Top Natural Remedies for Dry Eyes - Internal and External Applications

Dietary Changes +
Posted by Annie (MA) on 01/16/2023
5 out of 5 stars

I have dry eyes but giving up coffee which quite a few of EC readers recommend would be hard for me! So I cold brew it overnight using dark roast beans which are less acidic than light roast. Cold-brewed coffee is less acidic than regular. I limit coffee to about 4 oz / day because it's so dehydrating. Also, most days I eat a handful of raw pumpkin seeds, which are very alkaline. While I still have some dry eye and dry mouth at night only, a humidifier has helped somewhat.

Since thyroid medication for low thyroid can also cause dryness, especially if you're an elder, and since coffee and most herbs are dehydrating (some herbs more than others), hydrating foods like cucumbers and watermelons can help. When my eyes were at their worst, I put cucumber slices on my closed eyelids for about 20 minutes several times a day and on the first day there was real improvement.

On the second and third day I also ate half a cucumber and continued with the slices. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), hot and dry is associated with yang and cold and damp with yin. Not only is apartment air mostly too hot and dry in winter, chemicals in our air and water are very drying. Dry eye is an inflammatory condition with redness, heat and not enough yin fluids. So "strengthening yin" is recommended for convalescing, chronically ill or frail people. Some foods that strengthen yin are cooked string beans and beets, many whole grains, sardines, eggs, seaweed, and certain beans. Eyes are considered skin and in TCM skin conditions are linked to the liver.

Also associated with the liver are irritability and anger-- hot emotions. They resolve when the liver energy is flowing. Liver thrives on movement and dance---even moving in place when cooped up inside! Reading on EC that aloe can cure dry eye makes sense to me from a TCM perspective: aloe is cooling and mercifully soothing for inflammation, burns and severe itching. I don't use liquid aloe b/c all brands preserve it with citric acid, which I can't tolerate. So I keep aloe plants and snip off a small bit of branch when needed. I'm grateful to this plant!