Natural remedies for common eye and ear ailments

Home remedies for minor ills are worth their weight in gold, if you know the right ones. Here are some natural remedies for your eyes and ears.

Natural remedies for common eye and ear ailments

Eye can see clearly now

Carrots, celery, kale and parsley: Taken together, all contribute to the trouble-free operation of the optic system. Either juice the veggies for an eye-friendly beverage or puree to make a cold soup. The ideal proportions? Two parts carrots, two parts kale, one part celery, one part parsley. For best results, consume 500 millilitres (two cups) of juice or soup a day. Vary the mix by incorporating spinach, endive, collards, tomatoes and melons. Bon appétit!

Tea for two

Two puffy eyes, that is. Take two wet tea bags, place them on tired or swollen eyes and lie down for 15 to 20 minutes as the tea soothes and refreshes. Green tea is ideal for these mini-compresses, but black tea and herbal teas work well, too. An added benefit: some herbalists claim that tea-bag compresses speed the healing of a black eye.

Don't dry those baby blues

Dry eyes are so common that over-the-counter remedies for this ailment abound. What are the causes? Everything from pollution and smoke to age. The cure? Eat a banana. This popular yellow-peeled fruit is rich in potassium, which helps to control the balance of sodium and the release of fluid in your cells.

Let's 'ear it for mullein and garlic!

Paired with garlic, mullein (Verbascum thapsus) makes soothing earache drops you can keep on hand in the refrigerator. In a sterilized jar, combine one crushed clove of garlic with 30 grams (two tablespoons) of dried or fresh mullein flower (minced if fresh) and 125 millilitres (1/2 cup) of olive oil. Screw the lid on tightly and shake to blend. Store in a cool, dark place, shaking the jar daily.

After two weeks, strain the oil into another jar and store it in the fridge. To treat an earache, bring the oil to room temperature or hold the jar under warm running water. With a sterile eyedropper, add two to three drops to the ear, then gently massage the ear to help the oil move through the ear canal.

Bubble away ear trouble

Dropping three percent hydrogen peroxide into the ear makes earwax easier to extract and will hasten the healing of an earache. Fill a sterile eyedropper with peroxide, lie on your side and squeeze the liquid into the affected ear until it feels full. Let the peroxide bubble away for three to five minutes, then press a washcloth or folded paper towel against the ear and turn over to let it drain. Rinse the ear by repeating the process with water. Dry, then work softened earwax out of the ear with a cotton swab. Do not use hydrogen peroxide in your ear if you suspect that you have a perforated eardrum.

Ears ringing?

You may be suffering from tinnitus. Taking 120 milligrams of gingko extract a day may reduce your symptoms, because it dilates your blood vessels. (But don't take it if you're also taking prescription anticoagulants, or about to undergo surgery. And, as always, get your doctor's approval.)

These safe home remedies will ease your discomfort for minor ear and eye problems. Make sure your cupboard is stocked with the right ingredients.

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