Herbs can help your eyes in many ways, even some you may not have even thought of! Due to the various properties of herbs, you can use daily dosages of herbs for red eyes, enhance vision, night blindness, itchy eyes, conjunctivitis (pink eye), and even glaucoma.
So, lets talk about some different eye problems and then talk about some herbs and ways to treat them.
Red eyes are often a cause of allergies or an attack on your body (common cold). I am not talking about conjunctivitis (pink eye), we will discuss that later. Some people also suffer from red eyes from other ways like smoke in the air or contacts or the similar. Lets talk about some herbs here and list what it does.
Ju Hua is Chrysanthemum Flower that flourishes in China. Ju Hua is more of the general purpose herb here. Use chrysanthemum with red and itchy eyes when you are suffering from allergies or at the onset of a cold. Ju Hua is a great herb because it has a nice taste to it much as chamomile does. It is widely available in different forms and comes even in tea bags to drink!
Jue Ming Zi / Cassiae Semen / Cassia (cinnamon) seed- Jue Ming Zi is the more potent form of Ju Hua. Being a bit more dense and more powerful it is used for a list of a bit worse symptoms. Taking this herb would be more appropriate with dry, red, painful and even swollen eyes. Feel free to also combo this herb up with Ju Hua to treat your eyes. Jue Ming Zi is also a great herb to take because it also has been shown to lower blood pressure!
Now lets talk about what we call ‘pink eye’ over here in the West. Conjunctivitis is a nasty little inflammatory response to bacterial, viral, or allergic reaction and is very contagious. Interestingly enough we have a very interesting Chinese Herb for conjunctivitis.
Chan Tui / Cicadae Periostracum is actually the ‘skin’ shed of the Cicada Bug. When you get over how weird that is, you are able to start using a pretty powerful herb. Chan Tui is useful for early stages of conjunctivitis in 5-7g daily dosages. This herb is also very useful for skin itching and rashes, scratchy throat, and little muscle twitches (eye twitches too).
Huang Lian / Coptis & Goldenseal- These 2 herbs are very similar to each other and I discuss this in another post about Goldenseal Alternative. In this case especially these 2 herbs are going to do great as an eye wash. Simply decoct either of these herbs into a small amount of tea and let it cool and apply as an eye wash. This is effective in about any kind of eye problem- red eyes, irritated eyes, conjunctivitis, and much more! This is so effective that it is quite common to hear people use this remedy. Because I am a nice guy, I will also let you know this will STING really bad, so you have to pick your battle on how bad the eye is irritating you.
Lets tangent for a minute and talk about a few more ‘tonic’ eye herbal treatments. Three different things I will talk about here in this post: night blindness, enhance vision, and vision health maintenance.
Cang Zhu / Atractylodis Rhizoma is a cousing to Bai Zhu which is a very common herb used in Chinese Medicine. Cang Zhu was know for thousands of years that it was effective in treating night blindness and helping in eye health. There really was no Chinese Medicine theory on why it did this and was therefore just labeled as an ‘empirical’ function. Modern research has shown us that it does that because there is an extremely high content of Vitamin A in this herb. Therefore Cang Zhu can be used for night blindness or as an ongoing eye health maintenance herb.
Lastly we have an herb that is used in China for all sorts of eye problems including glaucoma!
Xia Ku Cao / Prunellae Spica is a very well respected herb when it comes to eye problems. The 2 main functions that this herb does are clearing eye problems and softening/reducing masses and hardness. These two functions can then be combined when used to treat eye problems including eye masses and hardnesses, like glaucoma. Xia Ku Cao also has the benefit of lowering high blood pressure, if you have glaucoma and high blood pressure this could be the long term herb for you to take! Vision & Mental Enhancement can be acheived by using eye herbs and some herbs to increase circulation to the head like Ginkgo Biloba