Treat Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) with Chamomile Infusions

Edited by Doug Collins

Pinkeye - ermin.jpg

Pinkeye, otherwise known as conjunctivitis, is a contagious ailment and needs over-the-counter treatments. More often than not, it is not chronic, unlike other diseases with inflammation. Pinkeye can be treated in many ways, including the use of herbal medications. Read on to find out more:

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Facts about pinkeye or conjunctivitis

Before reading the treatment for conjunctivitis, read first the facts about it, including its symptoms and causes. Some people could have this condition and think that it is just normal pinkeye. There are certain signs you can look for so that you can tell if the condition you have right now is pinkeye or not, because some diseases are also accompanied by redeye, such as glaucoma. If it is just conjunctivitis, you are likely safe, because it can be treated with certain medications. The only problem is that it is contagious, so you should do something to treat it right away. Pinkeye refers to swelling and redness of the conjunctiva, a thin membrane which protects the inner part of the eye. Conjunctiva is the inner surface of the eyelids and the outer surface of the eyeballs, which include the outer linings of the eyes. If these are swelling and reddening, the eyes could be infected and thus lead to conjunctivitis or pinkeye.

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Types of conjunctivitis

There are two types of conjunctivitis: Viral conjunctivitis and bacterial conjunctivitis. Viral conjunctivitis is mainly caused by upper respiratory tract infections from adenovirus. So, those who may have diseases in the respiratory tract are likely to experience reddening and swelling of both eyes.

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  1. 1
    Symptoms of viral conjunctivitis:
    1. Redness in the white surface of the eyes.
    2. Swelling and tingling sensation on the eyelids.
    3. Swollen and painful areas in front of both ears.
    4. Thick or clear whitish drainage from both eyes.
    5. Teary eyes.
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  2. 2
    Causes of viral conjunctivitis:
    1. Herpes virus
    2. Adenovirus
    3. Poor immune system
    4. Common colds
    5. Direct contact with a person who has pinkeye. Usually, viral pinkeye is caused by viruses such as adenovirus and herpes. These could affect the eyes, causing them to become swollen and reddened.
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  3. 3
    Symptoms of bacterial conjunctivitis:
    1. Swollen upper eyelids
    2. Redness in the white surface of the eyes
    3. Yellow or gray thick drainage from both eyes, which can cause the eyelashes to hold together
    4. Mild pain
    5. Painful areas in front of the ears
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  4. 4
    Causes of bacterial conjunctivitis:
    1. Gonorrhea
    2. Cat-scratch disease
    3. Staph infection
    4. Haemophilus influenza (type B) – contagious bacteria that can cause such diseases, like pneumonia and meningitis
    5. Direct contact with a person who has bacterial pinkeye
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Treatment for conjunctivitis

More often than not, pinkeye or conjunctivitis is not chronic. It can cure itself after few days, but with medications, it can be cured in just two to three days. Antibacterial medications are often used for treating pinkeye. However, these medications can cause adverse effects. If you do not want to take modern medications, you may try some traditional medicines, such as using herbs. Chamomile is one that can work.

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Facts about chamomile for treating pinkeye

Chamomile - ermin.jpg

Chamomile is an aromatic perennial plant that is native to Asia and Europe. It has a number of active constituents which can function as anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-irritant properties. As we all know, pinkeye or conjunctivitis is mainly caused by bacteria and virus, and chamomile has active anti-bacterial properties. In treating pinkeye, chamomile is a great herb to use.

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Ways to use chamomile in treating pinkeye

Chamomile tea: There are a lot of chamomile tea bags that you can buy at supermarkets. You can even buy dried chamomile, too. If you have chamomile plants, the florets can be used to make a cup of chamomile tea. But the most interesting part and effective way is to use chamomile tea to rinse off the eyes. You may want to try this several times per day, so that the inflammation and bacteria in your eyes will gradually diminish. And at the same time, you may also prepare a cup of chamomile tea and drink it twice or thrice daily - a double treatment for pinkeye indeed. Another way to treat pinkeye is to place chamomile tea bags on top of your eyes for 20 minutes. Make sure that the tea bags are refrigerated first to chill.

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How to make a chamomile tea for pinkeye

It is just so simple to make a homemade tea. In this part, we will be using dried chamomile. Read the steps below to make one:

  1. 1
    1. 3 tsp. of dried chamomile florets (per cup)
    2. Water
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  2. 2
    1. A strainer
    2. A pot
    3. A cup
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  3. 3
    1. Boil water and add 3 tsp. of dried chamomile florets into a pot.
    2. Place a strainer on top of the cup. This way, it will separate the dried florets from water.
    3. Allow to sit for few minutes to cool, and then serve.
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I suggest you to make a gallon of chamomile tea to use for treating pinkeye until it is gone. Just estimate how many dried chamomiles you can use for one gallon. Remember that every cup needs 2 to 3 tsp. of dried chamomile.

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Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • Do not drink chamomile tea if you are pregnant, because it can cause birth defects or worse, miscarriage.
  • Do not share your personal things like makeup with others if you have pinkeye.
  • Frequently wash your hands to kill off bacteria and viruses.
  • Consult your doctor about using chamomile herbs if you are allergic to ragweed. Chamomile is in the same plant and herb family as ragweed, daisies, marigolds, and some other plants.
  • Those who are taking blood thinner pills should not drink chamomile tea. There is a possible chemical reaction between blood thinners and chamomile active properties.
  • There is no specific limitation for drinking chamomile tea. You can even drink up to four cups a day, according to some health care professionals.


Kimball Johnson, MD - Vitamins and Supplements Lifestyle Guide October 13, 2012.


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