9 Ways The Ancient Science Of Ayurveda Can Help Take Care Of Your Eyes In The Digital Age
Eye Care Tips
The power of sight is so much a part of the human experience that most of us take for granted the complexity of the eyes and our vulnerability to vision loss. Our eyes are pretty much constantly at work, from the time we wake up, to the time we go back to bed – they’re absorbing and processing visual information from the world around at all times. Most of us accept that this power of vision fails over time as an inevitable consequence of ageing. This doesn’t have to be the case, however, as eyesight can be preserved and the risk of degenerative eye diseases can be significantly reduced with eye care practices and healthy lifestyle and diet choices.
The importance of adopting healthy strategies to protect and preserve eye health takes on a new urgency today because of the risk that our eyes are exposed to and also because of our increased dependence on visual information. Here is a collection of simple eye care tips from the Ayurvedic literature to help you take care of your eyes in the digital age.
How To Take Care Of Eyes Daily?
Exercises And Therapies
1. Cold Water Wash
While washing your face in the morning, make sure that you thoroughly wash your eyes too. The procedure involves continuous eye and water contact for several minutes. You can either stand under a running shower and let the cold water run through your face and eyes. You can also bend down a sink and keep the tap running over your head. The most efficient way to clean your eyes is to fill a pan or a big bowl with cold water, dip your face in it, and keep blinking .
2. The Gazing Exercisese
Gazing into the flames of a ghee lamp is a traditional Ayurvedic exercise called Trataka that helps improve eyesight and memory. Although the Ayurvedic literature suggests that it must be practised with a ghee lamp, you can do it with a candle too.
To begin, place the lamp/candle at an arm’s distance. Make sure that the wick is at the same level as your chest. Sit in the meditation position and stare at the flame without blinking. After 10-15 seconds of staring, close your eyes for a couple of seconds and gaze at the flame again. Repeat the procedure for several minutes. Performing this exercise every day can be beneficial for your eye muscles, vision, memory and sleep cycle .
3. Netra Basti
Netra Basti is an Ayurvedic treatment that can help you enhance your vision and improve your site; reduce fatigue and heaviness in the eyes; refreshes tired, sore, dry, itchy, and teary eyes; and also nourishes and rejuvenates the eyes. It is a therapy that is generally done at an Ayurvedic centre. A special dough is placed around your eyes creating a type of barrier for the liquids to retain. It is then filled with warm ghee. The ghee is retained within the dough ring around your eyes for a specific time and at a specific temperature.
At the end of the therapy, the ghee and the dough are removed and the therapist will massage specific points around your eyes to help your eyes relax.
Herbs And Spices
Kesar or saffron is enriched with antioxidants, carotenoids, crocin, crocetin, picrocrocin and flavonoids that help protect the lens and retina of the eye from ageing and other vision-related issues. Some studies have also confirmed that saffron has remarkably positive effects on the genes that regulate the performance of the eyes’ essential vision cells .
Amla or Indian gooseberry is enriched with vitamin C, one of the most important antioxidants that help to strengthen the eyesight by fighting free radicals. Amla can protect your eyesight from weakening and may even lower the risk of cataracts. Consuming amla directly or drinking its juice with a hint of honey can both be beneficial for your vision .
Turmeric (Haldi) holds a very important place in Ayurvedic medicine for its several health benefits and medicinal properties. This everyday spice is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic and antimicrobial properties. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, plays a key role in protecting the eyes from diseases such as glaucoma, cataract, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, corneal neovascularization and many more .
Spinach is known to replenish the body with antioxidants other essential nutrients such as vitamin A and vitamin C along with calcium, iron and lutein & zeaxanthin which are known as the ‘eye vitamins’. The vitamins and antioxidants present in spinach can help you lower the risks of developing macular degeneration and other eye conditions .
Carrots are packed with beta-carotene that is later converted into vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient for your eye health. Carrots are also a rich source of beta carotene and lutein, both of which can help prevent eye damage caused due to free radicals .
Tomatoes are enriched with Vitamin A, vitamin C, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin which can help prevent light-induced damage to the retina and other vision problems. Regular intake of tomatoes can help you protect your eyes from the damaging effects of the environment and strengthen your eyesight .
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