Bilberry and eyebright – Relief for tired eyes
Your eyes water, your eyelids twitch, the part of your forehead around your eyebrows seems to ache, and you notice a burning sensation when you close your eyes.
These are the common afflictions that can occur after the eyes are taxed for a prolonged period- for example, after hours of close work. The health of the eyes is largely dependent on the nutrients and oxygen which are passed via blood flow to the eyes.
Beneficial herbs that are important for better vision include Bilberry, Eyebright and Lycium (wolfberry or ‘kei chi’ in Chinese).
- Bilberry contains anthocyanins which possess collagen-stabilising action and smooth muscle-relaxing activity, exert anti-aggregation, blood sugar-lowering and anti-ulcer effects. Bilberry extract has been shown to hasten the regeneration of rhodopsin (a light-sensitive pigment found in the rods of the retina) and improves visual acuity in dim light.
- Eyebright is a European wild plant, traditionally used to treat eye irritation. Used medicinally, the tannins in this remarkable herb may decrease eye inflammation and provide a protective film over the surface of the eye. It is beneficial for reducing redness, swelling, itchy and irritated eyes.
- Lycium (kei chi or Chinese wolfberry) needs no further introduction as it has been traditionally used in China as an herbal eye remedy. Lycium is known to be a rich source of antioxidants, specifically zeaxanthin. Zeaxanthin is well-absorbed from lycium. It is especially beneficial in improving night and blurred vision. In addition, lycium may also help to prevent free radical damage to the cells due to its antioxidant actions.
A combination of these herbs with trace minerals and nutrients is beneficial for those 45 years and below in relieving eye fatigue, benefiting especially those who are engaged in eye-straining activities like driving, long hours of TV watching, computer use and intense studying for examinations.