Table of Contents
In simple words, ‘Akshi’ means eyes, and ‘Tarpan’ means nutrition or nourishment (Basti-retaining something inside). Also, this therapy is known as Kriyakalpa and is described as eye care treatment and rejuvenation therapy. In this procedure, an enclosure built is made around the eye with wheat flour and medicated ghee is poured over the eyelids for a fixed duration of time. Akshi tarpana or Netra tarpana acts as both preventive and curative for maintaining the healthy condition of the eyes and is said to be an excellent treatment to improve vision and clarity.
Indications of Netra Tarpana:
The Panchakarma therapy ’Akshi Tarpana/Netra Tarpana’ effectively works in the following eyes disorders:
- Night blindness
- Dry eye syndrome
- In the early stage of retinopathy
- Pain and swelling in the eyes
- Chronic Conjunctivitis
- Corneal Ulcers
- Burning Sensation in the eyes
- Corneal Ulcers
- Cloudiness and Watering of the eyes
Benefits of Netra Tarpana According to Ayurveda:
According to the Ayurvedic Acharyas, the following are some benefits of Netra Tarpana:
- Vata Pittaja Roga: Eyes disorders which are caused due to unbalanced or aggravated Vata and Pitta Dosha
- Netra Shushkata: Excess Rigidity or stiffness in the eyes
- Nayane Tamyati: Irritation in the eyes occurs due to exposure to excess light
- Abhighata: Injury to the eyes
- Krichha unmilana: Difficulty to close or open the eyes
- Sheerna pakshama: Falling of eyelashes
- Aavila akshnam: Dirtiness of eyes
- Abhyishyanda: Conjunctivitis
- Adhimantha: Glaucoma
- Siraharsha: Cellulitis occurring in the eyes
- Vata paryaya: Cranial nerves atrophy
- Shkra: Inflammation of the cornea
- Sirotpata: Conjunctiva hyperemia
Indications of Netra Tarpana according to Ayurveda:
The following eye diseases are mentioned in different Ayurvedic texts in which Akshi Tarpana is indicated:
- Sheerna pakshma: Falling of eyelashes
- Ati daruna: dryness of the eyes
- Tamyati: darkness in front of eyes
- Jihma netram: abnormal deviation of the eyeball
- Roga klishtam: eyes that have been repeatedly afflicted and debilitated due to multiple diseases
Contra-Indications of Netra Tarpana according to Ayurveda:
There are some conditions in which Netra tarpana is contraindicated in Ayurveda:
- Ati sheeta dina: excess cold day
- Atyushna dina: excess hot day
- Chinta: a person who is mentally disturbed
- Bhrama: giddiness
- Aayasa: in physical exhaustion
- Ashtna upadrava: in the conditions like inflammation, severe pain, watering, and redness in the eyes
Procedure of Netra Tarpana:
This therapy is divided into three parts:
- Purva Karma (Pre-Treatment Procedure)
- Pradhana Karma (Main Procedure)
- Pashchat Karma (Post-Treatment Procedure)
- Purva Karma (Pre-Treatment Procedure): Before starting the procedure, some preparations are done, which include:
Preparation of the Patient: In Ayurveda, it is very important to take an examination of the patient to know the basic information, like his/her Prakriti and Vikriti. Accordingly, medications used in the procedures are decided.
Preparation of the Treatment: Before the procedure, all the materials needed for the procedure should be collected:
- Medicated ghee/oil
- Flour of black gram or white flour for making the ring around the eyes
- Bowl, vessels, and stoves
- Tissue paper, Cotton, and Sterile clothes
- Material for dhoompana
Immediate Procedure: Before starting netra or akshi tarpana, cleansing of the body should be done. Ayurvedic therapies like vaman, virechana, and shiro virechana are done.
Preparation of Flour for ring: Flour of black gram and barley should be mixed in a vessel by adding water and oil. From this mixture, 2 small rings will be prepared around the eyeball.
Preparation of the Medicine: The ghee to be used for therapy should be lukewarm.
- Pradhana Karma (Main Procedure): Time of the Netra Tarpana: This Ayurvedic therapy should be done in ‘Sadharana Kala’, i.e. neither too cold nor too hot. The period of this therapy is approx 30 minutes and can be done in the morning time as well as in the evening time.
Position of the Patient: The patient is made to lie down and neck support should be given to the patient.
Construction of ring around the eyes: The height of the ring should be 2 angula’s and rings of flour are made over the eye sockets. The ring should be made in such a way as to prevent any kind of leakage of medicated ghee/oil.
Filling of Ring with Medicated ghee/oil: The prescribed lukewarm medicated ghee/oil is gently poured into the rings so that both the eyes are dipped in the medicine. The patient eyes should be closed while dropping the medicine in the ring. Later he or she is instructed to open and close the eyes repeatedly and slowly so that the interior of the eyes come into contact with the medicines. Then the medications are left in place for a fixed duration of the time as per mentioned in the Ayurvedic texts, after that they should be removed from both the eyes.
Duration of Netra Tarpana as per the eye disease:
- Diseases of eyelids – 100 matra kala
- Diseases of joints of the eye – 300 matra kala
- Diseases of sclera – 500 matra kala
- Diseases of the cornea, iris – 700 matra kala
- Diseases of the retina & vision – 800 matra kala
- Glaucoma – 1000 matra kala
- Vata roga – 1000 matra kala
- Pitta roga – 800 matra kala
- Kapha roga – 600 matra kala
- Swastha roga – 500 matra kala
- In vata roga – tarpana should be done daily
- In pitta roga – on alternate day
- In kapha roga & swastha – on everyday 4th
Samyak Trupta Lakshan (Signs and Symptoms of Properly Done Akshi Tarpana):
- Vishada lochanam: clarity of vision
- Sukhya svapna: sound sleep
- Varna patavam: proper perception of all the colors
- Pralsha kshamat: The eye can able to tolerate the light
- Kriya laghava: closing and opening of the eye take place easily
- Nirvritti: establishment of health in the eye
Atrupta Lakshana (Signs and Symptoms of improperly or deficiency done Akshi Tarpana):
- Guru Lochana: Heaviness in the eyes
- Anivritti: Sick eyes
- Svapna nashnam: loss or lack of sleep
- Praksha Akshamata: intolerance to light
- Varna patava akshamata: inability to perceive the objects of vision or colors
- Rukshama: increase in the dryness of the eyes
- Asraadyam: excessive tearing of the eyes
Ati Trupta Lakshan (Signs and Symptoms of Overly-done Akshi Tarpana):
- Ashru: excessive tearing of the eyes
- Kandu: itching in the eyes
- Updadeha: coating in the eyes
- Guru Netrata: Heaviness in the eyes
- Atisnigdha: excessive oiliness of eyes
- Pashchat Karma (Post-Treatment Procedure): Removing the Medicated ghee/oil:For removing the medicine, a small hole is created in the ring at the outer canthus of the eye. Then, with the help of sterile cotton or cloth, wipe the eyes and surrounding area properly.
Dhumapana: For the elimination of the Kapha which has been exaggerated due to the administration of ghrita /oil in Netra tarpana, herbal smoking should be given to the patient.
Shaman Aushidha’s for Netra Roga:
Some of the best and most effective Ayurvedic medicines which can be taken for the curative purpose and prevention of eye disorders are:
- Triphala ghrita
- Mahatriphaladi ghrita
- Saptamrita Loha
- Triphaladi guggul
- Patoladi guggul
- Lauhadi guggul
- Shatavaryadi churnam
- Triphala churnam
- Drakshadi leham
- Amalaki Rasayanma, etc.
Importance of Eye Health according to Ayurveda:
According to Ayurveda, Alochaka Pitta (a subtype of Pitta, located in the eyes) controls the functioning of the eyes. The pitta is governed by Pachaka Pitta (pitta located in the gut). It indicates that the functioning of the eyes is under the direct control and is affected by the gut fire. Ayurveda believes that Alochaka pitta is most often pathologically affected and disturbed by morbid Kapha. It indicates that the balance in Kapha is very important for the balance of Alochaka pitta.
Likewise, our eyes are located in the head and are affected by imbalances of Vayu, mainly the Prana Vayu. The other subtypes of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha can also be affected by the manifestations of eye disorders. According to Ayurveda, generally, the eyes disorders and nerve-related disorders are caused due to morbid Vata whereas vision-related disorders and inflammation, and redness are caused due to morbid Pitta.
Thus, Netra or Akshi Tarpana effectively works in managing eye disorders because it soothes the nerves, dryness, degeneration, and inflammation, establishes eye health, and helps in the rejuvenation of the eye and vision. Also, it helps in preventing various eye-related disorders by enhancing the immunity of the eyes.
The benefits of Akshi or Netra Tarpana:
The benefits of Akshi or Netra tarpana results from its mechanism of action. The medicated oil or ghee used in the therapy reaches the internal ophthalmic structures. Ghee has a lipophilic nature, thus it facilitates the transportation of active herbal compounds into the ophthalmic structures through the cornea where it provides multiple health benefits. Following are some eye disorders in which netra tarpana is used:
- In Burning sensation and pain in the eyes: Due to contact with dirt or dust or due to too much stress, a person can experience pain and burning sensation in the eyes. For the prevention of such problems, regular cleansing of the eyes is very important. The medicated oil or ghee used in the therapy helps in reducing pain, swelling, and burning sensation of the eyes.
- Recurrent Eye Infections: The most common eye infections include blepharitis, entry of foreign particles in the eye, keratitis, conjunctivitis, etc. Most of these infections are caused due to contact with bacteria, dirt, or dust and this leads to redness, inflammation of eyelids, pain, and watering of the eyes. By akshi tarpana therapy, those patients who are suffering from recurrent eye infections got very much relief and due to the anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of medicated herbs, it helps in curing any such eye infections.
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma is an eye disease caused due to damage optic nerves and loss of vision. The medicated ghee or oil used in Netra tarpana therapy penetrates deep into ophthalmic structures and provides nourishment and strength to them. The medication is transported from the cornea to all parts of the eye and helps in recovering damages In the internal structures and improves vision.
- Computer Vision Syndrome: Due to the modern and hectic lifestyle, this problem is very common and can lead to eye disorders like myopia and hyperopia. The symptom includes dry eyes, excess watering of eyes, blurred vision, redness, and inflammation. Akshi tarpana helps in restoring vision and reducing the symptoms of computer vision syndrome by providing strength to the ocular muscles and reducing muscle tension by ensuring smooth movements of the eyes.
- Eye Injuries: Eye injury can leave behind a long-term effects on the eyes like blockages in the optic nerve, unclear vision, and weakness in the eyes muscles. If they cannot be treated within a certain period it may degrade the quality of vision further. The Netra Tarpana therapy can help in regaining original strength in the muscles and the medication is transported to every cell membrane. When the medicine works at the cellular level, it helps in opening blockages and re-strengthening the inner structures of the eyes.
For regular health updates, please follow our Social Pages