Netra Tarpana - The Ayurvedic Eye Therapy
Eyes are the windows to the world. We perceive and comprehend a lot through our eyes. With time, harmful ultraviolet radiations and other environmental pollutants affect the eyes adversely and cause impairment of vision. Another prominent factor that negatively affects the eyes is the stressful lifestyle of the modern days. The people today are exposed to massive screen time, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, unhealthy diet and lifestyle regimes. All these derange the balance of the eyes. Ayurvedic therapies and remedies that help regain the natural health of eyes are in high demand these days.
Alochaka Pitta Defined
Utmost care must be given to eyes during the summer season. The pitta dosha is most likely to get deranged during the summer season. Since the eye is a pitta dominant organ, it can readily go out of balance during the summer season. Eyes house alochaka pitta, a subdosha of pitta. It resides in the pupil and embodies the fire. The light is digested by this fire located in the eyes and is then converted into visual impressions.
When alochaka pitta loses its balance, the fire element in the eyes either increases or decreases. The increase of the fire element may be because of the copious screen time, other harmful radiations, pitta predominant diet and lifestyle regimes etc. All these eventually result in strain to the eyes, inflammation and dryness of eye. The decrease in fire element may be because of the aging process. The development of glaucoma, cataract etc. with advancement of aging is attributed to the decrease in this fire element.
Netra tarpana literally means rehydration of eyes. A circular frame is made around the eyes using a paste of powdered masha. Medicated ghee according to the dosha of the individual is poured into the frame and is retained usually for about 30 minutes. This period may vary according to the condition of each individual. The ghee poured must be lukewarm.The eyes comfortably plunge in the ghee. The patient is asked to open and close the eyes intermittently so that the properties of the ghee are well soaked up by the eyes.
Benefits of Netra Tarpana
Netra tarpana provides extra nutrition and rejuvenation to the eyes. It lubricates the eyes, clears the visual channels and thereby improves the inner vision. It also brings clarity of vision and improves the quality of visual perception. The eyes are relieved of strain. It is seen to be highly effective in the treatment of conditions like cataract, glaucoma, conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, dry eye syndrome etc. It strengthens the optical nerves and hence accentuates the visual perception. It also brings about coordination of the movement of eyeballs. The vital points of the eye are stimulated, thereby reestablishing and strengthening the interaction between eyes, brain and mind. Netra tarpana is also known to relieve migraine and associated stress to the eyes. It even enhances the immunity of an individual. It brings about total rejuvenation of the eyes and can be done in both preventive and curative aspects.
Indications of Netra Tarpana
Netra tarpana is indicated when a person perceives darkness in front of the eyes. It is further indicated in conditions like dry eyes, irritation of the eyes, falling of eyelashes, stiffness of eyelids, squint, altered lustre of the ocular surface, and in almost all aggravated disease conditions of the eye. It is known to prevent cataract, glaucoma, conjunctivitis, sub conjunctival haemorrhage, drooping of eyelids etc. It is also indicated in persons past cataract surgery.
Triphala in Eye Disorders
Triphala is known as the Chaksushya Rasayana and is effective in almost all conditions of the eyes. Triphala is tridosha hara. It has the innate property to maintain the doshic equilibrium of the body and the eye, thereby preventing any disease pathogenesis. The ushna and ruksha properties of triphala helps to break down all the microchannel obstructions within the eyes and thereby prevents abhishyanda and all other eye diseases. The digestive and carminative properties of triphala nourishes the alochaka pitta of the eyes and improves the visual functions.
Netra Tarpana Using Triphala Ghrita Past Cataract Surgery
In eye disorders, triphala may be administered in the form of kwatha (decoction), churna (powder form), varti (collyrium), ghrita (medicated ghee) and other guggulu dosage forms. Triphala yogas are used for aschyotana, netra prakshalana, netra seka, vidalaka, anjana, tarpana, putapaka etc. For tarpana, ghrita is treated with triphala to produce triphala ghrita. It is then retained over the eyeball with intermittent blinking of the eyes for a stimulated period of time which may vary according to the condition of each individual.
Netra tarpana using triphala ghrita is specifically indicated in cataract patients and past cataract surgery. It lubricates the eyes and brings about clarity of vision. Triphala acts as a wonder drug in disorders of the eyes and also helps in preventing visual disorders. By making triphala a part of the dietetic regimen, one can stay away from all kinds of visual disorders.
Taking The Best Care Of Eyes Using Ayurveda
Ayurveda offers the best therapies and medications towards taking care of the eyes. Intake of triphala kashaya or triphala churna along with honey or ghee is highly acclaimed to protect the eyes. Triphala churna can be taken along with ghee in pitta predominant conditions, with sesame oil in vata predominant conditions and with honey in kapha predominant conditions. Wash the eyes regularly with triphala kashaya. Massaging the eyes with wet palms protects the eyes from any detrimental effects. Suppressing natural urges or inducing any of the natural urges can be harmful to the eyes, hence one should not do that. Do not pour warm water over your head as that is not healthy for your eyes. Apply collyrium daily. Resorting to the daily practise of nasya is highly acclaimed to improve visual health as it clears all the micro channels within the head.
Massage the foot regularly with oil, make footwears a habit and protect the foot. Try to include triphala, ghee, wheat, shashtika shali, grapes, pomegranate, green gram etc. in the regular diet. Restrain from anger, grief, overeating and day sleep.
Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan
MD (ALT. MEDICINE) View Profile