Formula Database

Bald's Eye Salve

(Bald's Eye Salve)

<< Back

Source: Bald's Leechbook (9th century)
Author: Unknown

Category: Formulas that are Applied Externally

Pattern: A "Wen", a stye. In TCM terms probably Wind-Heat or Toxic Heat

Key Symptoms: A red, painful lump on the inside or outside of the eyelid.

Allium (onion or leek)

Oxgall is not commonly available today but in the research of Harrison et al (2015): DOI 10.1128/mBio.01129-15 showed it was possible to remove with only a partial reduction in antimicrobial activity.

Preparation: "Make an eyesalve against a wen: take equal amounts of cropleac [an Allium species] and garlic, pound well together, take equal amounts of wine and oxgall, mix with the alliums, put this in a brass vessel, let [the mixture] stand for nine nights in the brass vessel, wring through a cloth and clarify well, put in a horn and at night apply to the eye with a feather; the best medicine."

Actions: Heals a "Wen". In TCM terms clears Wind-Heat and resolves toxicity.

Although not a Chinese formula this has come to considerable attention for its potential to eliminate Medically Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) discovered by Harrison et al (2015): DOI 10.1128/mBio.01129-15 and reflects my eventual intention to include both western and eastern remedies in this database since I believe that ancient medicine shared a similar approach of using formulas to create complex solutions that we are only beginning to recognise as an science in itself.

In the paper and in a follow up video update to the research Freya Harrison discusses by removing single ingredients they found that the brass seems to be dispensable and probably the oxgall too if a small sacrifice in efficacy is acceptable, suggesting the main action comes from onion or leek, garlic and wine distilled for 9 days.

Reference Notes: (click to display)

These pages are intended to assist clinicians and are not intended for self-diagnosis or treatment for which a qualified professional should be consulted.