Natural Remedies For Healthy Eyesight

Human Eye Anatomy

The eye is an amazing part of the body with sight being the most dominant human sense.

Some of the most common problems that can affect the eyes include:

Glaucoma which is a disease of the optic nerve and is normally associated with high pressure inside the eye that damages the optic nerve.  Glaucoma is called the “sneak thief of sight” because it slowly robs a person of their side (peripheral) vision without becoming apparent.  The causes of glaucoma can vary, from age to plugged drainage to tissue degeneration in the area, blood pressure and tissue swelling in the area.

Cataracts are where the lens becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision making it difficult to read print or see clearly in the distance. This may happen as unneeded wastes accumulate in the body and are not being eliminated properly, therefore, they can build up in the lens. This particular area of the eye doesn’t need a blood supply to receive toxins or accumulated excess waste they come straight in from the lymph. Therefore, if the lymphatic system is not functioning as well as it should either because it is overwhelmed with its processing tasks or because of insufficient muscular activity to drive its circulation the backup can show here. Diabetes can also promote cataract formation.

Macular degeneration affects the macular area of the retina causing progressive loss of the central (reading) vision. Macular degeneration exists in two forms, either dry in which the blood supply is inadequate, or wet in which there is too much blood supply. There is a strong connection with the incidence of atherosclerosis. As the retina is highly vascularized and very fragile the microvasculature in the eye depends on adequate nutrients to function properly. When its vessels become clogged with plaques, it causes a visual field loss.

Like all other organs of the body, the eyes are associated with total body wellness.  So why can't you use nutritional and herbal support to enhance the tissue and function of the eye? You can!

Certain nutrients and herbs are beneficial long-term tonics for eye health as eye disease/disorders are caused at least in part by oxidative/free radical damage, toxic buildup and decreased circulation to or around the eyes. Therefore, anything you consume that has antioxidant properties and free radical scavengers, that promotes circulation, and that supports waste elimination, will benefit your eyes.

Of course, a healthy diet certainly plays a role in eye health, and I have listed the food sources that are high in each of the beneficial nutrients. However, sometimes the eyes need more nutrients than can be provided by foods alone to help regain healthy eyes and vision.

Let’s have a look at the main players and their beneficial nutrients for healthy eyes and vision.

Vitamin A plays an essential role in ocular health, both front (for the production of Mucin from the glands in the eyelids, Mucin helps to keep the cornea moist) and back of the eyes (to fill the cells for night and day vision).  Zinc is also essential for eye health as is mobilises vitamin A from the liver helping to facilitate night vision. Zinc is also needed by the melanin-producing cells in the eyes.

  • Vitamin A rich foods include apricots, barley grass, butter, carrots, eggs yolk, fish liver oils (cod, salmon, and halibut), green leafy vegetables, hard and cream cheese, liver, mint, spinach, kale, dandelion root and sweet potatoes.
  • Zinc rich foods include beef, bilberry, brewers yeast, egg yolks, peppers, ginger, herrings, liver, lamb, oysters, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, seafood, and whole grains.

Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant that helps to maintain blood capillary strength and promotes the production of collagen.

  • Vitamin C rich foods include blackcurrants, broccoli, brussel sprouts, citrus fruit, parsley, pawpaw, peppers, pineapple, potatoes, raw cabbage, rosehips, strawberries, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.

Vitamin E helps to protect the light receptor cells at the back of the eyes and is a potent antioxidant that helps to protect the cell membranes from oxidative damage.  To help the body absorb Vitamin E it needs selenium.

  • Vitamin E rich foods include almonds, apricot oil, beef, corn, egg yolk, hazelnuts, wheat germ, and pistachio nuts.
  • Selenium rich foods include alfalfa, barley, brazil nuts, butter, cashews, celery, eggs, garlic, mackerel, oysters, tuna, wholegrain cereals, onions, and turnip.

Glutathione is a must for eye health. It detoxifies the fluid of the inner eye, helps maintain fluid outflow in glaucoma, and it promotes transparency of the lens.

  • Glutathione rich foods include watermelon, asparagus and grapefruit. The body must have sulfur to produce glutathione. Sulfur-rich foods include garlic, onions, eggs, and asparagus.

Bioflavonoids are phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables.  They help to maintain vitamin C levels in the eyes, reduce inflammation, prevent free radical damage to cells and capillaries that can weaken their membranes, reduce the excessive flow of fluid into the eyes helping to prevent glaucoma.  Bioflavonoids also make up for the loss of the protective melanin pigment at the back of the eyes, which can lead to macular degeneration.  They also strengthen blood capillaries and retinal connective tissue.

  • Bioflavonoid rich foods include bilberry, blueberry, elderberry, black currant, red currant, cranberry, grape, buckwheat, and grapeseed extract.

The beta-Carotenes, Lutein and Zeaxanthin protect the eye from oxidative damage, are important for the transfer of oxygen to tissues,  and for protection from the harmful ultraviolet and blue-violet rays. Beta-Carotene may also have added benefits due its ability to be converted to vitamin A. Oils that are high in omega-3 oils are required for the beta-Carotenes, Lutein and Zeaxanthin, to absorb effectively into the eye.  

  • Lutein rich foods include amaranth leaves, broccoli (raw), watercress, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, okra (raw), parsley (raw), romaine lettuce, spinach (raw), and calendula flowers.
  • Zeaxanthin rich foods include collard greens (cooked), sweet corn, kale (cooked), pepper, orange, persimmons, romaine lettuce, spinach (raw), tangerine, and turnip greens (cooked).
  • Omega-3  rich foods include cold water fish, cod liver oil, flaxseed and hemp oil. Evening primrose oil (omega-6 rich) and cod liver oil helps to maintain moisture in the ocular tissues as well as the tear film.

Ginkgo Biloba helps enhance circulation, promote nerve health and is rich in flavonoids providing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Eyebright assists in strengthening eye tissues and provides elasticity to the important nerve and optic fibres.

In addition to being the windows of the soul, the eyes are truly the mirrors of the body’s health.

Eye Health


Tangy Carrot Salad
8 large carrots
½ cup pine nuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds
1 ½ cups rocket or romaine lettuce, chopped
½ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp hemp or flax seed oil
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

Optional Add-Ins
¼ cup pitted dates, chopped small
¼ cup beetroot – julienned
½ cup cooked chickpeas
¼ cup freshly chopped parsley


  • Toast the nuts or seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown (don’t let them burn). Remove from pan and let cool.
  • You can either grate the carrots or make long ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Place in a large bowl with the lettuce, dried fruit and any other add-ins you choose. Mix well.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad in a large bowl and toss. Sprinkle the toasted nuts or seeds over the top, serve and enJOY.