Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is inflammation of the thin outer membrane around the eyeball and inside of the eyelid. Most people think it's caused by fecal matter coming into contact with the eye, through poor hand washing or other reasons. That's sometimes true, but it can actually be caused by a number of things, including allergies, viral or bacterial infection, and sexually transmitted diseases. Viral and bacterial infections, which include the poo-induced pink eye, are highly contagious. I've had pink eye twice since having kids. It's awesome. Yes, that's sarcasm. It's the worst.
When you realize you have pink eye
The first thing you need to do when you realize you've contracted pink eye is to assume it's contagious and wash your hands. Warm water and soap for the full thirty seconds. Don't skimp here. You do not want to pass this to anyone else in your household, do you? Wash often and well to avoid spreading the infection. If one of your kids has it, remind them regularly about washing up and help the younger ones.
Don't touch your eyes. I know they itch, but the more you touch them the more likely you are to pass this infection to someone else. Both times I had pink eye, I was the first one in my house to come down with it. I'm not sure how, since I know for a fact that I wash my hands more often than the hubby and two kids combined. But it happened. By washing my hands often and avoiding touching my eyes, I managed to pull through both cases without passing it to anyone else.
Homeopathic remedy for pink eye using essential oils
All you need to treat pink eye at home is one bottle of oil: lavender. Make sure it's a high-quality oil that's approved for topical use. (My favorite brand is Eden's garden: Get it here.) When you wake up with that first gunky, itchy telltale sign of pink eye, whip out some lavender and put it to use. Here's what you do.
Open your lavender bottle and place your finger over the dispensing hole. Invert it, just like you did with your foundation before makeup brushes were a thing, and get some oil on your finger. You don't need much, not even a full drop, just a bit. Now tap your oily finger around the bony part of your eye socket, being very careful not to get lavender in your eye. Do this twice a day until the infection clears up, usually 2-3 days. That's it!
Can you use this on your children?
Lavender is generally considered safe to diffuse around children of all ages. If you're new to diffusing essential oils, check out this post. Since this remedy calls for topical use, best practice for children 2-6 years old is to dilute one drop of lavender in 4 tsp of a carrier oil like coconut, jojoba, avocado oil, etc. Avoid topical use of all oils on children under the age of 2. Be especially careful to avoid contact with the eyes during application and keep a close watch on them after use so they don't rub the oil into their eyes. For more information on essential oil safety with children, check out this post at the Herbal Academy.
When to consult a doctor.
If you've got a contagious viral or bacterial conjunctivitis, this home remedy works like a charm. If your pink eye is a by-product of an allergic reaction or a secondary symptom of another disease, essential oils may not work to clear it up. It's time to see a doctor if your pink eye doesn't clear up in 2-3 weeks, gets worse, affects your vision, or comes back repeatedly. I love my essential oils and they've been highly effective for many things, but there are sometimes when a doctor visit is required.
Have you tried this remedy? How did it work for you? Let us know in the comments section below:
Diffusing Essential Oils Is Super Easy
Have you heard great things about essential oils but no one's taught you how to use them? Confused by all the information or jargon? Perfect! This post is just for you! Learning how to diffuse essential oils is the first step into natural health care for your family. And it's easy peasy!
We're still in the throes of cold and flu season and, maybe it's just us here in the pacific northwest, it always seems like the changing of the seasons brings more viruses around then the coldest days of winter. As spring takes its sweet time springing, I'm relying heavily on my oils to keep my family healthy.
How to Diffuse Essential Oils
I get asked all the time how to use essential oils. I know it can be overwhelming, but it's really not. It can be quite simple. There are three options for using oils: inhalation or breathing them in, topical application meaning rubbing them on your skin, and internal consumption meaning you eat/drink them. The easiest, and safest, method is inhalation.
While you can always just twist open your favorite oil and give it a sniff, using a diffuser can spread the benefits of that oil over your whole family, classroom, office, etc. Diffusing is easy peasy, but make sure you have permission from those who will be sharing the air with you. We've got some relatives who are allergic to cloves, so I always make sure I'm not diffusing an oil containing cloves when they come over.
I've rounded up my favorite ways to spread the love with those beneficial oils.
5 Ways to Diffuse Essential Oils
1) Traditional Diffuser
A small, semi-portable electric diffuser is my go to. It acts as a diffuser, humidifier, and optional night light. I have two of these which I fill up anytime I hear the least bit of a sniffle. One lives in my daughters' room and the other travels around the rest of the house as needed. With a 150 ml capacity and 4+ hour run time with auto shut-off, this diffuser works great for a bedroom or living area up to 250 square feet.
How to use it: Add cold water to fill line, plus 4-6 drops of oils or oil blends, replace lid and turn on. When diffusing in a child's room, place diffuser out of reach and make sure directional spray doesn't mist over the top of your sleeping baby.
(left to right) Slightly Cheaper, Prettier, Larger Capacity, Made from Bamboo, Travel/Car Version
2) Mini Diffuser
These little guys pack a big punch. With versions you plug into an outlet and those you can plug into your car's cigarette lighter, you can take your oils with you wherever you go. Some of these little units do not have auto shut-off settings, so do be careful not to run them overnight or you risk overheating.
How to use it: Add a few drops of oil or oil blend to the filter (or the water reservoir in select models), plug in and position in the upright position. Add more oil as scent dissipates. Unplug when not in use.
3) Aromatherapy Necklace
This is my second favorite way to diffuse. Not only are these necklaces beautiful, they can wrap you up in an oil safety bubble. I never go to a substitute job without fighting five on my necklace diffuser.
How to use it: Place 1-2 drops of oil or an oil blend on the felt or pumice insert, close up the necklace and enjoy your good health.
4) Wax Burner
If you have one of those scentsy style flame-free candle warmers, you can repurpose it into an oil diffuser. There is some debate about the efficacy of this method, as heating oils can reduce their potency and, in some cases, change their composition. Therefore, this option, as well as the wall unit option above, is best when the scent is what you want. For battling a cold or flu, allergies, or other medicinal uses, it's best to use a water filled diffuser.
How to use it: Place a tablespoon or two of water or coconut oil in the wax reservoir along with 4-6 drops of oil or an oil blend and turn on. Be careful not to leave it on after the oils/water have dissipated.
5) Sniff from hands
This last method is our go to when we're dealing with congestion, but it's also great when you need a little pick me up. First, make sure the oil or blend you want to use is not hot, meaning it won't cause skin irritation. When in doubt, sniff straight from the bottle (feel free to ask about certain oils in the comments and I can let you know).
How to use it: Place 1-2 drops of oil or an oil blend (safe for topical use) on your hands, rub together, and cup hands around nose. Breathe deeply 3-4 times.
What Oils to Diffuse
The only thing to decide now is what oils you should be diffusing! I'll be adding more posts about our experiences with essential oils and our awesome health victories in the weeks to come but, for now, I'll leave you with some of my quick favorites.
Why I Recommend Eden's Garden Essential Oils
One last note about why I recommend the oils I do: I use Eden's Garden essential oils almost exclusively unless my MIL gifts me some DoTerra goodies. I did a ton of research when I first started using EO's. What I discovered was that there is a whole spectrum of oils, both in cost and in quality. My mission was to find the highest quality oil at the most affordable price, from a company with a wide enough selection to serve my families needs. Everyone seems to have an opinion when it comes to oil brands, so that decision is best left to you and your family.
I chose Eden's Garden because of their dedication to quality, the fact that their oils pass all the same tests as those of the big 2, and for their lower price tag. Same quality oils, way less money invested! And for the record, I don't sell their oils or get a kick back in any way from EG. If you purchase any of the oils or diffusers that I've linked to on Amazon, I receive a small commission from Amazon through their affiliate program which doesn't cost you a dime extra and allows me to keep putting my time and effort into this blog.
Now, on to the oils! These recipes are all for a standard size diffuser, requiring 5-6 drops of oil in total.
Cold And Flu Buster
2 drops Fighting Five
2 drops Oregano
2 drops Tea Tree
2 drops Lavender
2 drops Peppermint
2 drops Lemon
3 drops Fighting Five
3 drops Breathe Easier
3 drops Bergamot
2 drops Purify
1 drop Lavender
6 drops Anxiety Ease
6 drops Energy Boost
6 drops Good Night
6 drops Stay Alert
To save even more money, you can piece together a custom 6, 12, or 32 oil set on their website at edensgarden.com. (For which I receive no kickback, but I want to make sure you, Mama, are getting the best deal possible! I would never recommend something I didn't fully trust myself.)
Let me know what other questions I can answer in the comments and don't forget to subscribe for more helpful posts!
Blessing upon blessing,