Ayurvedic Aspects And Treatment Of Cataracts

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Cataract refers to the cloudy appearance of the lens of the eye, which causes clouded vision. Due to the clouding of the vision, a person suffering from a cataract finds it very difficult to see properly, read anything, or even drive a car. Most cataracts develop when aging or injury changes the tissue that makes up the eye's lens. It is caused by proteins and fibers in the lens that begins to break down, causing vision to become hazy or cloudy. Thus, it prevents the lens from transmitting clear images to the retina. The function of the retina is to convert the light that comes through the lens into signals. It transmits those signals to the optic nerve, which in turn carries them to the brain. A cataract develops gradually and obstructs your vision. It may affect both eyes, but usually not simultaneously. Cataracts are relatively more common in people over 40.

According to the Ayurvedic point of view, cataracts are called "Timira" or "Linga Nasha." Aggravated Vata is the main cause of this disease. Due to this condition, Vata makes things dry. As a result, the eye lens becomes dry and loses its transparency, vision becomes blocked, and that leads to cataracts.

Types Of Cataracts

Cataracts can be classified based on where and how they develop in the eye. They are divided into the following categories:

  • Nuclear Cataracts

    This type of cataract forms in the middle of the lens and causes the nucleus to turn brown or yellow.

  • Cortical Cataracts

    They are wedge-shaped cataract types that form around the edges of the nucleus.

  • Posterior capsule cataracts

    They form faster than the other two types and affect the back of the lens.

  • Congenital Cataracts

    Congenital cataracts are the cataract types that are present at birth or develop during a baby’s first year and are less common than age-related cataracts.

  • Secondary Cataracts

    Secondary cataracts are caused by diseases or medications such as glaucoma and diabetes. The use of the steroid prednisone and other medications can sometimes lead to cataracts.

  • Traumatic Cataracts

    They are aftereffects of an eye injury. This type usually takes several years to develop.

  • Radiation Cataracts

    Radiation cataracts can form after a person undergoes radiation treatment for cancer.

There are different types of cataracts. They’re classified based on where and how they develop in the eye. They are nuclear cataracts, cortical cataracts, posterior capsular cataracts, congenital cataracts, secondary cataracts, and radiation cataracts.

Signs And Symptoms Of Cataract

The symptoms of cataract include:

  • Blurred vision.
  • Decreased nite vision.
  • Reduced color vision.
  • Increased glare sensitivity.
  • Halos surrounding lights.
  • Double vision in the affected eye.
  • The trouble with eyeglasses or contact lenses not working well.
  • Problems with glare or reflection during the day.

Causes Of Cataract

There are several causes of cataracts. These include:

  • Smoking.
  • Ultraviolet radiation.
  • The long term use of steroids and other medications.
  • Diabetes.
  • Trauma.
  • Radiation therapy.
  • Overproduction of oxidants, which are oxygen molecules that have been chemically altered due to normal daily life.

Ayurvedic Treatment Of Cataracts

To treat cataracts, Ayurveda aims to reduce the aggravated body energies and nourish and strengthen the nerves and tissues of the eye. To fulfill that aim, Ayurveda recommends various herbal formulations and Panchakarma therapies.

The below-mentioned panchakarma therapies help to cure the symptoms of cataracts.

  • Akshi tarpan

    Akshi tarpan, also known as NetraBasti, is one of the best Ayurvedic therapies to deal with cataracts. Akshi or Netra refers to the eyes, and tarpan stands for nourishment. Akshi Tarpana acts as both preventive and curative therapy for maintaining the normal healthy condition of the eyes. In this procedure, the person is made to lie down and a dough ring prepared out of black grams is applied around the eyeball of the patient. A person is instructed to close their eyes, and then medicated ghee is poured over them till it covers their eyelashes. Then the person is instructed to blink his or her eyes. This therapy helps in improving the eyesight of the person and reducing inflammation, redness, and itching-like problems with the eyes. The procedure lasts for 30 minutes.

  • Triphala Seka and Aschyotan Panchakarma for eyes

    Seka and Aschyotan are very important external therapies for eye disease. Triphala Seka means washing the eyes with medicated liquid. Aschyotan means applying the medicated liquid. The duration of Seka is 10 minutes. In the disorders of Rakta and pitta, Ropana Seka is done for 6 minutes.

    Aschothana is one of the unique procedures done for eye disorders. The procedure where the medicated drops surge onto the open eyes from a height of two inches in the prescribed format is called Aschothana. Aaschotana is the first line of treatment for eye diseases. Aschyotan is always done in the daytime only.

    In this procedure, the person is made to lie in a place without a breeze, with his eyes opened with the left hand. A medicine dispenser, or a shea shell, is held in the right hand of the doctor. 10 to 12 drops should be instilled in just two fingers above the inner canthus. Thus, it reduces cataracts.

    It is very beneficial for inflammatory conditions of the eye. It strengthens the nerves and muscles of the eye, gives freshness to the eyes, and increases the circulation of the facial muscles and facial nerves.

  • Nasya

    Nasya acts as both a pacificatory and a purificatory agent, and it promotes the strength of Indriya.

The main external Ayurvedic therapies for the treatment of cataracts are nasya, akshi tarpan, triphala seka, and aschyotan panchakarma.

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

Some of the diet prescribed by Ayurveda is:

  • Include green vegetables, fruits, whole grains, brown rice, ghee, milk, rock salt, honey, snake gourd, green gram, wheat, triphala (3 fruits), carrots, etc in your diet.
  • Avoid processed and fast food items.
  • Avoid foods such as sour foods, dry meat, all alcohols, select sea fishes, curd, and tobacco, excessively hot and fatty foods.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat the fresh fruit of Amla daily.
  • Drink coconut water, carrot juice, beetroot juice, and apple juice.

Lifestyle Changes (Vihar)

  • Walk regularly.
  • Practice yoga eye exercises like palming, blinking, rotational viewing, near and distant viewing, and viewing upward and down simultaneously every day. The daily practice of Anulom Vilom pranayam helps in curing cataracts.
  • Daily practice of Anulom Vilom pranayam that helps in curing cataracts.
  • Proper cleaning of the eye is important.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Wear headgear such as caps and hats, and eyewear such as sunglasses to protect from UV radiations.

How To Prevent Cataract

The following tips are very helpful for preventing cataracts:

  • Avoid direct contact with toxic chemicals, X-Rays, IR rays.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid excess worry, anxiety, and anger because it aggravates Vata and pitta doshas. .
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Include in your diet foods rich in vitamin E such as sunflower seeds, almonds, and spinach.
  • Consume foods rich in vitamin C.
  • Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids may reduce cataract risk.
  • Wear protective sunglasses that block the sun's UV rays when you go outdoors.
  • Be consistent with your eye check-ups and also check your diabetes and other medical conditions timely.
  • Ayurveda recommends adding ghee to your daily routine as it is highly recommended in cataracts.
  • Cow’s milk, butter, rice, wheat, moong dal, banana, methi, spinach, grapes, pomegranates, apples, and oranges are also recommended.
  • Must avoid pungent, bitter, sour, and saline food.
  • Avoid excessive heat and exposure to the sun.

Herbal Remedies For Cataract

Ayurveda proves that herbal remedies are very helpful to treat cataracts. Some of them are as follow:

  • Fennel

    Fennel is very helpful for watery and inflamed eyes. It effectively treats cataracts and glaucoma.

  • Saffron

    Saffron supplementation prevented protein degradation and aggregation. As a result, it prevents cataract formation.

  • Amla (Indian Gooseberry)

    It is rich in Vitamin C, which is essential to get a better vision. It also strengthens the eye muscles. Thus it prevents cataracts. Amla powerfully inhibits the radicals, which are one of the sources of cataracts.

  • Bilberry

    Bilberry helps to lower blood lipids and strengthen connective tissue. Thus, the bilberry may slow the progression of cataracts. It is also known as blueberry and is full of antioxidant properties. So it has wonderful effects on the eyes and improves blood circulation in all parts of the body.

  • Haritaki

    It is one of the ingredients in Triphala, the wonderful remedy for cataracts. Haritaki is very helpful in reducing the cloudiness of the eye lens.

  • Bibhitaki

    It is also one of the three fruits used in the Ayurvedic Rasayana formula Triphala. Its paste is a good remedy to treat cataracts.

  • Triphala

    Triphala eye wash works very effectively in treating eye problems and maintaining good vision. It is very effective in preventing dry eyes, computer vision syndrome, cataracts, etc.

  • Maha Triphala Ghrita

    Another Ayurvedic herbal formulation is Mahatriphala Ghrita. It is a polyherbal Ayurvedic formulation. This ghrita contains Haritaki, Bibhitaki, Amla, Bhringraj Swarasa, Shatavari, Vasa Guduchi, Ajakshira, etc. These herbs show anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, rejuvenating, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties. .

The herbal remedies that are helpful to manage the symptoms of cataracts are fennel, saffron, amla, bilberry, bibhitaki, haritaki, triphala, and maha triphala Ghrita.


The above-mentioned information related to cataracts was taken from various Ayurvedic resources. Always take the advice of an Ayurvedic doctor before starting herbs and herbal medicines for treatment.

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