The Benefits of Using Castor Oil and Flax Oil for Dry Eyes

Little Miss Big Eye
Little Miss Big Eye | Source

The Purchase That Started the Conversation

A chance remark can sometimes lead one to a new discovery. I recently bought some Bio-Oil based on the strength of an article I read somewhere. The results thus far have been very pleasing. Some of the dark pigment marks on my skin, caused by my having spent far too many hours in the sun in my youth, are beginning to fade. My skin appears lighter in color and it also feels softer. I needed to share this revelation with someone!

The Discovery!

I discussed these results with my younger sister who lives in Australia. She told me that she had recently purchased a very expensive skin product to address the same issues I was concerned about. The product she used had cost her over $75. She thought this was an extortionate price since it had done nothing for her skin! She was curious to try out the Bio-Oil which in comparison was far cheaper.

I suggested that if she decided to purchase the product, my only advice to her would be to keep the product away from her eyes as it can make them blurry for a little while.

She laughed and said that she is using both cold pressed castor oil and cold pressed flax oil for her eyes. It seems that these oils have really helped to alleviate the dry eye symptoms she has always suffered from, more so since she went through a botched eye operation.

Magnified eye
Magnified eye | Source

Castor Oil and Flax Oil for Dry Eyes

This seems like a good time to say that I have spent a fair bit of time writing articles on my computer screen, and my eyes too are apt to become easily tired and red after extended periods. I know I should take breaks, but I confess I don’t always, especially when I get engrossed in something. I too have suffered from dry eyes during my lifetime. I have also had Lasik treatment for short-sightedness, and more recently a cataract operation.

So, my ears naturally pricked up when she told me her eye specialist had suggested that she try castor oil and flax oil for her dry eyes.

The results she says have been very good. She applies the oil each day with a small clean eyedropper, placing one or two drops in each eye at night before going to bed or when she feels it is necessary. The oil she says has greatly reduced her dry eye symptoms.

It seems that if one applies the oil just after having come out of a hot shower, when the body is wet and warm, the oil is more easily absorbed by the body. The benefits apparently far outway the mild irritation of having blurry eyes for just a short while. Another benefit is that her eyelashes have grown thick and strong!

Her preference seems to be the castor oil, but she says that the flax oil works equally well.

Flax Seed

I have discovered one interesting fact about the flax seed itself: some people believe that a single flax seed placed in the eye helps to remove a foreign body from the eye if one is present.

It seems you have to suffer the inconvenience of having two items placed in the eye in order to have the other one taken out! If you look at the flax seed closely, you'll see that it closely resembles a football, which is flat on one side. This allows the flax seed to float around the eye until it finds the foreign body; it then attaches itself to the particle, allowing you to remove the foreign item from your eye along with the seed.

Perhaps it is one of those ‘strange but true’ stories!

It should be noted that the validity of this claim has not been tested by myself, and I recommend further research before attempting to use a flax seed to remove foreign objects from an eye.

Castor Oil and Its Many Uses

Castor oil has many uses, far too many to mention here, but it is used in soap, shampoo, lipsticks, and other cosmetics. It is also found in most of the plastic items we use each day. It was used in earlier days as a lubricant for mechanical items such as carts or wagons, and even airplanes during the war.

Of course, the one thing you may remember is the daily dose given to patients who suffered from constipation or tummy ache. I do recall being horrified at being given a full bottle to take by my doctor to bring on my labor if the pains did not come before a certain date! I hasten to add that it was never used; I was fortunate enough to never have to go down that route! The children arrived on time without my having to resort to such drastic measures. I guess it is probably still gathering cobwebs in some far distant location. Castor oil is also used in candy-making and in flavorings for food. It is sometimes used to treat inflammation as well.

What Causes Dry Eyes?

Dry eyes can be caused by a combination of things, left untreated they can sometimes damage the cornea. Often the cause is some type of allergy or insufficient lubrication in the eye. This occurs when tear production slows down, which is sometimes due to age. Harsh winds and sun can also dry out the eyes.

One can purchase commercial eye drops which contain castor oil, but many people prefer to go the ‘natural route,’ and they decide to purchase cold pressed castor oil. It is important to store this in the refrigerator. Always use a sterile dropper and drop one drop of oil into each eye. This can be repeated three times a day or as required.

No evidence suggests that this is a cure for dry eyes but is rather a short term relief. The castor oil moisturizes and reduces inflammation around the eyes. It appears to help some of the symptoms of dry eyelids which can also become very cracked, dry, and inflamed. If you apply the oil to your eyelids or lashes it will soothe them and they will become less inflamed.

If you are one of those people who suffer from dry eyes when on a plane and would like to arrive at your destination looking fresh faced and bright-eyed, ask the air hostess for a bottle of water and some ice blocks with which to soothe them. Put the water and ice into a small cup or container and apply the water and ice to your eyes. Remember the old fashioned eye bath! You should hopefully arrive at your destination with rejuvenated eyes.

The Benefits of Flax Seed Oil

The benefits of flax seed oil are well known. It is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. One usually finds this in fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, or tuna. Flax oil has been linked to many health benefits, including the treatment and prevention of breast and prostrate cancer. It is believed to be of some benefit to people who suffer from diabetes, and is also linked to the prevention and treatment of macular-degeneration. And, as mentioned before, flax seed oil is helpful in the treatment of dry eyes or conditions which are associated with dry eyes.

There are many conditions that will cause eyes not to produce enough tears, such as surgery or allergies. The symptoms of dry eyes after cataract or Lasik surgery can be greatly alleviated by using flax seed oil or castor oil. The omega-3 oil helps the oil glands to produce the proper conditions so that the tears have something to stick to, thereby improving the conditions in the eye. The oil also stops evaporation, thus keeping the eyes moist.

Have You Used Any of These Products?

I am particularly interested to hear from people who may have used any of the products mentioned above. I would love to know if you feel you have benefited from their use. Perhaps you did not see or feel any benefit. Either way, I would still love to hear your comments!

Have you used Flax Oil or Castor Oil for Dry Eyes and which one do you find the most helpful?

  • Flax Oil
  • Castor Oil
See results without voting

© 2013 Sally Gulbrandsen

Comments 55 comments

MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

This is a very helpful article. There are so many good remedies which are kept secret. Thanks for sharing. I use flax seed, not the oil, in food. I use castor oil for rubbing, but I also suffer from dry eyes, so I am prone to see how these oils work in the eye. Voted Up!

sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk Author

Hi MsDora, I shall look forward with interest to see how you get on with your dry eyes. My sister swears by them. I hope you will benefit from using them too. Thank you for the vote - much appreciate that, Sally

sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk Author

Thanks MsDora, thank you again, just wanted to say that I sent you an email to say thanks for the follow. I got a warning about spam - quite unintentional I assure you, the site did not make it clear as to whether or not it had been sent!

Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 3 years ago from Ohio

I had no idea castor oil had all these uses. I remember it tasting awful. Fine hub. Thanks. :o)

sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk Author

Thank you very much Tom Cornett, I am delighted that you stopped by.

sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk Author

Thank you for your comments holistic-health. I am delighted that you could stop by. Thank you.

marion langley profile image

marion langley 3 years ago from The Study

I was recommended by a friend to use seasame seed oil as a 20 minute mouthwash...I wonder if seasame oil would also be good for eyes? hmmm

sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk Author

As far as I am aware seasame seed oil should not be used in the eye but can be used for dry skin around the eyes. Thank you for stopping by Marion Langley.

Marsha Musselman1 profile image

Marsha Musselman1 3 years ago from Michigan, USA

I don't think I'd recommend that anyone put a flax seed into their eye when feeling a foreign body therein. I would think the seed could scratch the eye and cause further irritation.

When I get something in my eye that doesn't belong there, which is usually something as simple as an eyelash, I pull down on my eyelid and rotate my eyeball all the way around. I don't know why it is, but that usually caused the item to pop out without putting something else in it to locate the offending item.

I usually hear or feel it coming out. It may take more than one rotation to do the trick.

I don't know that I'd try either oil for these purposes, but I have tried other oils for other things that have done wonders, so I'm not going to dispute your findings.

sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk Author

I would not put a flax seed in my eyes either. They oils used were actually advice given to my sister by her eye specialist after her failed eye operation. Thanks for your visit and comment.

Kai 3 years ago

What brand of Castor oil did your sister use?

sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk Author

She used a cold pressed organic one which is really thick but said she could not use an eye dropper with it. She just puts some of the oil on her finger (clean!) and works it into the corner of her eye. She is still using it after at least a year and 'finds it is very soothing'

The flax oil is also organic cold pressed which should be kept in the fridge, but this is of a thinner consistency which one could apply using an eye dropper. She did not state a brand name but was specific about it being cold pressed.

Kelly 3 years ago

I was reading somewhere that castor oil in your eye can be bad if it's unsterile? And that it can lead to infection. This person was saying that it's better to go to a homeopathic whom works with pharmaceuticals and can boil the castor oil to reduce any bacteria growth in the oil. Any thoughts on this? I don't know if it's true but I really would like to start trying castor oil since I've struggled with dry eyes forever. I can't even leave my own state without having extremely dry eyes. Every time I go on vacation, I'm stuck in the hotel most of the time with a hot washcloth over my eyes. =/

sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk Author

I am not a medical person so cannot advise you except to say that this advice was given to my sister by her eye specialist. I spoke to her yesterday and fter a year of using cold pressed castor oil she remains pleased with the results. I cannot help feeling that even an unsterile hot wash cloth over the eyes could introduce bacteria. I for one would definitely give it a go if the dry eyes were affecting my lifestyle. I wish you all the best and I do hope you resolve your dry eye symptoms.

jo.smiles 3 years ago

I have been using Cold Pressed Castor Oil for over two years because of dry eye syndrome. Monks in the Dark Ages started calling it Palma de Cristo because it cured the plaque. I knew my vision was requiring less use of my prescription and reading glasses, but I was really pleased when the Driver's License employee said my vision was perfect and was removing the requirement for glasses from my driver's license. I also have astigmatism -- which has pretty much been unaffected by the oil.

But I have noticed the halo around lights (after dark) has greatly diminished. I had read that the presence of that halo was a first sign of

cataracts. Plus the oil does not blur my vision when I use it during the day. Fantastic stuff!!!

sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk Author

jo.smiles - Your experience is similar to that of my sister who feels that Cold Pressed Castor she uses daily on her eyes has made a huge difference to her life. Your comments are very much appreciated, as is your visit to my Hub. Thank you so much. Best wishes, Sally.

brakel2 profile image

brakel2 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hi Sally Thanks for writing this interesting article on products for dry eyes. I spend $40 a month for Restasis, and would love to find something cheaper; $40 is my co-payment, Hubs give us an education, and I keep learning new ideas every day. I know several people who have dry eyes, and will definitely look into this treatment with castor and flax oils. Ice water to brighten up your eyes sounds good too. Your hubs have interesting subjects, and I must read more. Thanks for sharing. Pinned and shared.

sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk Author

I appreciate your visit brakel2 - expensive is not always the best, the simple things can sometimes work just very well. I do think it worth a try to I would love to hear how you get on with Castor Oil for the eyes.

Thanks for the pin and share.

DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

The benefits of using Castor Oil and Flax Oil for Dry Eyes this I did not hear of before. Both oils are beneficial to ones health as well. Informative and useful.

sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk Author

DDE Glad I was able to share this knowledge with you. Thank you for your visit, always delighted to have you stop by.


passionate77 profile image

passionate77 2 years ago

excellent information you shared sallybea, i heard many benefits of castor oil before but many of flax oil i just got to know here at your hub, thanks for sharing dear, blessings!

sallybea profile image

sallybea 2 years ago from Norfolk Author

Nice to hear that you have heard about the benefits of castor oil before. I am happy to share this knowledge with you. Blessings to you too.

blueheron profile image

blueheron 2 years ago from Odessa, MO

Castor oil applied to the eye at the first sign of pink eye is the best cure there is! Of course, the local ladies will tell you that castor oil cures just about anything, which is not entirely true.

sallybea profile image

sallybea 2 years ago from Norfolk Author


I appreciate your visit and also your comment regarding castor oil for the eyes. It is always nice to hear how beneficial it can be for dry eyes.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 2 years ago from Central United States of America

sallybea, this is exciting information you introduced! I will have to try the castor oil this week...I have an old bottle for medicinal uses, so will have to obtain the suggested cold-pressed new bottle. I cannot use the regular eye drops and appreciate finding your experience here. Thanks greatly for sharing the findings of yourself and your sister!

sallybea profile image

sallybea 2 years ago from Norfolk Author


You are very welcome - I hope that your experience of using Castor Oil for dry eyes will be of great benefit to you.


Balaji 2 years ago

its very common here in india people who are in villages uses castor oil for dry eyes and no side effects at all, also uses gingelly oil head-bath for a day in week to keep their head and eyes cool.

sallybea profile image

sallybea 2 years ago from Norfolk Author


It is always lovely to hear from someone who has had success using this remedy for dry eyes. Thank you very much, I appreciate your stopping by to comment.


Wolfs Paw 21 months ago

I have read about the many benefits of castor oil and flax seed, though I have never tried either for dry eyes. I know they both have many great uses, and I do take flax seed daily.

Occasionally, I have dry eyes from the wind or sun, and will have to give that a try sometime. I find it very interesting that Cold Pressed Castor Oil has helped others with their vision. Very informative article. Thank you for sharing!

sallybea profile image

sallybea 21 months ago from Norfolk Author

You are very welcome. They can be very useful for those suffering with dry eyes. I am glad you found it interesting.

Sarah 21 months ago

Castor oil is great for red, sore, tired, itchy and otherwise cranky eyes.

I only use Organic Castor Oil - the BP variety has had lots of the goodness removed.

sallybea profile image

sallybea 21 months ago from Norfolk Author

Hi Sarah,

I appreciate receiving confirmation of what so many people have said - that Organic Castor Oil really does make 'cranky' eyes feel better.

Moss 20 months ago

Knew an old friend in Seattle who was 84 yrs old as was his wife.

I noticed he and his wife did not use eye glasses even for reading, and asked why. He said they both had never needed glasses as they put two drops of Castor oil in their eyes before going to bed each night.

After 15 yrs I am finally going to try this to see any changes in my sight.

The rotation of eyes every morning also helps the eye muscles to focus better. Look at something close, then focus on an object far away, thern repeat......also is a good eye exercise.

sallybea profile image

sallybea 20 months ago from Norfolk Author


Good of you to stop by and comment on this hub. It is always nice to hear from people who have benefited from using any of these products.

I appreciate receiving the exercises for the eyes. I recall being given a series of exercises by my Ophthalmologist which helped to eradicate a squint I had as a young child. Your visit and comment are appreciated, thank you.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 20 months ago from The Beautiful South

I would have never dreamed of putting oil in the eye but now I will look into this. Thank you so much!

sallybea profile image

sallybea 20 months ago from Norfolk Author

Jackie Lynnley

Not just any old oil:) Please try to make sure that the oil you use is very pure, preferably organic and cold pressed for the best results.

Thanks for stopping by


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 19 months ago from Dallas, Texas

I read this with interest as I suffer the dry eyes from too much time on the computer as well. Will definitely give this remedy a try. I think the organic Castor Oil will be my first choice.

sallybea profile image

sallybea 19 months ago from Norfolk Author


My sister continues to use Castor Oil for dry eyes and like yourself I have begun to think like you that I might benefit hugely from using Castor Oil for my eyes. I also spend far too much time on my computer.

JDreher 17 months ago

After reading about a possible connection between dry eyes and eyelash mites, I thought that maybe using an oil directly on the eye might kill the eyelash mites by suffocating them. This might greatly alleviate dry eyes if the mites are contributing to the dry eyes. Maybe baby oil would work well for this? What oil is safe to use on the eyes?

sallybea profile image

sallybea 17 months ago from Norfolk Author


I saw a video on youtube where some doctors were discussing eyelash mites. It was suggested that Baby Shampoo be used rather than oil and it was also said to make sure that you should remove your eye makeup properly before going to bed at night because the mite feed or dead skin and dirt. Rub eyelids with diluted baby shampoo (50% water, 50% shampoo) twice daily, and apply prescribed antibiotic ointment overnight. Castor Oil can be used for dry itchy eyes or for growing beautiful lashes and eyebrows.

Sumeet 16 months ago


It is great to know about the benefits of castor oil. Since i have been suffering from dry eyes ever since my lasik surgery. Could anyone please suggest me, which company/brand organic cold pressed castor oil is best and safe for eyes.

Eagerly awaiting your reply.



sallybea profile image

sallybea 16 months ago from Norfolk Author

Hello Surneet,

I would look for some Organic Cold Pressed Castor Oil from Amazon. I have links to these products on this Hub.

Best wishes,


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 14 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Sally, this was a real interesting hub about castor oil benefits for your eye health. Very useful and voted up!

sallybea profile image

sallybea 14 months ago from Norfolk Author

Kristen Howe

Glad you found time to stop by to explore some of the benefits of castor oil for eye health. I appreciate the visit, vote up and the comment. Thank you.


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 14 months ago from Northeast Ohio

You're always very welcome, Sally, my friend. I always find the time to visit my friend's hubs.

RL 13 months ago

Hi I read your blog about castor oil for dry eyes. I have hertiage organic castor oil is this same as yours?

sallybea profile image

sallybea 13 months ago from Norfolk Author

I purchased Naissance Pure Organic Castor Oil, but the Brand name is not as important as the purity of the product.

Char 6 months ago

And don't forget to get Hexane free Organic Cold pressed Castor oil

sallybea profile image

sallybea 6 months ago from Norfolk Author


Good advice, thank you for taking the time to comment.

techygran profile image

techygran 2 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

Hi Sallybea,

I enjoyed reading about your many tips and have to say that my husband uses a mix of something that has really helped his eye health (the herb eyebright is one item). I also enjoy reading the comments on a hub such as this since you generally attract people who have had positive results and might have something else to offer as well.

I would also NOT put a flax seed in my eye. I have had good results when using castor oil for my skin and my friend had a similarly good outcome when she used castor oil packs to relieve post-op tenderness on her chest following cancer treatments.

I'm sharing and pinning and digging out my castor oil (it is organic and cold-pressed). Thank you for this post. ~Cynthia

sallybea profile image

sallybea 2 months ago from Norfolk Author


Good to hear your own tips on eye health. I do agree with you about NOT putting a flax seed in the eye. Definitely not something I would ever recommend even if saw it on youtube:)

Nice to know that you will be digging out the castor oil bottle after reading this. Such a simple but effective way of helping dry eyes to feel more comfortable.

nancy 4 weeks ago

Exhausting commentary, but castor oil does help a bit under the supervision of a professional. Can't believe You haven't been called on this!

sallybea profile image

sallybea 4 weeks ago from Norfolk Author

Thanks for the feedback. It was nice of you to take the time to comment.

NadineMay 2 weeks ago

What great information about castor oil and flax oil for dry eyes. I have to tell that to my partner who does suffers from dry eyes after spending the whole day in front of the computer. I don't seem to have that problem after I had cataract surgery in both eyes, but we do take Omega-3 capsules, but never thought about using it as an eye drop treatment.

sallybea profile image

sallybea 2 weeks ago from Norfolk Author

Good to know that you found this article useful Nadine. I appreciate your taking the time to comment. Thank you.

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