The Benefits of Using Castor Oil and Flax Oil for Dry Eyes
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!
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.
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.
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.
Organic Cold Pressed Castor Oil
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?
© 2013 Sally Gulbrandsen