Probiotics: natural healing

December 5, 2011 · 9 comments

Conjunctivitis or pink eye

Conjunctivitis or pink eye

This morning I woke up to two toddlers with eyes sealed shut.

Thank you daycare and your crappy food, and all the sniffley noses and congested chests and conjunctivitis that comes with it.

The miserable food at daycare is a story for another time — today I’m focused on getting my kiddos better.

My first thought was that I needed to take them into the doctor to get antibiotics. That’s the standard treatment for pink eye, and I read that the drops help them feel better almost immediately.

However, I’m always hesitant to introduce antibiotics. First, they’ve never had them. Second, I’m allergic to penicillin (as well as sensitive to a host of other drugs). And third, antibiotics cause major changes to the flora in your body and can set up conditions for ongoing illness.

We’ve had a long streak of good health (likely caused by being on the GAPS diet), so I haven’t had to pull out my natural remedies in a while. Which is my excuse for not remembering to just put some whey in their eyes at the first sign of goopiness.

I make my own yogurt at home, and strain it. I save the whey, a clear liquid teeming with beneficial bacteria, to make cultured vegetables and just to have on hand for situations like this.

There are a few ways to apply it. What I hoped to do was soak cotton balls with whey and let my kiddos relax on the couch, spa style, with the cotton balls over their eyes. I may be the only person to be surprised this didn’t work. The whey was cold, and they weren’t having it. I ended up taking a straw and using it like an eye dropper to put a few drops in their eyes. One of boys has a lot of sinus congestion, so I added a bit to his nose, too.

I also managed to squeeze a few drops of breastmilk into their eyes (I weaned my youngest son a few months ago, but I swear breasts are magical and know when breastmilk is still needed, because I had plenty for this purpose).

After a few hours, the eyes are noticeably less gunky, and the sinus congestion has improved.

I’m also watching their diet very closely: no added sugar and no starches. I’m giving them lots of whey, vegetable juice, and broth — all rich in probiotics and nutrients they need for healing.

I’ll keep adding whey to their eyes every few hours and make sure the pink eye is getting better. If it ends up being the same or worse by tomorrow, I’ll have to take them to the doctor for antibiotics, but at least I would have given it my best shot.

It’s important to remember how powerful antibiotics are, and I strongly believe in using them wisely and sparingly. With our medical technology we often forget that there are many natural remedies that work well and without side effects, so I want to do my part to spread the word.

Photo credit: comedy_nose on Flickr

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jeanie Carter Donaldson Salyer December 5, 2011

Oh Suchada~ I am sorry to learn your precious boys have fallen victim to the rampant germs of their peers. As much as that distresses me for your boys and you, I’m equally impressed by how you’ve taken the bull by the horns and given them good doses of home remedies you’ve researched. I’m particularly partial to breastmilk so keep squirting them in the eyes! Ready, Aim, Fire. I hope neither will require antibiotics, but if they do, I’m glad you’re being conservative about their frequency of use in your family. ❤~j.

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2 Jenette December 8, 2011

Sovereign Silver’s Liquid silver is super helpful & I’ve had awesome results with Herb Pharms Rue Fennel as an eye wash. I would use these any day before antibiotics. Good luck

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3 Suchada @ Mama Eve December 13, 2011

Thanks for the tip, Jenette — I’ll look into it!

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4 Seriously February 22, 2013

Since you’re using the internet to dispense highly questionable medical advice, it would be very helpful if you posted your actual results of your experiment. Did their eyes get better, or did they need to see a doctor? This is why no one trusts “natural” medicine, because it’s always promoted by people who not only lack medical knowledge, but who offer nothing but idle speculation that they “thought this-or-that might work because whatever”, without ever following up to say whether their speculative experiment was a success or not. “I heard teatree on my toes might grow my hair longer! I heard putting pickle relish in my ears might cure my athlete’s foot! I heard that gargling with my own spit strengthens my immune system and cures cancer!” Well that’s lovely speculation; does any of it ever work, and if so, why are the follow-up results never reported?
Sorry but I’ve tried every “natural remedy that exists in the past several months (sulfur, turmeric, honey, clay, teatree, amino acids, probiotics, blahblahblah), and I’ve reached the conclusion that it’s all a COMPLETE CROCK.
Off to spoon some yogurt in my eyes now, hoping I don’t make symptoms worse by introducing new bacteria into an orifice that’s already infected with an unknown pathogen which, for all I know, may be a bacteria itself and be nourished and flourish in my eyes thanks to the nutritious yogurt! Good news, my eyes already look like they’re full of yogurt anyway from the infection, so slapping a spoonful of yogurt in them is a feeling I’m accustomed to. Will post results if there are any, but I expect the most likely effect will be, as with all “natural remedies”, absolutely nonexistent. I hate doctors and I know their clueless, but “natural medicine” also has nothing to offer either. I’m now convinced that humans, like all animals, are meant to suffer and flounder with constant disease until the blissful release of death frees us, and that’s how it should be.

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5 Seriously February 22, 2013

“*they’re* clueless”

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6 Seriously, You are awesome. February 26, 2013

I left you a very frustrated and jerky comment last week, annoyed at the vagueness of so many natural healing suggestions and sketchy results I’ve had with natural remedies recently.
Well, I could not be happier to eat my words, ma’am. I went out and got some greek yogurt after I left that comment. I knew my conjunctivitis was most likely tinea/fungal because I’d had a ringworm rash on my skin recently. Several natural remedies have begun to work when I first started using them, then inexplicably stopped (maybe my body builds tolerance quickly? I don’t know). Two tablespoons of turmeric a day improved it dramatically for a few days, then it came back, even though I continued the turmeric. Ditto with taking sulfur(1/3 tsp per day), clay (1 tbsp, twice a day), and lysine(3 grams, 3 times a day). Dramatic improvement for a few days, then it was back, despite the “remedies”. (The turmeric did seem to work WONDERS for clearing persistent tinea on the skin, btw, just couldn’t make any lasting impact in the eye infection; seems to absorb into the body best when dissolved in dairy, so I would just shake up a tbsp into a bottle of chocolate milk in the morning and evening. Also, seems to kill body-odor bacteria as well; I had ZERO armpit odor while I was taking it, didn’t even need deodorant for a few weeks. Gives your pee a faintly sulfuric smell if your body is absorbing it right.)
So anyway, I held my eyelid open and dabbed a little glob of the plain unsweetened greek yogurt straight into the peeper, then pull my lid down over it to try to hold it in there for a minute or two. It BURNS LIKE FIRE, but only for a few minutes, then feels fine. Did it every few hours, then left it alone the rest of the day. Dramatic improvement of the fungal ulcer next morning. It does cause some redness and irritation the more aggressively it’s used (most medical advice for fungal conjunctivitis says to treat every hour until improvement starts, so that’s how I did it at first, I figure my eye is constantly trying to flush out the yogurt/bacteria), but this is temporary. I’m still treating, but only a couple of times a day now. I really hope I haven’t spoken too soon and it’s not going to be another case of “dramatic temporary improvement followed by return of infection”. But it looks like you are right about the yogurt probiotics for fungal conjunctivitis, as far as I can tell, and I’m actually very happy to admit that I was wrong to be skeptical. Hope your kiddos eyes got better too. So far I’ve been using the creamy part of the yogurt, but am going to try just using some of the liquid/residue in the yogurt container and see if that causes less redness/irritation by taking the actual acidic dairy-goop out of the equation. Just wanted to say thanks, and I totally take back my jerky comment.

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7 Seriously, You are awesome. February 26, 2013

LOL, you should make some yogurt out of your breast milk. If regular yogurt can really heal infections, I bet some breastmilk yogurt could raise the dead.

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8 Ted A Greidanus March 27, 2013

I have found an amazing probiotic that does wonders for pinkeye! I stumbled oppon this while working with wrestlers that continually are battling with ringworm that is transmitted by physical contact with others and on the mats. The product is made and distributed by Livia Global, it called Livia One SLP.

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