According to Ayurveda irritated eyes are a result of pitta aggravation. This disturbance of the fire humour causes itching and irritation, it can also cause inflammation of the conjunctiva which we then call conjunctivitis or "pink eye". Pink eye is extremely uncomfortable and can include burning pain and a mucous discharge from the eyes.
Cooling Things Down
Fortunately, with a little understanding of Ayurveda's theory of like increasing like, relief for irritated eyes can be found quickly and easily. The first step is to reduce anything that will cause the aggravation to increase such as bright direct sunlight, dryness, and hot spicy foods.
Ayurveda's Healing Balancing Act
The next step is to engage Ayurveda's law of gentle opposites to regain balance. Sipping plenty of water or cooling herb teas like fennel, rose or coriander (these can be drunk warm rather than hot) will help. As will using a simple soothing coriander eyewash. See my YouTube video below:
Natural Relief Brings a Mum Relief
I have personal experience of this eye wash being extremely effective. When my daughter was very small she came home from her Granddad's one day with red sore eyes, they had stringy mucous and she was very uncomfortable, she had been fine only hours earlier. We took her to the out of hours doctor and he gave her some ointment which she hated and cried when we put it in her eyes. Her eyes slowly recovered over the next three days with her protesting every time we used the cream
A year later she got conjunctivitis again, but this time things were very different. I had begun studying Ayurveda and I had Dr Lad's book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies to hand. Within 5 minutes of my noticing her eyes looked sore she was laying back on a pillow with her cuddly rabbit and pads of coriander infused water resting on her eyes. She was happy and relaxed and by morning the irritation was noticeably reduced. Her eyes were completely fine again within 48 hours.
Note: Traditional pitta cooling herbs and spices are coriander, cilantro (fresh coriander leaf), fennel and cardamom, these herbs are all beneficial wherever there is excess heat, irritation, or inflammation in the body.
Fresh cilantro leaf photo by Henrique Vicente
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