9 Herbs for Healthy Eyes

The plant world offers a medley of prevention and treatment for healthy eyes.

  • Most common eye conditions come on so slowly that people may not develop noticeable symptoms until the disease has become severe. The best strategy for healthy eyes is regular eye examinations. Early detection and prompt treatment can prevent significant visual loss.
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Q. Are there herbs that can help support healthy eyes?

A. Sight is one of our most cherished senses. We read, appreciate art, observe nature and connect with loved ones by gazing into these “windows of the soul.” We spend good money on cosmetics to enhance the eyes’ natural beauty, and it just makes sense to promote our eyes’ health as well. 

Easy steps include wearing sunglasses and hats outdoors, eating well, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress and avoiding cigarette smoke. Some medicinal plants also might be worth incorporating into the routine.

Herbs for Eye Health

Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) has long been a folk remedy for the eyes. Most natural food stores contain teas, tinctures and homeopathic eyedrops made from this herb. A South African study found that eyebright eyedrops hastened recovery from conjunctivitis (redness and discharge caused by irritation of the outside lining of the eye). Extracts lower blood sugar in diabetic rats. Whether the same effect holds for humans isn’t yet known. (Diabetes raises the risk for several eye diseases—see our sidebar "For Eye Health, Control Blood Sugar.")

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) improves blood flow to the retina (the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye). Preliminary research suggests extracts improve vision in people with glaucoma. It is also antioxidant and protects nerve cells, including those in the eye.

Coleus (Coleus forskohlii) contains forskolin. Forskolin eyedrops have been shown to reduce the production of fluid within the eye, thereby reducing pressure. Therefore, it may have relevance in the treatment of glaucoma.

5/21/2015 11:12:57 AM

After 3 mo.s of severe debilitation from dry eye (sjogrens) I tested every product on the market and found that Restasis at $900.00 is merely big Pharma and did not help. What did help dry eye is all the vitamins lacking in a diet: fish oil, A, E, B, selenium,C,Ginko,D, berries of every sort, spinach, kale (daily lunch of this) plus Ubinquinol. I worked endlessly with every drop on the market and found in the end that Similisan (homeopathic drop) really HELPED! along with Systane ointment. This is after a 3 month trial and error desperate search for relief. Try this.

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