Manuka Honey and other natural products are becoming increasingly popular as alternative solutions for a wide variety of health issues.
Ocular health is no exception. However, great care must be taken when using alternative or home-made products on your eyes since this is a highly sensitive part of your body.
You want to care for your eyes with the most effective yet safest means possible. This is especially true when your eyes are already irritated or fighting a disease. Let’s face it, you don’t want to make the situation even worse.
Compounds that are too harsh or irritating can exacerbate any inflammation, compounding the problem rather than solving it.
Manuka Honey: a Popular Ocular Therapy
Honey, particularly Manuka honey, has been noted for its soothing, anti-inflammatory effects.
Manuka honey comes from bees that have foraged nectar from blossoms of the tea tree. It contains a number of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory compounds. The strengths of these vary between each batch of honey, however.
Studies have found Manuka honey to be effective against certain eye problems such as dry eye disease.1,2 Research is limited, however, and no anti-fungal, antiviral, or other pathogen-killing properties, aside from bactericidal, have been established.3
Manuka honey is now an additive in various eye care products such as eye drops and facial creams. Some people are now even starting to make home-made mixtures with raw honey.
Attempting to make your own drops with food-grade honey runs the risk of infection or mixing a concentration that actually irritates your eyes. Products containing honey also have a chance of causing allergic reactions, especially in people who are allergic to bees.
Tea Tree Oil and 4-terpineol
Products containing tea tree oil are mostly used topically for skin conditions.
Creams, cleansers, and eye drops containing tea tree oil are also widely used for ocular conditions. Lid scrubs and facial cleansers with tea tree essential oil are especially useful in cases of blepharitis (eyelid inflammation), dry eye disease, and demodicosis (eyelash mite infestation).4,5
Unfortunately, a small percentage of people develop contact allergic dermatitis from using tea tree oil products.
Researchers have identified one particular compound from tea tree oil, 4-terpineol, as being particularly effective as a cleanser, without irritating side effects. 4-terpineol is the most potent mite-killing compound in tea tree oil, making this substance especially useful for clearing infestations of Demodex mites.
Cliradex foam and towelettes eyelid cleansers are formulated with 4-terpineol but without the extra ingredients from tea tree oil. This means that they can be used safely, long-term.
Keep it simple: use Cliradex to target tough causes of eye discomfort without exposing yourself to excess chemicals.
1. Majtanova N, Cernak M, Majtan J. Honey: A Natural Remedy for Eye Diseases. Forschende Komplementarmedizin (2006). 2016;23(6):364-369.
2. Albietz JM, Schmid KL. Randomised controlled trial of topical antibacterial Manuka (Leptospermum species) honey for evaporative dry eye due to meibomian gland dysfunction. Clinical & experimental optometry. 2017;100(6):603-615.
3. Mandal MD, Mandal S. Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity. Asian Pacific journal of tropical biomedicine. 2011;1(2):154-160.
4. Gao YY, Xu DL, Huang l J, Wang R, Tseng SC. Treatment of ocular itching associated with ocular demodicosis by 5% tea tree oil ointment. Cornea. 2012;31(1):14-17.
5. Koo H, Kim TH, Kim KW, Wee SW, Chun YS, Kim JC. Ocular Surface Discomfort and Demodex: Effect of Tea Tree Oil Eyelid Scrub in Demodex Blepharitis. Journal of Korean Medical Science. 2012;27(12):1574-1579.
6. Tighe S, Gao YY, Tseng SC. Terpinen-4-ol is the Most Active Ingredient of Tea Tree Oil to Kill Demodex Mites. Translational vision science & technology. 2013;2(7):2.