Anjana Kriya - For beautiful and healthy eyes

“Sarva indriyaanaam nayanam pradhaanam”(Eyes are the most important among the sense organs)

Ther is no better way to describe the importance that Ayurveda attaches to the eyes. Eyes tell the story about a person. When two eyes meet, a silent communication happens. For some, a simple eye contact is sufficient to delve deep into a person. Eyes radiate energy in a healthy person. They also give out the first signs of a person’s failing health. For female of the species, eyes hold in them something magical to charm to the beholder.

In Ayurveda, eyes are referred to as ‘Nayana’, ‘Chakshu’, and ‘Netra’. Eyes have two functions: vision and perception of knowledge. Thus, eyes are known as ‘Chakshurindriya’. The eyes, therefore, need to be kept at optimal health. And, as eyes mirror one’s personality, it should also be kept beautiful, clean and communicative. In Ayurveda, all these three objectives are sought to be achieved through the application of collyrium or ‘Anjana’, a thick eyeliner made with herbs.

The eyes are susceptible to infections since they are often exposed to smoke and dust. Sudden changes in weather too can have an adverse effect on the eyes. To reduce irritation caused by environmental factors, drops or salves are often applied in the eye; they act as cleansing agents.

Ayurveda employs the use of drops and salves in the treatment of eye diseases like itching, burning sensation, pain, redness, etc.

Regular use of Anjana (collyrium), a medicinal eye liner, would also make one's vision clearer. It will add to the sparkle of the eyes, and enhance their ability to withstand bright light.

Anjana is basically of three kinds – scarifying (lekhana), healing (ropana) and eye-invigorating (drishti prasadana).

The lekhana anjana is prepared from drugs having astringent, sour, salt or pungent taste, and hot potency. Ropana anjana, which is made from bitter drugs, has a cooling effect and lends strength and colour to the eye. Drishti prasadana anjana is made from sweet drugs that have cold potency. This tones up and improves vision.

The excess of doshas in the eye, eyelids, eyeballs, capillaries and the nose gristle is drained through the mouth, nostrils and corners of the eye by applying the scarifying salve. Application of prasadana salve to eyes that have become fatigued by application of strong collyriums is known as counter- collyrium (pratyanjana).

Anjana vidhi (method of applying collyrium)

Ashtangahridaya says: "Application of collyrium is suitable for a person who has his/her body purified (through emesis, purgation, etc.), in whom doshas are localised in the eyes; when there is slight oedema, severe itching and sliminess; when eye excretions are thick; and in those troubled by Pitha, Kapha, Rakta and especially Vata" - (AH Soo. 23.8-9).

A metallic eye-liner, ten angula (finger units) in length, which is thin in the middle and tips resembling a flower bud is the best for applying anjana. An eyeliner made of copper is good for lekhana; an iron eyeliner for ropana; and one of gold or silver for prasadana.

Kinds of Anjana

Eye salve can be in the form of pill or dragee (pinda), gel or confection (rasakriya) or powder (choorna), and are used in conditions of profound, moderate and mild increase of doshas respectively.

The amount of salve to be applied, when it is in the form of a hard pill and prepared from strong drugs, is one harenu (black cardamom). And if prepared with mild drugs, it should be two harenu.

When in the form of a gel, the amount should be that of vidanga (Embelia Ribes). If it is in powder form and made from mild drugs, you should use more of the anjana than when it is made from strong drugs.

Persons unfit for eye salve (anjana anarhah)

Eye salve should not be applied in situations such as when you are in a state of fear, anger or grief or you have been administered emesis or purgation and when you are thirsty or hungry. It should be avoided also when you are down with fever or headache, when the eyes are tired and if you have not had enough sleep.

It should be avoided soon after washing your hair, Smoking or drinking wine or if you are fatigued after too much exposure to fire or the sun. The salve should not be too strong or mild, and the quantity used not very little or too much. It should neither be too cold or hot, and the consistency not very thin or thick. 

After applying the salve, eyeballs should be moved up and rotated slowly; eyelids should also be washed gently with water suitable to the disease, the doshas and the season.

If not washed away, the salve remaining in the lids will excite the doshas, causing diseases. In case of itching or weakness in the eye, one should apply a strong salve or in­hale strong medicated smoke.

When the eyes are fatigued by the use of strong eye salve, apply pratyanjana (counter eye slave) which is in powder form and cold in effect.

How to apply

Keep the eyelids wide open with the fingers of the left hand and apply anjana with the right hand. It should be applied from the sides

Managed by

Leave a Comment: