This is the third chapter discussing substances you need to add to your diet in order to heal your vision. In Step Six I urged you to take a supplement that contains a significant amount of lutein and zeaxanthin. Step Seven was an overview of the vitamins and minerals you need. Step Eight discusses the three herbs known for centuries to have a toning and healing effect on the eyes. You may be able to find many of these in the same supplements you take for your overall eye health. If you do, that is great. Otherwise, you may need to buy separate bottles of capsules and tablets in order to ensure that you have your bases covered. Step Twelve will help you formulate your personal plan for implementing the steps in this blog.
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Herbal medicine is gaining respectability among the American public and even among conventional doctors. The use of herbs in Chinese medicine is now an accepted part of treatment by an acupuncturist. Often this treatment is available in HMOs or as part of conventional doctors’ practices. It is taking longer for our own western herbs to gain acceptance. Yet these are also powerful and effective sources of health maintenance and healing. Since treatment with western herbs is usually a self-care activity, people need to become educated about the various herbs and what they can do to strengthen and heal the body and the mind.
Recently, St. John’s Wort has received a lot of interest and scientific investigation for its ability to help people cope with depression and anxiety. Once scientists demonstrated its effectiveness, it became the front line of medicine even for conventionally trained doctors. Many are now willing to recommend it before writing a prescription for Prozac or another anti-depressant. I don’t know when eye doctors, as a group, will begin to recognize the value of herbs for the eyes. I have found them to be very valuable as part of a mix of treatments I suggest to my patients who have ARMD, glaucoma, and cataracts. You can safely begin taking these herbs as soon as you have read about this step.