The annoyances of eye strain, dry eyes, and blurry vision are all too real for many of our screen-weary peepers. Interestingly though, there’s a 5,000-year-old remedy to help with all of that: ghee for eyes!
According to Ayurveda, India’s 5,000-year-old medicinal science, ghee is the best oil for the body, and in Ayurvedic tradition, ghee is revered for its far-reaching healing qualities. Ayurveda turns to ghee to remedy everything from an upset stomach to burns and skin irritations. Ghee is recommended to aid in a variety of health concerns, like weight loss, dry skin, dull hair, and is even said to help boost brainpower. Though not many studies have been done to prove (or disprove) Ayurveda’s claims to ghee’s medicinal properties, Western medicine is beginning to recognize many of the benefits ghee may offer, including the benefits of ghee for eyes.
The benefits of using ghee for eyes
Ghee is packed full of vitamin A (the go-to vitamin for eye health) and omega 3, a fatty acid that helps maintain healthy eyes. So a ghee-rich diet is a great way to support your vision and eye health from the inside out. In addition to eating it, ghee can be applied directly to your sockets in a traditional Ayurvedic practice called Netra Tarpana (also called Netra Basti or Vasti).
According to the ancient Ayurvedic text, Ashtanga Hrudaya, some of the ailments Netra Tarpana can remedy include:
- Extreme dryness
- Dirtiness of the eyes
- Sensation of darkness
- Stiffness or rigidity
- Falling eyelashes
- Difficulty opening or closing the eyes
- Inflammation of the cornea
- Atrophy of the cranial nerves
* It’s important to note that none of these claims have been backed by research. This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your optometrist or a professional healthcare provider before beginning any new eye care routine.
While it is possible to perform the ghee eyewash at home, we highly encourage you to seek a certified Ayurvedic practitioner. Our eyes are sensitive and very susceptible to infections and irritations, so it’s best to leave their care to the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing. But when you do find an Ayurvedic practitioner to perform the Netra Tarpana, here’s what you can expect.
To begin the Netra Tarpana, a small “dam” of lentil flour dough is secured around both eyes. Then, the dam is filled with melted ghee, and you get to lie back and relax while the ghee does its work. You can blink every so often and some practitioners even encourage mild eye exercises during the therapy. After about 15 minutes, the ghee and the dough dam are removed and your eyes are gently wiped clean. Your vision may be slightly hazy or blurry for a short while afterward.
How to use ghee for your eyes at home
While we do highly encourage you to seek out a trained Ayurvedic practitioner for the Netra Tarpana therapy, it is totally possible for you to access some of the benefits of ghee on your eyes by yourself. With clean fingers, take the tiniest amount of ghee and apply it gently around your eyes every night for smooth and hydrated skin. Using pure ghee for eyes brightens tired eyes, reduces under-eye bags and swelling, and can also help to slow down the aging process.
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Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash