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Chinese herbal decoction for Conjunctivitis (sore eyes)

An inflammation of the conjunctiva (the mucus membrane lining between the inner eyelid and the front of eyeball), conjunctivitis causes discomfort, redness and a discharge. Most likely the causes are either infection or allergies. Infection usually caused by the bacteria spread the contact of hand to eye, or from a virus associated with a cold, sore throat, measles or flu. Allergic reactions are usually cuzed by cosmetics, contact lens cleaning solutions, or pollen. Regular hand washing is definitely good to prevent infection, while keep ourselves away from the allergens will help on allergies.

Traditional Chinese medicine treats conjunctivitis and sore eyes with a decoction of a single-herb tea made from Xia Ku Cao (Prunella Spike-Self-Heal, Prunella vulgaris or Self-Heal, 夏枯草in Chinese).

Action: Clears heat from the liver, thereby reducing heat and toxins in the blood.

Use: Prescriptions, or single-herb tea, or soups

Remarks: This is considered to be a fabulous general tonic during the summer when heat stress of the liver generates a range of symptoms, such as headache, dizziness and sore eyes. It's antibacterial and specific for treating for red, painful and swollen eyes.

In a lot of Chinese supermarket, you can find sweetened Xia Ku Cao herb tea in bottles, or packet powder for instant tea as well. It's very popular and common especially during the summer.

(sources: Chinese Herbal Medicine made easy by Thomas Richard Joiner, Streetwise Guide: Chinese Herbal Medicine by Wong Kang Ying and Martha Dahle)