Vision Quest

Natural healing methods offer sight for sore eyes


| July/August 2000


I was born with very poor eyesight and at the age of 3, I put on my first pair of glasses. Throughout my childhood I assumed, as did my doctors, that my eyesight was untreatable. The glasses simply became a part of my body--first thing on in the morning, last thing off at night.

My perspective changed when I was diagnosed in my teens with a chronic degenerative bone disorder. Since conventional medicine had nothing to offer at the time, I sought out other methods of healing: yoga, vitamins and minerals, herbs, massage, Rolfing, shiatsu, and chiropractic adjustments. I also tried therapeutic diets and experimented with natural healing methods. As I began to rebuild my body, I noticed that my vision improved as well--all with no targeted effort. By restoring my overall health and reducing toxicity, I gave my body more resources to heal eye tissue.

By the time I reached my early 20s, my vision had improved enough for me to function without glasses. Though my sight was not perfect, it was adequate to recognize faces, read, and drive. My eyesight has continued to improve, and I've now been free of glasses for more than 20 years.

Approaching vision problems without technological assistance is not common. Medical treatments are, frankly, effective and easy. When you can just wear glasses, why go through laborious dietary changes and herb regimens? If outpatient surgery can remove your cataracts in a day, why wait longer?

Most people readily seek a doctor's intervention, but others have found that restoring the eyes from within is worth the effort. In addition to being windows of souls, eyes are the mirrors of our bodies' health. The challenge is to stick with the program. The eye is complicated, and eye healing, particularly vision improvement, requires extra patience--compared with, say, how quickly an ulcer responds to cabbage juice, or joint inflammation to turmeric.

You can't just treat eyes; you also must address the skin and liver. These organs not only share nutritional requirements, they also degenerate consistently in order. Eye function is the first to go, then the skin, and finally the liver. When health deteriorates, the body is more willing to 'part with' functions or structures not critical to survival. Eyesight is a luxury compared to the detoxification functions of the skin and liver. To be successful in treating the eyes, we therefore must backtrack, first treating the liver, then the skin.

My clinical experience shows that eyebright (Euphrasia stricta) is a plant whose folkloric reputation outstrips its actual usefulness. Despite its name and history of use for the eyes, it's not effective, and there are certainly substances that produce more significant and consistent results. Eyebright is better as an upper respiratory tea than it is as an eye tonic.

mariagagnon09
4/12/2018 8:36:47 AM

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