You can heal pink eye naturally! You don’t have to spend lots of money on expensive doctor’s visits to get a prescription for antibiotic drops.
A couple of weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with my eyes glued together. No, not literally, but it definitely felt like it! The episode took me back to my childhood–when I was about 4 or 5 years old. It was the only other time I had experienced pink eye.
I had heard that pink eye could only be cured with prescription antibiotic drops, but I decided to try natural ways to heal pink eye anyway. (I’m hard headed that way, and I didn’t want to fork out a co-pay to go to the doctor!)
I began to ask around for suggestions on ways to naturally heal pink eye in my local crunchy mama group, and I got a wide variety of answers of what had worked for people in the past.
Before the week was over, both my 4 and 2-year-old daughters also had developed pink eye, but, thankfully, my husband never caught it. (And although my 6-year-old didn’t get it from us, we believe she may have had a mild case a few weeks back that led me to pick it up in the first place. It was so mild that we couldn’t even tell it was pink eye.)
Now, keep in mind that I am not a medical professional. I am just a mom who loves to try her hand at natural remedies before breaking out the meds. Please consult your trusted healthcare provider before trying any of these at home. Pink eye can be serious. Try these natural remedies under the guidance of a professional.
Although pink eye can clear on its own, if your baby has pink eye or if your pink eye is severe or prolonged, please see a medical professional.
Without further ado, check out these natural ways to heal pink eye!
1. Raw Honey Drops
My friend Megan suggested these. I simply dissolved one teaspoon of local, raw honey (it must be raw!) in a small bowl of warm (not hot!) water. I then used a dropper to drop several drops in our eyes about three times per day.
I noticed a difference within hours of using this natural way to heal pink eye!
Raw honey is both antibacterial and antiviral, so whether or not the pink eye is bacterial or viral (it can be both, and it’s nearly impossible to know which type you have), this treatment has you covered.
2. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is a natural antibiotic. It should not be overused. I have used it in the past mainly to cure ear infections by placing the drops in my daughters’ ears. I have also taken it a few times internally myself, when I felt an illness coming on.
Colloidal silver is one of those items I always keep in my natural medicine cabinet. I usually get mine at Vitacost.com (click here for a $5 off coupon!), but you can also find it on Amazon.com. These two offer it for much cheaper than at my local health store.
Now, there is some speculation over whether or not it’s actually safe to put colloidal silver in your eyes. I didn’t know this until after we had cured our pink eye–by putting it in our eyes. It was then that I read on my bottle: “Do not put in eyes.”
But there are other sources that say it’s OK.
If you have doubts about colloidal silver, just use raw honey. You can’t go wrong there.
We used the colloidal silver in the same way as the raw honey drops–a couple of drops a few times per day. We actually rotated the honey drops and colloidal silver drops. My daughters screamed so much and held their eyes closed no matter what drops we used, so it’s hard to know how much actually made it into their eyes.
But I do think the combination of raw honey and colloidal silver was highly effective.
Raw honey and colloidal silver were the way we personally naturally healed pink eye, but the following are some other ways that I read about but didn’t need to try:
3. Breast Milk
I’ve heard of the benefits of breast milk for pink eye for years, and I’d never had the opportunity to try. My youngest (almost 27 months!) is still nursing some, but I definitely did not have enough milk to try this. I did squeeze a little on my finger and rubbed it on my daughter’s eyes one day, but it was a lot of work when I could just use the raw honey and colloidal silver drops.
But if you are nursing or have plenty of breast milk pumped, I would totally try this method! You can simply squirt a few drops in the eyes several times per day.
4. Chamomile Tea
Supposedly placing the tea bags on your eyes do wonders for soothing them! Our eyes were not overly gooey or uncomfortable, but I would definitely have tried this method for naturally healing pink eye if they had been.
5. Lavender Essential Oil
A friend who sells essential oils suggested rubbing lavender around (but definitely not IN!) the eyes. I do have lavender on hand, but the other methods were working so well that I didn’t try this one either.
Supposedly you can do the same thing with lemon juice.
In addition to these methods, we made sure to clean our eyes out frequently with warm, moistened wash cloths, making sure to always use new cloths. We also washed our hands frequently, especially after touching the eyes.
I wore my glasses instead of my contact lenses until the pink eye cleared up, and I switched to a new pair of contact lenses when I was sure it was gone. I also refrained from using eye makeup and began using a new tube of mascara once it was gone.
I’m happy to say we healed pink eye naturally–without doctor’s co-pays or prescription drops!
Have you ever had pink eye? How did you get over it? What are your suggestions for natural ways to heal pink eye?
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
10 Natural Ways to Prevent Colds and the Flu
How to Avoid a Stomach Virus After Being Exposed
Natural Relief for Seasonal Allergies
The Ultimate Guide to Building a Natural Medicine Cabinet
Disclaimer: I am not a health professional. I am just a mom who loves to use natural remedies. Please consult your trusted healthcare provider before making any decisions regarding your health. I cannot be held liable or responsible for your health decisions. These remedies are shared for entertainment and educational purposes only and are not meant to diagnose or cure any disease. None of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA and are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.
COFFEE!! We use the grounds around the eye, but lukewarm coffee drops into the eye helps tremendously too!!
WOW! I had never heard of that one! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much for this post! I have had pink eye once. Did go to the Dr. for drops. But this is much better. 🙂
Glad it was helpful! Hopefully you won’t get it again, though!
I have 6 kids and a dog that we have used homeopathic on to cure many bouts of pinkeye. I usually use Apis or Mercurius. No need to fight kids to get drops in their eyes. And warm washcloths to soak the gunk off and sooth irritated eyes.
Thanks for the tips, Holly! These sound great!
Anna @ Feminine Adventures
So sorry you got pink eye! That’s NOT fun.
We lived in Tuscaloosa during the terrible tornado that hit, and it seemed that every single time we went outside, the kids eyes started to get crusty and itchy. The eye doctor said that’s pretty normal when there’s tons of gunk in the air and it wasn’t pink eye, but pink eye remedies worked wonders for it.
We used goldenseal tea bags (steeped, then cooled) and it really helped with the itchiness. (My pastor’s wife said plain old black tea bags work too!)
Thanks for all these great ideas. I love having an arsenal of herbal remedies to try before breaking out the medications. 🙂
Thanks for the tips!
We’ve used coffee as well as breastmilk for pinkeye. Both worked, we didn’t have to go to the doctors. But breastmilk also works on ear infections as well. My grandson was having ear infections back to back intil my daughter found out about using breastmilk.
That’s awesome to hear it also works for ears!
Dr Balch’s book of Natural Healing: use grated raw potato as astringent to pull infection out.
Bought that book 2 decades ago, figuring the cost of it was still cheaper than 1 office visit. It has saved us $$$!
For ear infection: cut an onion in half, cook until warm. wrap in towel, place on affected ear.
Both are easy treatments, effective and inexpensive!
Thanks for sharing!
A few years ago my 18 month old and my then 3 year old had pink eye. I was pregnant as well so after both ended up with it, I ended up going to the doctor. A normal not homeopathic or naturopathic doctor so I prayed that I would get the truth on the way over to their appointment because, well it was pretty miserable putting these drops in their eyes so many time a day and it had come back anyway. So to my surprise the doctor whom I had never met at this practice before, told me something amazing. He told me to let it run its course and that doctors are backed into a corner and are forced to prescribe these drops due to daycare and school rules. He admitted that children are completely contagious whether the children are receiving the drops or not. God is good. Kept me from the misery and purchasing drops and all of that. If they do get pink eye these days, sometimes I will tell my daughters to close their eyes and I will mist their eyes with colloidal silver and that has worked very well.
Awesome! i love the misting idea!
The reason that the honey water stings is because your eyes were designed by God for salt-water. Prepare 1 cup of water as if you were going to Neti pot. (For my system, we stir in one of their measuring spoons of neti pot salt with 8 oz water.) Then dissolve your honey. It won’t sting anymore, but will still heal.
Thanks for the tips!
I’m a Young Living girl, so when my 5 year old had a goopy eye one evening, I acted quickly so he wouldn’t wake with an eye glued shut. 2 drops of lavendar on the bottoms of his 2nd and 3rd toes and he woke up bright-eyed and healthy. When my 3 year old woke up a couple days later with pink eye, I did 50:50 diluted 2 drops lavendar + 1 drop purification and applied AROUND eye and on feet. After 3 applications for the day, he was totally clear the next day.
Young living Mom as well. .a drop of purification on an index finger. Drew a circle around the eye about eye brow width- 4 xs in 24 hours did the trick for us!
As an aromatherapist, I urge you to please please please DO NOT put essential oils near your children’s eyes! That is so dangerous! Please consult with a clinical aromatherapist for all your questions about essential oils. That is very very dangerous.
Thank you for your comment. I’ve used diluted lavender on my face and although I was careful to keep it away from my eyes, it tended to irritate them (so I stopped.) I can’t imagine using LO around the eye area!
For pink eye put Nature’s sunshine’s Silver shield gel in the eye. It worked in an hour for me. It’s great for any itch or problem anywhere and you can eat it too!
Back and I mean back in the day, we used iodine drops. One drop in each eye and put some fat around the outer part of the skin so as not to stain the skin. Next day, it as gone. Couldn’t afford a doctor visit and in the country, we doctored ourselves.
Oh wow! Thanks for the tip, Debbie! We can learn so much from previous generations! I think today we might have just complicated things!
When my oldest was a baby, the pediatrician we went to told us to use neosporin to clear up pink eye. You can buy it over the counter. I’ve used that every time any of the kids have had pink eye and it has always cleared it up. You apply a bit of the neosporin on their eyes three times a day. It really does have to be that brand, and not a generic brand. My pediatrician told me it was only a few ingredients off from what they would put in the prescription.
It’s saved me a lot of money going to the doctor and paying a co-pay and purchasing the prescription. I do not know if you consider it a natural way to treat pink eye, but it is cheaper than heading to a doctor.
Wow! That an awesome tip, Keelie! Thanks so much!!
I’m not sure if you would call this natural, however if you take a drop of baby shampoo (non tear) and message the corner of the eye it will clear up pink eye.
I just used coconut oil on my 3 year old son and cured his. Put it on a cotton ball and smeared his eyes with it. He said it was blurry for a few seconds, but redness was gone the next morning!!
I’m sorry but this post is downright dangerous. I wouldn’t be encouraging random drops of stuff in children’s or anyone’s eyes. I never go to the doctor for pink eye since reading many years ago to simply wash the affected (closed) eyelid area every time it itches several times a day. Nothing ever needs to get into the eye to clear it up and I’ve been doing it for years. I use warm water and a tear free baby shampoo.
You don’t find your statement hypocritical? Telling people not to put things in their eyes and then saying you use baby shampoo? Which, by the way, is only tear free because of a numbing chemical that is added to it. I’ll use honey, breast milk, oils or other proven natural methods over a laundry list of chemicals any day.
Here’s that list in case you were wondering. The dye alone is probably more harmful than anything mentioned here could be.
Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, PEG-150 Distearate, Fragrance, Tetrasodium EDTA, Polyquaternium-10, Quaternium-15, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Yellow 10, Orange 4
My daughter in her 20’s got pink eye. The friend she got the breast milk from only had colostrum her milk was mostly gone but it WORKED FOR HER TO CLEAR IT UP!
I read, many years ago, that the bacteria that cause pinkeye cannot survive heat. I rinsed eyes out with sterile saline solution and then applied very warm compresses over the closed eyes, several times a day or when eyes were itchy.
Thanks for the tip!
Prevent it by washing eye lids every night with baby shampoo I use the one from melaleuca. We do not get it any more.
Thanks for the tip!
My eye doctor recommended the use of Neosporin- Just use a Q-tip and rub on the eye lid while keeping your eye shut for a few minutes.
Raw milk….. It was gone by the next morning.
Most cases of pinkeye clear up within a week. No extensive scientific studies have been done to study the effects of breast milk (and most of these other natural methods) on pinkeye. Anecdotal observations are dubious. These “remedies” may have been used for many, many years, but we can only assume they don’t do any harm.
Correlation does not imply causation.
I used breast milk with my daughter a few weeks ago and it was gone by the next day!
I am surprised you dont have goldenseal on this list. Make a tea with 1 cup distilled water and 1 tsp goldenseal powder, with an eye cup wash the infected eye a couple times a day. It has always cleared up after about the 3 or 4th wash
I had never heard of that. Thanks for sharing!
Berenice Medina Jauregui
Chamomile tea works. In the past when I don’t have chamomile tea I use green tea and it works the same if not better. In the past my daughter’s had gunk in her eye and green tea cleared it in a day or two. This time we have chamomile and we are on the third day and she still has gunky eyes maywbe green tea works faster or her infection is stronger than the other times. But still I want her to heal so she can go back to daycare!
Wow, honey! Who would have thought to use honey for pink eye. That’s super cool!