Edgar Cayce often recommended potato poultices (packs) for eye problems involving irritation or inflammation (such as blepharitis - swollen eyelids). Here are some specific recommendations for using potato poultices:
- Use white ("irish") potatoes.
- Use "old," (not freshly dug) potatoes that have not frozen or spouted. One reading defined "old" as a potato that had been dug the previous year.
- If possible, use organic potatoes.
- Wash potatoes thoroughly.
- Grate or scrape the potato (peel and pulp).
- Apply the grated potato to a gauze.
- Close your eyes.
- Place the gauze and grated potato over the affected eye(s).
- Leave the poultice on for 30 to 60 minutes each session.
- Wash the eyes with a weak solution such as 20% boric acid. For severe cases, the readings sometimes recommended washing the eyes before and after the potato poultice.
The frequency of treatment varied with the severity of the condition. Typically, the poultice was recommended to be used each morning and evening until inflammation and irritation subsided. The readings sometimes suggested cycles of treatment wherein the poultice is used for two or three days and then rest for a couple of days before resuming the cycle.
CAYCE QUOTES ON USING POTATO POULTICES
Here are some excerpts from the Cayce readings which describe the use of potato poultices. Note that some of these excerpts describe how the use of the poultices would be integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan including other therapeutic modalities such as spinal adjustments, eyewashes, ointments, etc.
... each and every other evening, have scraped Irish potato, old, not new, and apply on gauze over the eyes. Keep this on for at least one hour, then cleanse the eye with any good antiseptic solution, using cotton tuft for same. (5301-1)
When the condition is produced that causes inflammation to be apparent in the eye where cold or congestion sets in from the predisposition of forces in the system, we would apply locally small quantities of scraped Irish potato to the eye to draw out the inflammation. This will seldom have to be used for a time, yet the adjustment of the condition along the cervical through osteopathic treatment should be done, else we will create the predisposition with those conditions existent in the system to cause the weakness of forces to the eye to become a constitutional condition, rather than organic affliction.(4674-1)
For the condition, we would apply these two ingredients to the eye. Bathe both eyes (externally) with twenty percent solution boric acid. Then apply, in rather sufficient quantity to cover the socket or place of eye, the scraped parts of commonly known irish potato. Let this be of the larger variety as possible, and one that has not frozen or sprouted. When the inflammation has so packed this solution, or application, as to render it of no service, (this is to be applied direct, of course, to the eye of course with the eye closed) remove this, and bathe with equal parts of ten percent solution of boric acid and ten percent solution of myrrh tincture.
Then apply the Yellow Oxide Ointment to the affected parts, and in the edge of the eye proper, near the tear ducts, you see, so this works in under the lids.
After this has remained for some thirty to forty minutes, bathe again in the twenty percent solution of boric acid, and apply again the potato, scraped, you see.
Repeat these, with only a short interval between, until inflammation is subsided and ease obtained for the physical forces.
Then other solutions will be applied. With the solution of acid, add one part of belladonna, which is the strong solution, and this will be used as drops, in the corner of the eye, and when bathed again apply the potato. (3884-1)
(Q) What should be done for the eyes?
(A) As indicated, these disturbances are from the incoordination between the cerebrospinal and the sympathetic nerve system; and the corrections that are to be made osteopathically will be for the betterment of the eyes.
If there is the continuing of inflammation, we would use of evenings the scraped Irish potato (old potatoes, not new ones) on gauze applied to the eyeballs themselves, or sockets, see? Let this remain on for a half to three quarters of an hour. This will draw the inflammation. Use only OLD potatoes, not new ones; and use such a poultice only if there is the inflammation or the burning of the eyes. (2086-1)
At least twice a day, for an hour, apply to the eyes the scraped Irish Potato, - not the new or this year's crop, but the old Irish potato. This would be put right on the eyelid, (with the eye closed, of course), and then bound on for about half an hour to an hour. Afterwards the eyes would be cleansed with a weak cleansing solution for the eyes, that is antiseptic; this about the proportions used for washing a baby's eyes, see? (1963-1)
Conditions, as we find, are very much improved in the general physical forces of the body. While there are those conditions that still disturb the body with the manner in which there is the inflammation in the eye, or in the lids and the iris, these - as we find - are somewhat on the improve. We would use the potato poultice, scraped old Irish potato - not new; put the scraped potato in a gauze and place on the eye (with it closed); not the potato directly to the eye in this particular case, but in a gauze, and sufficient quantity of it to fill the whole socket space. Let this remain as the body rests, for an hour to an hour and a half; then take off. It will be found that considerable amount of inflammation will be drawn out. Do this for two to three days, or two or three evenings; then rest by leaving it off for two or three days - if it makes for too great an irritation, which at times it would, dependent upon the newness or oldness of the potato, you see, that is used. When the poultice is removed each time, cleanse the eye with a weak solution of boric acid. This will make for a cleansing of the inflammation from these conditions. These would be used occasionally; two to three days at a time, then a rest period, gradually letting the periods of application get farther and farther apart, see? (774-2)