Ayurvedic Care for the Eyes
I don’t know about you. But I feel like since the start of the pandemic … I have been using my eyes more than ever. They have been pushed to the point of exhaustion. More screentime, more remote working, more laptop staring, more gadgets, more at-home research. The unnatural light emitted from the LEDs and TFT screens hurt our eyes. They are very different in composition from the natural sunlight … something our eyes are used to. Read this blog post to learn what Ayurveda suggests about maintaining eye health and how Ayurveda and the eyes are connected.
Ayurveda and the Eyes
Eyes are the seat of Pitta Dosha. There are three doshas in Ayurveda. Pitta dosha is made up of the elements fire and water. The eyes are a pitta organ as they house the pitta subdosha alochaka pitta. What does that mean exactly? Well, all the three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) have five subdoshas that are located in different areas of the body, and all perform specific functions. Alochaka pitta is in the pupil of the eye, and it represents the fire that digests light and visual impressions, and its most important function is vision.
What Happens when Alochaka Pitta Gets Imbalanced?
When alochaka pitta goes out of balance there is either an increase of the fire element or a decrease in the fire element making up Pitta Dosha. When there is an increase of fire in alochaka pitta, it may be a response to the overuse of the eyes due to copious amounts of screen time (on smartphones, tablets and/or computer screens), direct sunlight in the eyes, irritation from environmental stressors, a pitta provoking diet (think spicy, fermented and/or fried foods, caffeine and alcohol), lifestyle choices (stress, lack of sleep and too much intensity), irregular routines or a mixture of all of these factors. Ayurvedic care for the eyes means working with alochak pitta.
Symptoms of Increased Fire in Alochaka Pitta
The symptoms of increased fire in Alochaka Pitta can include eye strain, irritation, inflammation, and dryness. Ayurvedic treatments to remedy these symptoms will invite in cooling, calming, moisturizing, and soothing qualities to counterbalance the excess heat and intensity that the eyes are experiencing.
When there is a decrease in Alochaka Pitta this is most likely due to the aging process. As Dr. Vasant Lad explains, when we approach 40 years old, we become more vulnerable to eye disorders because the strength of Alochaka Pitta begins to weaken. Ayurvedic remedies for this will focus on strengthening this subdosha of pitta.
Ayurveda and the Eyes: Healthy Habits for Eye Health
Unfortunately, most people pay attention to their eyes only when a problem emerges. Ayurveda reminds us that prevention is better than cure, and we can do little things daily to maintain the strength and longevity of the eyes. Here are some simple tips for Ayurvedic care for the eyes.
- Take breaks
- Reduce screen time
- Do eye exercises
- Avoid spicy, fermented foods, and alcohol as they increase Pitta
- Palm your eyes
- Padhabhyanga: The massaging of the feet with oil at night lowers heat from the eyes.
- Meditate: As Ayurvedic Beauty Care author Pratima Raichur states, “When the mind is tired or strained, nothing can rest the eyes; and when the mind is at rest, nothing can tire the eyes.”
- Splash your eyes with cool water
Let us try to understand the significance of proper eye care according to Ayurveda and learn simple ways to incorporate eye care routines into our day-to-day life.
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Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional. If you are looking for advice from a trained yogi and ayurvedic coach, contact me here.