Here are remedies you can find in the house and your backyard to keep your eyes healthy, irritation and infection-free. 

If you’re anywhere on the West Coast right now, you have been swallowed by smoke and ash. In the last couple of weeks, about 4.5 million acres have burned. The acreage burned in California is already 30% greater than the worse year, which was 2018 and almost 2 million acres. About 500,000 acres burned in 72 hours in Oregon. 

These fires are burning at the same time. The amount of smoke in the air is unprecedented and is beyond hazardous. Air quality warnings have been released. It is not safe to be outside even if you are wearing a mask!

The air is tinder box dry with ash gliding to the ground, wafting through the streets and surrounding homes. The smoke is blocking out so much of the sun, a day that was suppose to be 90 degrees and sunny was 66 degrees and dark. I wasn’t going outside and my eyes were getting irritated. The irritation got worse and I woke up with one of my eyes swollen and painful.  

Let’s look around the house and find home-based eyecare remedies you can use to help keep the ash out of your sensitive mucous membranes. If you are turning your garden into your own apothecary, I’m going to add some plants you can grow. With all the ash and no end in sight, you may need to use these remedies multiple times a day.

My first recommendation is to use distilled water and boil the water to kill anything that might be in it. There are so many bacteria and fungus today. City water piping can be ancient. The eye membranes are susceptible to any invaders. Besides, it’s 2020 and who knows? There is probably some weird, new, mutated spirochete waiting to slip into your eye and eat your retina. So, boil your water.

And if you make a wash, only use it one time. Don’t try to save it and use over the next few days because bacteria and other nasty things can start growing within hours of making your wash. One more thing, don’t use the same cotton ball or swab or tea bag on both eyes. It’s effortless to spread an infection from one eye to the other. 

Here are the different ways I use to keep my eye membranes clean and protect my eyes from all the ash falling down.

You can get sterile Q-tips at any drug store. These are great for applying a liquid to the eye membranes. The Q-tips are extra-long and each tip is wrapped in an individual protective package. Make sure the liquid is not too hot. You don’t want to burn your membranes. If you have styes, the Q-tips are especially effective with warm water. Just dip the Q-tip in water and rub across the stye.

You can also use Q-tips to apply other liquids like Colloidal Silver. Colloidal Silver has great antiseptic properties and can help eliminate bacteria in your eyes. Colloidal Silver at up to 20 ppm is easy to purchase online and many people keep Collodial Silver available at home. You can use a Q-tip or cotton ball to wipe your eyes. 

Boric Acid is an antiseptic powder that dissolves in boiling water and has been used for centuries as an eye treatment. This is the only eye remedy I’ve used that usually clears out eye irritation or infections in one treatment. A simple solution is 1/8 teaspoon of boric acid powder to 1 cup of water. For a stronger solution, 1 teaspoon to 1/2 cup of water. Dip a clean cotton ball into the water, close your eye, and wipe it.

What about chamomile? This is the same chamomile that you use to make teas and is found in your garden as German Chamomile. It can be found in the bulk section of some grocery stores. The easiest way to use chamomile flowers on your eyes is to buy chamomile tea in teabags and make them into a compress. Steep the tea in boiling water for a couple of minutes, pull the teabag out, squeeze out the excess water, make sure the bag is not too hot and rest it on your eyes. You can do this multiple times a day. 

I don’t know if you have ever used the Boiron homeopathic remedies? I love these products. These are the homeopathic sugar pills you can find in most natural food stores. They have a product made from eyebright, a key herb used for eye health. It is called Euphrasia Officinalis. You can take 5 pellets and let them dissolve under your tongue. Try that 3 times a day until your symptoms disappear. 

Calendula, or the marigold flower, is a favorite herb because of its action on the skin and with pain. The Latin name is Calendula Officinalis and these little annuals can grow in your backyard. To make an eyewash, use the petals of one flower steeped in 1 cup of boiling water and apply to the eye with an eyewash cup, a cotton ball as a wipe, or gauze as a compress.  

The last herb is echinacea! Who doesn’t like echinacea? Echinacea is part of the daisy family. You’ve seen them in the nursery as the coneflower plant. This little flower is a tough perennial being heat and drought resistant and indifferent to poor soil. If you don’t have a green thumb, this guy doesn’t care. You can use it the same way as calendula.

There you have it! Seven easy eye remedies you can use right now to keep out eye infections. If you are making your own garden apothecary, I’ve included three flowers you can grow to make your world more beautiful and healthy!