Herbs For The Eyes

Herbs For The Eyes
Top 10 Herbs For The Eyes image to repin / share
Herbs background pic © Africa Studio - Fotolia.com

Please share this page:

Among the most crucial organs in your body, the eyes are also among of the most sensitive. They may potentially suffer many problems, from minor symptoms such as mild irritation and redness through to serious diseases that can result to total loss of vision. [1]



Whether you want to maintain healthy vision or restore it, here are 10 herbs that have been considered by herbalists to be beneficial to the eyes:

10 Herbs For The Eyes

Eyebright

The name is an obvious indicator of the ancient belief in eyebright's value in treating the eyes. Eyebright derives its name from its flowers that resemble eyes as well as its valuable properties as an eye medication to preserve eyesight. [2] Studies show eyebright can specifically be used to soothe red or itchy eyes like those present in conjunctivitis. [3] In one such study carried out in 12 clinics of general practitioners and ophthalmologists in Europe, single dose of eye drops made from eyebright were administered to patients with inflammatory or catarrhal conjunctivitis. Complete recovery was seen in 81.5% of the patients while a clear improvement in 17%. [4]

Milk Thistle

They say the eyes are the "windows to your soul" but both Western and Eastern herbalists would also say, the eyes are the "windows to your liver health". Weak eyes and blurred vision can be signs of liver malfunction [4] which indicates that what is bad for the liver can also be bad for your eyes. Hence, although milk thistle and its primary component silymarin are known for liver support, they have also been shown to benefit the eyes. The liver is a key organ for your eyes since fat soluble vitamins and glutathione are stored here. Mechanisms necessary to repair vision are essentially found in the liver. [2] Research shows that silymarin can also inhibit aldose reductase which has a significant role in sugar deposition on the eyes of diabetics to prevent eye damage. By effectively fighting free radicals and reducing sugar levels in the eyes, milk thistle is not just a liver protector but also promoter of proper eye care. [5]



Ginko Biloba

Used for centuries to remedy eye and central nervous system problems, ginko biloba is found to be a selective cerebro-vascular dilator that enhances circulation and increases blood flow at the back of the eye. In particular, ginko biloba has been associated with improvements in macular degeneration and glaucoma. [2] In 2012, scientists from Korea evaluated the effects of ginko biloba extracts on visual function of 332 patients with normal tension glaucoma. After treatment, visual acuity for all eyes improved as well as mean deviation for visual fields tests. This evidence suggests the benefits of ginko biloba against various vascular disorders including glaucoma. [6]

Fennel

If you have inflamed or watery eyes, fennel can provide some relief and strengthen the eyes. [3] Aside from mild cases, raw fennel or fennel made into tea or used as eyewash can aid more serious conditions like cataracts and glaucoma. [2] In 2008, single drop application of aqueous seed extracts of fennel were evaluated for their effects on experimental models of glaucoma. Results exhibited significant ocuhypotenstive activity comparable to that of timolol and reduction in intraocular pressure. This proves promising for fennel's role as an anti-glaucoma medication. [7]

Saffron

Like fennel, the culinary spice saffron has been linked to improved eyesight, including better results for cataracts. In one clinical trial, every participant who took saffron reported vision improvements, prompting researchers to hail this herb as a potential key for preventing loss of sight among the elderly. [2]

Bilberry

Scientifically proven to be one of the most beneficial herbs for the eyes, bilberry still continues to be one of the major objects of affection of many eye specialists because of its anthocyanosides content. Anthocyanosides are powerful compounds known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. This herb proves to be an effective treatment of many eye disorders which include retinopathy, macular degeneration as well as in reducing the inflammation of the retina. [8]

Furthermore, bilberry is known to be effective in enhancing the visual acuity of many healthy individuals, as well as in improving the vision of patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. When combined with zinc and ginkgo biloba, bilberry makes an excellent herb in preventing vision loss.

Research shows that anthocyanosides help in boosting the production of pigments that enable the eyes to adapt to lighting changes. Furthermore, this compound offers 10X the antioxidant power of Vitamin C and 50X of Vitamin E. its bioflavonoid content is also beneficial in eliminating unwanted toxins from the eyes. [9]

Green Tea

Dark circles and puffiness around the eyes can really be embarrassing. With conditions like these, green tea really comes very handy. Green teas contain high levels of tannin and antioxidants that are effective in reducing swelling and fluid around the eyes. Green teas have caffeine content which helps in shrinking the blood vessels that causes swelling around the eyes. Furthermore, its tannin content, which is known for its astringent properties, reduces the dilation of capillaries and blood vessels found under the eyes which trigger the occurrence of dark circles. [10]

Some studies further revealed that green tea have powerful components that promote healthy heart. It is a good source of nutrients like lutein, zeaxanthin, Vitamin C and Vitamin E which are scientifically proven to be effective in protecting the eyes against disorders associated with the organ. [11]

Turmeric

Noted for its wide range of health and medicinal effects, turmeric is also known for its growing number of benefits to the eyes. This herb is capable of promoting eye health by reducing the oxidation of the eye lens. According to research, oxidation of the lens is one of the major causes of many eye disorders.

Turmeric also contains curcumin content that is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. This makes turmeric effective in reducing inflammation that is usually associated with dry eyes. [12]

Grape seed Extract

Widely heralded for the medicinal and health benefits they bring about, grape seed extract is definitely one of the best herbs that promote eye health. In fact, it is highly recommended in combating eye disorders like eye strain, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration. [13]

What makes grape seed extract effective in promoting eye health are its major components. It actually contains linoleic acid, flavonoids, Vitamin E, and oligomeric proanthocyanidins that are definitely good for the eyes. Its oligomeric proanthocyanidins are known for their antihistamine and antioxidant properties that are also capable of enhancing eye health. [14]

Goldenseal

Known for astringent, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties, goldenseal also makes an excellent herb that enhances eye health. When made into eyewash, goldenseal is effective in treating certain types of irritations. Furthermore, goldenseal makes an effective treatment for infections, like trachoma and staph infection, and sties that are triggered by allergies. [15]

Of course, herbs are not meant to be the sole promoter of eye health but serve to complement proper diet which includes adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals and carotenoids, aside from proper care and hygiene of the eyes.

Herbs For Eyes - References:

[1] http://www.everygreenherb.com/eyeProblems.html

[2] http://alignlife.com/articles/corporatewellness/top_herbs_for_vision_and_eye_health/

[3] http://www.the-herb-guide.com/herbs-for-eyes.html

[4] Prospective cohort trial of Euphrasia single-dose eye drops in conjunctivitis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11152054

[5] http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/15623/1/Milk-Thistle-Benefits-and-Side-Effects.html

[6] Ginkgo biloba extract and bilberry anthocyanins improve visual function in patients with normal tension glaucoma. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22870951

[7] Oculohypotensive effects of foeniculum vulgare in experimental models of glaucoma. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18831355

[8] http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/features/bilberry-extract-and-vision

[9] http://www.ehow.com/about_5100561_bilberry-eyes.html

[10] http://www.livestrong.com/article/93147-green-tea-bags-dark-circles/

[11] http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/news/20100218/green-tea-good-for-the-eyes

[12] http://www.livestrong.com/article/372428-turmeric-for-dry-eyes/

[13] http://www.naturalnews.com/029223_grape_seed_extract_health.html

[14] http://www.livestrong.com/article/500224-is-grape-seed-extract-good-for-the-eyes/

[15] http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-most-common-goldenseal-benefits.htm

Article researched and created by Cathy Ongking and Elfe Cabanas, © herbs-info.com 2013

Privacy Policy | About