(NaturalNews) In the fourth installment in this six-part series on eye health and vision we looked at the best vitamins and minerals for the eyes. In this segment we will take a look at other important compounds for the eyes and some of the best herbs for the eyes.
Other Important Compounds for Vision and Eye Health
* Lutein, found in our retinas, is essential for healthy vision. Lutein and a related dietary carotenoid, zeaxanthin, accumulate within the retina and imbue a yellow pigment that helps protect the eye. It lowers the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration (low lutein intake is implicated as a risk factor in age-related macular degeneration) and may also help to prevent or slow down atherosclerosis.
* Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a very important nerve stabilizer and is helpful in diabetics, and in patients with glaucoma, to protect their remaining optic nerve fibers.
* Dicosahexaenoic acid (DHA), with six unsaturated double bonds, makes up 30 percent of the good fat in the retina, brain and adrenal gland. Following objects at a distance, driving and hand/eye coordination may all be improved with the use of DHA.
* N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is the primary component in the production of glutathione, an amino acid and major antioxidant in the lens of the eye. It is produced and released by the liver. Besides helping protect tissues surrounding the lens of the eyes, glutathione helps fortify the cellular enzymes glutathione, reductase, super oxide dismutase and catalase. Those are the primary free radical fighting enzymes inside our cells.
*Glutathione has been linked in several studies with the prevention of cataracts, glaucoma, retinal disease, and diabetic blindness.
* Rutin is also considered to be an important nutritional compound for the eyes due to its ability to strengthen capillaries.
Top Herbs for Vision and Eye Health
* Pycnogenol is a powerful antioxidant derived from French maritime pine tree bark and the subject of more than 180 studies. Of particular note is its ability to reduce leakage into the retina by repairing capillaries in the eyes. While still largely unknown to American doctors, Pycnogenol is the leading prescription for diabetic retinopathy in France.
* Coleus forskohlii, Pilocarpus jaborandi, and Triphala have all been used to lower intra ocular pressure via parasympathetic relaxation of the body. Triphala has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of glaucoma.
* Silymarin, the primary component of milk thistle, is a major liver support compound. The liver is the key organ for the eye, since all the fat soluble vitamins and glutathione are stored there. The B vitamins are activated in the liver. The eye is subjected to bright light throughout the day and important ingredients for repair are stored in the liver.
* Bilberry is high in a type of bioflavonoid that speeds the regeneration of rhodopsin, the purple pigment used by the eyes' rods. British air force pilots in World War II ate bilberry jam to improve their night vision during evening sorties.
* Ginkgo biloba has been used for many centuries for eye and central nervous system problems. It is a selective cerebro-vascular dilator and seems to increase circulation to the back of the eye as well as increasing blood flow to the eye. It is also becoming an increasingly popular adjunct in the treatment of macular degeneration and glaucoma.
* Eyebright has been used for centuries to treat eye irritation. The name is thought to have been given to the plant because of its valuable properties as an eye medicine that preserved eyesight and so brought gladness into the life of the sufferer.
In the sixth and final installment of this series we will look at some of the best remedies for the eyes, including remedies especially for cataracts.
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year. He is also a contributing author for the worldwide advocacy group "S.A N.E.Vax. Inc" which endeavors to uncover the truth about HPV vaccine dangers. Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near Austin and San Antonio to give lectures and health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs - featuring Luella May" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup" and he serves as a consultant to the "Utopia Silver Supplement Company".