Retinal Vein Occlusion: Holistic Help is Here

Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is a disorder of the veins in the retina. It is one of the leading causes of blindness after diabetic retinopathy. While herbal remedies may not be able to reverse the disease, some herbs are thought to help stop its progression, and others may even prevent the disease from occurring in the first place. Since the cause of RVO is vein constriction, herbs that help keep blood vessels open and encourage blood flow can help. 

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba has been linked to a number of health benefits, and aiding ocular health is one of them. A medical review of the possible  benefits of Ginkgo biloba shows "a potential clinical role" for the herb in aiding macular degeneration. The same study says that "The efficacy of Ginkgo biloba has also been demonstrated in patients with retinal vein occlusion." In stating this, the authors reference a study from 1991 done by French physicians, in which the herb was tested to see if it had any measurable benefits in aiding the disease; the study showed that it did. Since Ginkgo biloba has also been linked to cancer prevention, memory improvement, and other health benefits, it is certainly worth adding to your herbal regimen.

Dark Chocolate

That's right, eating your chocolate can actually help to prevent and/or slow the progression of RVO. But it's not the sugar-filled milk chocolate that you need to look for. Cocoa contains flavanoids, and flavanoids have been well-documented to aid in the improvement of blood circulation. Look for chocolate that is very dark; the "darkness" of chocolate is usually indicated by the percentage of cocoa it contains. If you can handle it, 50 percent cocoa and higher will provide you the most benefit.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper comes in many forms; you can buy the dried pepper, a raw pepper, and other variations, as well. No matter the form, cayenne pepper strengthens arteries and blood vessels, which can help improve the blood flow to the retina, as well. While any form of the pepper will be beneficial, you will likely obtain the highest benefits by using it raw. You can dice it and put it in salsa or chop it and put it in a salad for a delicious, vision-boosting treat. 

Proper Eye Care

While there are many foods and herbs that can protect your eyes, it's also crucial to take good care of your eyes outside of nutrition, as well. This means making sure that you have proper fitting lenses, that you don't wear contacts over the prescribed length of time, and that you always keep them clean. If you lose your contacts or glasses, do not try to go without them, as this is not only dangerous, but can speed certain conditions of the eye and ruin your vision. Places like can get your contact replacements to you quickly, so you can keep taking good care of your eyes, as well as boosting your vision with holistic measures.

Herbal and natural remedies are often debated, and some are unsure of whether they provide any value. But medical studies, such as the one indicated above, have shown that some actually do provide benefits in a number of areas. Moreover, fruits and vegetables and other natural ingredients often contain nutrients that can aid in certain health conditions. It should be noted that while holistic remedies are often very powerful, they may not be able to reverse a condition. However, herbal remedies can also help to slow the progression of a disease, even if it is already in motion. Always consult your doctor or physician before adding herbs to your diet, as some conflict with prescription medication. Taking a natural approach to your health care can help minimize the damage that many chemicals and prescriptions can cause, and they are certainly worth looking into.

Simon Walters researches natural remedies for eye maladies. He enjoys blogging about his findings to help people understand the problems and find possible, natural treatments.