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OUR ALTERNATIVE HEALTH PANEL: One problem, three solutions.

This week's problem... My eyes are sore, red and itchy and my GP says I'm suffering from conjunctivitis. Is there anything I can do?

Ko Chohan is director of studies at the College of Naturopathy. She says: Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the thin layer of transparent tissue that lines the eyelids and covers most of the white of the eye. The eyes become itchy, sore and vary from pink to red. Contributory factors are bacterial infection, exposure to smoke, fumes and allergies, and irritating chemicals in make-up or contact lens solution. If caused by a viral infection, it's highly contagious. I suggest a cleansing diet to boost the immune system. Eat plenty of immunity-supporting fruit and vegetables, such as carrots, spinach, asparagus, pineapple, apples, kiwis and lemons; grains, like barley and oats; and herbs and spices, such as fenugreek, rosemary, sage and cinnamon. Supplements of Vitamins A and C and zinc would also help to promote immunity and healing.

Dr Damir Shakambet is an authority on psychosomatic and oriental medicine. He is director of London's Bioenergetic Medical Centre. He says: Oriental medicine explains conjunctivitis as energy imbalances due to a sudden upsurge of energy towards the eyes, and the treatment consists of draining the counterflow. Acupressure points worthwhile massaging are Liver 3 (between the big and second toe), and Pericardium 6 (two finger breadths from the wrist crease on the palm side in the middle of the arm). Massaging points round the eyes is also helpful. One point is close to the inner angle of the eye, another at the outer angle of the eye, and a third in the middle of the eyebrow. Massage these points at least twice a day for 10 minutes. A herbal concoction that clears up eye inflammation contains rhubarb root (order from Shizhen on 0161-881 0088, or try a local herbalist). Relax your eyes by covering them with the palms of your hands and staring into the darkness to reduce eye strain.

Dr Neil Slade is a homoeopath. He lectures at the College of Homoeopathy. He says: Start with a remedy for eye strain, such as ruta. If that fails, try two remedies that are almost specific for this condition. If your eyes are red, watery and itching, take euphrasia. If there is a lot of watering and a thickish discharge that glues your lashes together in the morning, take pulsatilla. You could also bathe your eyes with euphrasia tincture. Use eight drops of tincture in half a glass of boiled, cooled water and bathe the better eye first, wiping from the side nearest your nose outwards, then with a new piece of cotton wool, do the other eye. Do this every morning and night.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Wintersgill, Georgina
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 15, 2000
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