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From the Townsend Letter
April 2019

Cataracts – An Integrative Medical Approach
by Marc Grossman, OD, LAc
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Other Modalities
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views the development of cataracts as often being related to a chronic imbalance in the Kidney meridian, which is related to the emotions of fear and grief.

The Liver meridian "opens to the eyes" and is associated with overall eye health, and the Kidney meridian "opens to the lens" and provides blood and nourishment to the retina. 

Since most of the major meridians (in terms of energy flow) pass through the eyes, the imbalance inherent in eye issues may be related to an imbalance in other meridians, that may affect the Kidney and Liver meridians. Where the imbalances lie is best determined through an intake evaluation by an acupuncturist.

Here are the common Chinese medicine patent formulas related to cataracts:

  • Kidney yin tonic may be taken in a dosage as directed by your practitioner.
  • Shi hu ye guang wan (dendrobium pill for night vision) nourishes Kidney yin and clears the Liver to improve vision. It is indicated for cataracts as well as red, irritated, or swollen eyes, poor or blurred vision, eye strain from reading or from computer use, excessive tearing, and pain around the eyes.
  • Ming mu di huang wan (brighten the eyes) nourishes the Liver, enriches the Kidneys, and improves vision.
  • Zhu jing wan (preserve vistas pill) tonifies and nourishes the Liver and Kidneys, enriches the yin, and improves vision. Symptoms related to deficiencies in these meridians include weak and aching lower back and knees, excessive thirst, poor memory, cough, asthma, shortness of breath, and wheezing.
  • Qi ju di huang wan (rehmannia 6 plus chrysanthemum and lycii) nourishes Kidney, Liver blood,and yin. This formula is a classic adaptation of "liu wei di huang wan" (rehmannia 6), with a special emphasis on the eyes. In particular, the formula is helpful for dry eyes, redness, and heat caused by yin (fluid) deficiency.
  • Celosia 10 was designed for disorders such as cataracts as the lens and cornea are exposed tissue easily subject to "wind" disorders.

Essential Oils

  • Laurel leaf helps with lymph support.
  • Clary sage helps balance the endocrine system.
  • Saffron benefits include the following properties: antibacterial, blood purifier, antioxidant, decongestant, and memory enhancer.
  • Frankincense helps relieve chronic stress and anxiety, reduces pain and inflammation, and boosts immunity.
  • Carrot seed properties include antiseptic, disinfectant, detoxifier and antioxidant.

Keep essences away from the mouth, eyes, and mucous membranes; if a few drops get in one of these sensitive areas it may be uncomfortable for 15-30 minutes but not harmful. You can lessen discomfort by adding a pure oil, like olive or coconut oil, to neutralize the irritating effect. For the eye area, dab a few drops around the outside of the eye. Do not put the neutralizing oil in the eye.

Put 1⁄4 cup of avocado oil with 1⁄4 cup of calendula-infused oil. Slowly add 5 drops each of the essential oils. Then close the bottle and shake well; apply 4 drops of this mixture on your clean face. Massage in gentle circular motions. Leave overnight.

Other Therapies
Acupuncture supports the healthy flow of energy and circulation through the eye. There are eight acupressure points around the orbit of the eye, which can be massaged periodically throughout the day to help relax the eyes and stimulate energy and circulation flow.

Eyedrops containing lanosterol showed reduced severity of cataracts in animal research. Future research needs to be done on humans to identify the effectiveness. The application of the molecule lanosterol was shown to dissolve the lens protein buildup that causes cataracts in animal subjects; it may provide a non-surgical treatment for humans in the future.54

Allergy ResearchUsing lasers as a pretreatment to cataract surgery is showing potential for improvement in the safety and results of surgery.

Use of stem cells to regrow the eye lens after cataract surgery is another potential treatment of the future. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and Shiley Eye Institute, with colleagues in China, have developed a new, regenerative medicine approach to remove congenital cataracts in infants, which permits remaining stem cells to regrow functional lenses.55

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References .pdf

Dr. Marc GrossmanSince 1980 Dr. Marc Grossman has helped many people maintain healthy vision and even improve eyesight. He is best described as a holistic eye doctor, dedicated to helping people with such conditions ranging from myopia and dry eyes to potentially vision threatening diseases as macular degeneration and glaucoma. His combined multi-disciplinary approach using nutrition, eye exercises, lifestyle changes and Chinese medicine provides him with a wide array of tools and approaches to tackle difficult eye problems.

Dr. Grossman founded the Rye Learning Center in 1980, a multidisciplinary center for learning problems, in 1996 co-founded Integral Health Associates in New Paltz, New York, and in 1999 co-founded Natural Eye Care, Inc.

His background includes degrees in optometry, biology, physical education and learning disabilities, coupled with yoga, bioenergetics, nutrition, Chinese medicine and acupuncture, the Alexander technique and Feldenkrais. This orientation provides the foundation for an integrated approach to vision and its influence on the body, mind and spirit of each patient.

Consult your doctor before using any of the treatments found within this site.

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