It is so worth protecting our eyes, and we too often take them for granted. Eye problems are often a long time in the making and consistency is needed to allow natural remedies to demonstrate their full benefits.
Tips: Several times a day, splash cold water over your eyes to improve circulation. Sleep in a well-ventilated room.
Food And Herbs For Eye Health
Besides eating a wholesome diet, foods known to be particularly beneficial to the eyes include black beans, sunflower and black sesame seeds, beets, carrots, celery, and green leafy vegetables (especially dandelion greens, spinach, kale, violet leaves, and watercress), leeks, sweet potatoes, barley, blueberries, dates, goji berries, mulberries, raspberries and winter squash.
During World War II, Air Force pilots were given bilberry jelly, which is actually a type of blueberry to improve their night vision. Bilberry contains anthocyanidins, which are antioxidant and strengthen fragile capillaries.
Spirulina is a beneficial superfood, rich in beta carotene and can be added to smoothies. Use chervil, cilantro, paprika, and parsley frequently as condiments.
Garnish your meals with fresh marigold or dandelion petals (without pesticides, of course) from your garden which are rich in lutein. Some people may want to make a tasty beverage in their blender, rich in many nutrients for visual health.
Smoothie Recipe For Bright Eyes
- 1 cup – raw carrot juice
- 1 cup – water
- ½ cup – blueberries
- 1/4 cup – raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1 teaspoon – spirulina powder
- ½ cup – leafy greens (kale, dandelion greens, spinach, etc…)
Other good juices to mix are beet, celery, endive, parsley, and spinach. Barley water is also excellent to take, several cups daily to improve the liver and eyes.
The herb eyebright (Euphrasia Officinalis), a member of the Scrophulariaceae family has a long history of use in treating eye disorders. The French often refer to this herb as casses lunette, which means ‘break your glasses’. Ancient people found that this herb slightly resembles an eye and used it for poor sight. Eyebright has a cool, acrid, slightly bitter taste that stimulates the liver function, thus improving blood supply to the eyes. Eyebright can be taken internally in the form of tea, capsules, and extract. Many have also found that using the cooled strained (though a coffee filter to avoid particles) tea as an eyewash helps to reduce eye inflammation.
Herbal Eye Wash
Herbal eye-washes have been used to strengthen the eyes and improve vision. To make an herbal eyewash:
- Pour one cup of boiling water over 1 heaping teaspoon of the herb eyebright.
- Allow to steep 15 minutes.
- Make fresh each day to avoid introducing any bacteria into the eyes.
- Strain well (through a clean coffee filter).
Other herbs that can be used as eye-washes include chamomile, cornflower, and fennel seed.
Herbal Tea For Eye Health
A traditional tea blend to nourish the eyes is made with equal parts of these four herbs:
- Goji berries (Lycium barbarum) which are rich in carotenoids and can benefit macular degeneration, night blindness, and blurred and weak vision.
- Ho shou wu (Polygonum multiflorum) is a whole body tonic via the liver and considered a supreme longevity herb.
- Red jujube dates (Zizyphis jujuba) improve vision and allergic sensitive eyes. They are considered as a chi tonic and liver tonic; and is nutritive and rejuvenative.
- Chrysanthemum flowers (Chrysanthemum moriflolium) allow energy to flow freely between the liver and the eyes. It can benefit allergies, eye soreness, lachrymation (constant tearing), night blindness, macular degeneration, redness, and eyestrain.
Simmer 1 heaping teaspoon of each herb in 1 quart of water at a low boil, while covered for 20 minutes. Strain and drink throughout the day.
Exercises For Improved Vision
Nutritional therapy for poor eyesight is a good place to begin, but it is also necessary to distribute these valuable elements throughout the body with proper exercises. Eyes should get exercise just like any other portion of the body to increase circulation to the eye area. Attached to our eyeballs are six little muscles that can be toned.
When reading or focusing for long periods, squeeze eyes shut for a few seconds to increase blood flow to the area. If you spend your days, looking at close objects, every half an hour take a break and gaze off into the distance. An exercise that has greatly improved vision for many people is:
1. Keeping the head still, look up and down 7 times. Close eyes to rest 10 seconds.
2. Look from one side to the other, 7 times. Close and rest 10 seconds.
3. Look diagonally from one direction to the other, 7 times. Close and rest 10 seconds.
4. Look diagonally from the opposite direction to the other, 7 times. Close and rest 10 seconds.
5. Roll the eyes in an upper half circle and back, 7 times. Close and rest 10 seconds.
6. Roll eyes in a lower half circle and back, 7 times. Close and rest 10 seconds.
7. Place the backs of both hands over closed eyes and rest for a full minute.
Another simple way to exercise the eyes is to hold a finger or pen 10 or 12 inches away from the face, focus on the tip then look off into the distance. Repeat several times. Turn the head from side to side as if saying no emphatically.
Tips For Healthy Eyes
1. You might also try wearing a patch over one eye and spending some time roaming your yard and drawing for short periods of time to exercise one eye at a time.
2. Simple walking 20 to 40 minutes daily is also good for the eyes.
3. If you spend your days in front of computers:
- Keep the room lighting low with screen brightness three to four times that of the room.
- Minimize glare by keeping monitors away from light sources such as windows.
- Consider using an anti-glare screen.
- Make sure the characters on the screen stand out sharply.
- Have the screen positioned 14 to 20 inches away from eyes just below the eye level.
- The colors of display characters that are easiest on eyes are amber and green.
- Try to do some non-computer sort of work for fifteen minutes every hour.
Ways To Handle Glasses Or Lenses For Eye Health
Glasses can help us see clearly but they don’t improve actual vision. If you wear contact lenses, do so consciously by cleaning them properly and remove them to let the eyes breathe as much as possible.
If you always wear glasses or contact lenses, consider that you may be blocking nature’s full spectrum lighting as well as available oxygen to the eyes. Light enters the eyes and affects the pineal gland. When it is safe and can be done without strain, try to spend a little time each day without anything covering your eyes.
1. Close your eyes and allow the sunlight to rest upon your closed eyelids for 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Another beneficial eye-strengthening technique is called ‘sunning’.
- It is done by standing or sitting with closed eyes (though no glasses or contacts).
- Then turn one’s head gently from the left to the right, allowing the sun’s rays to gently cross over closed eyes.
- This is best done outside, preferably when surrounded by the calm, cooling green colors of nature.
Sunglasses For Healthy Eyes
Consider that cheap sunglasses filter only some rays but allow other rays to come through that may be harmful. The best sunglasses are gray, green, and then brown, in that order. Do limit sun exposure. Consider using full spectrum lighting in the home and workplace. Natural light improves visual acuity and helps prevent eyestrain.
May your eyes see clearly and take in beauty!