Unlike your everyday table salt, Epsom salt is high in magnesium and is beneficial as a health supplement that you can use topically or orally. According to Princeton University's Center for Complex Materials, it's a whitish clear crystalline whose name derives from the popular town of Epsom and Ewell in England. Although Epsom salt is commonly used to relieve minor aches, sprains and discomforts in the form of a hot, salty bath, its bacteria-fighting properties also treat eye problems.
If you suffer from cataracts, wash your closed eyes with hot Epsom salt–infused water, as recommended by the website HerbData New Zealand. For best results, combine a spoonful of Epsom salt with a cup of hot water and stir until the salt dissolves. Allow the water to cool down so it's comfortable when applied to the skin. Then, close your eyes and pour the solution over your face. Rinse with cool water.
Commonly known as pink eye, conjunctivitis is an inflammation or an infection of the tissues lining the eyelid interior. It too can be treated with natural Epsom salts. Place one spoonful of Epsom salt in a cup of hot water and stir until dissolved. Use a washcloth to soak up the mixture and place it over your closed eyes. Hold for one to two minutes and rinse with cold water. Repeat two to three times a week.
Styes are also an inflammation or an infection of the eye. Rather than affecting the interior of the eyelid, however, styes can appear wherever a hair follicle exists. Consider it the equivalent of a pimple or a cyst on or around your eye. The University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center explains that although styes go away after several days, they are extremely painful. To alleviate pain, perform an eyewash with Epsom salt and hot water. Keep eyes closed while washing and rinse with cool water.