Among all the sense organs our eyes are considered most important. All our day to day activities are dependent on our eyes. Therefore, taking special care of them is necessary. Our eyes are responsible for sending visual information to the brain and thus it is under constant pressure. Ancient ayurvedic medicine system has many therapies for our senses, specific body parts and the body as a whole. Akshi Tarpana is an efficient ayurvedic treatment for eye care.
What is Akshi Tarpana?
The name Akshi Tarpana comes from the Sanskrit language. The word ‘akshi’ and ‘netra’ means eyes and ‘tarpana’ means giving strength, thus akshi tarpana means giving strength to the eyes. In this therapy, an enclosure is made around the eyes with black gram flour and medicated oil or ghee is poured in that. This treatment is very effective in improving vision and treating eye-related problems. It is mainly useful in following eye conditions:
- Burning sensation in the eyes.
- Feeling of roughness or dryness in the eyes.
- The sensation of eye stiffness.
- Vata and Pitta eye diseases.
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage.
- Squint – abnormal alignment of one or both eyes.
- Eye inflammation.
- Ulcer in eyes.
- Eye pain.
- Decreased secretion of lacrimal fluid.
The procedure of Netra Tarpana
The procedure is divided into three parts:
- Main treatment.
Pre-Treatment (Before Therapy)
This step is undertaken before the beginning of the actual treatment. Here, the patient’s body is examined thoroughly (during ayurvedic consultation) to know his body type, the type of disease he is suffering and the severity of his condition. This step is necessary as it helps in determining the medications needed in the therapy.
The eyes of the patient are also examined to determine problems regarding vision, eye infections and other eye-related problems. It also helps the ayurvedic practitioner decide whether the patient is ready for Akshi Tarpana treatment or not. Before the therapy, the patient’s body is detoxified and cleansed using Panchakarma Detox in order to get the desired body conditions.
The use of medicated ghee depends upon the nature of disorder to be treated and hence is prepared before the therapy. The medicated ghee or oil used for this therapy should be lukewarm and in liquid form, therefore the ghee is heated before. The ghee is placed in a container which is dipped into warm water until it is heated at a desired temperature.
Black gram flour is also kneaded and get ready for making an enclosure around the eyes.
The treatment is done in the morning or evening. The therapy may also be done twice in a day depending on the need of the patient. The room where the therapy is to be conducted should be free from smoke and dust.
The first step in the therapy is making an enclosure or ring-like structure around the eyes. For this purpose, the person is advised to lie down on back in a comfortable position facing upwards. The ring is made using black gram flour around both the eyes. The ring should be sealed properly with wet flour to avoid any kind of leakage of oil.
After the making of the flour ring, lukewarm medicated ghee is poured into the ring. During the pouring of ghee, the patient is told to keep his eyes closed. Make sure the ghee covers the whole eye region. After an adequate quantity of oil is poured the patient is advised to open and close eyes within short intervals for proper absorption of ghee to the inner parts of the eye.
After the therapy is over, the person is advised to open his eyes slowly and gently. The patient should not wash his eyes immediately after the therapy as if may bring down the efficacy of the treatment. Eyes should be given proper rest during and after the therapy.
The therapy lasts for 20-30 minutes after which the medicated ghee is drained out of the ring. For this, a small hole is made at the bottom of the flour ring. The area is cleaned using cloth or cotton after which it is washed by lukewarm water. The patient should avoid exposure to extreme temperature, bright lights, dust and strong winds. The patient should take a proper diet and avoid head wash until the completion of the therapy.
Duration of Treatment
|Pitta Dosha||Alternate Day|
|Kapha Dosha||Once in every 2 days|
In ayurveda, the treatment duration is advised according to dosha, as written above in the table. In case of a healthy individual, Netra tarpana can be done once in every 2 days.
It is advised to undergo this therapy twice in a year as a precautionary measure for eye care and clear vision.
For eye problems, the course of the treatment depends on the nature and severity of the disease. Mostly in such cases, the therapy lasts for 4 to 6 weeks.
Immediate Signs of Effective Treatment
- Reduced dark circles under the eyes.
- Better sleep.
- Lightness and stress-free eyes.
- Relaxed mind.
- Better and clearer vision with more tolerance of light.
Benefits of Netra Tarpana
The benefits of netra tarpana result from its mechanism of action. The medicated ghee used in this treatment reaches the internal ophthalmic structures. Due to the lipophilic nature of ghee, it facilitates the transportation of active herbal compounds into the ophthalmic structures through the cornea where it starts providing benefits. Here are a few important benefits of Akshi tarpana.
Dry Eyes Problem
The main reason for dryness in the eyes is the use of computers and mobile phones for hours without much blinking of eyes or looking somewhere else. This dryness occurs due to the absence of proper lubrication in the eyes. Dry eyes can also be a symptom of other eye diseases.
Akshi Tarpana provides proper nutrition and lubrication to all parts of the eyes therefore, reducing problems related to dry eyes.
Painful and Burning Eyes
Due to too much stress on the eyes or contact with dust and dirt sometimes you may experience pain and burning sensation in the eyes. For such problems, regular cleaning of eyes is necessary. Akshi Tarpana is not only good for improving vision but can also be used as a preventive measure for these common problems like eye pain.
Recurrent Eye Infections
Common eye infections include conjunctivitis (pink eyes), keratitis, blepharitis and entry of foreign substances in the eyes. Most of these infections are caused due to contact with dust, dirt or bacteria. The common symptoms of eye infections include redness in eyes, inflammation in eyelids, pain and extra watering of eyes. Some patients suffer from recurrent eye infections in which Asthi Tarpana can be very beneficial.
The ghee used is medicated with special herbs which possess anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which helps in curing any such eye infections.
Computer Vision Syndrome
This problem is very common due to the modern lifestyle. The use of computers and even mobile phones for a prolonged period can cause problems like myopia and hyperopia. The symptoms of this syndrome include blurred vision, dry eyes, redness in eyes, excess watering of eyes and headache. This therapy helps in restoring vision and reducing the symptoms of computer vision syndrome. The medicated ghee provides strength to the ocular muscles and reduces muscle tensions ensuring smooth movements of eyes.
Glaucoma refers to diseases caused due to damage of optic nerves and loss of vision. The ghee used in the therapy penetrates deep into ophthalmic structures and provides strength and nourishment to it. The medication is transported from the cornea to all parts of the eye. Akshi Tarpana helps in recovering damages in the internal structures and improves vision.
Some eye injuries leave behind a long-term effect on the eyes like unclear vision, weak eyes muscles, blockages in the optic nerve, etc. These eye problems if not treated within a certain period may degrade our quality of vision further. Continuous use of Akshi Tarpana can help a person in regaining original strength to the muscles and improved vision. The ghee has lipophilic properties which makes sure that the medication is transported to every cell membrane. This absorption of medicine at cellular level helps in opening blockages and re-strengthening the inner structures.
The therapy is concerned with the eye. Therefore, special care should be taken while going in for it. Following are a few precautions you need to know before this therapy:
- The person undergoing this treatment should make sure he understands the procedure and other relative information about the therapy before-hand.
- The therapy must be performed by a properly trained ayurveda professional under the observation of an ayurvedic expert.
- After the therapy, the patient is advised to avoid a few things including extreme temperatures, strong winds, dust and dirt, bright lights and other luminous objects.
- After the therapy, the patient may experience irritation in the eye. Therefore, he is advised not to rub eyes too much. The irritation will stop after some time.
- The therapy should be stopped immediately if the patient is crying or experiencing pain, fear and Only an expert knows where to stop in between the therapy, therefore communicate to him during the therapy if you experience any such difficulty.
- Poonam, Manjusha, R., Vaghela, D. B., & Shukla, V. J. (2011). A clinical study on the role of Akshi Tarpana with Jeevantyadi Ghrita in Timira (Myopia). Ayu. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3361932/
- Gupta, D. P., Rajagopala, M., & Dhiman, K. S. (2010). A clinical study on Akshitarpana and combination of Akshitarpana with Nasya therapy in Timira with special reference to myopia. Ayu. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3202262/
- Bramhanand Swamy, Sapana B Swamy, Akshi Tarpana – a unique ocular therapy in ayurveda, journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medical Sciences, https://www.jaims.in/index.php/jaims/article/view/491