Eye baths are an effective home remedy for eye infections, gummy eyes, or to help remove something in the eye such as an eyelash, dust, sawdust or anything that causes minor irritation. Most often we will have something in the kitchen pantry or herb rack we can use to make an eye bath. Chamomile tea bags, or even black tea will often do the trick, however, if you have fennel seeds or can easily purchase them then they would be the most effective remedy helping to ease inflammation as well as heal, and cleanse the eye.
Place 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds into a mortar and pestle and grind until well-bruised and you can easily smell their aniseed-like aroma. Don't grind to a powder.
Put the seeds into a heat-proof glass or ceramic container such as a teapot, small jug, or mug, and pour 250ml boiling water over them. Cover with a lid, or saucer and let stand for 30 minutes or until the liquid cools to room temperature.
Strain through a paper coffee filter and pour the liquid into a clean eye bath. Place the eye bath over the affected eye, tip your head back and blink several times to allow the liquid to cleanse all around the eye, tip head forward, remove the eye bath, and gently dry the eye.
The fennel seed infusion can be kept in the fridge for twenty-four hours, and brought to room temperature before repeating the treatment during that time. Ideally, the eye should be bathed until the irritant has been removed or several times a day until it has healed and there is no longer any inflammation.
For any eye ailments that are not minor irritations please see your preferred health professional or go to a hospital as soon as possible.
Proprietor, author, and tutor of The Home Herbalist Online Course.