. Studies have also shown that the extracts from aloe vera can be incorporated into eye drops for a more effective treatment of eye diseases.
Green and black teas are also good home remedies to treat eye infections. These types of teas contain bioflavonoids that reduce inflammation and fight bacterial and viral infections. It is better if you use black tea because the tannins contained in the tea will reduce the inflammation faster. You can either put a moist teabag on the infected eye several times per day and leave it for about 10-15 minutes or use a weak solution of the tea and use it as an eyewash.
Tulsi is also known as holy basil. It is similar to aloe vera when it comes to its anti-inflammatory properties. Tulsi is a medicinal shrub commonly found in Southeast Asia that can help in preventing bacterial as well as fungal eye infections.
For the treatment using tulsi leaves, prepare boiling water and submerge the leaves in the water for ten minutes. When it has already cooled down, remove the leaves and use the water to wash your infected eyes. You can also use a cotton ball soaked with the warm tulsi water for an eye compress.
Hydrastis canadensis is an herb, which is commonly known as goldenseal. It is believed that the berberine content of goldenseal is responsible for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. To make eye drops out of goldenseal, you have to prepare a mixture of chamomile, comfrey, one cup of boiled water and a dash of the goldenseal herb. Leave the mixture for about fifteen minutes. After steeping, remove the herbs using a strainer and use the mixture as eye drops.
Another simple and convenient home remedy for your pink eye is by using a saline solution. This solution is just a mixture of salt and sterile water that will serve as an alternative eye wash. The salt contained in the solution has antibacterial properties, which will inhibit the proliferation of bacteria; thus, decreasing the probability of further infection.
To prepare a saline solution, you only need two things: salt and water. Choose uniodized salt (no iodine content) over rock salt or sea salt. To make the solution sterile, dissolve the salt in boiling water. It is also important to dispense your saline solution in a sterile container to avoid contamination.
Using this saline solution several times a day may relieve you from the irritating symptoms of conjunctivitis.
Warm and Cold Compresses
Applying hot/warm compresses to your infected eye/s help cleanse your eyes from the accumulated dry or moist eye secretions. To apply a warm compress, prepare a washcloth and soak it in a small basin with hot water. Apply the warm washcloth directly to your eyes for about five minutes.
If you are suffering from severe eye itchiness, refrain from rubbing them to avoid further infections. Instead, apply a cold compress to the itchy and swollen eyes. You can do this type of compress by securing a sterile gauze. Soak the sterile gauze in a small bowl of water and freeze it for half an hour. Place the cold gauze onto your affected eye for relief.
Even though it is easier if you use homemade medications at the comfort of your home, it is a lot better if you consult a doctor. You may ease the infection using holistic treatments, but to ensure that your conjunctivitis will not appear again, it is better and safer if you consult a medical doctor.