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Eyesight

General characteristics

General characteristics

The processes involved in vision are numerous and complex and rely on the correct functioning and good health of many components such as the blood vessels and circulation, nerve supply, muscle tone and response, processing portions of the brain, the integrity of the retina and its cells, the condition of the tissues forming the structures of the eye, the pressure within the eye and the immune system. Ageing, genetics, pollutants, surgery and physical damage can also play a role in the degeneration of vision.

Good all round health is a pre-requisite for eye health generally and considered nutrition will go a long way to both preventing and correcting visual problems.


Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

A diet rich in foods containing anti-oxidants (especially the carotenoids) is universally excepted as being important for healthy eyes. Anti-oxidants are present in abundance in foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables (especially the orange, yellow, dark green and red varieties) and also in free range eggs and dairy produce. Vitamins A, C and E are very important.

Dark green leaves (parsley, nettle leaf, algae, wheatgrass etc) are rich in chlorophyll which is believed to generally improve the eyes.

Foods containing lutein and zeaxanthin such as yellow, orange, dark green foods and organic eggs have been shown to contain powerful antioxidants and to both prevent and improve age related macular degeneration.

Use culinary herbs such as dill, cumin, coriander, parsley, oregano, turmeric and the like liberally in cooking and salads for their vitamin and mineral content.

Foods rich in zinc are also thought to offer protection from age related macular degeneration. See 'minerals' in the 'natural healing' section for ideas on foods rich in zinc.

Selenium is known to protect the eyes against the effects of ageing and cataract formation. Wholegrains, fish and shellfish, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds are all rich in selenium.

Wild salmon and other oily fish are rich in omega fatty acids which help protect and maintain the health of blood vessels within the eyes.

Avoid smoking.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Bilberries are full of anti-oxidants and other nutrients, improve night vision and general eye health by restoring elasticity to the capillaries supplying blood to the eye tissues. Ginkgo also helps to improve circulation to the eye and has a positive effect on the retina itself. Turmeric is also rich in anti-oxidants and other nutrients that have anti-inflammatory effects.

Eyebright has been used for eye complaints and to strengthen vision for hundreds of years. Combine equal parts of the dried herbs and use a teaspoon of the herbs to make a cup or 2 of tea each day.

Elderflowers also have a good reputation for improving vision and eye  health generally.

Eat a handful of goji berries each day.

A pinch of chilli/cayenne powder in the eyes (add to water first and drop the water in the eyes) can help improve blood flow to the entire eye and may help improve vision.

Fennel seeds are used as a wash to improve weak vision.

Schisandra berries are known to improve general vision and night vision.

Centaury herb as a tea and/or eyewash can also help.


Natural healing

Natural healing

The Tibetan eye chart was developed by monks to help strengthen and maintain vision. Click on the link and print off a copy of the chart or purchase online.
The Bates Method of relaxation exercises for the eyes (also known as 'palming') has shown some very positive effects in improving vision naturally. Use these very simple techniques daily to help improve many visual disturbances.
Watch this quick you tube video showing how to use your hand as a pinhole to see things very close up or far away clealry. Ideal technique if you rely on glasses or lenses but don't have them to hand!

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