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All About Dry Eye Blog

Natural Herbs & Spices That Alleviate Dry Eye Symptoms

herbs and spices for dry eye diseaseCould alleviating dry eye pain be as simple as spicing up your life a little bit? (No, don’t cue Victoria Beckham- we mean that in a literal sense!) It’s true; there are plenty of natural herbs and spices that are full of dry eye fighting antioxidants. In fact, you might even find dry eye relief in your own spice cabinet! Intrigued yet? We thought so. Behold, some of the best natural herbs and spices to help prevent your peepers from drying out:

Tumeric

We recently discussed the benefits of turmeric on our Facebook page -and it seems that this wonder spice was a hit with our dry eye prone friends. Sometimes known as curcumin, turmeric is an asian spice that is protective against a number of diseases (including dry eye!). However, there’s a catch: tumeric is not always easily absorbed. Experiment with this natural anti-inflammatory anyway- it may help reduce oxidative stress. (P.S. One of our Facebook friends shared her go-to hot beverage for dry eyes a few months back. Try Janice’s recipe: Warm up some almond milk, sprinkle a tsp of turmeric, ½ tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp cloves. Finish with a dollop of raw honey. Whisk together and voila, an inventive {and delicious} way to incorporate turmeric into your diet!)

Paprika

Paprika has an extremely high concentration of vitamin A, which is great for warding off dry eye symptoms. The other good news about paprika? It’s an extremely versatile ingredient and just about everyone has some sitting in the spice cabinet. Try using paprika next time you cook. It’s awesome for boosting flavor- and nutrition! Get a dose of paprika by sprinkling it on potato salads, fish, chicken and eggs.

Bilberry

You may have already heard that bilberry, a shrub closely related to the blueberry, is great for overall eye health and retinal diseases like macular degeneration. Well, it’s also particularly beneficial for dry, itchy eyes. Extracts from the bilberry fruit help to improve blood circulation, oxygen supply and tear gland function. Additionally, bilberries contain vitamin P and citrin, both of which help to decrease swelling and inflammation in the body; a common dry eye trigger. Experiment with bilberry supplements or tea made from bilberry leaves. However, be careful not to over indulge. Ingest no more than 220 mg of bilberry per day.

Mint

Next time you’re tempted to rub those itchy, stinging eyes, try a spearmint eyewash instead. Simply boil about 10-12 leaves of spearmint in some water. Wait until the solution cools (at least 20 minutes!) and then use a clean face cloth to apply the wash to your eyes. Menthol, the active ingredient in mint, actually stimulates tear production and will leave your eyes feeling energized and refreshed. Plus, it smells amazing! Win-win.

Chamomile

Chamomile is known for its cooling and anti-inflammatory properties. It soothes tired eyes and can help restore moisture. Another bonus? Drinking chamomile tea makes you feel sleepy and prepares you for rest, so it’s the perfect drink to sip on after a long day.

So, there you have it; options for natural dry eye relief. Of course, the above mentioned are merely a few of the wondrous herbs and spices that can alleviate dry eye pain.  Other potential dry eye fighters include thyme, fennel, marigold and calendula.

As usual, consult a doctor before using new spices or herbal remedies.

Did we miss any herbs or spices that you find helpful for dry eye symptoms? Share with us or tweet us @allaboutdryeye!

Comments

  1. How should one take billberry? Through smoothie, or through pills?

    • Hi Mina,

      Bilberry tea is an option.. You can also get bilberry capsules at most health food stores, if that’s easiest for you… Remember- no more than 220 mg pr day. By the way– bilberry is good for eye health in general. It’s also been shown to ward off degenerative, age-related conditions like macular degeneration.. If you try it— please let us know your results!

  2. Turmeric has many health benefits but for Tumeric to be absorbed or bioavailable to the body it must be taken with black pepper. So if you are making curry, be sure to season with pepper as well and if you are taking a supplement look for one that also has black pepper.

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