Turmeric Relieves Symptoms of Conjunctivitis


Ayurveda herbalists recommend the following homemade remedy to relieve pink eye: (viii.155)

  • 1 tablespoon raw turmeric, crushed
  • 1/3 cup water

Mix, boil, and strain. Cool liquid and use 2-3 drops in affected eye up to 3 times daily. (viii.153)

Conjunctivitis is more commonly known as "pink eye," an itchy, inflammatory condition. Traditional medicine and modern research suggests that turmeric could be an effective natural alternative remedy. (viii.154)

What Causes Pink Eye?

Pink eye can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, or allergies. Allergic conjunctivitis is the non-contagious form of pink eye. It's a common condition in both children and adults, and is caused by an allergic reaction to allergens such as pollen and pet dander. Symptoms include red, swollen, watery, and itchy eyes. It can also cause blurry vision. (viii.154-155)

Conventional Treatments for Pink Eye

Typically pink eye is treated with antibiotics (if needed), anti-inflammatory drugs, and eye drops. For allergic conjunctivitis, these include antihistamines, decongestants, allergy shots, and steroids. (viii.155)

How Can Turmeric Help?

In a clinical trial, an eye drop containing turmeric and other herbs improved symptoms in over 87% of patients. The 32 patients with conjunctivitis (bacterial or allergic) applied 2 drops 4 times daily for 15 days. (viii.154)

Turmeric's curcumin compounds may be particularly helpful for allergic conjunctivitis. In one animal study, a known allergy-inducing substance was applied topically to the eyes. An hour before each exposure the animals were given curcumin doses of 10 or 20 mg/kg of body weight. (viii.156)

Lab analysis showed that the curcumin significantly suppressed the immune system response to the allergen. It also reduced production of free radicals. Curcumin did not suppress the overall immune system. Instead, it specifically targeted and inhibited the inflammatory Th2 cytokine proteins and immunoglobulin antibodies that are typically triggered as an allergic response. (viii.156)

Small proteins produced as part of the immune system response to illness or injury. (iii.5-632-36)

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