Over the course of the summer, my 9 yo daughter developed styes on both of her eyes. We treated them, with fair success, with Tulsi tea, an Ayurvedic tea from India known as "holy basil". Recently, though, a sty on her left eye began to grow, looked hot and inflamed, and was higher up the eyelid, toward the crease, then her previous styes. My research pointed to the develpment of a chalazion, a somewhat deeper and more difficult infection to clear.
After being informed by a friend that in her youth she was treated for a similar infection by having the inflammations lanced and drained (which resulted in some very faint scarring) while going on a round of antibiotics and using antibiotic ointments and eyedrops, I redoubled my efforts to clear up this lingering ailment. Not only was it tender and painful to the touch, it looked ugly, red, and "angry" as another friend indicated.
I am studying Ayurveda, and decided to use triphala (an ayurvedic combination of the herbs amalaki, bibhitaki, and haritaki known as "three fruits" used traditionally to soothe skin irritations and burning, red eyes) and turmeric (known Ayurvedically as "haridra") - a powerful and soothing combination, which would fight infection while decreasing inflammation and breaking up any underlying blockage in the pores of the eyelid and eyelashes.
All medical information online says to be patient with natural remedies of sty and chalazion outbreaks - treatment can take 2-4 weeks.
Using triphala/turmeric eye wash, we cleared up my daughter's chalazion in LESS THEN 5 days.
Here's our integrated treatment approach:
1. Hot packs, or fomentation, 3-6x per day; we averaged about 4x/day for 3 days. Read online about proper preparation of hot packs for the eyes, being mindful and careful not to prepare hot packs that are too hot. Gently clean the pores along the base of the eyelashes with the warm cloth to remove waxy buildup, and massage the eyelid gently to encourage drainage.
2. Application of neem oil (sesame oil which has been infused with a decoction of powdered neem), externally, to the eyelid. Medicated neem oil (NOT essential oil of neem) and powdered neem is available online through reputable Ayurvedic herbal distributors.
3. Eye drops prepared with triphala and turmeric, 2-3 drops 2x-3x/day.
When preparing eye wash or eye drops, you MUST thoroughly disinfect and sanitize all work surfaces and equipment (pots, spoons, droppers, measuring cups, drying racks/towels, etc).
Bring 1/2 c. distilled water to a boil, add 1/8 tsp ea: powdered triphala and turmeric, and steep 10 minutes (as if making tea).
Strain thoroughly through a fine mesh sieve lined with clean muslin or other cotton or silk cloth, and set the strained liquid aside to cool. This is your eye wash, and great care must be exercised to keep it fresh. Store in a disinfected jar in the refrigerator.
Bring eye wash to room temp, or body temp, before using in the eyes.
Apply 2-3 eyedrops to each eye, 2-3x per day.
We applied eyedrops morning and night before applying other ointments or medicated oils. My daughter reported some stinging in the infected eye, which would pass quickly.
4. Apply castor oil compress to eyelid at bedtime. Apply 1-2 drops castor oil directly to the eyes, and cover the wound with a piece of cotton secured by a bandage. Castor oil encourages the draining of the wound, helping to draw out infection. It is also traditionally and safely used directly in the eyes to sooth red, irritated eyes.
This is a more complicated protocol of healing then other posts, but will be very helpful in the treatment of chalazion, preventing the need for a physician's visit and more invasive treatments.
Peace and healing blessings!