Hopefullypink eye your eyes are clear & bright, waiting to see some springtime sun!  BUT, if you or your children have that pinkish hue to your eye, accompanied by a discharge (characteristic symptoms of pink eye), read on for some tips on how to clear it naturally.

What is Pink Eye?
Pink Eye (also known as conjunctivitis) is redness and  inflammation of the conjunctiva (the white part) of the eye.  It can be caused by viral or bacterial infection (more often viral), allergies or irritation (from chemicals, smoke, etc.).  Generally acute pink eye is viral and very contagious (can be passed easily from child to child, or child to caregiver).  That said, antibiotics are usually unnecessary because they won’t touch a viral infection.  If the redness & irritation persist beyond 2 to 3 days, or if there are other more serious symptoms such as severe pain or changes in eyesight, call your Naturopathic of Medical Doctor.

Pink Eye Wash:
Here’s the recipe to my favorite pink eye remedy; I use this at the first site of redness or irritation in my son’s eyes because it’s safe, gentle and is useful for all causes of conjunctivitis.

You actually make this wash as you would tea, but please don’t drink it!  It’s for topical use only (I accidentally forgot to transfer the mixture to a glass jar the last time I made it, so my husband can personally account for it’s bad taste!)

Combine the following herbs in a tea ball (or other loose leaf tea contraption):
1/4 to 1/2 tsp goldenseal powder
1 tsp raspberry leaf
2 tsp eyebright
Steep in boiled water for 10 minutes covered, cool, then transfer to a clean glass jar (don’t forget this step 😉

Now that the wash is made, dip a clean cotton ball into the mix and wipe the eye from the inside (nose side) to outside.  Wipe only once so that you do not recontaminate the eye.  If you need to wipe again, use a clean cotton ball and repeat the same motion.  Also be sure to get a small amount of the liquid inside the eye (children tend to squeeze their eyes so tight when you do this that no liquid gets in, if this is the case you may have to hold the eyelid slightly open with your finger).  Repeat this cleansing method on each eye a few times per day until the eye is completely better.  The wash can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.

Bonus tip:  If you are still breastfeeding, you can put breastmilk in the baby’s eye for another natural pink eye treatment; this works wonders…just be sure to do close the blinds first because to an outsider this may look a little ridiculous!

If pink eye becomes a chronic problem, and won’t easily clear, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  I’m happy to help 🙂

Happy eye washing!