In this article, we explain Ayurveda’s eye care in detail. It describes the eye from an Ayurvedic perspective and some daily practices to help you take care of your vision and treat some common disorders and diseases.
Introduction to eye care with Ayurveda
Three months or more of confinement!
We are staying locked up, more hours on the screen—one way or another, without exercise and a lot of irregularity in the hours of sleep. Now we are slowly returning to normality. And summer comes. Everyone is looking forward to being in nature and sunbathing. Indeed many are thinking about taking good care of their skin. But What about our eyes? Especially with the previous quarantine, with the excessive use of screens that we have all been through.
The eye is the most important sense organ. Vision plays a fundamental role in social and intellectual development, and we usually seek the solution only when the problem arises. In reality, with economic growth, we are experiencing an overload with many micro-jobs. More working hours. Lots of lifestyle changes, more use of digital devices, and consequently more strain on the eyes.
Lifestyle disorders are hurting the eye. In this scenario, eye c with Ayurveda becomes more necessary to prevent the appearance of problems.
Lifestyle disorders are hurting the eye. In this scenario, eye care with Ayurveda becomes more necessary to prevent the appearance of problems.
Digital Devices, Eye Care and Ayurveda
Some data to illustrate the situation. Worldwide, at least 2.2 billion people have vision problems. Visual impairment is a global health concern that hurts mental and physical health.
Disorders of refraction of the eye are the most common (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism). Among the diseases, cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathies stand out. Changes in the vision secondary to other conditions such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension are also significant challenges.
The specialty of Ayurvedic medicine that concerns the care and treatment of the eye is shalakya tantra.
The eye in Ayurveda
According to Ayurvedic science, all sensory organs are made of five elements. The fire element predominates in the eye. From the point of view of its organogenesis, it comprises Kapha, rakta, and the five elements. The eye as an organ has three layers or concentric tunics:
• Inner layer: tunica Nervosa or retina.
• Intermediate layer: vascular tunic or uvea, including the ciliary process, the iris, and the choroid. It coincides with mamsa dhatu in Ayurveda
• Outer layer: fibrous tunic or sclerocornea. It matches pitta, rasa, and dhatu in Ayurveda.
The cornea and lens are located in the anterior part of the eye.
Following Ayurvedic logic, the fire element’s predominance in vision can be controlled by the cold quality.
When the eye is affected by the imbalance of doshas through sira (arteries and veins), different diseases can appear. They are often associated with pain, burning, redness, dryness, edema, difficulty blinking, loss of vision, etc.
Causes of eye disorders and diseases according to Ayurveda
Prevention is better than cure. It is essential to avoid etiological factors to achieve optimal Ayurvedic eye care. These are the most frequent causes of eye disorders and diseases in Ayurveda medicine :
• Foods: spicy, fermented, salty, acidic, black soybeans, yogurt, cheese, flax seeds, and mustard.
• Activities: suppress natural urges such as sleep. Reduce tear secretions. Exposing the eyes to thermal contrasts. Continually working with tiny, distant, or moving objects.
Sleep disorders and disorders: daytime Sleepiness, insomnia.
Exposure to physical, mechanical, and chemical agents: smoke, dust, sunlight, bright artificial light.
• Emotions such as anger or sadness.
Systemic diseases: diabetes or hypertension can lead to serious eye diseases.
Recommendations for eye care in Ayurveda
Follow the daily regimen.
Nasya: applying oil or ghee in both nostrils every day is the best way to prevent it because it helps strengthen the sensory organs.
• Netradhavan: eyewash with Triphala kwath
• Abhyanga: application of oil all over the body. Especially the application of oil on the head and feet.
Beneficial foods for eye care
• Food: rice, wheat, barley, green soybeans, milk, ghee, honey, grape, pomegranate, banana,
Spices: celery seeds, cumin, coriander, cloves, fennel seeds, garlic, saffron.
• Beneficial herbs: Triphala, Amalaki, Aloe vera, Shatavari, Puran ghruta.
Also, there are potent treatments that help prevent and cure eye diseases.
Eye care treatments with Ayurveda
• Raktamokshan: sangria.
• Basti: yaapan basti. For example, basti of yashtimadhu oil.
• Aschyotan: instillation of the eyes, 8-10 drops in each. For example, rose water or milk ghee medicated with vetiver once a week.
Bidalak: application of paste on and around the closed eye. For example, musta, Triphala, Haridra, ghruta, Guduchi.
• Dhara: constant fluid in the closed eye from 4 angulis. For example, milk, herb decoction.
. Tarpan: It is a nourishing and moisturizing eye treatment with ghee or medicated ghee ( Triphala ghruta, tilvak ghruta ). It can be done in the morning or afternoon, every day or every other day. It gives clarity and strength to the eye muscles, especially in dry eye syndrome and myopia.
In the Bhavprakash, Rasayana (rejuvenating) has been defined as the substance that helps to have a long and healthy life, prevents diseases, is beneficial for the sensory organs, and promotes the generation of reproductive tissue.
Rasayana for eye care with Ayurveda refers explicitly to the following actions:
Immunomodulator: for example, bhrungraj ( Eclipta alba).
Antioxidant: for example, shigru.
Anti-aging: for example, ghee.
Antiallergic: for example, pippali.
Moisturizer: for example, saindhav, licorice.
Improves cellular defenses: for example lodhra.
Other plants described in the texts with chakshushya (beneficial to the eyes) effect are the following: Chandan, kamal, Triphala, Shatavari, punarnava, lodhra.
Among the minerals, karpur stands out and metals gold, mica, copper, zinc, and iron (1).
• Meditation with the flame of a candle: in Yoga Traatak, it is explained what it consists of and how to do it effectively.
• Sukhasana: consists of exercising the eye muscles by turning them up, down, and in a lateral direction.
Frequent eye diseases and their treatment in Ayurveda
Dry eye syndrome
Nasya : bhrungraj oil.
• Dhara: milk processed with licorice.
Aschyotan : triphala ghruta.
• Use of ghee, rose water, shatdhauta ghruta as an external application, dhara. Internally Shatavari ghruta as aschyotan or tarpan.
The eyes are a reflection of the spirit. Take care of them.