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Ayurvedic Management of Conjunctivitis


Conjunctivitis, also known as “pink eye,” is a common eye condition characterized by inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin tissue that covers the white part of the eye and lines the inner surface of the eyelids. It can be caused by infections, allergies, or irritants. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, offers a holistic approach to managing conjunctivitis by addressing the underlying imbalances and promoting natural healing.

What is Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis refers to the inflammation of the conjunctiva, which can be caused by various factors such as viruses, bacteria, allergens, or irritants. It is often characterized by redness, itching, tearing, and discharge from the eyes. Conjunctivitis can be highly contagious and may affect one or both eyes.

Ayurvedic View of Conjunctivitis:

In Ayurveda, conjunctivitis is viewed as an imbalance in the Pitta dosha, which represents the fire element responsible for maintaining vision and maintaining the health of the eyes. Imbalanced Pitta can lead to excessive heat and inflammation in the eyes, resulting in conjunctivitis. Other doshas may also play a role, such as Vata in dry or allergic conjunctivitis and Kapha in conjunctivitis with excessive discharge.

Causes of Conjunctivitis:

  1. Viral infections, such as the common cold or flu.
  2. Bacterial infections, including Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria.
  3. Allergens, such as pollen, dust, or pet dander.
  4. Irritants, such as smoke, chemicals, or foreign particles in the eye.
  5. Contact lens-related conjunctivitis.
  6. Poor hygiene, such as touching the eyes with dirty hands.
  7. Sharing personal items, like towels or eye makeup.

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis:

  1. Redness in the white part of the eyes.
  2. Itching, burning, or gritty sensation in the eyes.
  3. Watery or mucous discharge from the eyes.
  4. Swollen eyelids.
  5. Sensitivity to light.
  6. Blurred or hazy vision in some cases.

Ayurvedic Treatment Approach for Conjunctivitis:

Panchakarma Therapy:

  • Netra Tarpana: A specialized Ayurvedic therapy involving the pouring of medicated ghee into the eyes to soothe and nourish the affected area.
  • Nasya: Nasal administration of medicated oils or herbs to balance the doshas and promote overall eye health.

Herbal Remedies:

  • Triphala (a combination of three fruits): Used as an eyewash to cleanse and soothe the eyes, reducing inflammation and infection.
  • Rose water: Has cooling and soothing properties and can be used as an eyewash or as a compress to alleviate symptoms.
  • Aloe Vera juice: Known for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties, it can be used as an eyewash to reduce redness and inflammation.
  • Neem (Azadirachta indica): Possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, helpful in managing conjunctivitis caused by infections.

Lifestyle and Dietary Recommendations:

  1. Maintain good hygiene by washing hands frequently and avoiding touching the eyes.
  2. Avoid rubbing or scratching the eyes, as it can worsen the inflammation.
  3. Protect the eyes from irritants, such as smoke or harsh chemicals.
  4. Use a clean towel and avoid sharing personal items like towels, eye drops, or eye makeup.
  5. Follow a Pitta pacifying diet, including cooling foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbal teas.

Home Remedies for Conjunctivitis:

  1. Prepare a decoction of coriander seeds by boiling them in water, strain the liquid, and use it as an eyewash to soothe the eyes.
  2. Apply a cold compress using a clean cloth soaked in cold water or chilled rose water to reduce inflammation and provide relief.

Note: It is advisable to consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner for the proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan for conjunctivitis based on your specific condition.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.

Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari
Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari


Registered Member of AAA

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