Ghee and ghruta are remarkably nourishing oils. Highly revered with versatile uses, Ayurveda teaches that ghee nourishes all the seven dhatus (tissues), the brain, as well as ojas. Its lipid-rich nature is balancing for Vata dosha; it’s slightly cool nature makes it a great oil for Pitta dosha, and ghee is even suitable for Kapha dosha—when taken in modest amounts. You may have heard of ghee on your toast or ghee in your tea, but what about ghee for eyes? There are ways in which ghee can benefit your eyes—both internally and topically.
Eyes, Fire, and Vision
The eyes are most closely connected to Pitta dosha and vision relates to the fire element—the chief element that composes Pitta dosha. Therefore, with some exceptions, dry and irritated eyes tend to indicate a Pitta imbalance. Chronic dryness, especially during the fall and early winter (Vata time of year) may also point to a Vata disturbance. However, when it comes to many issues with the eyes, it is helpful to examine one’s vikruti (current constitutional state) to assess whether there may be a Pitta imbalance.
Signs of Pitta imbalance include but are not limited to:
- Intense anger, rage, and/or judgement
- Feeling hot
- Bloodshot, red, or irritated eyes
- Burning indigestion, loose stools
- Early graying of hair
- Inflammation, particularly with redness and heat
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it is likely that your Pitta may be increased, causing an energetic and constitutional imbalance.
Furthermore, if your eyes are bothering you, in addition to considering an overall Pitta-pacifying food plan and lifestyle, you may also want to consider ghee for your eyes. There are a few different ways in which you can use ghee to benefit eye health.
Firstly, according to Ayurvedic scholar, author, and practitioner Dr. David Frawley, “Ghee itself is the most important food for the eyes, and by taking 1-2 teaspoons twice a day, vision can be improved.” (1) Dr. Frawley goes on to mention that Chyawanprash is also a wonderful tonic for the eyes, as its chief ingredient is amalaki, which is beneficial for the eyes and pacifies Pitta dosha.
Ghee For Eyes: Lesser Known Practices
In addition to taking ghee internally to build ojas, calm Pitta, and benefit the eyes, there are topical eye treatments that use ghee for eyes. Netra tarpana or netra basti is a treatment in which the eyes are literally given a ghee bath. This can be a very beneficial practice. However, due to safety and sterilization practices, it is best to do this practice under the guidance of an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner. Or, enjoy this treatment at an Ayurvedic spa or clinic. You can read more about this practice here.
Another Ayurvedic practice that uses ghee for the eyes is the practice of gazing at a ghee lamp. You can either purchase or make a ghee lamp (by placing a wick in a small glass jar filled with ghee) and then gazing at the flame for up to 20 minutes (1). Dr. Frawley comments that star-gazing is another wonderful way to cool and clear the visual field (1). Plus, lunar energy is extremely balancing for Pitta dosha!
Whether you eat ghee, gaze at a ghee lamp, or receive a special ghee bath for the eyes, it is clear that ghee nourishes more than just our bellies! But be sure to use a high quality ghee, like Ghruta for maximum benefits. PIOR Living Ghruta is authentically made according to Ayurveda traditions using free-range and grass-fed A2 Indian Gir cows.
(1) Frawley, D. (2000). Ayurvedic healing: A comprehensive guide. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Press.
Greta Kent-Stoll is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner (NAMA), as well as a writer, editor, and Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. Her Ayurveda practice is based in Asheville, North Carolina and she is the co-owner of Iyengar Yoga Asheville.