Herbs for natural eye-care

Maintaining a clear, sharp vision is important so we can continue to see and experience life to the fullest. Unfortunately, most of us do not give much thought to our eyes until our eyesight gets blurry. While some vision problems become more common as we get older, they can affect anyone at any age, some of which can dramatically affect the way we see, or even result in blindness.

Take care of your eyes

Taking good care of your eyes can help preserve your eyesight and stave off vision problems later in life. Good eye health starts with the food you eat. Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens and fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids is important for keeping your eyes healthy. Quit smoking or never start. Smoking is bad for your eyes because it can cause damage to your optic nerve.

When you are outdoors, wear sunglasses to block out the sun’s UV rays which can increase your risk for cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Always give your eyes a rest after spending long hours at the computer or focusing on any one thing. Remember to get your eyes checked on a regular basis to detect eye diseases in their early stages, when they are easier to treat.

Herbs for natural eye care

The following herbs are known for improving eye health naturally while protecting against certain sight-threatening diseases.  Bog bilberries contain high amounts of anthocyanins, making it one of the richest sources of dietary anthocyanidins. These polyphenolic components possess great antioxidant properties, protecting the capillaries of the eyes from free-radical damage. They help promote microcirculation for efficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the eyes. Anthocyanidins also increase the production of rhodopsin, a pigment in the eye which helps improve night vision.

Marigold is a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin. In addition to their role as antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin have been proven to replenish the macular pigment layer that helps filter blue light emitted from the sun, digital devices and LED lighting. It is beneficial for protecting the eyes from the development of AMD.

Widely used by herbalists, eyebright is touted as a natural remedy for various eye conditions, including eye infections (particularly conjunctivitis or pink eye) and other forms of eye-related irritations. Additionally, eyebright is also good for soothing discomfort from eyestrain.

Chinese wolfberries, also known as goji berry, have been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. These mighty fruits are power-packed with highly advantageous antioxidant and nutritive properties. The polysaccharides found in wolfberries can potentially protect the eyes from diabetic retinopathy.

Lycopene, an important carotenoid in tomatoes for good vision, has been shown to protect the eyes against light-induced damage. It may reduce the risk of developing of cataracts and AMD.