Opacification of the lens or its capsule sufficient to interfere with the vision of the eye is called cataract. In Ayurveda, this disease is called Timira or Linga Nasha. Aggravated Vayu is considered to be responsible for the manifestation of this disease. One of the properties of Vayu is to make things dry up. When the unctuousness and softness of the lens and its capsule are lost, it becomes opaque, and the rays of light coming from the object are unable to pass through this. When the rays do not pass through this, the retina becomes incapable of accepting them. Thereby, the perception of vision is impaired. In the first stage of the cataract the whole lens or the capsule may not be affected, and thus, there will be only partial impairment of vision. The object may appear disrupted or dull.
The aggravated Vayu has to be corrected first. Ghee is one of the important articles which correct Vayu. Triphala provides nourishment and strengthens the nerves and other tissues of the eyeball. Maha Triphala Ghrita consisting of ghee with Triphala, among others is popularly used for the treatment of this condition. If the cataract is fully matured, then it is difficult to correct it. This medicine, therefore, acts very well only in the first stage of the development of this condition. This medicated ghee is given to the patient in a dose of two teaspoonfuls, twice daily, about one hour before taking food mixed with a cup of warm milk.
Chandrodaya Varti is used externally in this condition. Over a clean stone, it is rubbed with a little water, and the paste is applied in the form of a collyrium. It is a slight irritant. Therefore, it promotes blood circulation and lacrimation in the eyes. The collyrium also provides nourishment to the tissues of the eye.
For prevention of this disease and also for curing when it has just started, Triphala water is very useful. Triphala powder should be taken in a dose of one tablespoonful and added to a tumblerful of water in the evening. This is kept for 12 hours, well covered. In the morning, this should be squeezed and strained through a piece of clean cloth. The filtrate, thus obtained, should be used both for washing the eyes and taking internally.
To keep the eyes free from any disease it is necessary to keep the patient free from constipation. Both Maha Triphala Ghrita and Triphala water help in keeping the patient free from constipation.
Cow’s ghee, milk, and butter are useful. The patient can take rice, wheat, moong dal, banana (both ripe and green), methi, spinach, paatola, sweet variety of Koshataki, drumsticks, lady’s fingers, grapes, pomegranates, apples, and oranges. Pungent, bitter, sour and saline ingredients of food should be avoided. Sea-salt should never be used even in vegetables. Only rock-salt should be used, that too in a small quantity.
Exposure to excessive heat and sun is prohibited. Excessive worry, anxiety, and anger help in the aggravation of Vayu and pitta which contribute to causing the disease. They should, therefore, be avoided.