The eyes are considered as the windows to one’s soul. The eyes do more than just allowing us to see; they carry important information for the intelligent observer. In fact, an eye exam can reveal underlying health problems including cardiac disorders. Endless scrolling through social media affects our eyes and is an issue requiring immediate attention, especially in the post-pandemic world.
“Sarvendriyanam nayanam pradhanam” is a well known phrase in Ayurveda. It means ‘of all sensory organs, eyes are the most important’. Eyes are also called Netra, chakshu etc., in different context chakshu/ Netra refers to structural component and Chakshurendriya to the functional aspect. The wellbeing of this vital sense organ is given utmost importance starting with the “Anjana Kriya” in the daily routine itself. Since the chakshu are seats of Tejas/alochaka beta and can be easily afflicted with diseases due to kapha, Anjana application is a necessary practice in Dinacharya.
Ayurveda ophthalmology propagates Anjana (collyrium) extensively both preventively and therapeutically. There are many types based on the materials used, preparation and form, action, design of applicator etc. Method and time of administration differ drastically based on these. For daily use, Souviranjana is recommended. Once a week, Rasanjana is advised to get rid of collected wastes. Benefits of Anjana are largely local to the sensory organ. Other Sthanika Kriya include the use of eye drops, include the use of eye dro, washing with herbal decoctions etc. These provide clarity and sharp sight.
Eyes and Hridaya: Though a direct correlation of drishti and hridaya is hard to find, the indriya has a direct effect on the manas. What we see is how we perceive things. The involvement of manas gives rise to various emotions such as harsha, bhaya, kaama etc which are causes of hridroga. Anjana is used for both ocular as well systemic diseases which was outlined by our ancient medical scholars as they were aware of the mechanism of Blood aqueous barriers, and Blood Brain Barriers thus Anjana is mentioned in Netra Vikaras as well as in some of the systemic disorders such as Kamala, Vishama jwara, Unmada, Apasmara, Moorcha etc. These disorders inherently involve hridaya directly or as a part of samprapti1.
Eyes are indicators of underlying health conditions. The eye is the only place in the body where a doctor can see the live action of blood vessels, nerves and connecting tissue without relying on an invasive procedure2.
Retinal blood vessels are closely related to the heart. The size of these determines cardiovascular risk factors such as Hypertension and Diabetes. Atherosclerotic plaques can also move into eye vessels3. Inflammation is responsible for cardiovascular disease & many eye conditions. Both eye diseases & heart conditions share similar risk factors4.
In the eye, high blood pressure can cause retinopathy, or damage to the eye’s main blood supply. This can lead to bleeding in the eye, blurred vision, swelling, blood clots, and damage to the nerve or even stroke in the retina with complete loss of vision. An ophthalmologist can look at the blood vessels in your eye and detect signs of high blood pressure or even diabetes without using a blood pressure cuff5.
Use of collyrium is more cosmetic than a treatment option today. Various beauty products like Kajal, Eye-liners (pencils, gels, liquids), eye-shadows (colour palettes, glitters) etc are all the rage. Eye makeup now includes both temporary products such as eye liners and permanent options like micro-pigmentation or simply, tattooing6. Apart from all the glitter and colours, it is important to note that the use of excessive chemicals will lead to serious complications as they can enter into systemic circulation easily. Anjana usage can result in healthy eyes and a clear indication of the well being of our hridaya.
Author: Dr. Spoorthy S Naik, B.A.M.S
Ayurvedic Heart care Consultant
Sriranga Ayurveda Chikitsa Mandira, Dattagalli, Mysore-…