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10/1/2009
A clear outlook on eyes
A clear outlook on eyes

Our eyes say a lot without us saying a word. They reveal thoughts and emotions, expressing our feelings with just a glance. Our eyes also take in a lot. They see the grand beauty that surrounds us, though sometimes the simplest joys—a flower blossoming, the wind blowing through the trees, raindrops catching the light—can be a sight for sore eyes.

Living in harmony with irritants and allergies

Unfortunately our expressive eyes are bombarded with airborne debris. The potential irritants have multiple sources: the natural world’s wind, plants and trees, the machinery and technology in our homes and workplaces, or even our beloved pets. When irritants and allergens come in contact with our eyes, they can cause reactions. Allergies trigger histamine-releasing mast cells in the mucus membrane on the surface of the eye, producing secretions that blur vision and necessitate constant rubbing. Driving, staring at a computer screen or wearing contact lenses results in tired, strained eyes. Whatever the cause, at times we all experience swelling, itchiness, redness, dryness and tearing. When our vision is not clear and comfortable, the body’s internal harmony is upset.

Our bodies protect our eyes as best they can. Every blink moisturizes the transparent cornea that covers the front of the eye, and shutting the eyelid protects the vulnerable tissue from irritants. Eyelashes keep particles away from the eyeball, which sits nestled within the tough bone of our skulls. The eye’s internal defenses include lacrimal glands that produce tears to rinse away foreign objects and prevent infection. This normal, healthy function goes into overdrive when our eyes come in contact with allergens, chemical vapors or other irritants. In such situations the glands produce heavier reflex tears to flush out the eye.

Listen to your eyes

The best treatment for red, itchy eyes is a natural moistener. Many over-the-counter eye drops contain chemicals to prevent spoilage. While initially providing comfort and moisture, the synthetic preservatives in these artificial tears ultimately cause the surface of the eye to dry over time, requiring more frequent use and disrupting the eye’s natural functions. These preservatives don’t prevent contaminants and bacteria from forming on the bottle and applicator—one of the most common sources for infection and the spread of contagious eye disease. Drops that advertise themselves as “preservative-free on contact” contain a toxin, such as thiomersal or methyl parahydroxybenzoate, that dissipates quickly. Exposure to natural light, however, is often required to initiate this effect. Therefore when the drops are used during late in the day or at bedtime, when eyestrain and fatigue happen most, this preservative lingers on the eyes.

Free your eyes

According to Portland, Oregon-based ophthalmologist Dr. Karen Winchester-Arlow, the safest way to maintain healthy, clear eyes is with 100 percent preservative-free drops that utilize homeopathic herbs.

“I’m always looking for natural means found in homeopathy to treat the eyes,” Winchester-Arlow says. “There are preservative-free alternatives to most drops prescribed to treat dry-eye symptoms, and I always recommend those to my patients.”

The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties of euphrasia, a plant commonly known as eyebright (see sidebar), are particularly effective at soothing dry, reactive eyes without the side effects of decongestant eye drops that constrict the outer blood vessels and limit the flow of oxygen. The buffering agents and isotonic solu-tions in homeopathic eye drops help balance pH levels, facilitate the removal of debris and support the eye’s assimilation to euphrasia. Weleda’s Euphrasia 3X eye drops come in safe, single-use doses made up of organic and wild-crafted eyebright, leaving eyes clear, comfortable and harmonized with the rest of your well being.

Our eyes are as complex and delicate as they are vital to our ability to interpret and navigate our surroundings. Our two eyes work together to perceive depth, judge size and distance, and send complex visual messages to the brain—sometimes all in a split-second glance. Constantly adjusting to the changing environment, they allow us to move seamlessly from darkness to sunlight, avoid dangers and obstacles and perform complex tasks.

Take care to maintain the calm, comfortable state of your eyes by pure, natural means. Euphrasia 3X eye drops soothe inflammation, reduce redness and reveal brightness. Healthy eyes are clear and open to the visual wonders of our natural world—the colors, the movements, the majesty of nature and the intimacy of human inter-connection. See for yourself. mm

A bright beauty: Euphrasia Officinalis (Eyebright)

Eyebright is an annual herb that grows in mild climates throughout Europe, North America, New Zealand and Australia. Weleda developed the first euphrasia cultivation project at the company’s Biodynamic® Medicinal Plant Gardens in Germany, achieving dependable quantities of the best- quality euphrasia.

Classified as a partial parasite because it must attach to the roots of other plants in order to grow, euphrasia’s delicate white, yellow and purple flowers look like folded butterfly wings. Eyebright contains tannins, bitter agents and flavonoids used in holistic medicine since the 14th century to treat “all evils of the eye.”

Weleda continues this rich tradition with Euphrasia 3X, preservative-free eye drops, rich in organic, wild-crafted eyebright—comprising more than 99 percent of the entire formula. The natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities of eyebright soothe swelling of the tear glands, eyelids and veins. Preservative-free Euphrasia 3X keeps eyes clear and refreshed. Eyebright can also help to diminish wrinkles and puffiness around the eyes.

Weleda Wild Rose Intensive Eye Cream, formulated with an extract of this eye-opening plant, is the perfect companion to Euphrasia 3X eye drops and should be an essential part of your daily beauty regimen. The organic and wild-crafted eyebright in this intensive cream, together with rejuvenating organic rosehip seed oil that is rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, nourishes delicate skin tissue and calms swelling. Connect with the beauty of the outside world through clear, bright eyes.