Pink eye, or more formally, viral conjunctivitis, can be painful and a nuisance! Whether the cause is viral or bacterial, natural remedies work fast and are inexpensive. Some simple home treatments for pink eye include black tea, apple cider vinegar, and honey.
Always treat both eyes with whichever remedy is chosen!
10 Natural Remedies for Pink Eye
1. Black Tea
Black tea bags are soothing and effective for infected eyes. Take two tea bags and place them in a coffee mug. Pour a two tablespoons of very hot water onto the tea bags. When the tea bags have cooled to about body temperature, squeeze the excess water out of the tea bags and hold one tea bag onto each closed eye for 2-5 minutes. Use this remedy 2-4 times a day. This is a convenient remedy to take to work. In a pinch, run hot water over a tea bag and apply for a minute for some instant relief during the day.
2. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is a soothing herb that is of special value for eye infections. Chamomile tea bags can be used in the same manner as black tea (described above.) If loose chamomile is available, moisten the chamomile flowers with hot water. When the flowers have softened a bit and are a comfortable temperature, place them into a square of white paper towel and hold against the eye for 5 minutes.
As with black tea, the chamomile is held against a closed eye!
Chamomile should not be used by anyone with a ragweed allergy.
3. Green Tea
Green tea can be used in place of black tea or chamomile tea. Do not use green tea that has other ingredients or flavors as they may not be suitable for the eyes.
Always use a fresh tea bag for each eye for each treatment. Continue treating both eyes for at least 24 hours after it appears that the infection has passed, to avoid a relapse.
Tea remedies are used against a closed eye!
Coffee drinkers will find that they do not have to prepare any special remedy to treat pink eye! Simply use fresh, warm black coffee to treat conjuntivitis. Dip two cotton balls into warm black coffee and apply one to each closed eye.
Save out some black coffee for treatments later in the day. Coffee can be heated up a bit on the stove for later applications.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw and organic apple cider vinegar can be used for pink eye. Add ¼ teaspoon acv (apple cider vinegar) to ½ cup distilled water. (Boiled and cooled water can be used instead.) Use a cotton ball to wipe the apple cider vinegar solution across a closed eye 2-3 times a day. Use a fresh cotton ball for each eye at each application. This apple cider vinegar solution may sting temporarily. Some will leak into the eye, even if it is closed and that is fine.
Honey is a powerful natural antiviral and antibiotic. As soothing as honey may seem, it can sting the eyes. Mix 1 tablespoon raw honey and 1 tablespoon warm distilled water until dissolved. Then use a couple of drops of the honey solution in the eyes 2-3 times a day. The best honey to use is local and raw, preferably sold in glass jars. Farmers markets and health food stores are most likely to carry raw, local honey.
7. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is a quick answer to pink eye. Add 1 drop of colloidal silver to each eye morning and evening for 2 days. For the next two days add 1 drop to each eye once a day.
8. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a soothing pink eye remedy. Take a tiny dab of coconut oil (1/16 teaspoon) on a clean finger and wipe it across each closed eye twice a day. For medicinal use, coconut oil must be cold-pressed. If it does not smell like coconuts, the medicinal properties have likely been destroyed during processing.
9. Castor Oil
Castor oil is a healing oil that is commonly used for eye issues like dry eyes and cataracts. Castor oil for use in the eyes should be hexane free and cold pressed. For pink eye use one drop in each eye two times a day. Castor oil may sting a bit but that transitions to a comfortable feeling. A side benefit of castor oil for eye use is that it can thicken eyelashes!
10. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal powder is effective for many types of infections. To make a charcoal solution for pink eye mix together 1 teaspoon activated charcoal powder and ½ cup distilled (or boiled and cooled) water. Then filter the water through a coffee filter. The remaining water will have tiny particles of activated charcoal that will not irritate the eye. Drop one drop into each eye several times a day.
Pink eye is quite contagious. Wash hands before and after touching eyes to treat them. Hands should be washed any time the eyes are touched. Wash pillowcases daily and use a vinegar rinse to avoid reinfection.
Pink eye can cause a discharge. At night this discharge can crust on the eyes and make it difficult to open them in the morning. Use a washcloth with warm water to gently removed the crust and discharge in the morning.
Whether conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria or a virus, natural remedies work very well to eliminate the infection. Home remedies often work better than antibiotics (which will not work at all if the infection is caused by a virus.) And of course, home remedies can be used without the time and expense of a doctor’s visit and cost of a prescription.
If pink eye is accompanied by any unusual symptoms (fever, visual disturbances etc.) or if pink eye does not resolve with home treatment in a few days a medical opinion should be sought to ensure a proper diagnosis and to rule out a more serious condition
Continue reading to learn which pink eye remedies were most effective for our readers. Do you have a natural remedy for pink eye? Please send us some feedback!
Other Pages of Interest: