With more and more individuals becoming aware of holistic and alternative treatments for their healthcare, it is not too surprising that castor oil eye drops are making their way to the “mainstream”. In fact, castor oil as a whole seems to be gaining in popularity with its unlimited uses and health benefits. But before you go applying some castor oil into your eyes, it is important to be well educated about the specific uses for this substance, along with when it is best to apply, when it should be avoided, and of course how to apply the oil safely.
The thought of applying a thick, viscous oil directly into the eyes may sound a bit unusual and even scary to some people. However, when used properly and in the right context, castor oil eye drops are very safe, gentle, and effective for a wide range of eye disorders. With this in mind, one must take great care in making sure the castor oil that is being used is 100% organic, hexane-free, and sterile. It can be cold-pressed or expeller-pressed, as these are both viable options for using as an eye treatment. With this high-quality source of castor oil, you will want to place it in a sterile, glass dropper bottle ideally 1-2 ounces in size. I do not recommend using a plastic dropper bottle or reusing any old bottles.
Once you have found a high-quality and reliable source of the castor oil, you then have to determine if this is an effective treatment option for your particular eye disorder. Luckily, castor oil is so versatile it often is used to treat just about all disorders of the eyes. The greatest success I have seen personally is when treating dry, red, and itchy eyes. For this issue, its healing benefits can often be felt instantly with the first application. Castor oil can also be very effective in treating more severe issues such as cataracts, but please keep in mind that these are considered more severe and chronic disorders and therefore it will take a bit longer to notice any changes taking place (the timeframe will vary for each individual).
Before moving on, it is always important to send out a gentle reminder that some of these eye issues are severe and can result in vision loss if left untreated. Therefore it is always recommended to work one-on-one with a trusted eye doctor if you are dealing with a more severe condition such as cataracts or glaucoma. If appropriate, castor oil eye drops may be a beneficial complementary therapy alongside allopathic medicine.
Common Uses for Castor Oil Eye Drops
- Dry, itchy, irritated, and/or red eyes
- Allergy effected eyes
- Eye infection
- Inflammation of the eye
- Conjunctivitis (aka Pink Eye)
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage (broken blood vessels in the eye)
- Scar tissue on the eye or sclera
- Wrinkles around the eyes
- Under-eye circles
- Thin, dry or scanty eyelashes
Just as there are many uses for castor oil eye drops, there are also a handful of reasons to avoid this treatment. Once again this will be an important consideration when determining if the castor oil eye drops are the best option for your eye care needs.
When to Avoid Using Castor Oil Eye Drops
- If redness or irritation occurs after application (the castor oil should reduce redness and irritation, not create it!)
- If blurry vision occurs longterm after applying; a small amount of blurriness is natural directly after application but should not last more than a few minutes
- Before or while wearing contact lenses; those with contacts should only apply the castor oil at night after the contacts have been removed, waiting at least 8-12 hours before inserting the contacts again
- With any serious eye condition, always consult with your doctor before using; this is even more important if you have had a previous eye surgery or are on a prescription eye drop medication
- Directly after any eye surgery (typically you should wait at least one month, but this time may vary; always consult with your doctor before using!)
- Avoid using castor oil at the same time as any other eye drops (including OTC eye drops); if other eye drops are needed, allow an 8-12 hour timeframe between the castor oil application and using the other eye drops; if any irritation occurs even with this prolonged timeframe, the castor oil should be discontinued
- Do not discontinue any prescription eye drops without consulting with your doctor first
If you have read this list of contraindications above and you still feel like the castor oil eye drops are a good match for your needs, then the next step is to make sure you are applying the eye drops in the most safe and effective manner possible.
How to Apply Castor Oil Eye Drops
- Always make sure the eyes are clean, dry, and makeup-free before application.
- Castor oil should not be applied before or while wearing contact lenses, or simultaneously with other eye drops (see above for more details).
- The sterile, organic, hexane-free castor oil should be contained in a small glass dropper bottle (also sterile). Plastic droppers should be avoided, as should any dropper that is not 100% sterile.
- Before bed is the best time for application. This is because the castor oil is quite thick and will leave a residue after application. When applied at night, this can be rubbed in rather than wiped off. For more severe issues, this dosage may need to be applied upon awakening as well.
1. Tilt the head back slightly and apply 1-3 drops directly into each eye, aiming to get the oil to cover the entire eye. Once applied, blink the eyes a couple times.
2. After application, close the eyes and gently massage on and around the eye. Allow the oil to penetrate and avoid washing the eye.
3. If the outer eyes are too oily, dab with a piece of clean tissue to remove any excess oil around the eye. It is recommended to leave a bit of the oil to soak into the eye and around the eye.
4. Always wait 8-12 hours to apply any other eye drops or to wear contact lenses.
*For dry, itchy, and red eyes, feel free to apply the castor oil eye drops as needed during flare-ups for instant relief.
*For anti-wrinkle treatment, you can avoid placing the drops into the eye (unless otherwise desired) and simply massage several drops around the eye. Do not remove the oil after application, and allow it to penetrate completely. Apply each night before bed.
As with any substance, castor oil can be a powerfully healing medicine or an unwanted irritant. One must always use proper knowledge, guidance, and research in order to establish if the castor oil eye drops are the proper medicine for your specific needs. Although castor oil eye drops can be very gentle, safe, and effective in treating a wide range of eye disorders (I use them regularly myself), it can also cause irritation to others. In this sense, one should always listen to their body and go with what is working for them rather than what the general census says. With all this being said, I have seen the castor oil eye drops heal and treat a wide range of eye issues first hand (even issues that western medicine had failed to treat). Therefore as long as the individual is using the proper precautions (as stated above), I highly recommend giving them a try!
*For more severe issues or previous eye surgeries, one should always consult with their doctor before using the castor oil eye drops.