Pathya Apathya in Eye Diseases

By repeated observations,ancients evaluated the efficacy of certain food practices and drugs to prevent the eye diseases. Descriptions hilighting the effect of consumption of certain beneficial regimes (Pathya) and nonbeneficial drugs and practices (apthya) etc. are widely available in classics of medieval period such as bhavprakash Yog ratnakar and sharangdhar samhita.

Fruits such as Amra, Draksha, Jambeera are said to have beneficial properties. Bhavmishra recommended cow’s ghee, as well as buffalo’s ghee.

Author of Raj Nighantu advises fresh butter milk and milk products of cow, elephant milk which are said to have beneficial quantities. And some oils such sarshapa taila, Narikela taila are recommended.

Some honey like makshika and kshoudra varieties of honey,leafy vegetables such as punarnava,jivanti are prescribed to ensure good vision.

Shali wheat, mudga saindhava lavana, karpoora, kathaka, karanja, lodhra,Nimba, Nirgundi, Amalki, Shiva (Haritaki), Manjishtha, Padmak, nisha, lavanga, Jatiphala Priyangu keeps the prolonged healthy vision.

Ancient opthalmologists recommended Triphala ghrita, Madhu,yava, shatavari, mudga and padabhyanga as chakshushya group.

A general regimen to prevent ocular affections:

Ancient scholars presribed some practice (i.e.vihar) which keeps the prolonged healthy vision.

a ) Massage of feet(padaabhyanga) Cha.S. 5/90-92,Cha.S.5/ 100

b) use of foot wear (paduka dharna) As.Hrid.ut.C. 16/64 Shar.sam.ut.khanda 13/129.
According to yoga shastra there are two nadis (nerves) named as Gandhara and pusha which supply nutrition to eyes and very intimately connnected with feet.

c) Cold water application: (Sheetambuprativasana) - Shar- sam.ut.khanda 13/129
Keeping mouth full of cold water 2 to 4 times a day will keep the eye sight and ensure good vision.

d) Sheetodaka Sechana - Shar sam.ut.khanda 13/123
Instillation of few drops of cold water 3 to 4 times a day is beneficial to vision.

e) Panitalaa sparsha - As.Hrid.S.C.1
Keeping the cold palms of washed hands after taking meals in contact with eyes will prevent timira forever.

f) Sheetodaka shira snana - Cha S.C.5/12-17
According to charka one should wash his body with warm water and cold water should be used for head bath. Warm water if daily used on the heads it lessens the eye sight.

g) Anjana (Applicaton of collyrium) - As.Hrid.S.C.2/5
Regular application of anjana will protect the eye from dust,toxins sunlight and enhances the eyesight.

h )Shiroveshthana - Cha.S.s 5/18-19
Vagbhatacharya advised Shrioveshthanam to protect head from trauma.

Forbiddance of Harmful diet and practises:

Excessive consumption of alcoholic preperations (Madya) kanjika, suktha, chewing of beetle leaf and nut are contraindicated for eye problems fruits like kadali is said to have non beneficial. It is well known that unsuitable condition of illumination (mithya yoga) cause ocular discomfort, headache and eyestrain.

Ayurveda prohibited practices causing eye-strain such as working in dimlight. In very bright light, working at very minute object etc. is harmful to vision. The high intensity of light increases visual acquity becomes glore (Atiyoga) along with above, they advised to avoid exposure to toxic fumes (Dhooma) Day sleep (Diwaswap) consumption of unwholesome food.


More by :  Dr. Smita Lone

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