Better living through nature
Michele Tune (a.k.a. Raw Juice Girl) is a freelance writer and blogger. She has lost over 100 pounds and found great healing from natural remedies, raw foods and juices. Read about her journey at www.healingwithjuices.com.
In response from Natural Alternatives: Dry Eye Syndrome Treatment.
Dry, itching, throbbing, bloodshot eyes are no fun! And, if it’s your job to stare at a computer screen all day, every day, then your eyes are continuously being aggravated—that’s not healthy.
If you aren’t familiar with natural remedies, you may feel your only options for relief are over-the-counter, chemical-laden eye solutions. Sure, some of them may soothe your eye woes for a short time but how many of them are going to target the root cause and truly help you improve the health of your eyes?
If you’re experiencing these irritating eye problems, your eyes need to be lubricated and nurtured—you can do this with natural remedies, both from within and externally.
But first, what actually causes dry eyes to begin with? There are a variety of reasons eyes dry out.
Here are a few:
• Menopause or other hormonal imbalances
• Staring at computer screens for too long
Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography/Courtesy Flickr
Treating Dry Eyes from Within
You may have one or more nutritional deficiencies. For ultimate eye health, you need to take in plenty of vitamins A, B, C, and E. Also be sure to eat foods rich in zinc and selenium (or take quality supplements). And as K.C. mentioned in her recent post on dry eye syndrome, Omegas are fabulous for eye health.
Raw fruits and vegetables are crucial for overall health—including our eyes. You can pack in a ton of extra veggies and fruits by drinking fresh juices and smoothies. For instance, toss a handful or two of baby spinach leaves into your banana (or other fruit) smoothie and the fruit’s sweetness actually dominates the flavor, so it’s a nice way to sneak in those greens you may not otherwise eat.
Some people have noticed improvements to their eye health and vision from juice fasting as well.
Natural Remedy Recipes (for External Use)
Although it’s important to fill our bodies with the proper nutrition that promotes strong, moist, healthy eyes from within, it’s also nice to have safe, go-to natural remedies that can relieve our aching eyes while we wait for the internal methods to kick in. Following are a couple of inexpensive, organic recipes—and they’re both so soothing!
Organic Chamomile Eye Wash
• 2 chamomile tea bags (or spoonful of dried chamomile flower)
• Warm water
• A cup or bowl
• Sieve (if you’re using loose-leaf herb)
1. Add chamomile bag or loose herb to a cup or bowl.
2. Pour warm water on top of it.
3. Let them steep for up to 15 minutes.
4. Remove the tea bags (or strain loose herb with sieve).
5. Find a relaxing position (lay down or lean back in a chair).
6. Close your eyes and cover each one with a tea bag.
7. Leave the tea bags on for up to 10 minutes.
Note: If you’re using loose-leaf chamomile herb, you can put the moistened mixture you’ve strained into cheesecloth (or an empty tea bag you can purchase online or at your health food store) and follow the same steps above.
You can also cup some of the chamomile tea into your hand (or draw it up into a dropper) and wash your eyes out with it. It’s warm, soothing, healing, and safe.
Cold Cucumber Compress
• 2 cold cucumber slices
1. Find a comfortable position.
2. Put a cold cucumber over (closed) eyes.
3. Leave them on for up to 10 minutes.
Tip: Slice an organic cucumber ahead of time and lay the slices flat (not touching) in small plastic bags or reusable containers and freeze. When you need a quick “cold cucumber compress,” you can just grab two slices from the freezer and let them thaw a little. After all, you want relief—not frozen eyeballs!
I have personally followed all of the tips mentioned here for the past several years. The result? I no longer have to wear eye glasses.
Balch, Phyllis A., CNC, Prescription for Herbal Healing: An Easy-to-Use A-to-Z Reference to Hundreds of Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies, New York, NY: Penguin Putnam, Inc., 2002
Balch, Phyllis A., CNC, Prescription for Nutritional Healing (Third Edition), New York: Avery Publishing, 2000.
National Institute of Health Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Selenium
National Institute of Health Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Zinc