Home Remedies: Chamomile for Sore Eyes

xamomili

Ever since I was a kid, it was common, this time of year, to have an allergy or two pestering me - not letting me enjoy the great outdoors that is the Greek countryside. It has always been really annoying and I know lots of you out there suffer from the same thing, so I thought I'd share a common recipe for a chamomile eye wash my mom always used for treating our eye allergies, or when we had sore eyes from playing on the computer too long our allergies, or, - yes mom! - studying too much!

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Eye Wash

Eye washes are a way to refresh tired eyes or alleviate itching or irritation. These home remedies - based on herbs - are a natural way to soothe the eyes and I always prefer them to commercial chemical products. Herbs & water always sounded to me a much safer approach.

A quick note about tap water - depending on where in the world you are. Tap water may be contaminated with bacteria, or other harmful materials - in some extreme cases even heavy metals. If you don't know if you can trust it (e.g. if it is not drinkable) try to avoid it if you can.

Distilled water is best for eye washes because it is devoid of chemicals and contaminants. Several herbs like eyebright are popular treatments for various eye ailments and diseases.

Chamomile Eye Wash Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of (distilled) water
  • 1 tbsp. Chamomile flowers

xamomili1This is a dead simple recipe, which I always remember my mom making in a 'briki' - a small pot also traditionally used for making Greek coffee... but more about that in a following post.

You simply bring the water to the boil, slowly adding in the freshly-picked chamomile flowers. If you can't get your hands on some of these (one of the perks of living in Greece today - and there aren't many!) dried ones will work as well, or - even better - chamomile bags, but the pleasure of hand-picking them yourself makes all the difference.

Let them boil for a good 5-7 minutes, until the water has turned a golden yellow. Let it sit for a couple of minutes so it cools down a bit.

Then cut some cotton patches and dip them in the eyewash. Take them out, drain most of the eyewash - so they're not too hot for your eyes and apply them onto your eyes. Sit back and let your eyes rest for 10-15 minutes - feel free to repeat the process once or twice during this interval depending on how sore your eyes feel.

The remaining eyewash can be stored in the fridge for a few days, so you can reuse your home remedy over the following days.

Chamomile is also renowned as an excellent skin treatment remedy, as chamomile baths have been known to help your skin recover from various skin injuries, wounds, burns, etc. A great idea to help your skin benefit from the powers of chamomile are chamomile soaps.

Disclaimer: the information above in no way constitutes medical advice, and is only based on the author's personal experience and opinion. It cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor/physician, nurse, pharmacist/chemist, and so on), as it is not written by a doctor and even if a statement made about medicine is accurate, it may not apply to you or your symptoms.