Natural Treatment of Conjunctivitis aka "Pink Eye"

Itching, burning, swelling, watery, red eyes.

You know what it is! That’s right…pink eye.

Just as is the case with ear infections, the cause of conjunctivitis is not always bacterial. It may be viral or related to allergies. Most often, pink eye is a viral infection that occurs in people whose immune systems are weakened. Therefore, antibiotics are useless in treatment.

Bacterial pink eye usually involves both eyes at the same time. Cream to green colored pus drains from the eyes and they will be swollen. Pink eye caused by a viral agent will usually result in only one eye affected at first then followed by the other eye a few days later. Generally the discharge coming from the eye is clear and watery. Itching and burning will always be present during both types of infection.

Conjunctivitis is highly contagious. Hand washing, with simple soap and water, is the best prevention. The immune system must be addressed at this time as well. This can done by administering:

-1/2-1 teaspoon of Echinacea Tincture every hour until symptoms resolve.
-Oral vitamin C supplements
Vitamin A rich foods
Elderberry tincture or syrup

Treatment for the infected eye or eyes includes the use of either one of these two eye washes.

Basic Eye Wash

-1 teaspoon salt
-1 cup boiling distilled water

Directions: Dissolve salt in boiling water. Allow mixture to cool completely.

Use: Flush eye with wash using an eyedropper several times a day. Use wash daily until symptoms resolve.

Herbal Eye Wash

-1 teaspoon comfrey root
-1 teaspoon raspberry leaf
-1 teaspoon goldenseal root
-1 cup boiling distilled water

Directions: Combine all herbs and boiling water. Steep for at least 30-60 minutes, making an herbal infusion. Take care in straining all herbs out of the infusion through a coffee filter (may require 2-3 strainings). Allow liquid to cool before using.

Use: Flush eye with wash using an eyedropper several times a day. Use wash daily until symptoms resolve.

*FYI Herbs for this recipe will cost about $14 for 4-5 days of treatment.


-Both eye wash recipes are enough for one day of treatment. They should be remade daily.

-Green tea has soothing effects and can be used to reduce swelling and itching by applying cool, wet green tea bags directly over closed eye lids.

-A warm cloth compress will also help reduce negative side effects.

-A teaspoon of Valerian tincture given by mouth, in chamomile tea, throughout the day will help reduce itching and burning.

I like to purchase my herbs online through Bulk Herb Store

DISCLAIMER: The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

See this post and a host of others like it here: Wildcrafting Wednesday, Healthy 2Day Wednesdays, Homemaking Wednesday, Wickedly Awesome Wednesday, The Mommy Club, Simple Lives Thursday, Your Green Resource, It’s a Keeper, Friday’s Nature Table, Fresh Bites Friday, Frugal Friday, Gallery of Favorites, SNS 105, Nifty Thrify Sunday, Cure for the Common Monday, More The Merrier


  1. Katherine Atkinson says:

    This is awesome! We haven't had to deal with pink-eye for quite some time, but I know some who have. I'll be sure to share this with them. ๐Ÿ™‚

    ~ Kathy

  2. simply heidi says:

    Great tips. My husband and daughter both had pink-eye last year. We used colloidal silver drops to cure it. A couple of drops in each eye, twice a day, worked amazing well.

  3. I love solutions like- homemade and simple.

    I would love for you to share this resource over on my mommy solution meme!

  4. Stephanie G. says:

    Reading this post made my eyes water ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the tips. Getting pink eye is bad enough without having to take your unhappy patients to the doctor's office and wait. Good to know that most cases can be cleared up at home!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have 5 kids so if one gets it, pink eye makes it to all of us. Colliodal silver gets rid of it super quick! I have the little one close their eyes, then I drop two drops in the corner and lift the eyelid gently. The drops roll right in! It makes your eye feel "dry" for a few seconds, then a wave of relief sets in and they BEG you to do the other eye!

    • hello,
      Great ideas
      Where do you get the Colliodal silver?. Is it an ointment? is it an over the counter med.

      I would like to have some on hand for when i get it or my house rabbits.
      thanks melissa

  6. So does chamomille tea!

  7. A good remedy to relief the itching and help heal as well is to steep a tea bag in hot water for 5 minutes. Let cool just a bit (until you can stand it against the skin), and place the tea bag on your closed eye for at least 10 minutes. The acid in the tea not only soothes, but also works to clear the infection.

    As for ear infections….use vodka. The high alcohol content kills the bacteria causing the infection. A few drops in the ear, a couple times a day for a few days will clear anything up.

  8. BREASTMILK knocks it right out.

    • Deborah says:

      Yep. It sure does. I’ve used it numerous times to resolve pink eye.

      • I used breastmilk for years – never went to the doctor for pinkeye. However I don’t have any any more! So I’m looking for suggestions for my 15-year-old whose eyes are red and itchy right now!

  9. i cured my pink eye with concentrated chamomile tea, several drops 4-5 times a day. It was cleared by day 3! I continued treatment though for 5 days

  10. Patricia Prenosil says:

    I second the breastmilk. If you’ve got it it’s the best cure there is!

  11. Jessie DeCloud says:

    My children had it horribly and I didn’t really have the right herbs or money to get them, so I used colloidal silver for eye drops and it was gone in 12 hours. I don’t know if you use colloidal silver, but you should look into it. Anything infection related is cleared up super quickly with it. Infected wounds, stomach flu’s, burns, and apparently conjunctivitis.

  12. Melinda McCorkel says:

    I have found much success with honey water for an eyewash treatment.

  13. I love hearing all these success stories with different things like the chamomile and breast milk – how interesting! I did have success with getting rid of pink eye with colloidal silver but it is nive to know if i am out i can use one of these others…probably with be the chamomile since i believe it will be more available unless someone other than me is in milk.

  14. Sunny mallory says: My mom made a solution out of Boric acid and warm water. The link tell you how to mix it. Works great on humans and animals.

    • Gary Sellars says:

      Thanks for this. I learned this some years back and it’s the best, easiest, cheapest and quickest way to heal pinkeye.

      I hope everyone takes notice because the doctors WILL NOT tell people.

  15. I use clean cotton pads and strong brewed coffee compresses. Make sure the coffee is warm but not too hot. Put the compresseson your eyes and change them as they get cool, for about an hour. After I do this, it usually knocks me out and when I wake no more conjunctivitis. It used to take several days with the docotor to deal with this. Also. If you catch it in the “I have something in my eye but I just cant get it out stage, it never gets full blown.

  16. I’ve used a combination of eye bright and chamomile. Always worked really well for me.

  17. My mom and sister used to use warm milk to wash out the eye. Can’t remember how ell it worked.

  18. I discourage use of Goldenseal as it has been severely over-harvested.

  19. More praise for breastmilk! My daughter had a style and pink-eye recently. I had her taking GSE, Echinacea and goldenseal orally 3-4 times a day, plus doing rinses and warm compresses. She was getting better so slowly. I squirted my breastmilk in her eyes twice (TWICE!) and she was better the same day! She’s 11 and thought her mom was so weird. But, hey! It works!

  20. We just dealt with weepy eye in our rabbitry (conjunctivitis in rabbits) and had great success using homemade saline and chamomile just as we have used to treat pink eye when members of the family have suffered from it. Of course humans would benefit from drinking chamomile tea with raw honey as well, as long as you aren’t alergic to rag weed. I have heard eyebright works wonders but have never tried it, You can read about our experience here
    Thanks for sharing and God bless.

  21. KarinSDCA says:

    I used a combination of remedies for my daughter earlier this year: homemade saline solution washes, chamomile tea compresses, and cell salts. She didn’t tell me right away and it took a few days. From your description at the very top, she had bacterial conjunctivitis.

    I got it from her, presumably before she told me since I washed my hands and her pillow case and towels frequently as soon as I knew, and it only took me a day to get rid of it. Also, bacterial from the description above. I used several warm salt water compresses and one round of cold chamomile tea compresses.

    Mine was treated almost immediately upon feeling something wasn’t right whereas she had a day or so of discomfort without realizing something was wrong (her first experience and she’s 11).

  22. These are wonderful tips. I wish I’d seen this last month; my daughter and one of her boys had conjunctivitis. She tried all sorts of OTC products but nothing. I found a remedy using ACV. I love that stuff use it for lots of things. She said it brought relief ; but I don’t think she gave it chance before finally going to the doctor. She also had sore throat and stuffiness. Ending up getting a steroid shot.
    I think the ACV would have helped and gargling with salt water…
    oh well. I’m going to keep this in mind next time!
    Just found your blog…love it! PInned the Rabbit Stew recipe.

    …have a great week. Patricia

    PS: (acv= apple cider vinegar) just in case some didn’t know

  23. My mother use to put fresh from the cow, cow’s milk in our eyes three times a day. Cream and all and we never had an infection longer than three days. Not sure why it worked, but it did. We never went to the doctor as long as we could fresh milk. I know, not everyone can get the straight from the cow milk, but it was better than the doctor cures back then, and cheaper.

  24. I read somewhere that enough heat will cure conjunctivitis. Since then we wrap a rice sock in a towel to keep from spreading the infection and place it warm (as hot as you can bear it) on the eye(s) several times a day for about 15 minutes. Clears it up every time for us.

  25. I used a very warm fennel seed tea for the conjunctivitis. I crushed the fennel seeds then poured boiling water over and let it steep til cool enough to place on childrens eyes as a compress. I applied the warm compresses 3-4 times a day for 20 minutes at a time. The kids loved it as opposed to fighting to get drops in their eyes. Within a day or two the imflammation was gone!

  26. I’ve been very fortunate to never get pink eye. I even have contacts and touch my eyes all the time. I find it really interesting.

  27. seen a lot of home remedies and gonna try the water and salt one. hopefully it gets ride of it by the end of the weekend. i can’t even save myself 20 for was and goto my moms to it since i woke up with pink eye. GRRR lol

  28. I just gave birth 2 weeks ago to a healthy baby boy, he woke up 3 days ago with sticky eyes as I call it. He had clear discharge and swelling, (my poor baby) well I tried chamomile on cotton and would swipe on his eyes almost every 4 hrs. Also did just water on a wash cloth to clean his eyes and nothing. Well thankfully I still managed to pump some breast milk since I’ve heard and read from various sources that it helped with eye infections. I put breast milk on cotton, pressed it on my little ones eyes and Wallah!!! To my surprise he woke up with out any discharge and no swelling…. I have to admit I was skeptical and I’m now a believer, plus the only reason I’m writing is because it actually works. If you have breast milk use it. It works wonders!

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