Tired, sunken eyes, Puffy eyes and Dark circles


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eyesYour eyes are the windows into your soul. But in this age of visual stimuli overload, eye stress has become all too common. As we age, our eyes start needing more and more care. Haven’t you seen many a “healthy” person – fit, toned body, flawless skin, gorgeous hair – with tired eyes, dark circles under them, crow’s feet and early wrinkles around the eyes that betray the person’s age, despite their “healthy” diets and lifestyle?

According to Ayurveda, the eyes are the seat of pitta (alochaka pitta to be precise – the subdosha of pitta that is responsible for healthy functioning of the eyes). As we age, this particular pitta starts to get depleted and eye problems start. Exacerbating factors are stress, overusing the eyes with excessive computer usage, television watching, reading in poor light etc., anger, anxiety, alcohol, pollution, pungent and hot foods, overexercising, excess heat, lack of proper nutrition, and lack of proper sleep.

We will talk about some general diet and lifestyle measures to be followed to ensure good eye health. But first, let’s look at some simple home remedies to give your eyes a “lift” every once in a while.

 

Rose Water Treatment

Eyes - Rose Water

This is a simple, quick fix for eye woes, that doesn’t take more than 10 minutes end-to-end.

Ingredients:

  • Rose water (1 tbsp)
  • Room temperature water (1 tbsp)
  • Cotton balls (2)

Method:

  • Mix rose water with cool water in a bowl.
  • Dip the cotton balls, one by one, into the rose water mixture.
  • Lightly squeeze out excess liquid (the cotton balls shouldn’t be dripping wet, but should be moist and holding the liquid in) and place on closed eyes.
  • Lie down and keep the rose balls for as much time as you want. At a minimum, keep for at least 10 minutes.

Notes:

  • Rose water is cooling and has a very pleasant, calming aroma as well. This is my personal favorite remedy, that works wonders for tired eyes and under-eye dark circles.

 

Cucumber-Potato Treatment

Eyes - Cucumber Potato

The cucumber in this recipe cools down excess heat in the eyes, while the potato helps with reducing dark circles.

Ingredients:

  • Cucumber (1 inch piece)
  • Potato (1 inch piece)
  • Room temperature Water (1 tbsp)
  • Cotton balls (2)

Method:

Eyes - Cucumber Potato Grated and Juice

  • Grate the cucumber and potato pieces finely.
  • Extract the juice out of them, by squeezing the grated pieces well.
  • Add cool water to the juice.
  • Dip the cotton balls, one by one, into the mixture.
  • Lightly squeeze out excess liquid (the cotton balls shouldn’t be dripping wet, but should be moist and holding the liquid in) and place on closed eyes.
  • Lie down and keep the cotton balls for as much time as you want. At a minimum, keep for at least 10 minutes.
  • You may also cut 2 slices of cucumbers and place them alternately on the eyes and under the eyes (depending on where the cotton balls are placed).

Notes:

Cucumber is cooling and tridoshic, but is primarily good for pitta reduction. Its juice is well known for alleviating eye problems. The starch in the potatoes helps to reduce dark circles considerably.

 

Green Tea Bags Treatment:

Eyes - Green Tea Bags

This is a quick remedy for puffy or red eyes, in particular.

Ingredients:

  • Green tea bags (2)
  • Warm water (2 mugs)

Method:

  • Steep tea bags in water for a few minutes (5-10).
  • Squeeze excess water from the tea bags, and ensure that the bags are not too hot or warm (if yes, keep out of warm tea for a minute or so till the bags become cooler).
  • Place each tea bag on each eye for 10 minutes at least.

Notes:

The antioxidants and tannins in the tea give relief from itchiness and burning. Caffeine in the tea helps constrict blood vessels to reduce swelling.

Important Things to Consider:

  • Yogic eye exercises like tratak (gazing at a lighted candle flame or thumb), meditation, and relaxation exercises go a long way in maintaining good eye health.
  • In the morning (and if necessary from time to time during the day), rinse the eyes with cool water, while also simultaneously retaining cool water in the mouth. This helps in cooling the eyes from inside out.
  • Palming is a good way to relieve eye stress. Cup the palms around the eyes for a few minutes everyday.
  • Massaging the scalp and feet with coconut oil is also useful in cooling the body, reducing pitta and helping with eye health.
  • Include deep orange fruit and vegetables that are rich in beta carotene in your daily diet e.g. carrots, pumpkins, squash, peaches, apricots, mangoes, cantaloupes, sweet potatoes etc. Dark, green, leafy vegetables like swiss chard, spinach, kale, beet greens and other green vegetables like broccoli are also good. Amla (Indian gooseberry) is great for eye health too!
  • Following a pitta reducing diet and lifestyle is highly recommended as a preventative measure for maintaining eye health. This includes eating cooling foods like cucumber, watermelon, coconut juice, lemon juice etc. (especially during hot weather), avoiding hot, pungent, oily foods, avoiding alcohol, keeping oneself well-hydrated, avoiding over exercising, avoiding over-exposure to the sun, going to bed early (by 10 pm latest) etc.


photo credit: kinojam via photopin cc


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