Styes: Prevention and Remedies

by Glen Swartwout


Here are a few key remedy ideas to start with:

Enzymes for breaking down fats (start with Phyto-Enzymes and add Lipase HP if necessary) taken up to three times a day between meals if tolerated for maximum effects in the eyelid. If you get any digestive tract pain, switch to taking the capsules with food so long as the pain does not continue.

A fat-absorbing fiber (Chitosan) so you body will be looking for fats to make bile out of instead of recycling it. You can start with 3 Chitosan a day with extra water and then adjust the dosage for optimum bowel function. It tends to improve bowel function, but as with many fibers, if you take too much (or not enough water with it) it can tend to plug things up. Chitosan is also used in Japan against methycillin-resistant staph infections, so the immune effects will be helpful as well. Chitosan is also beneficial for weight loss, and you can take as much as 15 a day as long as your bowels tolerate the dosage.

Diet is important. Avoid fried foods and other sources of oxidized oils (cooked in air; steamed, poached, pressure-cooked o.k.), trans fatty acid sources, hydrogenated oils (margarine, crisco). The ratio of essential fatty acids to these problematic fats in the modern diet is crucial, so it would be helpful to supplement Evening Primrose Oil at 3 to 6 capsules a day. This has an anti-inflammatory effect that will be beneficial, as well as supplying a more fluid base to make the oily layer of the tears out of in the meibomian glands in the eyelids.

Phosphatidyl Choline is the best fat solvent to take internally. It is used, for example, to pull fat deposits off the inside of the arteries. You can take 1 to 3 a day.

Topically you could also apply Emu oil externally around the eyelid area at least twice a day. Emu oil is the most penetrating oil and would help to loosen up the deposits. The skin of the eyelid is the thinnest in the body, so topical application should effectively deliver some to the meibomian glands.

Factor Preventive Risk
Diet EFAs (flax, hemp seed, Primrose, DHA, Pumpkin seed or other beneficial oil supplement) animal fats, hydrogenated oils, fried foods
Minerals Ag (Mild Silver Protein topically and internally), Mn (Manganese Picolinate), Zn (Zinc 50): check zinc level with Zinc sulfate taste test heavy metals (check tissue trace mineral levels in hair)
Vitamins A, B complex (Stamina Plus), C (Ester-C Complex) (all: StarGold) imbalances and deficiencies
Fluids drink and cook with alkaline Microwater, wash with acid Microwater, use alternating hot & cold compress hydrotherapy of acid Microwater dehydration, constipation and kidney problems; avoid diuretics: soda, coffee, alcohol
Herbs & Natural Remedies topical: Calendula ointment, or Calendula and Hypericum compress.
Euphrasia can be taken internally as well as used to make eyedrops.
Also take Burdock, Echinacea, Forsythia, Goldenseal and Honeysuckle.
Consider lipase supplementation (e.g. Digestzymes or Similase)
antibiotics are sometimes prescribed, but have undesirable side effects (instead, use Shields Up or Mild Silver Protein, while replacing beneficial bacteria with Friendly-Flora) Prescription steroids are even worse (consider 7-Keto DHEA as an alternative, natural steroid)
Homeopathy Consider Staphysagria, Platanus occidentalis, Calc. picr., Graph., Hep., Puls., Sep., Sil. and Sul. See full report for more information on homeopathic remedies including low potency Phytolacca, Pulsatilla, and remedy differentials.
Environment Full spectrum light (Ott lights), cleaned and enriched air with negative ions and energized oxygen (Oxozone) petrochemicals, smoke, toxins, irritants, allergens (air & food: use AllerFree and Food Tolerance when exposed)
Health Factors skin, dandruff, blepharitis, conjunctivitis, dehydration, constipation, liver, fat metabolism, kidneys, heavy metal toxicity

Specific Product Suggestions:

Dosages: the suggested range of typical doses (written as dosage x frequency) and resulting monthly supply needed (# of bottles) is recommended for the following products, with the essential products and the common reasons for adding the other products in bold:

Product First # Time Later # Notes
Aller Free .5×2 1 —– 0 0 as needed for allergy symptoms
Beta Carotene 1×3 1 —– 1×1 1/3 double if skin, membrane problems
Calendula ointment 1×2 1 —– 0 0 use as needed (antibacterial, soothing)
Digestzymes .5×2 1 1 mo none 0 use if digestive problems
Unique E 1×1 1 1 wk 1×2 1/6 increase slowly; use if heart problems
Energessence .5×2 1 —– .5×2 1 use if low energy
Eyebright 10×3 1 —– 10×3 1 use if sinus problems
Eye Drops 1×6 1/3 —– 1×6 1/3 use as desired for comfort
Borago officinalis Borage Oil 1×2 1 —– 1×2 1 EFAs (GLA & Linoleic Acid)
Friendly-Flora 1×2 1 —– 1×1 1/2 continue 1×2 if take meat or tap water
Ginkgo biloba 1×2 2 —– 1×2 2 if reduced ocular/cranial circulation
GTF Chromium 1×3 1 —– 1×3 1 use if diabetic, hypoglycemic
Vitamin A
1×1 1 3 mo none 0 double if vegetarian (separate from E)
Magnesium glycinate 1×2 1/3 6 mo 1×1 1/6 continue if cardiovascular problems
Manganese picolinate 1×1 .5 6 mo 1×1 .5 use if allergies, or known deficiency
Maxogenol 1×2 1 1 mo 1×1 1 continue 1×2 if inflammatory symptoms
Shark Essence 1×2 2 1 mo .5×2 1 use if arthritis history
Shields Up 1×3 1 1 mo 0 0 use for up to a month at a time
.5×2 1 1 mo .5×1 .5 continue if chronic immune deficiency
Stamina Plus .5×2 1 —– .5×2 1 use if stress, other nerve problems
StarGold 1×2 1/2 —– 1×2 1/2 increase slowly if detox symptoms
Structural Integrity Plus 1×1 .5 —– 1×1 .5 double if osteoporosis history
Ester-C Complex 1×2 2/3 —– 1×2 2/3 triple dose if heavy metal toxicity
Zinc 1×1 1 3 mo none 0 use if deficient on Zinc taste test

Styes are associated with blepharitis, which means inflammation of the eyelids. This can be linked to dandruff, and often conjunctivitis as well. Conventional doctors often treat the condition with antibiotics and steroids to suppress the symptoms.


Sensitivity or over-exposure to petrochemicals (consider Petrochem), tobacco smoke (consider Aller Free) and other toxins, irritants and allergens (including foods: consider Food Tolerance) can cause darkness (‘allergic shiners’), swelling and redness of the eyelids. These symptoms may also get worse sometimes before they improve upon withdrawal of the offending substances. Associated symptoms may include photophobia, blurry or dim vision, excessive tearing, itching and red eyes (conjunctivitis).



Reduce intake of animal fats and avoid hydrogenated oils and fried foods. Instead, supplement with 1 tablespoon daily of cold pressed flaxseed oil or other essential fatty acids.


B Complex

B vitamin supplementation may be helpful.


Vitamin C supplementation has been recommended.



At a time when coins were made of real silver, earlier generations used to rub a silver coin on the skin of the eyelid overlying a stye to make it go away. Today, Mild Silver Protein is available as a nutritional trace mineral supplement supplying silver in a gentle form that is safe on the skin as a compress, and even directly in the eyes as an eye drop.


Supplemental zinc has been suggested. Zinc monomethionine is one of the preferable forms.


Traditional herbal treatment for styes includes Anemone pulsatilla (windflower) which has been used at a dosage 5 to 10 minims of fluid extract taken internally 3 to 4 times a day for adults. The dosage is very important because of the potential toxicity of this herb. This herb is indicated for the acute stage of styes as well as recurrent styes and a sensation of gumminess in the eyes. Pulsatilla fluid extract is also used topically on the eyelid for styes. Pulsatilla is also widely used as a homeopathic remedy in non-toxic potencies, for which it is well known as a remedy for changeable symptoms in individuals easily moved to tears.

Phytolacca decandra has been recommended for styes at an adult dosage of 1/2 to 1 dram fluid extract of berries or 15 to 30 minims fluid extract of root, taken 3 to 4 times per day orally. Phytolacca root can be quite toxic so, dosage is very important. Phytolacca oil is also widely used for topical application, and phytolacca is available as a non-toxic homeopathic remedy as well. Phytolacca stimulates lymphatic drainage and detoxification.

A homeopathic or herbal Calendula ointment or gel is recommended for its antibiotic and soothing properties.


A number of homeopathic remedies may be taken for blepharitis every 4 hours for up to 2 weeks for self treatment. Consider Hepar sulph. 6C for red, gummy eyelids, or Graphites 6C for redness and swelling of the eyelids in the morning. If the lids are primarily itchy, try Calcarea 6C. With soreness and burning of the lids, as well as ulceration of the lids and worsening of symptoms when the eyes are washed with water, use Sulphur 6C. Conium maculatum is used for lid abcesses.

A number of homeopathics may be used for blepharitis, including Antimonium crudum (antimony sulfide, Sb2S3), Apis mellifica (honey bee), Arsenicum album (As2O3), Belladonna (deadly nightshade), Calcarea carbonica (calcium carbonate, CaCO3), Calcarea iodata (calcium iodide, CaI2), Euphrasia officinalis (eyebright), Graphites (graphite, C), Hepar sulphuris calcareum (impure calcium sulphide, CaS), Iodum (iodine, I), Mercurius solubilis or vivus (mercury, Hg), Natrum arsenicosum (sodium aresenate, Na2HAsO4.7H2O), Natrum muriaticum (sodium chloride, NaCl), Pulsatilla (windflower), Rhus toxicodendron (poison ivy) and Sulphur (S). Less frequently used remedies include Aconitum napellus (monk’s hood), Alumina (aluminum hydrate, Al(OH)3), Argentum nitricum (silver nitrate, AgNO3), Aurum metallicum (gold, Au), Calcarea picrica, Causticum (hydrate of potassium, K.XH2O), Cinnabar (mercuric sulfide, HgS), Kreosotum (Creosote), Lycopodium clavatum (club moss), Mercurius sublimatus corrosivus (Mercuric chloride, HgCl2), Mercurius nitrosus (mercurius nitricus oxydulatus), Mercurius protoiodatus (mercurous iodide, Hg2I2), Mezereum, Nux vomica (poison nut), Petroleum, Picric acid (C6H2(NO2)3OH), Sanguinaria canadensis (blood root), Senega (Seneca snake root), Sepia (cuttle fish ink), Staphysagria (stavesacre), Tellurium metallicum, Thuja occidentalis (arbor vitae).

Marginal blepharitis is often treated by Borax (sodium pyroborate, Na2B4O7 + 10 H2O), Graphites or Mercurius solubilis.

Complex homeopathy may include Oculoheel twice a day, followed 2 hours after each dose with a Sulfur-Heel tablet, which in turn may be followed 2 hours later with 8 to 10 drops of Graphites-Homaccord. These remedies may also be taken together up to 6 times a day. Additional remedies to consider from the same source include Kalmia-Injeel (forte) for ciliary injection, Mercurius-Heel for suppuration, Lymphomyosot for scrofulosis, Psorinoheel for chronic cases, Traumeel tablets for antiphlogistic and antisuppurative effects and a thin film of Traumeel salve rubbed gently into the eyelids. Additional therapy could include Ferrum jodatum-Injeel (forte) and Graphites-Homaccord. Mercurius bijodatus-Injeel (forte) is considered for blepharitis ciliaris with chronic granulation. Petroleum-Injeel (forte) helps with cracked eyelid margins. Variolinum-Injeel (forte) and Vaccininum-Injeel (forte) are sometimes used in chronic cases. Mucosa compositum is also helpful especially in chronic cases as well.

For a chalazion, or meibomian cyst, the remedy to try first is Staphysagria 6C which can be taken 3 times a day for up to 2 weeks. If the condition is not improving substitute Thuja 6C 3 times a day. Other remedies useful for chalazia include Platanus occidentalis (sycamore buttonwood), Calcarea carbonicum, Causticum, Conium maculatum (poison hemlock), Hepar sulphuris calcareum, Pulsatilla and Zincum metallicum (zinc, Zn). According to Boericke, styes may be treated with Agar., Apis, Aur. m. n., Calc. picr., Con., Graph.,Hep., Lyc., Merc., Puls., Sep., Sil., Staph., Sul., Thuja, and Uran. When followed by hard nodosities, consider Con., Staph. and Thuja.

Belladonna is a good remedy to try at the first sign of a red, puffy eyelid.

Calendula (marigold) and Hypericum (St. Johnswort) make an excellent antibacterial and antiviral compress for the eyes.

Euphrasia (eyebright) helps clear the sinuses, mucus membranes and the eye area in general.

Pulsatilla helps relieve itching eyes with inflamed, agglutinated lids and styes.

Silicea is for swellings at the angles of the eyes, especially swelling at the lachrymal duct. There may be styes with photophobia.

Staphysagria is excellent for recurrent styes typically at the inner canthus, and often accompanied by itching at the margin of the eyelid. There may also be dark circles under the eyes.

Styes and chalazia can be treated with complex homeopathics including Oculoheel, taken 3 times a day. This is sometimes combined with Traumeel tablets, Graphites-Homaccord (when accompanied by blepharitis), Cruroheel for chronically recurrent cases and Traumeel salve applied topically to the skin of the eyelid. Additional remedies that are sometimes used include Staphisagria-Injeel (forte) one to two times per week, Hepar sulfuris-Injeel (forte), and possibly Mercurius solubilis-Hahnemanni-Injeel (forte). Graphites-Injeel or Graphites-Homaccord are considered with chronic blepharitis. Echinacea compositum is used intermittently for inflammation with suppuration. Mucosa compositum may be used, as well as Staphylococcus-Injeel (forte). Serious cases may also require Streptococcus haemolyticus-Injeel (forte) and Pyrogenium-Injeel (forte). Auto-hemo-nosode therapy is also used in serious cases, with progressively increasing potencies, along with Adeps suillus-Injeel (forte), which is homeopathic pork fat.

The nosode Staphylococcus is frequently used for eyelid inflammation, swelling and infection, such as blepharitis and hordeolums. 22% of all staph infections occur in the eyelids, a higher concentration than any other part of the body. Hordeolums are also treated with Tuberculinum nosode. The nosode Pyodermie should also be considered with lid swellings containing pus, especially when they are recurrent. Streptococcus hemolyticus (and with lesser severity, streptococcus viridans) symptoms can include photophobia, crying with no cause, impaired vision and even retinal hemorrhage. Vaccininum (smallpox vaccine) nosode is useful for swollen eyelids with ulcerated margins, especially following exposure to someone who has recently received a smallpox vaccine. For eruption of pustule-like blisters on the eyelids or conjunctiva, use the Variolinum nosode.

Another type of growth on the eyelids is a papilloma or wart, which will often respond to Thuja 6C taken 3 times a day for up to a week. This remedy should be used even if the wart is removed chemically or surgically.

Xanthelasma is a yellow deposit of fats in the eyelid, and while harmless in itself, can indicate problems with fat metabolism, it may respond to Calcarea 6C taken twice a day for 2 weeks. This treatment can be repeated in a month if no change is seen. Since homeopathy is stimulatory medicine, rather than suppressive in nature, if improvement is achieved, the Calcarea has actually improved the fat metabolism.

Lupus remedies include Apis mellifica, Hydrocotyle asiatic (gotu kola), Iodoformium, Phytolacca, Radium and Thuja occidentalis.


The eyelids can reflect the state of the urinary tract, and taking adequate quantity and quality fluids can help. Drink plenty of good water, with the best being alkaline microwater. Next best is BEV quality filtered water. Third choice is bottled water that is close to BEV standards, including Canadian Glacier or Volvic water.

Bathing the eyes before going to bed, either in acid microwater or in a sterile unpreserved saline solution is recommended. For maximum hydrotherapy effects of stimulating circulation, this may be applied as an alternating hot and cold compress, with the hot compress first applied and left on for 5 minutes, followed by a 10 minute single application of a cold compress. This sequence may be repeated a second time. In early acute stages, the hot phase should be avoided, however. A homeopathic or herbal calendula ointment or gel may then be applied for its antibiotic and soothing properties.

(See written report for 39 footnotes)