They say the eye is the window to the soul. But, what if I told you the eye is the window to your body?
Your eye, specifically your iris, is a map of your body. Reading this map (the iris), can reveal disease and health weakness in different parts of your body.
Reading of the Eyes
The reading of the eyes dates back to the Chaldeans, 1000 B.C. Even several thousand years ago, the Chinese and Japanese knew how to recognize diseased organs in the body by looking at the eyes. Its popularity began in Europe (primarily in Germany) in the 1800s. Diagnosing eye health became well known in America in the 1930s, thanks to famed Chiropractor Dr. Bernard Jensen.
This “reading of the eyes” is called iridology. Here is one of the more “simplified” versions of an iridology chart.
The iridology chart is arranged very similar to the structure of our body. The head is at the top of the chart and the legs at the bottom. The right iris is connected to the right side of the body and the left eye to the left side of the body.
Obviously, it takes training and practice to be able to read the eyes. Those who are trained are called Iridologists. Many Iridologists are also Naturopathic Doctors, Chiropractors, Herbalists, or Acupuncturists. This alternative practice is, in my opinion, a highly accurate way of finding imbalances in the body. It is fun to look at your own eyes, but please seek a professional Iridologist to get a proper reading.
What Your Eye Color May Say About You
One of the most interesting things about iridology is that even your eye color says something about you. This is called constitutional typing. Understanding your constitutional type can give you an understanding of the inborn health weaknesses someone may struggle with through their life.
There are three basic colors that represent the three primary constitutions. Beyond these three primary constitutions there are many subtypes. Those are categorized by additional colors and designs of the iris. I will stick to describing just the three primary constitutions, as it gets quite complicated beyond this.
Lymphatic Constitution (Blue Iris)
This eye color is blue or blue gray. The iris can also appear hazel, violet, grey or green. You can easily see the iris fibers.
- Overactive immune system
- Acidity that leads to arthritis
- Excess mucous production. This can appear in the ears, sinus, throat, lungs, intestinal lining, vagina and bladder.
- Children may have skin problems like eczema
Treatment includes: Avoiding mucous producing foods like wheat, dairy, and sugar can help with these health weaknesses.
Biliary Constitution (Light Brown Iris)
This eye color is a light brown color that typically has a lighter layer underneath. Many times this under layer is a shade of yellow. Those with biliary constitutions tend to have a weakness in the liver and gallbladder.
Other weaknesses include:
- Blood sugar problems
Treatment includes: Staying away from unhealthy fats and oils is very wise. Taking herbs that support the liver, like dandelion and milk thistle, can also help keep the liver clean and strong.
Hematogenic Constitution (Dark Brown Iris)
This is the true brown eye. It has so much pigment that it’s hard to see the iris fibers. Many people with the hematogenic constitution have a tendency for disorders involving the blood (“Hema” means blood or hemoglobin).
Weakness may include:
- Poor blood circulation
- Varicose Veins
Treatment includes: Staying away from unhealthy fats and oils can greatly help. Taking enzymes for digestion is recommended, as well.
Beyond Eye Color
These three constitutional types just scratch the surface of the complexities of iridology. Your symptoms may very well not fit under your eye color. Again, this is why it is important to visit an Iridologist. They understand the many subtypes and iris irregularities that point to different health weaknesses.
I found that my weaknesses go right along with my eye color. Do yours? Comment below this article with your constitution type (eye color) and whether your health issues coincide. I’d love to hear from you!
To find an Iridologist in your area, go to http://www.iridologyassn.org/iipa2/iipa-certified-iridologists.aspx . These Iridologists belong to the International Iridology Practitioners Association, a reputable organization.
Importance of Eye Health
It is quite fascinating that the eye can reveal the state of our body’s health. But, we also must focus on the health of the eye itself. Millions of Americans suffer from sort of eye problem. From dry eyes to cataracts to simply needing glasses; if your eyes are 100% healthy you, then are truly one of a kind. For those of you who suffer from one or many eye problems, there is hope. There are many natural remedies that not only prevent eye problems, but also bring relief.
Key Eye Nutrients
78% of adult Americans wear some sort of corrective vision. This is quite puzzling to me. Did people always suffer such poor vision? Or, has industrialization contributed to that rate? I personally believe that our modern diet is a lot of the problem. Colorful fruits and veggies are the highest in the nutrients that feed our eyes. But, our common modern diet is pretty void of color. Everyone knows that carrots are great for the eyes, but there are many more amazing foods that feed the eyes. These foods are high in the antioxidant carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. The best of those (aside from carrots) include:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Egg yolks
- Orange bell peppers
Many studies have been performed on the power of lutein and zeaxanthin and their effect on our eyes. Several of these studies establish a connection between the consumption of these two carotenoids and the incidences of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). A few of those studies include:
- The Eye Disease Case Control Study found that those with the highest levels of lutein and zeaxanthin had a significantly lower risk of AMD.
- The Nurses Health Study found that high amounts of both lutein and zeaxanthin (6 mg per day) lowered the need for cataract surgery.
- The Health Professionals Follow Up Study also found that high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin (6.9 mg per day) lowered the need for cataract surgery.
Studies have also noted improved vision from these carotenoids. The key is getting enough of the antioxidants to truly “see” the difference. Your body does not make these nutrients so they must be consumed in your diet or by supplement. In order to notice improvement, I recommend at least taking the following daily:
- 8 mg of zeaxanthin
- 9 mg of lutein
Check your multivitamin. Many high quality ones contain a little lutein, as well.
What makes these nutrients so special?
- Zeaxanthin works by protecting the cones of the eyes. Your cones detect color and fine details and are responsible for your central vision.
- Lutein works like internal sunglasses. It filters blue light before it can damage the macula.
Both are pretty incredible nutrients and an extremely important part of maintaining, protecting and improving eye health.
Nature’s Most Powerful Eye Antioxidant
It doesn’t stop there! The newest and arguably the most powerful antioxidant/carotenoids for the eyes is astaxanthin. Astaxanthin comes from an algae called Haematococcus pluvialis. This algae produces the super antioxidant astaxanthin to protect itself from UV radiation. This UV radiation protection carries over to us when we consume astaxanthin.
Dr. Tso of the Wilmer Eye Institute at John Hopkins University discovered that astaxanthin crosses into the tissues of the eye and acts stronger than any other carotenoid. He believes that astaxanthin is effective at treating a plethora of eye diseases including:
Astaxanthin is a cousin to beta-carotene, but far more potent as a natural anti-inflammatory! In fact, it makes flamingo’s pink! For a natural source of astaxanthin, eat Wild Alaskan Salmon to prevent cataracts.
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Inflammatory eye diseases
- Cystoid macular edema
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Central retinal arterial and venous occlusion
If you could choose just one supplement to take for eye health, choose astaxanthin. It’s just as powerful for the rest of the body as it is for your eyes. I have taken it daily for the last 6 years. Another fun fact is that it can prevent sunburns. I’m fair complected and I’ve noticed that I don’t burn like I used to. I don’t wear sunscreen either! This is, again, because it protects against UV rays. It’s also one of the most fantastic anti-aging supplements. If you want to stay looking, feeling and seeing youthfully, add astaxanthin to your daily regime. A great place to start is taking 4-10 mg astaxanthin a day.
Natural Relief for Dry Eyes
One of the most common eye complaints I get in my practice is dry eyes. Many things can cause dry eyes:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Lasik surgery
I always recommend 6 mg astaxanthin for dry eyes, as well as omega-3 fish oil. Make sure your fish oil has at least 800 mg of EPA and 500 of DHA. Omega-3 fatty acids are very effective at moisturizing the eyes from the inside out. As I always say, make sure your fish oil says on the label that it’s been tested to be free of PCB’s and heavy metals.
I have also found that the Dry Eyes Relief drops from Similasan work extremely well. They are 100% natural and contain homeopathic medicine that addresses the root of your dry eyes. During allergy season, I keep these drops on hand and have had great results.
The Future of Healthcare Through Your Eyes
Technology is moving quickly. So fast in fact, that you will soon be able to send pictures of your eyes to your doctor through a phone app for diagnosis. A mirror is also being developed that can help diagnose you by reading the eyes. Even scientists realize the importance of iridology and using the iris of your eyes as a diagnosis tool. The future is incredible and truly fascinating.
Keep your eyes moist and protect them from damage with the right antioxidants, lutein, zeaxanthin and astaxanthin. You deserve to “see” the future.
Amanda Box is a Doctor of Naturopathy and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 10 years and currently has a Naturopathic consulting practice in Sioux Falls, SD. Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic doctor to turn to for your personal needs, Dr. Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.
Eye Disease Case Control Study Group. Archives of Ophtalmology 1993;111: 104-109
Hankinson et al. 1992 British Medical Journal 305:335-9