In a world where screens and monitors are ever-present, eye health is becoming a growing concern for many. While there are various modern solutions for eye care, traditional Chinese medicine offers a time-tested, natural approach to supporting the health of your eyes.
In traditional Chinese medicine, health of the eyes and eyesight has a strong relationship with the the function and health of the liver. That is why those with compromised liver health from fatty liver disease, alcohol induced inflammation, or hepatitis are at a risk of vision loss and poor eye health. To avoid such complications, it only starts with a few lifestyle changes. To do so, eat plenty of raw vegetables rich with antioxidants. In addition, avoid substances that knowingly harm liver functions and liver health, such as excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and sugary foods and drinks.
In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of Chinese herbs that have been utilized for centuries to nourish and enhance eye health.
- Goji Berries (Gǒu Qǐ Zǐ, 枸杞子): Goji berries are probably the most famous Chinese herb for eye health. Rich in antioxidants, especially zeaxanthin, they are believed to protect the eyes from high-energy light waves like ultraviolet rays.
- How to use: You can eat them raw, or add them to teas, soups, or as a topping in various dishes.
- Chrysanthemum Flowers (Jú Huā, 菊花): Chrysanthemum flowers are believed to directly benefit the eyes by relieving redness, itchiness, and dryness. They are also used to improve vision and protect against eye diseases related to aging.
- How to use: Commonly brewed into a tea. Simply steep the flowers in hot water for several minutes before consumption. Combine with your teabag or loose-leaf tea of choice.
- Cassia Seeds (Jué Míng Zǐ, 决明子): Cassia seeds are often used to clear the eyes and improve vision. They can also alleviate eye redness, excessive tearing, and sensitivity to light.
- How to use: Cassia seeds can be brewed as a tea or ground into a powder and added to food. When using in tea, you may combine with chrysanthemum flower and loose-leaf tea or teabag of your choice. Let your tea decoction steep for 5-7 minutes before consumption.
- Tribulus Fruit (Bǎi Jí Lí, 白蒺藜): This herb is used in Chinese medicine to clear the eyes and improve vision, particularly in cases of red, painful, and irritated eyes.
- How to use: Usually consumed as a tea or as part of a herbal formula.
- Corn Silk (Yù Mǐ Xiān, 玉米须): Corn silk is used in traditional Chinese medicine to reduce eye inflammation, help with early-stage cataracts, and alleviate discomfort from irritated eyes. It contains various nutrients and antioxidants that are beneficial for eye health.
- How to use: Corn silk can be brewed into a tea or used as an extract in various supplements.
- Eucommia Bark (Dù Zhòng, 杜仲): Eucommia Bark is traditionally used in Chinese medicine to strengthen the liver and kidneys. In TCM, good liver and kidney health is believed to be closely associated with healthy eyes. The antioxidants in Eucommia Bark may help protect the eyes from oxidative damage.
- How to use: It can be used as a tea. Simply steep the bark in hot water for 10-15 minutes and drink it daily.
- Mulberry Leaves (Sāng Yè, 桑叶): Mulberry leaves are known for their ability to nourish the blood and calm the liver, both of which are considered vital for maintaining eye health in TCM. They contain various vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for eye health and are also rich in antioxidants which can protect the eyes from oxidative stress.
- How to use: Mulberry leaves can be brewed into a tea or used in powdered form as a supplement.
Traditional Chinese medicine offers a plethora of herbs that have been revered for centuries for their beneficial effects on eye health. By incorporating these herbs into your routine, you can tap into ancient wisdom to support and nourish your vision.
*This article is used for the primary purpose of educating. It is important to note that Chinese herbs should be used with caution and under the guidance of a trained herbal practitioner. Some herbs may interact with medications or have potential side effects, and the correct dosage and preparation can vary depending on the individual. It is always best to work with a licensed practitioner of Chinese medicine to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs and health goals.