Eye Care with Ayurveda

Pollution of air, water, food, radiation and chemicals are affecting the body badly and work pressure, mental trauma and sleeplessness are depressing the mind. The effect of all these is creating a wrong impact on the sense organs. Eyes, being the  most precious organ, is ultra-sensitive and it can’t always withstand these pressures when they go beyond the limits. 

Pollution of air, water, food, radiation and chemicals are affecting the body badly and work pressure, mental trauma and sleeplessness are depressing the mind. The effect of all these is creating a wrong impact on the sense organs. Eyes, being the  most precious organ, is ultra-sensitive and it can’t always withstand these pressures when they go beyond the limits. 

Visual impairment can limit people’s ability to perform everyday tasks and can affect their quality of life and ability to interact with the world. In the past few decades, prevalence of lifestyle related diseases has increased which are due to an inappropriate relationship of people with their environment. In this fast and advanced life we rarely pay attention to the health of the most precious organ “Eyes”. So we must think about the bad effects  of  these factors on this valuable sense organ and should explore our ancient literature and pathy – Ancient Ayurveda which treatises on care of eyes. This vedic science offers many safe, effective and easy techniques for eye care.

Ayurveda is an integral and the most ancient form of medical stream which is primarily aimed at prevention of disease and promotion of positive health. Its holistic approach towards positive lifestyle creates its inevitable significance in the present scenario. Ayurvedic ophthalmology aims at individual and the community level protection of eyes. In this article an attempt has been made to explore the procedures for ocular health by means of daily regime (Dincharya), healthy diet and eye exercises.

Thorough eye care is described under “ShalakyaTantra” (one of the eight branches of Ayurveda). This vedic science offers many safe, effective and simple techniques for maintaining visual health. These primitive approaches can be easily practised in everyday life to prevent eye disorders. 


Netra Prakshalana
After getting up from bed in the morning, wash the eyes with kwath of trifla. It removes  away all the debris, discharge and germs.
Application of ayurvedic formulations like rasanjana along the inner surface of the eyelids. It is the best simple procedure to prevent eye diseases. 
Daily application of medicated oil like dashmoola taila on head especially in murdha region, is a preventive measure for eye disorders. It acts as drishtiprasadan i.e. increases eye power. 
Sheetodak Shiro Snana
Hot water for head wash may adversely affect hair and eyes. Thus, cold water should be used for head wash. 
Instillation of ayurvedic medicines through the nasal route to nourish the organs above clavicle. A person who regularly practises nasya can never suffer from diminished vision or loss of vision.
Regular massage of feet with oil is indicated for keeping eyes healthy.
Washing and cleaning of feet also acts as drishtiprasadan.
Netra Tarpana
It is a restorative ayurvedic treatment that baths the entire eye socket in a pool of lukewarm ghrita. This helps to nourish, cleanse and soothe the eyes. It is recommended for many ocular disorders like dry eyes, chronic eye allergy etc. Moreover, it provides nourishment to ocular tissues.
Each nutrient plays a specific role in the physiological functioning of eyes. The main problem with which a person seeks the attention of an ophthalmologist is blurring of vision. According to Ayurveda and other Vedic literatures, we can see an extensive reference of drugs and foods which are mentioned by Acharyas for the protection of eyes. Preventing Vit A deficiency in childhood is very important for night vision which can be best done through the administration of pathya chakshushya aahara.
The concept of shadrasas is the most important because according to Ayurveda all the 6 tastes namely sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent have an effect on the eyes. Both physical and mental changes can be observed after the intake of different types of food.

Sweet taste Honey, wheat, milk fruits etc. It builds tissue, calms nerves and improves clarity of the sense organs.

Sour taste Lime, lemon, vinegar tarmarind etc. They cleanse tissue and increase absorption of minerals. Over use of the sour taste causes constriction of the eyes and blurring of vision.
Bitter taste bitter guard and methi. It detoxifies and lightens tissues, pacifies vata.
Pungent taste Red chilli, green chilli, pepper, garlic etc. It is good for the cleansing of the eyes as it increases the watering of eyes when consumed orally. But over usage can cause inflammation.
Salty taste Sea salt, saindhava (rock salt). Overuse of the normal salt can cause loss of strength, wrinkles and water retention causing edema. Astringent taste Chickpeas, okra. 
It has cooling and blood purifying properties. So a proper combination of all these tastes in the diet is very essential to maintain good ocular health. Improper or over usage of these tastes specially sour and salty is one of the leading factors contributing to the ocular diseases in the present era.
Ghee is a potent food which is targeting on all organs. The chemical analysis of ghee shows good quality unsaturated fat which helps in the poshana of sapta dhatu and nourishment of neurons of brain preventing ocular neuro-degenerative diseases.
Considering honey as chakshushya, most of the compounds like flavonoids, phenolic acids, ascorbic acid, tocopherols, amino acids, vitamins Bl, B2, and B6, minerals and enzymes work together to give a synergistic, antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory effects. Applied daily in the eyes, it improves eye sight.
Nuts and Legumes
Nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They contain a high level of vitamin E,
which can protect the eye from age related damage.
For example- walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews,  peanuts & lentils.
Seeds are high in omega-3s and are a rich source of vitamin E.
For example - chia seeds , flax seeds & hemp seeds.
Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. vitamin C is an antioxidant that is recommended to fight age-related eye damage. Vitamin C rich citrus fruits include lemons, oranges  & grapefruits.
Leafy Green Vegetables 
Leafy green vegetables are rich in both lutein and zeaxanthin ,which are antioxidants and are best known for protecting eyes. They are also a good source of iron. Well-known leafy greens include: spinach , kale ,collards.
Colourful Fruits and Vegetables
Play an essential role in vision. Coloured vegetables contain antioxidants like zeaxanthin and  lutein which protect the eyes from oxidative damage. They may prevent cataract and age related macular degenerations. For example papaya, carrot & sweet corn. 
Sweet Potatoes
They are rich in beta carotene. They are also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E.
It may come as no surprise that a fluid essential to life is also vital to eye health. Drinking plenty of water can prevent dehydration which may reduce the symptoms of dry eye.
•    Triphala is a drug consisting of Harad, Baheda and Amla.
•    Harad has the property of cleansing the micro and macro channels. It pacifies all doshas and has an anti-aging property. So it is advisable in age related macular degeneration, senile cataract and retinal degeneration.
•     Baheda is a best homeostatic.
•    Amla is a powerful antioxidant and prevents ageing and degeneration.
Various formulations of Triphala used in eye treatment are Triphala Chuma, Triphala Kwatha, Tablet Saptamruta Loha, Triphala Ghrita, Chandanadi varti, Triphala Arka etc.

•    Sit quietly with eyes closed and take a few deep breaths to relax yourself.
•    Rub the palms of your hands vigorously until they become warm and place the palms gently over your eyelids.
•    Feel the warmth of the palms being transferred onto the eyes and the eye muscles relaxing. Your eyes are being bathed in soothing darkness.
•    Stay in this position until the heat from the hands has been completely absorbed by the eyes.
•    Keeping the eyes closed, lower your hands.
•    Once again rub the palms and repeat the process at least three times.
•    Sit comfortably with your eyes open.
•    Blink around 10 times very quickly.
•    Close your eyes and relax for 20 seconds while taking attention to your breath.
•    Repeat this exercise about five times.
Follow 20-20-20 Rule
On every 20 minutes , look at distance  of 20 feet and blink your eyes  20 times.
Near and Distant Viewing
•    Sit in a chair or stand in front of a blank wall. Place your thumb about 10 inches in front of your face and focus on it.
•    Then, focus on an object that is 10-20 feet in front of you without moving  your head. Focus on the object for 10-15 seconds.
•    After 10-15 seconds, refocus on your thumb. Practise this five times. 
Preliminary Nose Tip Gazing
•    Sit in cross-legged pose
•    Lift the right arm straight directly in front of the nose
•    Making a fist with the right hand, keep your thumb pointing upward
•    Focus both eyes on the tip of the thumb
•    Now bend the arm and gradually bring the thumb to the tip of the nose, all the while having the eyes focused on the tip of the thumb
•    Remain in this position for a while with the thumb held at the tip of the nose with the eyes focused there.
•    Continuing to gaze at the tip of the thumb, gradually straighten the arm.
•    This constitutes a single round.
•    Perform at least five such rounds.

Tips for Eye care

•    Stop  smoking.
•    Wash the hands before applying contacts.
•    Wearing sunglasses outside, since excessive sun exposure can cause cataract . 
•    Getting regular eye exams, particularly if there is a family history of eye disease.
•    Wearing contacts only for the period recommended by the doctor or manufacturer.
•    Wearing eye protection when working with possible eye irritants or dangerous chemicals.
•    Protecting eyes from computer-related eye strain by looking away every 20 minutes at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
•    Early treatment for eye health problems can prevent them from getting worse. So people who notice changes in their vision should schedule a comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist or ophthalmologist.


Dr. Anjali
Assistant Professor , Department of Shalakya Tantra,
Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar.
dranjali30j@gmail.com Mob.: +91 8126089177