According to traditional Chinese medicine, your eyes are the windows to your soul. If you have pesky puffy eyes with dark eye circles, something is triggering it. But the good news is that you can fix it!
Puffy eyes and dark eye circles may be caused by an unknown food allergy, weak digestion, lack of sleep, too much salt or alcohol intake, kidney issue or an under active thyroid. We always say do consult with an integrative/functional/naturopathic medicine practitioner to determine the root cause if the problem persists.
Here are some natural remedies you can try to fix the common culprits for puffy eyes and dark eye circles and wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed instead:
Sleep like a baby.
It’s called beauty sleep for a reason. Make sure you get at least 8 hours of quality sleep. The prime window for beauty sleep is between 10 pm and 2 am. Stop all screen time 1-2 hours before bedtime. Read a book, dab some lavender essential oil under your nose and sip your favorite herbal tea to get you into snooze and relaxation mode. Prop your head up with a special pillow to help prevent water-retention under your eyes, which contributes to puffy eyes and under eye bags.
Cut the salt.
Use fresh or powdered herbs to add tons of flavor and pizzazz to your food. Try fresh garlic, ginger, onion, rosemary, thyme, lemongrass, curry, turmeric or cumin powder. Get a pre-blended sodium-free herb mix from Herbamare. You don’t have to resort to eating bland food or avoid salt like the plague. Add a pinch of Himalayan salt to taste and leave the salt shaker off the table.
Getting to the bottom of food allergies.
Foods can be the cause of your puffy eyes. A quick and easy way to determine if you have a food allergy is to do an elimination diet by removing the most common offenders which are soy, wheat/gluten, corn, peanuts, dairy, tree nuts, fish, eggs, and shellfish. Avoid eating these foods for 21 days, then gradually add one back at a time into your diet every 3 days. Keep a food journal to jot down any symptoms. If you wake up the next morning with puffy, itchy or watery eyes, you’ll know which food is giving you those darn puffy eyes.
Stop the common cold before it gets you.
Vitamin C helps to prevent the common cold.
Load up on top vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables such as oranges, wild blueberries, strawberries, pomegranates, papaya, kiwi, bell peppers, guava, dark leafy greens, brussel sprouts, broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower and herbs like thyme, cilantro, basil and parsley in your diet. Have the fruits as a snack, make colorful salads, add the vegetables to soups, roasts or sautés, and blend the fruits and vegetables together to make a green smoothie. Whichever way you like to eat them, be sure these Vitamin C powerhouses make it on your everyday plate. If the common cold got you, don’t fret. Make sure to drink plenty of warm water with lemon and ginger. Get plenty of rest. Take up to 50 mg of zinc daily can help to reduce symptoms of the common cold.
Get your thyroid tested.
Puffy eyes are one of the common symptoms of hypothyroidism especially if it is chronic. Talk to your healthcare provider to get tested if you have chronic puffy eyes to rule out an under active thyroid.
DIY eye masks.
- Cooling cucumber mask- Cut a clean cold cucumber into slices. Lay 1 slice of cucumber on each eye (be sure to remove your eye make-up before applying) for 10 minutes. Relax on your couch and let the cucumbers work their magic on your eyes by bringing down the swelling and calm irritation. Cucumbers are anti-inflammatory and a great staple to have in your kitchen for DIY beauty treatments.
- Tea bag mask- Chill 2 bags of brewed green tea. Leave them on your eyes for 20 minutes. The caffeine in the tea bags and the antioxidants from the green tea will help to banish those puffy eyes. Your favorite eye cream most likely has caffeine in it so this tea bag mask will do the trick as well.
Fire up your digestion.
To strengthen your digestion, sip ginger tea with your meals, add ginger when cooking, to your green smoothies or green juices, eat fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi(my personal favorite) with your lunch or dinner. Try coconut water kefir. Start taking a high quality probiotic that has soil-based organisms and is gluten and dairy free.
Remedy for too much alcohol.
Sometimes a girl’s night out turns into having more glasses of wine or cocktails than you planned on. It happens. Some quick and easy ways to rehydrate, replenish, renourish, get rid of that headache or nausea and calm and focus your mind are:
- Rehydrate: Start your morning with large mug of hot water and fresh lemon juice. This helps to flush out the toxins and detoxify your liver, which has been hit hard from the alcohol. Continue to drink room temperature water throughout the day.
- Replenish: Load up on electrolytes such as potassium that have been depleted from too much alcohol. Drink coconut water or have a ripe banana.
- Renourish: Drink a green smoothie that has banana, ginger, baby spinach and pear in it. All these ingredients will help replenish lost electrolytes, deliver fiber, protein (spinach has a lot of it!), water and nutrients into your body to help you recover faster. Since the smoothie is blended, you are saving energy for healing instead of using it on digestion. The ginger helps to settle your stomach and tackle nausea. If you’re not up for a green smoothie, try plain warm oatmeal (add a dash of sea salt!). The inclination is usually to head out and stuff yourself with a greasy hamburger but save the fats and heavier foods for later in the day.
- Banish that headache: Put a drop of lavender or peppermint essential on your temples. Lay down and take a nap.
- Calm and focus your mind: Meditate and deep breathe for 5 minutes or try some gentle yoga exercises to help you re-center your mind and body.
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