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Q Over the winter I have had a number of styes on one eye. I've never had them before so I'd like to know what you can suggest to treat them when I get one and if there's anything I can do to stop them coming back..

A Styes are painful, swollen inflammations of the eyelash follicle caused by an infection, so it's important to avoid touching the affected eye too much as you may spread the infection to your other eye.

As you have had a number of styes, it suggests that you may be a little run down. As part of avoiding them you need to treat yourself both from the inside and the outside..

To improve your resistance, try taking echinacea for a while, and make sure you are getting enough rest and you are eating sensibly.

You may also want to take a vitamin C supplement each day too.

Avoid convenience food where you can and have a diet that is wholefood, high in fibre, low in fat and with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

To ease a painful stye, make an infusion from a mix of chamomile, marigold and eyebright and when cool, use the tea to wet a piece of gauze or cotton wool and use that as a compress on the affected eye.

Leave the compress in place for several minutes, this can be repeated several times through the day.

Q I've just recovered from shingles but I'm still getting pain on one side where the blisters were. Is there anything you can recommend for me?

A The neuralgia pain you are experiencing can unfortunately last for a while in some cases.

However, one remedy you can try is to apply St John's Wort oil to the affected area several times a day. The oil is very soothing where there is nerve pain.

You could also try infusing one or two teaspoons of the herb, either on its own or mixed with Passion flower, in a cup of boiling water.

Drink several cups of this tea throughout the day, and this will also help sooth the pain.

If you have a question for Rosemary, email

Rosemary Westlake is a member of the Institute of Medical Herbalists. She can be contacted on 029 2022 2221
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Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 6, 2009
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