6 Herbs for Healthy Eyes

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6 Herbs That Can Help Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Do you have problems with failing eyesight? Would you like to know of some natural ways to help keep your eyes healthy and possible improve your vision? Ready this article for some interesting information about some herbs that could help you to have healthy eyes.


Eyebright - Euphrasia officinalisEyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) has long been a folk remedy for the eyes. Most natural food stores contain teas, tinctures and homeopathic eyedrops made from this herb. A South African study found that eyebright eyedrops hastened recovery from conjunctivitis (redness and discharge caused by irritation of the outside lining of the eye). Extracts lower blood sugar in diabetic rats. Whether the same effect holds for humans isn’t yet known. (Diabetes raises the risk for several eye diseases—see our sidebar “For Eye Health, Control Blood Sugar.”)

Ginkgo bilobaGinkgo (Ginkgo biloba) improves blood flow to the retina (the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye). Preliminary research suggests extracts improve vision in people with glaucoma. It is also antioxidant and protects nerve cells, including those in the eye.  Ginkgo Biloba is the world’s most used botanical remedy for memory loss and degenerative diseases of the brain and central nervous system.  Because Ginkgo helps to enhance circulation of blood and oxygen  to all parts of the body, the herb can be an effective overall tonic that aids in the management of a variety of conditions, ranging from impotence to ringing in the ears.

Coleus - Coleus forskohliiColeus (Coleus forskohlii) contains forskolin. Forskolin eyedrops have been shown to reduce the production of fluid within the eye, thereby reducing pressure. Therefore, it may have relevance in the treatment of glaucoma.  The coleus Forskohlii plant extract is safe to be consumed and there are no side effects. But, it is known to lower blood pressure and if you have a low BP problem, or are taking blood thinning medicine, do not forget to ask your doctor.

Cannabis sativaCannabis (Cannabis sativa) contains cannabinoids, which, among many actions, reduce pressure within the eye in people with glaucoma. The first studies were done in people who smoked marijuana and showed that the pressure reduction lasted three to four hours. Subsequent studies have tried different methods to deliver cannabinoids (intravenously, oral or inhaled). The downsides are side effects (dry, pink eyes; reduced blood pressure; alterations in mental state and behavior) and legality (unless you live in a state that has legalized medical cannabis). However, the identification of receptors for cannabinoids in the eye has raised interest in the development of eyedrops.

Green Tea - Camellia sinensisGreen Tea (Camellia sinensis) contains antioxidants, which mop up free radicals—substances that create the so-called oxidative damage underlying many chronic diseases, including glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts.  Drinking green tea daily is credited with everything from weight loss (this seems to be proven) to preventing dental decay.  A significant amount of scientific evidence has proven the the antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties of green tea.

Bilberry - Vaccinium myrtillusBilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) contains potent antioxidant flavonoids called anthocyanins. Its American botanical cousins blueberry and cranberry also contain such chemicals. During World War II, Royal Air Force pilots reported that eating bilberry jam improved their night vision. While initial studies supported such claims, more recent trials have not shown that bilberry benefits include a significant improvement in night vision. Most studies have used healthy volunteers with normal or above-average eyesight.


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