Working on the computer for long hours? Too much TV watching on the weekend? Or just some heavy-duty novel reading at late night? If you’ve ever got your eyes red and watery from excessive strain, this one is for you.
Did you know that, Triphala powder, one of the most easily available, cheap and versatile medicines in Ayurveda, commonly used as a laxative, can act as a very good cleansing agent and antibiotic for your eyes as well? We tell you how.
(Stuff for science nerds only, others jump directly to the recipe ahead)
Triphala powder (literally, ‘the three fruits’) is a mixture of the dried fruits of Amalaki (Indian gooseberry – Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Black Myrobalan – Terminalia chebula) and Bibhitak (Beliric Myrobalan – Terminalia bellirica).
Amalaki has the highest known naturally occurring concentration of Vitamin C, the best known anti-oxidant that removes harmful free radicals, soothes damaged corneal surface, balances the buffer pH of tears and inhibits the slow degradation of eye-lens’ proteins that leads to degenerative diseases like cataract. So many actions of just one ingredient? More is to come.
The other two ingredients (Haritaki and Bibhitak) are gentle astringents with tiny saponin fractions (the natural substance in soaps that imparts detergent action) that react with the accumulated foreign matter on the eyes’ surface to remove the liquid part and skim off the dirt. Their sustained action also stimulates the tear glands to secrete fresh and clear lacrimation to lubricate the eyeball.
Together, these three medicines exhibit synergistic antibiotic properties against many bacteria in the Staphylococcus and Streptococcus genera, the common causative organisms in eye infections. This has been proved in several independent trials and practised by Ayurvedic physicians systemically as well, in the form of prescribing Triphala Guggulu, a tablet formulation of Triphala.
Variant 1 – The 5 minute quick mix
Mix a teaspoonful of Triphala powder and a small glassful of water. Heat until it reaches a simmering boil. Stop heat, allow to cool and use to wash eyes after filtering with a fine sift or clean cotton cloth.
Variant 2 – (slight lengthy, more efficacious)
Boil a glassful of water to a rolling boil. Stop heat, Add a teaspoonful of Triphala powder to it. Mix well and cover up. Filter after it cools down completely and use for washing eyes.
Variant 3 – (time taking, but most efficacious)
Add a teaspoonful of triphala powder to a small glassful of lukewarm water at night. Steer, cover and allow to stand for the night. In the morning, steer again, filter with a fine sift and use for washing eyes.
Why the different methods?
Because, Vitamin C, the vital substance in this recipe is very heat-labile, that is, it gets destroyed easily by higher temperatures. So, the lesser temperature you use for preparing this decoction, the more Vitamin C content you will retain in it.
This eyewash can be used daily to maintain a healthy and sharp eyesight; just remember to prepare it afresh everyday, and to store in glass container only. It can also treat mild eye infections. For moderate to severe eye ailments, Ayurveda deploys a therapy known as Tarpan – Putapaak, wherein further complex formulations containing Triphala and other condition-specific ingredients are used. If you have tried out the above remedy and want to know more about Tarpan – Putapaak, keep reading Dr. Herbz in the future or drop a message here for a personal consultation.
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Stay healthy, stay happy!
About the Author –
Dr. Harshad Rajandekar holds an Ayurvedacharya degree in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery from Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik and runs a consultancy practice in integrative medicine and holistic wellness therapies.