Your eyes burn and itch, making it hard to read and even think straight. It’s another round of “pink eye,” the common term for conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the membrane covering your eyeball. An eye that is usually clear is now red, every tiny capillary standing out as though on a map. The lid is puffy, drippy, and your eye is downright sore.
Pink eye is caused by viruses or bacteria, and can be very infectious, especially among children. It is usually a minor infection that will go away on its own. You can also get it because of allergies, pollutants, and even from fatigue.
Why Essential Oils are good for Pink Eye
Essential oils boost your immune system and circulation, helping to fight off microbes. They offer antisepsis, protecting against reinfection or passing it along. Oils work well in sprays and soaps for disinfection and washing up!
There are oils that aid sleep and are calming while living with pink eye. Others have antioxidant abilities to clear inflamed tissues. Some offer analgesia to lessen the achy discomfort caused by pink eye. Adding it up, essential oils provide a lot during a bout with conjunctivitis!
Oils for children: The oils in this article can be used for kids age 2 and older! As you read on, you’ll find tips and recipes to help care for your dear one.
Best Essential Oils For Pink Eye
1. Lavender Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender gently bestows gifts that reduce the swelling and redness of inflamed tissues. It is known to repel microbes, such as viruses or bacteria that cause pink eye. Lavender supports any discomfort you are experiencing, as it is analgesic. Lavender is a welcome sleep aid, including for your child, age 2 or older.
Use tip: This linen spray provides comfort and encourages sleep. Add 1 drop lavender to 10 ml carrier oil and 3 ml witch hazel. Blend well, adding to 30 ml distilled water in a glass spray bottle. Spray this 0.5% dilution on your child’s linen 15 minutes before bedtime.
Best for: Promoting sound sleep.
2. Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Tea tree oil has been used for generations to thwart microbes with its cleansing antisepsis and ability to repel viruses. Its powerful monoterpene components offer a bouquet of beneficial actions. For starters, it stimulates your immune system, offering extra aid when dealing with pink eye. Camphor qualities give breathing a boost when inflamed eyes cause nasal congestion.
Use tip: Blend 4 drops of tea tree with a carrier oil, massaging on the front of your neck. Your circulation will make sure the oil is absorbed and delivered to your eye tissues. For children age 2 and older, use a 0.5% topical dilution by adding 1 drop of tea tree to 10 ml of carrier oil, blending well before applying to the neck.
Best for: Invigorating the immune system.
3. Helichrysum Oil (Helichrysum angustifolium)
Helichrysum offers immune system stimulation as it provides overall calm. It reduces the pain, redness, and swelling so often noted in pink eye’s inflamed tissues. These benefits are due to pinene, the oil’s terpene compound that is uplifting as well a respiratory stimulant. Think of the quiet freshness of a pine grove, its bows gracefully wafting soothing aromas across your face.
Use tip: Place a drop of oil on a cloth to keep nearby as a handy inhaler. For children 2 years and older, blend 1 drop of oil with 10 ml of carrier oil, placing 2 drops of the blend on a cloth.
Best for: Respiratory stimulation.
4. Patchouli Oil (Pogostemon cablin)
Patchouli whispers vitality as it wraps you in its mysterious aroma. Its constituents are protective of skin tissues, including your delicate eyelids. They aid with skin regeneration, especially needed as you recover from pink eye. This toning, and the ability of beta-patchoulene to thwart microbes and irritations, promotes eye wellbeing. Researchers report that is has potent anti-inflammatory activity.
Patchouli supports circulation by balancing metabolism. A methanol compound in patchouli has been reported to provide an analgesic effect related to its protective anti-inflammatory properties during an in vivo study.
Use tip: Add a drop or two to your lava necklace, allowing its aromas to caress your face throughout the day. For children 2 years and older, blend 1 drop of oil with 10 ml of carrier oil, placing 2 drops of the blend on a cloth to attach to clothing.
Best for: Tissue regeneration.
5. Frankincense Oil (Boswellia carterii)
Frankincense has a spicy, pungent aroma. Its wondrous compound limonene promotes warming and the deep cleansing protection needed during a bout of pink eye. Limonene is stimulating, a true companion as it boosts your lymph system and eliminates toxins. It’s a valuable aid for fending off more infecting microbes. Frankincense gives you comforting relief while you are beset by burning eye irritations.
Use tip: Pour very warm water into a large bowl for a steam inhalation, adding 4 drops of frankincense. Place a large towel over your head, with your face 7 inches from the water, being careful to avoid scalding. Stay seated, inhaling the vapors for 10 minutes. You can use this tip with your 2 year old or older child by reducing this to 2 drops of oil. Please be very cautious with water temperature as a kid’s skin is very delicate.
Best for: Boosting the lymph system.
6. Copaiba Oil (Copaifera officinalis)
Copaiba supports your immune system and ability to cope with pink eye. It is rich in sesquiterpene compounds that provide needed protection. One of these compounds is beta-caryophyllene, described by PubChem as being non-steroidal in nature as it offers aid for irritated tissues. When signs of conjunctivitis first strike, turn to copaiba to combat inflammation.
Use tip: Prepare a 1% dilution of hand soap for 2 to 6 year olds by adding 6 drops of copaiba to 30 ml of liquid castile soap. For adults and children 7 years and older, use 15 drops of copaiba in 30 ml of the soap.
Best for: Non-steroidal analgesia.
7. Roman Chamomile Oil (Anthemis nobilis)
Roman chamomile is an essential oil that is regarded as one of the best for soothing the signs of inflammation. It is cleansing and protective, gently reducing pink eye irritation and swelling. It lovingly brightens mood, especially when burning, goopy eyes interfere with life. In vitro study of Roman chamomile reveals its relaxant effect on smooth muscle due to the oil’s flavonoids.
Prepare a sachet by infusing a cloth with 2 drops of Roman chamomile, inserting it in an organza or muslin bag. Place in your immediate area or under your pillow. Prepare a child’s sachet by adding 1 drop of Roman chamomile to 10 ml of carrier oil, using 2 drops of the blend for the sachet.
Best for: Calming care of inflamed tissues.
8. Juniper Oil (Juniperus communis)
Juniper is a stimulating, circulation boosting support when you are overcoming pink eye. This perky oil is detoxifying, using its diuretic benefits to flush wastes and fluid from inflamed eye tissues. It acts as an astringent, strengthening and soothing swollen eyelids. Sesquiterpene compounds bestow calming effects to reduce the tension that comes with pink eye limitations.
Blend 5 drops with 15 ml of your favorite shampoo. Juniper will be absorbed through your scalp as its fresh aromas lovingly surround you. For children ages 2 to 6, use 1 drop of juniper in 15 ml of shampoo for a 0.3% dilution, and for those over 6, use 3 drop in 15 ml of shampoo for a 1% dilution.
Best for: Flushing toxins and excess fluid.
Best Essential Oils For Pink Eye Recipes
Pink Eye Diffuser Protection
This tantalizing blend wraps you in the entwined supports of copaiba, Roman chamomile, and lavender. Gentle, caring aromas ease relaxation as they soften the edges of inflammation. This recipe creates a 1% blend, suitable for children age 2 and older.
- This recipe uses a glass vase or bottle with a narrow neck, and bamboo reeds or skewers.
- 120 ml of grape seed oil
- 30 ml of vodka to thin the oils for wicking with the reed/skewer
- 12 drops of lavender
- 8 drops of Roman chamomile
- 4 drops of copaiba
Blend the grape seed, vodka, and essential oils well. Pour half of the blend into the vase or bottle, saving the rest for later. Place the reeds or skewers into the mixture, allowing time for the oils to wick.
Place the diffuser in a spot nearby and out of reach of children and pets. Replenish as necessary.
Pink Eye Quadruple Power Oil
This 3% dilution oil brings you the best of benefits in one wondrous blend! It gifts you with immune system boosting, antioxidant power, vanquishing microbes, and tissue regeneration. (To prepare a 1% dilution to use with children 6 and older refer to the number of drops in brackets. You can reduce the oils in half again for a 0.5% dilution for children ages 2 through 5 years, still using 60 ml of carrier oil.)
- 60 ml of carrier oil [60 ml]
- 14 drops of tea tree [7 drops]
- 10 drops of juniper [5 drops]
- 6 drops of frankincense [3 drops]
- 6 drops of patchouli [3 drops]
Blend essential oils with the carrier oil, mixing well and storing in a glass bottle.
This oil is designed to be massaged on two places on the body for quick delivery to inflamed eyes. The first is soles of the feet, using slow deep pressure to avoid tickling. The second is on the neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Keep ‘Em Clean Hand Sanitizer
Viruses and bacteria that cause pink eye move swiftly from hand to hand and across surfaces. This blend for adults and children 10 years and older, helps to keep hands clean, reducing the chances of pink eye spreading.
- A 60 ml glass bottle
- 30 ml of aloe vera gel
- 15 ml of witch hazel
- 10 drops of lavender
- 7 drops of tea tree
- 5 drops of helichrysum
- 5 drops of copaiba
Mix aloe vera and witch hazel. Add essential oils, blending well.
Apply a few drops of sanitizer to your hands, rubbing thoroughly, and adding more as needed. Allow to dry for full effect.
- Pink eye is the common name for conjunctivitis, inflammation of the eye’s clear covering and eyelids. Causes include viruses, bacteria, allergies, and pollutants. Pink eye affects all ages and is very infectious.
- Essential oils provide care for pink eye as they boost the immune, circulatory, and lymph systems; quell infections; flush toxins; regenerate tissues; and offer calming pain relief.
- Best essential oils for pink eye are lavender, tea tree, helichrysum, frankincense, Roman chamomile, juniper, copaiba, and patchouli. This group can be used with children, following safety guidelines for dilution and use.
- Use tips include hand soap, diffuser jewelry, massage oil, shampoo and bath gel, sachets, and linen spray.