Natural Compound clears Cataracts

A recent study found that a compound contained in the body called Lanosterol helps in counteracting cataracts[1].  Moreover, Medical Daily reports that eye drops are being tested using lanosterol, which may mean cataract surgery will no longer be required[2].

This is great news globally as the longer we live, the higher likelihood of a cataract, but it is also another case of naturally occurring compounds helping to address imbalances in the body.

Bright Eyes – go for Eyebright!

In the plant world the main herb for good eye health is Eyebright, or Euphrasia officinalis. Eyebright’s main active constituent is aucubin. Aucubin is what is called an iridoid glycoside. Iridoid glycosides have a range of actions including being anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and helping the heart, the liver and the immune system.

Eyebright has been used traditionally for eyesight (as the name implies).  Because of its anti-inflammatory action, people have used it for eye conditions such as conjunctivitis, styes and eye infections.  Hayfever and allergies can also cause your eyes to become inflamed, red or even to run and Eyebright can help with all of these.

Eye Circulation

As you can imagine from the name, the herb also helps with circulation to the eye, making your eyes bright! It also helps with vision.  Extending vision to a more emotional concept, it is also said to help with emotions and seeing things clearly.

I have to say, any time I have taken Eyebright, everything becomes much clearer and distinct and my eyesight definitely improves (as attested by my optician).  Particularly as you age, or if you are doing a lot of study, it is a great herb to take.

Eyebright protects eyes and the liver

In Chinese medicine the eyes are the orifices of the liver.  Have you ever seen someone’s eyes when they have been drinking heavily? Or when the liver is under strain, for example with jaundice, the first place it shows are the eyes.  It’s no surprise, therefore, that Eyebright is also a very good herb for the liver and specifically to help the liver detoxify.  The active constituent in Eyebright, aucubin, has also been shown to have a protective effect against fibrosis of the liver[3].

Protect your Eyes with Eyebright

We need to protect our eyes and let them shine. There is nothing nicer than bright, clear eyes. Next time, don’t go for the synthetic over the counter treatments – look after your eyes from within, using a combination of herbs and nutrition.  A word of caution, however, always use herbs under the guidance of a registered herbalist.  Eyebright can lower blood sugar levels and interfere with some medication, so seek advice before taking it.

If you would like clear bright eyes (and a healthy liver!), contact us at Fresh Perceptions Health, Dublin.  We will work with you to develop a naturopathic, health programme – including a herbal formulation which will help address your issue.  As always everything we do is based on naturopathy, nutrition, herbal solutions and common sense.

[1] Lanosterol reverses protein aggregation in cataracts, Zhao et al, Nature. 2015 Jul 30;523 (7562):607-11. doi: 10.1038/nature14650. Epub 2015 Jul 22.


[3] Chang IM, Liver-protective activities of aucubin derived from traditional oriental medicine. (PMID:10100510), Research Communications in Molecular Pathology and Pharmacology [1998, 102(2):189-204]

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