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Home remedies for conjunctivitis

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 459 views

In the case of conjunctivitis, home remedies can relieve the symptoms and support the healing process. However, you should always go to an ophthalmologist first so that he can determine the cause and extent of the inflammation and prescribe any necessary medication. Otherwise there is a risk of severe eye damage! Read here which home remedies you can use to help with conjunctivitis!

ICD codes for this disease:

ICD codes are internationally valid codes for medical diagnoses. They can be found, for example, in doctor’s letters or on certificates of incapacity for work.

B30 H10 H13

Conjunctivitis – home remedies: quark

Some people rely on cold curd pads for conjunctivitis . The old household remedy has a cooling, decongestant and anti-inflammatory effect. To make a curd topping:

  • Dip a clean cotton cloth (such as a kitchen towel) in cool water and then wring it out. 
  • Now spread quark (from the fridge) as thick as a finger in the middle of the cloth – on an area that is large enough to later cover your closed eyes.
  • Now fold the ends of the cloth into a packet.
  • You then place this quark topping on the closed eye, with the quark side that is only covered once.
  • Leave the quark topping on your eye as long as it is pleasantly cold or the quark has dried.

Do not apply the curd directly to the eye. The mass can easily enter the eye and make the conjunctivitis worse. In addition, the quark dries and hardens on the skin and hair (brows, eyelashes) and is then difficult to remove.

Conjunctivitis – home remedies: medicinal plants

Herbal medicine (phytotherapy) knows various medicinal plants that can support the healing process in conjunctivitis. The application is external.

Herbal remedies can also lead to side effects such as allergic reactions. Therefore, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about possible effects and side effects of the plant substance in question before using it.


Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) does not bear its name for nothing: the medicinal plant has been traditionally used for centuries for washing, compresses and eye baths for various eye ailments, including conjunctivitis, eyelid inflammation, styes and overworked , tired eyes. Its healing powers in conjunctivitis have now been proven in studies: the mild anti-inflammatory eyebright has proven to be effective and well tolerated in the treatment of conjunctivitis.

To make an eyebright compress:

  • Pour 250 milliliters of boiling water over two teaspoons of eyebright herb (preferably from the pharmacy).
  • Let the infusion stand covered for ten minutes and then pour it through a coffee filter (this way even small parts of the plant are separated from the infusion).
  • Dip a clean cotton handkerchief into the cooled infusion and then squeeze it out.
  • Now fold the cloth and place it on your closed eye for about ten minutes.

Alternatively, you can also carefully wipe a glued-up eye clean with the soaked, squeezed cloth. 

You can read more about the effect and use of eyebright in the article Euphrasia.

Other medicinal plants

Eye compresses for conjunctivitis cannot only be made with eyebright tea. You can also soak the cotton cloth in a warm infusion of marigold blossoms. The marigold has anti-inflammatory ingredients and is therefore generally recommended for external use in skin and mucous membrane inflammation.

Warm or cold infusions of black tea or oak bark are also suitable for eye compresses in conjunctivitis .

Even if it is often recommended by laypersons: It is better not to use chamomile tea for poultices or compresses on the eyes – partly because of the allergy potential of this medicinal plant.

finished preparations

There are now also a number of ready-to-use herbal preparations for treating inflamed, irritated, overworked eyes, such as eyebright eye drops. Homeopathic and anthroposophic preparations are also available, for example based on eyebright, garden rue (Ruta graveolens) and/or celandine (Chelidonium majus). Your doctor or pharmacist can recommend a preparation that is suitable for your symptoms and explain the exact application to you.

The concept of homeopathy and its specific effectiveness are controversial in science and not clearly proven by studies.

Conjunctivitis – home remedies: risks and limitations

You should first discuss the use of any home remedies for conjunctivitis with a doctor .

In addition, you must pay strict attention to cleanliness and hygiene with all preparations that you want to use on the eyes (washing, compresses, etc.) ! Otherwise you could aggravate the existing inflammation and/or introduce additional germs into the sensitive eye. Therefore, you should heed the following advice:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before making and using compresses etc.
  • The cotton cloth you use for pads, compresses or ablutions should be really clean. Or you can use sterile gauze instead.
  • Plant infusions for eye washes and compresses must always be freshly prepared.
  • Instead of medicinal plants you have collected yourself (eg marigolds from the garden), you should use loose medicinal herbs from the pharmacy. These are checked for purity and quality.

Don’t forget that home remedies have their limits: if existing eye problems get worse or new ones appear , you absolutely have to go to the ophthalmologist again. Complications may have developed as a result of conjunctivitis. Home remedies are often no longer sufficiently effective and must be supplemented or replaced by conventional medical treatment measures.

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