The eyes are complex and sensitive organs which require delicate care and maintenance in order to perform at their best. Whilst the support of qualified optometrists can provide essential advice and medicines, there are some natural remedies which can be consumed for additional sustenance. By experimenting with different herbal remedies, you may be able to find a way to ease symptoms of pain, discomfort or compromised vision. And unlike the common perception, you don’t need to chew on raw herbs from your back garden to reap the benefits. With capsules, tablets and even teas available in these health-boosters, being healthy has never been so easy.
A popular herb in many favourite recipes, parsley has gained a reputation as a herbal remedy for improving eye health. Parsley contains both essential vitamin C and beta-carotene (the nutrient found in carrots for improving vision). In addition, parsley is an excellent source of lutein which is a carotenoid found in the central part of the eye’s retina responsible for clear vision. Studies have demonstrated that lutein supplementation can significantly improve visual function in adults suffering from macular degeneration. So, if you suffer from poor sight, try adding a sprig of parsley to your supper for a tasty, healthy boost.
Bilberries are relatives of the blueberry and are now commonly used in Europe as a treatment for eye disorders, and it’s no surprise; their antioxidant and vitamin-rich properties may be beneficial for overall eye-health. Bilberries can help to improve microcirculation by increasing capillary blood flow. This, in turn, improves oxygen supply to the eyes. British RAF pilots were known to eat bilberry jam before a flight during World War II to help improve their vision and awaken their eyes, and it has since been revered as the berry of choice to improve symptoms of cataracts and macular degeneration, common ailments in those aged over 50. Bilberries are also rich in an anthocyanidins, which are believed to help protect the delicate nerve layer at the back of the eye called the retina.
As the name suggests, Eyebright is popularly credited with vision-boosting qualities. In the wild, it can be found in dry pastures as a small, pretty flowered plant and today, many herbalists prescribe it to those suffering from inflamed or swollen eyes. Unlike some other herbal remedies, Eyebright extract is applied externally to the eye area, often diluted in water. It is rich in chemicals called tannins which can reduce eye inflammation and help to treat eye infections. In addition, tannins are astringents, able to dry up secretions, such as those released in a case of conjunctivitis. When taken in combination with Bilberry, the two are beneficial for dry and itchy eyes, glare sensitivity, blurred vision and contact lens discomfort.
4. Ginkgo Biloba
Gingko leaf extract is both a powerful antioxidant and an effective vasodilator to increase blood flow to the brain and eyes. This potent herbal remedy can increase the blood supply to the occipital lobe (the part of the brain where visual images are processed) and other sensitive areas of the eye. Ginkgo biloba also contains flavonoids and terpenoids, which can help to protect against some retinal problems. The plant can be commonly found in Great Britain but before you go munching through a handful of leaves, be aware that today it is common practice to prescribe a concentrated extract taken from dried leaves. In addition, the remedy is available in tablets, capsules and teas.
5. Grape seed
Grapes are a staple fruit-bowl snack, but have you ever considered grape seed extract? Grape seed extract is commonly derived from red grapes and is popularly credited with powerful antioxidant properties. Antioxidants can eliminate free radicals in the body, which are known to cause damage to the body’s cells, including those in the eyes. This potent natural remedy is also rich in compounds called procyanins which have been proven to increase the effectiveness of antioxidants. A Japanese study in 2002 supports the hypothesis that these procyanins can prevent the development of cataracts in rats. In addition, grape seed extract can improve blood circulation to ensure the eyes are provided with a sufficient supply of blood to function effectively and to reduce susceptibility to macular degeneration.
So, on your next weekly supermarket shop, consider including some of these basic natural remedies to keep your eyes healthy and working at their best.
Written by: Victoria from Direct Sight, online supplier of glasses frames
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