Home Remedies for Eye Problems and Epilepsy
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There are a lot of conditions concerning the eye. One of the most common is sore eyes wherein the eyes turn red and itchy. An old traditional remedy for this is applying a poultice made of raw grated apples. Cucumber juice or witch hazel are also common treatments that are still used today at home and in beauty salons. Sore eyes are bathed in these for relief. Applied on the sore eyelids and also used as eyewash is an infusion of plantain. Also eyewash for inflamed eyes is an infusion of comfrey or a decoction of comfrey root. Rose water is also a good eyewash. Eyewash made from dock and from yarrow also soothes sore eyes.
The itching of the eyes is thought to be relieved by applying a liquid distilled from meadowsweet. The oil made from balm reduces inflammation of the eyes. Castor oil is also said to soothe the irritation of the eyes especially when it is caused by the presence of a foreign object.
Styes in the eyes are said to be relieved by applying a teaspoon of a poultice made from tea. An old relief for styes is bathing the eyes in water with warm milk frequently or with warm poppy water. Another old traditional remedy is taking a dose of Epsom salts with a small squeeze of lemon in it as a purgative to cure styes. Previously, eye styes were considered as a sign of generally poor health so iron tonics and quinine were often given.
Swelling of the eyes is thought to be relieved by applying a grated potato mixed with a little oil. The discoloration around the eye is alleviated by applying a mixture of scraps of the fresh root of Solomon’s seal which is moistened with a little vinegar. Other herbs that are also thought to be effective are betony, borage, cowslip, feverfew, lilac, angelica, poppy, viper’s bugloss and white horehound.
Epilepsy is a serious medical condition wherein the patient suffers from random and sudden fits and should be discussed with a certified physician. However, it was once thought to be caused by witchcraft. Because of this, a lot of the traditional remedies circled around this and may be strange. A folk cure that reflecting this fact includes placing a quart bottle with pins in it in front of the fire until the pins were red hot. The logic behind this ritual was that the heart of the witch who sent the curse of the epilepsy would be pricked by the pins. The witch would be in so much pain that she would stop the curse and the epilepsy would go away.
Due to this supposed link with witchcraft and the dark arts, it is common to see charms used to ward off the disease. A popular charm used was a ring made of a piece of silver collected from an offering made in church by a congregation. Another old, peculiar treatment for epilepsy required the patient to crawl, headfirst, down three pairs of stairs three times a day for three days in a row.