The best Ayurvedic herbs for dry eyes are those that reduce inflammation which prevents tear production. Ayurvedic medicine defines dry eyes as Vata prakop in the eyes, along with a lack of nourishment to the tissues of the eyes.
Dry Eye Syndrome is becoming an epidemic because our work, play, and socialization have shifted from working with our bodies to working with our eyes.
According to the Ayurveda, we are all ruled by three different energies, or doshas, known as vata, pitta, and kapha.
These doshas are governed by the elements, earth, water, air, ether, and fire. We’re all made up of a unique combination of these three forces.
If you don’t know which dosha is most predominant for you, the Ayurvedic Body Type quiz is a fun and easy way to find out.
In Ayurvedic medicine, the eyes are at the base of the Pitta dosha. Dry, itchy eyes may signal that your vata is out of balance. Anywhere in the body where you find dryness is due to issues with the vata dosha.
When vata is aggrevated, pitta produces the rough and burning sensation in the eyes, called as Shushkakshipaka disease.
Causes of Dry Eyes
When your eyes do not have enough moisture you can experience:
- A gritty feeling
- Feeling like there’s something in your eye
- Blurry vision
- Light sensitivity
Chronic dry eyes affect as high as 87.5% of computer users and 73.5% of the elderly population. Ayurvedic herbs for dry eyes are full of dry eye fighting antioxidants.
Staring at a computer or digital device decreases your blink rate by 60% so oily tears are not spread over the eyes to lubricate and nourish them.
Combine this with stress or inadequate sleep which compromises the immune system.
Sometimes, there’s a lack of balance in your tear-flow system. Or your air conditioner, heater, or other things around you could dry out your tear film. Other causes include:
- The natural aging process, especially menopause
- Side effects of certain drugs like antihistamines
- Diseases that affect your ability to make tears, like Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and collagen vascular diseases
- Problems that don’t allow your eyelids to close the way they should
There are several ways to treat dry eye. But Ayurvedic herbs for dry eyes is completely natural, effective and free from side-effects (1).
Instead of going for those treatments where chemicals or surgery are the last option it is far better to select the ayurvedic home remedies. All the herbs and ayurvedic medicine used in these type of treatments are natural (2).
Augment your diet with these Ayurvedic herbs for dry eyes or try the process of compress application.
7 Ayurvedic Herbs For Dry Eyes
Black Cardamom and Honey
Traditionally, cardamom is used in therapies that promote eye health and vision. It’s an important spice that has been used to cure blurred vision by improving proper blood circulation to the eyes.
Thanks to its riboflavin content, cardamom symptoms of vision loss in older adults. The bioflavonoids and vitamin C present in cardamom reduce oxidative stress linked with age-related macular degeneration.
It also helps form the connective tissue in the eyes, which plays a major role in keeping the cornea of the eye healthy and stable. This vitamin C also supports long-term vision by preventing cataract formation in humans. (2)
Remove the seeds from one pod of black cardamom and combine with 1 tablespoon of honey. Chew thoroughly. This strengthens vision if taken every day.
2,000 years ago TAM (Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine) doctors made a washout of licorice root, turmeric root, haritaki fruit (Terminalia chebula) and Himalayan cedarwood (Cedrus deodara) ground with goat’s milk to treat dry eyes.
Licorice extract and its components have been shown to have antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, pro-apoptotic (promoting normal cell death), and antiangiogenic activity in both cancerous and normal tissues (3).
In this case you can consume licorice tea regularly to help prevent dry eyes. \
Triphala is an ayurvedic herb for dry eyes that has many uses. The word Triphala is a Sanskrit word, which translates to ‘three fruits’. This name is apt as Triphala is a blend of three Ayurvedic fruits – Amla, Haritaki, and Bibhitaki.
Triphala is a rich source of Vitamin C. It also has the properties of an antioxidant, which means that it fights free radicals in your body that occur during oxidation.
Triphala can help you reduce any damage caused in the eyes due to oxidative stress (4). It can also help you take care of minor problems such as the following:
- Strain in the eyes
You can make a simple Triphala eyewash at home in order to reduce dry eye, strengthen your eyes, and improve their health.
- Take a teaspoon of organic Triphala powder.
- Mix it with hot, boiling water.
- Allow the mixture to cool until it is suitable to touch.
- Strain the mix through a fine cloth. This will help you eliminate any bits that might damage your eyes.
- Take clean cloth or towel and soak it in the mixture.
- Squeeze cloth slightly to remove too much excess liquid.
- Lie down and place the wet towel over your eyes.
- Continuously blink so that your eyes can feel the Triphala Eyewash.
- Do this for at least 5 minutes.
- Avoid any strain to your eyes after using the eyewash.
The best time to do this is right before you sleep so that your eyes receive ample rest and relaxation.
Neethi Shathaka, an ancient classical text book on Ayurveda says ‘Sarvendriyanam nayanam pradhanam‘. In other words, Ayurveda considers the eye as the most important sense organ.
This is because most of our daily activities are dependent on vision. The Ayurvedic therapy for maintaining perfect eye health is Netra Tarpana.
What does Netra Tarpana mean? Netra means eye, and tarpana means nourishment. The word Netra Tarpana means nourishment for the eye.
During Netra Tarpana, warm medicated ghee (5) is held in place over the eye for a period of 20-40 minutes.
Common medicated ghee is used for the process. The quantity of ghee to be used is such that it completely covers the eyelashes.
Practically, the duration of retention of the Tarpana ghee is 20 – 40 minutes, starting with 20 minute and gradually increasing in duration.
Netra Tarpana Instructions
- Fill sterile glass eye cups with warm organic ghee, just above body temperature.
- While lying down, or holding head back, keep ghee eye cups over eyes for at least 10 minutes, with eyes open.
- Wipe excess ghee off the eye and around the eye.
- Follow with a warm washcloth, pressing heat into the lower eyelid, where meibomian glands are located.
One to three of these sessions on consecutive days is typically all that is needed to free up healthy flow of meibum into the eye and support natural lubrication.
If you sign on for Netra Tarpana at an Ayurvedic spa, don’t be surprised if you wind up with dough on your face.
Traditionally, the dry-eye remedy involves placing a wheel of uncooked whole-wheat dough around each eye to act as a dam as the eye is immersed in the ghee.
See the video below for an example of this remedy:
Triphala Ghrita is an ayurvedic herb for dry eyes, in herbal ghee form. It is made by mixing ghee and other herbs. You can either consume it with water or add it to warm milk. This Ayurvedic medicine can relieve the itchy sensation in the eyes.
Externally it is used for eye treatment like Tarpana. Similarly, a compound around both eyes is made with the help of black gram paste.
Melted Triphala ghritham is mixed and warmed for some time. Eyes are immersed in the ghee mixture while blinking so that the herbal ghee mixture can get into eyes and bring about therapeutic benefits (6).
Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) is a wild long used in herbal medicine. It’s typically touted as a natural remedy for eye problems.
Eyebright contains compounds called tannins, which appear to possess anti-inflammatory properties.
In folk medicine, eyebright is often used as an ingredient in eyewashes, eye drops, or compresses applied to the eyes. The compounds of the eyebright herb help with reddened and inflamed eyes and are also recommended as a component of eye drops for dry eyes.
This spice is well known dry eye remedies. Sometimes known as curcumin, turmeric is an is protective against a number of diseases, including dry eye.
Warm up some almond milk, sprinkle a tsp of turmeric, ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp black pepper, and 1/8 tsp cloves. Finish with a dollop of raw honey. Whisk together and you have a daily drink to help with dry eyes.
How to Prevent Dry Eyes
Besides using Ayurvedic herbs for dry eyes, pay attention to the situations that are most likely to cause your symptoms. Then find ways to avoid those situations in order to prevent your dry eyes symptoms.
- Avoid air blowing in your eyes.
- Add moisture to the air.
- Consider wearing wraparound sunglasses or other protective eyewear.
- Take eye breaks during long tasks.
- Blink more while working on a computer screen.
- Keep the moderate temperature of the room and avoid dry climates.
- Limit the use of gadgets (laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc).
- Always clean your makeup before sleeping.
- Position your computer screen below eye level.
- Stop smoking and avoid smoke.
When it comes to using Ayurvedic herbs for dry eyes, you’ve got more options than you may realize. From simple dietary changes to warm eye compresses, take action today to start soothing your eyes.
The last thing you want to do is ignore dry eye. This can lead to a whole array of increasingly severe symptoms from inflammation and blurry vision to blindness in the worst cases.