Ayurvedic Eye Care Tips for Writers

April 6, 2023 § 9 Comments

By Sweta Srivastava Vikram

Over the years, especially since the pandemic hit, and we went on PAUSE …  I have noticed that many of my clients have started to complain about their eyes. The power has gone up. Eyes feel drier. Some started to wear reading glasses. Blurry vision. Sure, the new way of working and life post-pandemic involves too much screen time. We check emails on the phone. Read books on the iPad. Research is online—when was the last time you sat in a library, with highlighters and markers, for a full day? Then end-of-the-day entertainment requires glaring at the screen. Didn’t “Netflix and Binge” become a trending hashtag in spring of 2020? What is the other thing many writers do when feeling stuck in their work or keeping company with procrastination? Mindless social media scrolling.

Few facts about creative professionals. They:

1.     Do spend more time in front of screens.

2.     Don’t take enough breaks and rest their eyes.

3.     Work odd hours and partake in mindless scrolling when sleep deprived.

4.     Eat foods that might hurt their eyesight.

5.     Maintain a lifestyle that might be detrimental to their eyes.

I am not judging any of these activities or habits. I will own that I spend more time than I should looking at the screen—work boundaries have become blurry due to remote working. We have known for a while too much screen use has been linked to obesity and psychological problems. But did you know that blue light from everyday devices have detrimental effects on aging and even sensory neurons? 

Eyes and Ayurveda

To give you a simple explanation, Ayurveda is an ancient healing science (over 5,000 years old) that stems from India. The term Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge). Thus, Ayurveda translates to knowledge of life. Ayurveda believes that our mind-body-consciousness is connected. 

There are 5 mahabhutas or elements (ether, air, fire, water, and earth) and 3 doshas in Ayurveda (VataPitta, and Kapha). Ayurveda identifies that these three basic types of energy or doshas are present in everyone and everything. Each dosha has five sub-types that are located in different areas of the body, and all perform specific functions. I promise, there is a reason I am sharing information about Ayurveda 101. According to Ayurveda, all ailments, mental or physical, are caused by the imbalance of the doshas. 

Pitta dosha is made up of the elements of fire and water.The eyes are a pitta organ and they house the pitta subdosha alochaka pitta. What does that mean exactly? Pitta is responsible for transformation. Alochaka pitta, located in the pupil of the eye, represents the fire that digests light and visual impressions. Its most important function is vision. 

What happens when Alochaka Pitta gets imbalanced?

Ayurveda tells us that when alochaka pitta (The sub-dosha of Pitta that resides in the eye) goes out of balance, there is either an increase of the fire element or a decrease in the fire element making up Pitta Dosha. What causes an increase in alochaka pitta? It may be a response to the overuse of the eyes–copious amounts of screen time (on smartphones, tablets and/or computer screens), direct sun rays in the eyes, irritation from environmental stressors, a pitta provoking diet (think spicy, fermented and/or fried foods, caffeine, and alcohol), lifestyle choices (stress, lack of sleep, and intense work), irregular routines or a combination of all these factors. 

Symptoms of increased fire in Alochaka Pitta

Eye strain, irritation, inflammation, burning, and dryness are all symptoms of increased fire element in Alochaka Pitta. Ayurveda reminds us that like increases like. Since Pitta Dosha is hot and sharp, Ayurvedic recos to remedy these symptoms will include treatments with opposite qualities: cooling, calming, moisturizing, and soothing to counterbalance the excess heat and intensity that the eyes are experiencing. 

Decrease in Alochaka Pitta

When there is a decrease in Alochaka Pitta … this is most likely due to the aging process. Ayurvedic Expert, Dr. Vasant Lad explains, when we approach 40 years old, we become more vulnerable to eye disorders because the strength of Alochaka Pitta begins to weaken. Ayurvedic remedies for this will focus on strengthening this subdosha of pitta. 

A few Ayurvedic suggestions to nourish your eyes

Remember: Ayurveda is a customized healing science, and the recommendations are based on a person’s imbalances, strength, age, season, location, health condition and other factors. It’s always beneficial to see an Ayurvedic professional before you start taking herbs or have questions about Ayurvedic and yogic diet and lifestyle practices.

Morning Eye Washing Routine

Ayurveda suggests maintaining an eyewash routine. When you wake up, wash your eyes with cool water (extremely hot or cold temperatures aren’t advisable). This is a simple way to keep your eyes healthy.

Cultivate Mindfulness and Routine Around Screen Time

Pay attention to when your eyes are watering or burning. Can you turn off your television and gadgets at least an hour before bedtime? Not only does too much blue light exposure negatively impact our eyes, but it also impacts the sleep patterns too. Many people stay glued to their phone or iPad leading up to bedtime. Did you know the blue light exposure affects our ability to produce melatonin? You won’t get quality sleep and that impacts your healing and health and creativity. 

Drink Warm Water or Herbal Tea

Warm water eliminates toxins and calms the nervous system. Being behind the screen for extended periods of time can increase vata dosha too and wreck the nervous system. Herbal teas designed to lower excess Pitta in the body can be helpful. Think chamomile or lavender or even Brahmi tea.

Ayurvedic Herbs

Several Ayurvedic herbs can help improve eye health. For example, Amla, Punarnava, and Triphala are highly regarded for nourishing eye health.

Nourishing Diet

Eat pitta-balancing meals in a peaceful and compassionate environment. No arguments or screen in front of you. Nourish each sense with your meals. There are six tastes in Ayurveda. When it comes to balancing pitta, the sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes tend to be the most supportive, while too much of the sour, salty, and pungent tastes can be pitta aggravating. Say NO to spicy, sour, fermented (Yes, this includes kimchi, Kombucha, alcohol, and coffee), fried foods.


Trataka is a beautiful yogic cleansing practice, which I like to do at the end of the workday—it’s also meditative. Trataka is certainly a wonderful way to counterbalance the effects of excess blue light. It is commonly referred to as candle gazing. The idea of trataka is that you focus your awareness on a single point, a flame, to harness awareness, wash away impurities (the eyes water when you focus on a fixed point), build concentration, calm the mind, and soothe and strengthen the eyes. Traditionally Ayurveda and yoga recommend a ghee candle to perform trataka as it is said that the golden glow of ghee and its flame boosts the immunity and soothes the eyes. 

Eye Exercises

Every 30 minutes, rub your palms, make them warm, and cover your eyes. Open your eyes and look in different directions with the palms still covering the eyes. This keeps the eyes warm and is a great way of exercising and massaging the eye muscles.

Eye Wash with Rose Water

To restore balance to alochaka pitta, one common and effective way is to wash the eyes with rosewater. Rose has cooling energetics and balances Pitta Dosha. Mix distilled cool water and a few drops of rosewater in an eye wash cup. This treatment/protocol cools the eyes and washes away any pollutants in them. It is a fabulous ritual to do at least once per week or whenever your eyes are feeling dry, fatigued, strained and/or bloodshot (Too much heat!).

Yoga Postures

Dr. Lad explains in his book, The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies, practicing sun salutations with awareness is a beautiful way to relieve stress and tension in the eyes as well as calm the nervous system. Surya Namaskar also boosts circulation to the blood vessels and capillaries…and relaxes the eyes. Here are some other suggestions for Pitta balancing poses (Shoulderstand, Halasana)

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional. If you are nursing, taking medications, or have a medical condition, please consult with your health care practitioner prior to the use of any of these herbs. If you are looking for advice from a trained yogi and ayurvedic coach, contact me here.


Sweta Srivastava Vikram is an international speaker, best-selling author of 13 books, and Ayurveda and wellness coach who is committed to helping people thrive on their own terms. Her latest book, A Piece of Peace, (Modern History press) was released in September 2021. As a trusted source on health and wellness, most recently appearing on NBC and Radio Lifeforce and in a documentary with Dr. Deepak Chopra, Sweta has dedicated her career to writing about and teaching a more holistic approach to creativity, productivity, health, and nutrition. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and other publications across nine countries on three continents. Sweta is getting a doctorate degree in Ayurveda, is a certified Ayurveda health practitioner, and holds a Master’s in Strategic Communications from Columbia University. Voted as “One of the Most Influential Asians of Our Times” and winner of the “Voices of the Year” award (past recipients have been Chelsea Clinton), she lives in New York City with her husband and works with clients across the globe. She also teaches yoga, meditation, and mindfulness to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence as well incarcerated men and women. Find her on: TwitterInstagramLinkedIn, and Facebook.

Tagged: , ,

§ 9 Responses to Ayurvedic Eye Care Tips for Writers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Ayurvedic Eye Care Tips for Writers at BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog.


%d bloggers like this: