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

Updated on October 21, 2017
Little Miss Big Eye
Little Miss Big Eye | Source

The Purchase That Started the Conversation

A chance remark can sometimes result in an interesting discovery.

I purchased some Bio-Oil based on the strength of a conversation which I had with a friend. The result was interesting. I found that over time some of the dark pigment marks on my skin began to fade and my skin felt softer. I wanted to share this revelation with someone so I discussed the result with my sister who lives in Australia.

Please consult with an ophthalmologist before introducing any foreign material into your eye. It is important to first have your condition diagnosed by a medical professional before treatment. Anything introduced into the eye should be sterile to avoid chances of infection; be sure to acquire products that meet these standards.

The Discovery!

It emerged from our conversation that she too had recently purchased a very expensive skin product to address the pigment marks which she was also having with her skin and which were caused by the many hours she had spent in the sun in hot countries.

The product she used cost her over $75. She felt that this was extortionate and admitted to me that there had been no improvement in her skin! She was curious to try the Bio-Oil which I had used because by comparison it was a much cheaper product.

I told her that if she decided to go the bio oil route she should keep the product away from her eyes as it can sting a little and can make your eyes blurry.

She laughed and said that was not an issue as she had been using both cold pressed castor oil and cold pressed flax oil for her eyes on the advice of her ophthalmologist. It seems that both these oils have really helped to alleviate the dry eye symptoms which she has always suffered from since she went through a botched eye operation.

Magnified eye
Magnified eye | Source

Castor Oil and Flax Oil for Dry Eyes

I have spent a fair bit of time writing articles on my computer over the years and my eyes are apt to become easily tired and red after extended periods of looking at the screen. I know I really should take breaks, but I confess I don’t always, especially if I am engrossed in doing something interesting. I had a Lasik operation myself some years back for what was then short-sightedness, and more recently a cataract operation.

My ears naturally pricked up when my sister told me her eye specialist had recommended that she use castor oil or flax oil for her dry eyes. It seemed a good idea and I tried it myself.

The results have been good. I apply the oil when my eyes feel scratchy or dry using a small clean eyedropper, putting one or two drops into each eye at night before going to bed or when I feel it necessary. The castor oil does seem to have reduced my own dry eye symptoms.

If I apply the oil just after a hot shower when my body is wet and warm, the oil appears to be more easily absorbed. The benefits of the oil do seem to outway the mild irritation of having blurry eyes for a while which is why I like to apply it at night when I don't notice it as much. Another benefit of the oil seems to be a noticeable improvement in my eyelashes which appear to have grown thick and strong!

Flax Seed

There is a strange story going around in which it is said that some people believe that a single flax seed placed in the eye helps to remove a foreign body from the eye if there is one 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 will see that it closely resembles a football, which is flat on one side. This apparently 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 the early days as a lubricant for mechanical items such as carts or waggons, and even aeroplanes 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 labour 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 the oil is probably still gathering cobwebs in some far distant location. Castor oil is also used in candy-making and in flavourings 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. This is sometimes due to age. Harsh winds and the 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 that it is rather for short term relief. The castor oil moisturises 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 your eyes. 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 prostate 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 and keeps the eyes moist.

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

See results

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!

© 2013 Sally Gulbrandsen

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    • profile image

      Debbie 13 days ago

      I have used the flax seed in the eye to get rid of foreign objects. Works quite well. Put in at bedtime and in the morning you will usually find it in the inner corner of your eye. Learned from my mother and grandmother.

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 months ago from Norfolk

      Geraldine, I wish I could be more helpful. I can only say that this was the type of castor oil which was recommended to my sister. I cannot advise on medical matters and would suggest that you consult your own Ophthalmologist before using it.

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 months ago from Norfolk

      I always recommend that people should speak with their Doctor or Ophthalmologist first before trying Castor Oil for dry eyes. Our eyes are precious and this decision should be a shared one between those wanting to use it and their own doctor.

    • profile image

      jd7755359h@copper.net 3 months ago

      My Opthalmologist has a cataract clinic he needs to pay for, does not want me to use castor oil... Says this treatment is bunk... Thank goodness I aspire to running/taking care of my own life...

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 months ago from Norfolk

      I would suggest that you speak to your optician or ophthalmologist if you are having any problems with your eyes. Our eyes are too precious not to.

    • profile image

      Debbie Hattan 8 months ago

      I have had severe dry eyes which cause spasms in the muscles around my eyes. I have to get Botox injections to control the spasms, but does not help the dry eyes. Looking for an eye drop which would actually help the dryness I came across a group discussion about an eye drop whitch contains Castor oil. It is no longer sold in the US, but can be ordered from Canada. It is "Refresh Endura". I have been able to get it through Amazon. I am able to use it in he daytime without the blurriness which I get with putting pure castor oil in. I am looking for a night ointment that has castor oil instead on mineral oil. When I used castor oil in my eyes at night, I had blurryness for three days. It did cause tear production which ran down my face for 3 days as well, so my eyes felt better, but vision was not so good. I am also using castor oil on my face. The dark spots are lightening over time and moles and bumps on face are flatening out. This is a slow process, but am gradually feeling that wrinkles are decreasing and firmness is returning as well. I am 68 years old. Wish I had known of the benefits of Castor oil all my life. I also use Omega 3 fish oil. My eye doctor said take 1000 mg per day. The first brand I got caused burping all day, but Country Life brand is 1000 mg, and I haven't had any digestion problems with it. Hope these comments help someone out there.

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 8 months ago from Norfolk

      Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • profile image

      boyce 8 months ago

      I have used castor oil for dry eyes, but I find it leaves a fine film on my eyes

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 12 months ago from Norfolk

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

    • profile image

      NadineMay 12 months 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
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 13 months ago from Norfolk

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

    • profile image

      nancy 13 months 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
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 14 months ago from Norfolk

      techygran

      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.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 14 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
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 18 months ago from Norfolk

      Char

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

    • profile image

      Char 18 months ago

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

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

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

    • profile image

      RL 2 years ago

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

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

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

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      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.

      Sally.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years 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
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      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,

      Sally.

    • profile image

      Sumeet 2 years ago

      Hi!!!

      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.

      Thankfully

      Sumeet

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      JDreher

      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.

    • profile image

      JDreher 2 years 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
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      PegCole17

      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.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years 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
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      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

      Sally

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years 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
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Moss

      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.

      Sally

    • profile image

      Moss 2 years 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
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Hi Sarah,

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

    • profile image

      Sarah 2 years 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
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

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

    • profile image

      Wolfs Paw 2 years 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
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Balaji,

      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.

      Sally

    • profile image

      Balaji 3 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
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      frogyfish

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

      Sally

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 3 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
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      blueheron

      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.

      Sally

    • blueheron profile image

      Sharon Vile 3 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
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      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.

    • passionate77 profile image

      passionate77 3 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
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

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

      Sally

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 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
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      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.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 4 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
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      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.

    • profile image

      jo.smiles 4 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
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      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.

    • profile image

      Kelly 4 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
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      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.

    • profile image

      Kai 4 years ago

      What brand of Castor oil did your sister use?

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      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.

    • Marsha Musselman1 profile image

      Marsha Musselman 4 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
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      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.

    • marion langley profile image

      marion langley 4 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
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

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

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

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

    • Tom Cornett profile image

      Tom Cornett 4 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
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      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!

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      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

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 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!