The five sensory organs are connecting our inner means to the broad outer world. Among them, Eyes are considered as important and the panchbhautik- five element anatomy described as follows. The muscular part is formed by Earth ( Prithvi), White area by Water (Ap_), blood vessels by Fire ( Tejas), Air (Vayu) governs color, and Space ( Akash) is dominant in tear glands.
When coming to the Tridosha theory, Pitta or Fire is the dominant dosha. Among the five divisions of Pitta, Alochaka Pitta is seated in the eyes. These divisions and understanding enable to select the best treatments for the eyes.
Causes for Eye Diseases.
- Lack of exercises
- Excess of alcohol, coffee, sugar, smoking, refined foods, and hydrogenated oils.
- Chronic diseases like Diabetes, Hypertension, Arthritis, etc.
Ayurvedic division of Eye diseases
Vata disorders in the eye tend to lead to dryness, poor vision, and eyestrain.
The deranged Pitta causes burning, inflammation, yellow pus, and redness.
The vitiated Kapha causes clouded vision, glaucoma, cataracts, thick pus, and watery eyes.
Improper Eye care can result in the following:
• Impaired vision
• Damaged Retinas especially in diabetes.
As always, Ayurveda treatment is based on the tridosha theory and here in Eyes, the treatment principle is the same one. The Samana ( Curative) and Shodhana ( Panchkarma) treatments are selectively adapted on the basis of the severity of the condition. Some daily routine practices like the application of cooling herbs such as roses, sandalwood, coriander leaves, and Indian eyeliner (kajal) are also advised.
Eyes are highly challenged in the polluted urban areas and as per Ayurveda, it is vital to protect the eyes from chemicals, overstrain, sunlight and internal toxins. As eyes are the seat of Pitta or Fire, any conditions increasing the heat initiates the degeneration of the connective tissue in the eyes. So one should avoid hot hair dryers, hot water on the face, alcohol-based cosmetics around the eyes. Please ensure the use of natural and herbal cosmetics from reputed brands.
Treatments for daily eye care
- Triphala eyewash
- Anjanam with suitable Rasakriyas like Elaneer kuzhambu.
- Applying Vata Kapha pacifying oils in the inner foot.
- Washing foot with cold water.
When the issues of eyes are creating more troubles, one should go for shodhana therapies after proper internal cleansing using medicated ghee.
Panchkarma is the process, which finds and cures the root cause of a problem by maintaining the correct balance of ‘Tridosha’ in the body. Pancha Karma removes the undesired elements from the body, enhance digestion and improve the metabolic process through food herbal medicines. Panchakarma means the five therapies: Vamana, Virechana, Nasya, Bast, and Raktamosha. In eye diseases apart from classical Panchkarma therapies, some specialized customized therapies like Tarpanam, Putapakam, Netra Vasti, Ashchyothanam, Anjanam, Siro vasti, Siro Dhara, , etc can also be done depending on the condition.
- Cooling herbs such as roses, sandalwood, coriander leaves, and Indian eyeliner (kajal) also improve vision.
- A drop of pure castor oil in the eyes is also healing for vata and pitta eye diseases.
- As Shatavari is high in vitamin A and Amla in vitamin C these strengthen the eyes connective tissue integrity.
- Take the juice of gooseberry mixed with curcumin powder daily.
- A diet, rich in antioxidants such as fresh fruit and vegetables will result in strong eyes.
- Eyesight is also dependent upon our total well being which our genetic structure, diet, the work environment and the level of exposure to airborne toxins.
- Boil 1/2 tp. fennel seed in a cup of water, and boil it back until reduced to half. Sip when warm.
- Drink lots of water as constipation has an adverse effect on eyes.
- Eat food rich in vitamin C and E and minerals like sulfur and magnesium. Recommended foods are garlic, onions, beans, spinach, celery, turnips, yellow and orange vegetables, green leafy vegetables, seaweed, apples, oranges, tomatoes, nuts, seeds, and soy products.
- Avoid alcohol,caffeinated and carbonated drinks.
- Remove the seeds from the pod of black cardamom mix it with a tablespoon of honey. Chew thoroughly to the strengthen vision.
- Almond is ideal for eyes; it strengthens the vision and calm mental stress. Take 1-2 almonds a day with warm milk or fruit juice.
- Relieve the stress by meditation, nature walks, and yoga.
- Daily exercises help to remove toxins and congestion from the eyes.
- Apply Herbal Eye Bags made with herbs like Usheer, Sandal, etc to your eyes.
- The green tea has an antioxidant quality and draws out toxins.
- Applying rose water and cucumber gives a cooling sensation to the eyes.
- Triphala is an important medicine for eye health, especially blurred vision or to prevent the development of cataract. Triphala is advised to take daily for the rejuvenation of the eyes.
As the primary dosha causing Eye diseases is Pitta, one should avoid food increasing Pitta Dosha. We should add food which is giving a cool effect in the body. Certain changes in one’s diet are necessary to ensure the greatest results. One should have light, nourishing and easily digestible food.
Meditation is nothing but seeing our inner self. So practice Meditation in the true sense and will recharge our body, mind, soul, sense organs.
Taking short breaks in between busy schedule by closing our eyes is a good recharge for the eyes. If you can put two pieces of cucumber over the eyes, it’s great. When we get proper rest, our creativity and output will be more productive. One should go early to bed and early to rise and tune to nature’s cycles.
Eye on yoga
Eyes are the opening of the brain and this perception is close to the mind. The degeneration of the eyes starts with the stress and contraction of the muscles and so the relaxing techniques of the Yoga, greatly supports the eyes. The major part of the brain is used to process the sensory data from the eyes and so the relaxation to the eyes relaxes the brain. So experiences of real Yoga pleasure enhances optimum eye health.
Yogic Eye Exercises
- Sit in Sukhasana- Easy pose, ensure the spine, neck, and head are straight and legs are crossed. Take a normal breath and look to the straight point in the front. ( Please select gentle calm colors and avoid dark colors which increase Pitta). Move your eyes upward and downwards stay for few seconds. Close your eyes for five seconds. Look to the right, left and front for a few seconds which is comfortable for you and again close your eyes for 10 seconds. This completes one round. Start with 2-3 rounds and increase up to six rounds.
- Please warm the whole body with simple stretching exercises and sit in comfortable Sidhasana or Sukhasana or Padmasana. Close the eyes and try to see the light in the mid-brow point. Don’t strain, but do with ease. When the lights start to glow, accept it with a good smile. Wait till the light diminishes and slowly rub both hands and put the palm over the eyes gently and open the eyes.
- Practice Bhujangasana, Surya Namaskar, Shavasana.
- Practice the blinking of eyes regularly to clean the eyes.
- Practice Nadi shodan pranayama. Please remember to start and end the breathing with left nostril.