“SarvendriyanamNayanamPradhanam” means, ‘eyes hold a special status among all the sense organs’. According to Ayurveda, eyes are one of the most precious gifts of God to the living beings. Ayurveda is known to provide guidance not just to different lifestyles like eating, daily routine, exercises and Yogas. It also plays a major role in giving strength to the eyes. It has specialized treatment for preventing blindness. It also has both preventive and curative therapies for maintaining the health of the eyes. Panchakarma procedures are used to eliminate the vitiated doshas from the body and especially from the eyes. Prevention of blindness and management of visual impairment with the help of Ayurveda science is very popular.Here, Dr. Madhavi discusses about how Ghrita is beneficial for the eyes.
Ghrita is highly beneficial for the eyes:
Ghrita is one of the most important substances used to prepare Ayurvedic medicines. It is also cited as the best substance used for preparing the body for Ayurveda’s internal detoxification (Panchakarma). One of the reasons behind this is that ghrita is considered as the best remedy for diseases caused due to aggravated Pitta and Vata doshas. Ghrita or Ghee alleviates Pitta dosha by its cold, sweet properties and Vata dosha by its oiliness. Ghrita is hence recommended in autumn when Pitta’s hot nature can get aggravated after summer. But there is more to ghee than its dosha balancing properties.
Ghrita is especially good for the eyes and helps the functioning of the extra-ocular muscles, eyelids and tears. Internal and external use of Mahatriphalaghrita has been shown to play a significant role in the treatment of eye disorders, such as glaucoma. This formulation is made of ghrita, milk and thirteen herbs, all predominantly sweet in taste and cold in nature and beneficial to the eyes. Ayurveda recommends putting one drop of lukewarm liquid ghee in each eye at bedtime for burning sensations. It not only soothes, but also strengthens the eyes and can help improve vision along with Yoga eye exercises.
Goghrita is Snehonattam. It is Rasayana and Chakshushya.It has properties of Snigdha, Guru and Mrudu. Because of these properties Goghrita is very useful for vitiated Pitta and Vata dosha. It has lubricating properties which may be useful in reducing the symptoms of computer vision syndrome.
It contains Vitamin A 3500/100gm, beta-carotene and Vit E. Vitamin A keeps the outer lining of eye ball moist and prevents blindness. Beta-carotene and Vit E are well known antioxidants.
Ghrita is used in most Ayurvedic formulations
Ghrita is widely used in many Ayurvedic medicinal formulations due to its unusual ability to assimilate the properties of the herbs mixed with it without losing its own qualities. For example, if ghrita is mixed with a drying, heating herb, it doesn’t sacrifice its own oily, cold nature.
Snehapana (Ghritapana): This therapy involves consumption of heavy dose of medicated Ghrita. Snehapana is given to the patient on the basis of his/her digestive fire. Intake of old Ghrita is very useful for ocular purposes. After Pana, the Ghrita gets absorbed into the systemic circulation. Due to Chakshushya properties, it has an affinity towards ocular tissues and due to its lipid soluble property it crosses blood ocular barriers. By active and passive transport the ingredients of the Ghrita cross the cell membranes and reach the targeted tissues thereby correcting the abnormalities of ocular tissues, and further lubricates and rejuvenates it.
Tarpana karma is a local therapeutic procedure which if promptly followed shows excellent response. In the modern era, people are exposed to pollution due to heavy industrialization. Also, many people are seen involved in outdoor jobs like marketing and sales. Information technology is also growing fast and providing job opportunities to the young generation. But a drawback of these jobs are that employees have to work in front of computers for more than eight hours a day. Thus, these people get afflicted with eye dryness. Dryness also occurs due to exposure to wind, Sunlight, dust and lack of blinking while working long hours on computers. This hampers the formation of the uniform tear film. This further results in dryness of the cornea, which leads to blurring of vision.If this condition is prolonged, it results in itching, redness and foreign body sensation in the eyes, further resulting in headache, pain in the neck and blurred vision. Netratarpan is a special Ayurvedic therapy to treat these conditions.“Netra-kriyakalpa” is also a unique and effective therapy for treating and preventing eye diseases. Most of the symptoms of dry eye/computer vision syndrome are due to dryness of conjunctiva and cornea, contact of allergens to the eye and Vitamin A deficiency. Supplementing the eyes with Vitamin A helps to enhance healthy status of eyes.
PROBABLE MODE OF ACTION:Triphala (important medicine for eyes) and ghrita have netrya properties. Ghrita contains K2 and lionelic acid. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Ghrita is also rich in vitamin A. Supplementation of the eyes with Vitamin A reduces and treats dryness which occurs due to its deficiency. In Netra-tarpan, the conjunctival as well as corneal layers are nourished and dryness and inflammation of tissue of conjunctiva and cornea is avoided. Thus, this treatment smoothens the layers of the conjunctiva and cornea.
INDICATIONS FOR TARPANA KARMA:
When a patient sees darkness in front of his eyes
Dryness of the eyes
Roughness of the eyes
Stiffness of eyelids
Falling of eyelashes
Dirtiness of the eyes
Deviated eyeball or squint
Injury/traumatic condition of eye
Vata –pitta predominant diseases.
CONTRA-INDICATIONS FOR TARPANA KARMA:
On a cloudy day
Extreme hot or cold seasons
In conditions of worries and anxiety
In conditions of tiredness and giddiness of eyes
In complications of eyes
In the condition of acute pain, inflammation, redness etc.
Poorva Karma:As per procedure, appropriate shodhanakarma is carried out. Later local massage & steaming is done.
Pradhana Karma:Netratarpana should be carried out in the forenoon or in the afternoon on an auspicious day after the food (taken by the person) has been digested and after the head and the whole body of the patient have been treated properly with purification measures. Person is made to lie in a supine position in a good lighted, ventilated room free from dust & smoke. Then the eyes are encircled with a firm, compact leak- proof pali(wall) made of the paste of powdered black gram. This is made to a height of two fingers. The person is then asked to close the eyes. Processed ghrita along with appropriate drugs liquefied in lukewarm water is poured into the orbit till the level of the tip of eyelashes. Patient is asked to open & close the eye intermittently & steadily.
Paschata Karma: After retaining of ghrita for a stipulated time, it is drained out through a hole made at the bottom of dough wall, near the outer canthus of the eye and the eye is irrigated with lukewarm water fomentation. The kapha which has already been stimulated by the potency of ghrita,is eliminated by shirovirechan (nasya), and fumigation (dhoompana) with kapha-suppresive drugs. The person is instructed to keep away from exposure to bright lights, wind, sky, mirrors and luminous bodies.
Dr.Madhavi H. Rabadia
Lecturer Dept. Dravyaguna,
Indian Institute of Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Sciences,
Gujarat Ayured University,