Natural Remedies for Macular Degeneration: Top Research-Based Suppleme

| Modified on Oct 04, 2023

Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a common eye condition that affects the central part of the retina, called the macula, and can lead to vision loss. As the population ages, the prevalence of AMD is expected to increase, making it essential to identify effective prevention and treatment strategies.

This article will explore the top-researched natural remedies and supplements for macular degeneration backed by scientific studies.

Antioxidants and AREDS Formulation

AREDS Formulation

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) was a major clinical trial conducted by the National Eye Institute that found a specific combination of antioxidants and minerals to be effective in reducing the risk of advanced AMD by about 25%.1 The original AREDS formulation contains:

  1. Vitamin C: 500 mg
  2. Vitamin E: 400 IU
  3. Beta-carotene: 15 mg
  4. Zinc (as zinc oxide): 80 mg
  5. Copper (as cupric oxide): 2 mg

However, the AREDS2 study replaced beta-carotene with lutein and zeaxanthin due to concerns about the potential risks of beta-carotene for smokers. 2

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoid pigments found in high concentrations in the macula, where they act as antioxidants and protect the retina from harmful blue light. 3 Several studies suggest that increased dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin, or supplementation, may help reduce the risk of AMD. 4, 5

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

DHA and EPA

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. They play crucial roles in maintaining healthy cell membranes and reducing inflammation in the body. Several studies have shown that regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA and EPA, may help prevent or slow down the progression of AMD. 67

Other Supplements and Natural Remedies

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba, an ancient tree species, has been used for centuries for its potential health benefits. It is believed to improve blood flow and provide antioxidant protection. Some studies suggest that ginkgo biloba extract may improve visual function and slow the progression of AMD. 8, 9

Bilberry Extract

Bilberry, a close relative of blueberry, contains anthocyanins with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies suggest that bilberry extract may improve night vision, retinal function, and protect against oxidative stress, potentially benefiting those with AMD. 10, 11

Saffron

Saffron, a spice derived from the Crocus sativus flower, contains powerful antioxidants such as crocin and crocetin. Some research indicates that saffron supplementation may improve visual function in individuals with early-stage AMD. 12, 13

Lifestyle and Dietary Considerations

In addition to supplements and natural remedies, certain lifestyle and dietary factors may help prevent or slow the progression of AMD. These include:

Regular Exercise

Engaging in regular physical activity can reduce inflammation and promote overall eye health. Some studies suggest that regular exercise may help reduce the risk of developing AMD. 14

A Nutrient-Rich Diet

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources provides essential nutrients for eye health. Consuming foods high in antioxidants, such as dark leafy greens, berries, and nuts, may help reduce the risk of AMD. 15

Smoking Cessation

Smoking is a significant risk factor for AMD. Quitting smoking can reduce AMD risk and slow its progression. 16

Conclusion

Combining natural remedies, supplements, and lifestyle changes may help reduce the risk of macular degeneration or slow its progression. However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement or natural remedy regimen. Further research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of these remedies and determine the optimal dosages for individuals with AMD.

Earth Clinic Reader Remedies for Macular Degeneration

Aloe Vera

In one popular post below, Kiki17's father, who has wet macular degeneration, started using fresh aloe vera gel in his eyes as a potential remedy. He experienced noticeable improvements in his eyesight and did not require further injections for the condition. Kiki17 emphasizes the importance of using plump, soft, fleshy aloe vera leaves instead of the flatter, firmer variety, as the latter may cause discomfort.

There is limited research available on the direct use of fresh aloe vera gel for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Most of the research on aloe vera focuses on its potential benefits for skin, digestion, and wound healing, rather than its effects on eye health or AMD specifically.

However, aloe vera does contain some compounds that have been shown to benefit overall health, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These compounds may provide general support for the body, but their direct impact on AMD remains uncertain.

Continue reading below to learn which natural remedies have helped Earth Clinic readers with macular degeneration.

Citations:

  1. Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. (2001). A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8. Archives of Ophthalmology, 119(10), 1417-1436.
  2. Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 Research Group. (2013). Lutein + zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids for age-related macular degeneration: the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) randomized clinical trial. JAMA, 309(19), 2005-2015.
  3. Bone, R. A., Landrum, J. T., & Tarsis, S. L. (1992). Preliminary identification of the human macular pigment. Vision Research, 32(5), 791-796.
  4. Seddon, J. M., Ajani, U. A., Sperduto, R. D., Hiller, R., Blair, N., Burton, T. C., ... & Yannuzzi, L. A. (1994). Dietary carotenoids, vitamins A, C, and E, and advanced age-related macular degeneration: Eye Disease Case-Control Study Group. JAMA, 272(18), 1413-1420.
  5. SanGiovanni, J. P., Chew, E. Y., Clemons, T. E., Ferris, F. L., Gensler, G., Lindblad, A. S., ... & Sperduto, R. D. (2007). The relationship of dietary carotenoid and vitamin A, E, and C intake with age-related macular degeneration in a case-control study: AREDS Report No. 22. Archives of Ophthalmology, 125(9), 1225-1232.
  6. SanGiovanni, J. P., Chew, E. Y., Agrón, E., Clemons, T. E., Ferris, F. L., Gensler, G., ... & Sperduto, R. D. (2008). The relationship of dietary omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid intake with incident age-related macular degeneration: AREDS Report No. 23. Archives of Ophthalmology, 126(9), 1274-1279.
  7. Chong, E. W. T., Kreis, A. J., Wong, T. Y., Simpson, J. A., & Guymer, R. H. (2008). Dietary omega-3 fatty acid and fish intake in the primary prevention of age-related macular degeneration: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Archives of Ophthalmology, 126(6), 826-833.
  8. Lebuisson, D. A., Leroy, L., & Rigal, G. (2002). Treatment of senile macular degeneration with Ginkgo biloba extract: A preliminary double-blind drug vs. placebo study. La Presse Médicale, 31(39), 1841-1842.
  9. Fies, P., & Dienel, A. (2000). Ginkgo extract in impaired vision—treatment with special extract EGb 761 of impaired vision due to dry senile macular degeneration. Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift, 150(21-22), 414-416.
  10. Muth, E. R., Laurent, J. M., & Jasper, P.(2000). The effect of bilberry nutritional supplementation on night visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. Alternative Medicine Review, 5(2), 164-173.
  11. Ghosh, D., & Konishi, T. (2007). Anthocyanins and anthocyanin-rich extracts: Role in diabetes and eye function. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 16(2), 200-208.
  12. Falsini, B., Piccardi, M., Minnella, A., Savastano, C., Capoluongo, E., Fadda, A., ... & Plateroti, R. (2010). Influence of saffron supplementation on retinal flicker sensitivity in early age-related macular degeneration. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 51(12), 6118-6124.
  13. Piccardi, M., Marangoni, D., Minnella, A. M., Savastano, M. C., Valentini, P., Ambrosio, L., ... & Falsini, B. (2018). A longitudinal follow-up study of saffron supplementation in early age-related macular degeneration: sustained benefits to central retinal function. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2018, Article ID 8461519.
  14. Williams, P. T. (2007). Inadequate exercise as a risk factor for age-related macular degeneration. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 39(1), 64-70.
  15. Seddon, J. M., Cote, J., & Rosner, B. (2003). Progression of age-related macular degeneration: association with dietary fat, transunsaturated fat, nuts, and fish intake. Archives of Ophthalmology, 121(12), 1728-1737.
  16. Thornton, J., Edwards, R., Mitchell, P., Harrison, R. A., Buchan, I., & Kelly, S. P. (2005). Smoking and age-related macular degeneration: a review of association. Eye, 19(9), 935-944.

Related Links:

Computer Eye Strain Treatment
Natural Remedies for Eye Issues
Vision Improvement Remedies




Aloe Vera

1 User Review
5 star (1) 
  100%

Posted by Kiki17 (Germany) on 05/29/2021
★★★★★

My father has had (wet) macular degeneration for many years now. He has received about 60 injections in the eyes for this. As far as I know the injections are just to slow the progression of the disease, not cure it. As his eyesight was so bad and the injections were not fun to receive, he decided to try putting aloe vera in his eyes (years ago he had read Native Americans used aloe vera for eye problems).

Very quickly he noticed a difference, and when he went for the next check up the doctor said he didn't need an injection this time. The following check up he didn't need one either. That was about 2 years ago now, and he hasn't been back since because his eyesight has actually improved!! For example, he says he can now read the number on the bus when it comes toward him (he doesn't need to ask someone) and he can see more in general. Recently I saw him read large numbers on a page with his glasses on - an impossibility a few years ago!

It is important to get the plump, slightly soft, fleshy aloe vera, rather than the larger, more firm variety which has flatter leaves. My father couldn't use the flatter leaf variety, it stung in his eyes whereas the softer one feels good in the eye. He just squeezes some of the juice into his eyes every day. I do not recommend the bottled aloe vera because it is not fresh.

I really do hope this helps someone because this has been incredible for my father and for our family. Slightly improved eyesight when that did not seem possible, and no more injections.

Replied by Laurie
(Orlando, Florida)
06/09/2021

Could you please show a picture of the aloe that your dad uses? Thank you so much for the information.

Dano
(Idaho)
06/09/2021

He said that his father squeezes the fresh juice. That would mean a fresh lobe is cut from a live plant. Also, another plant that displays effectiveness at halting and even improving macular degeneration is Saffron. You can eat a pinch of saffron threads or take capsules of saffron available in many health food stores or Amazon. Marigold extract also shows effectiveness in treating macular degeneration.

Replied by jonathan
(MA)
06/09/2021
4 posts

How does one apply the Aloe Vera to the eye?

Replied by Marta
(Portugal)
06/09/2021

That is very interesting....when you say 'squeeze' do you mean from the white gel part of the plant, or does your father use the yellow liquid as well? Aloe Vera is everywhere in Portugal, and I have a plant sitting outside so would really like to try this. Would be great if it worked on me!!! Thank you

cjuan
(Malaysia)
06/09/2021

The yellow liquid part of the aloe is latex and should never be used. It is esp. harmful to the kidneys.

Replied by Naz
(Edmonton Alberta)
06/09/2021

Thank you for this invaluable information.

Replied by Cory
(Sacramento CA)
09/03/2022

Thank you for sharing. You gave me hope and ideas.


Avoid Turmeric

4 User Reviews
5 star (4) 
  100%

Posted by Carolyn (Renville, Mn) on 12/01/2012
★★★★★

My Mom suffers from macular degeneration. She can't take nsaids because of that, but she thought it would be OK to take turmeric for her allergies. 4 days after she started she had an eye bleed & is now blind in that eye. I can't remember exactly what she said, but the reason turmeric works for allergies is because it does something to your blood. Be aware.

Replied by Barbara
(Sc)
04/22/2015

I have Wet Macular Degeneration. The opthomologist has seen me for 24 months. I have been "doctoring" myself with my homemade Colloidal Silver drops in my eyes as well as vitamins, minerals, diet and exercise, instead of getting the injections. In 24 months I have only had 5 injections. My question is, why is Turmeric not good for the eyes?

angelica
(usa)
02/12/2021

Hi. Do you mind telling me if the Colloidal Silver is helping?

Pam E.
(South-Western California)
09/15/2022
130 posts

Colloidal Silver is for killing / preventing infections.

That is not the cause of Macular Degeneration.

So, I think it can only be supportive, at best.

Pam E.
(South-Western California)
09/15/2022
130 posts

The EC article on Turmeric says that raw is more potent than dry, so one should use less of the former. Later, it gives this information:

"For some people, turmeric can cause side effects, especially in large quantities. Side effects include nausea, gall bladder pain, stomach pain, heartburn, dizziness and constipation. Turmeric may also lower blood pressure and increase bleeding."

https://www.earthclinic.com/remedies/turmeric.html

Replied by Om
(Hope, Bc Canada)
04/22/2015

Barbara --- who said? Best thing to google the properties and benefits of a thing about which you are not sure. There are many on EC visiting and asking questions, forgetting some answers are purely personal opinions.

So you would first enquire online, googling "turmeric" and learning it straight from research. In this case Ayurveda. That is doing a bit of home work that comes up with desired results.

All the best, Namaste, Om

Replied by Linda
(Co)
11/08/2017
★★★★★

Interesting. Last year I was taking tumeric regularly because of all the benefits reported. In June I had a needle biopsy because or a lump seen on a mamogram. Everyone in the room was very surprised when the doctor inserted the needle into the lump and blood squirted out, running down my neck and into my hair. It was quite a mess and I was told it mas not a typical occurrence. I decided to stop the tumeric because I was facing surgery. A couple of months later I went in for an eye exam and I had wet macular degeneration in both eyes. I can't help but wonder if might have had an eye bleed if I had continued the tumeric.

Replied by Janet
(In)
11/09/2017

Linda,

Here is an article re tumeric. It tells of those of us that do not get a benefit from it. Janet

https://www.hormonesmatter.com/turmeric-mao-mutations-hypertension-ticking-time-bomb/

Replied by Betty K.
(Barrie, Ontario)
11/29/2017
★★★★★

I am so shocked to see the reference to avoid taking Ibuprofen if you suffer from macular degeneration! Also the turmeric. I suffer from fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, and my family doctor took me off Celebrex and put me on Advil (Ibuprofen) about 6 months ago. I have also been trying to include more turmeric in my diet to help with the inflammation in my body. Coincidentally, my vision has been deteriorating. I have wet mac. in one eye and dry in the other. I have noticed more deterioration in the wet eye (I've been taking the injections for six years). Can anyone suggest what would be the best painkiller to take? Thanks. BTW, I want to avoid opiods.

Replied by Rsw
(Oh)
11/29/2017

Hi Betty,

May I ask how many mg/day of turmeric/curcumin you were taking when the macular degeneration seemed to worsen? It would also be helpful if the original poster would tell us how much she was taking when this developed, especially for those with a family history of the disease.

On a different note, I just read in this month's Life Extension magazine, that they are seeing a reduction in inflammation and also how the brain perceives pain by using two supplements that supposedly do not have the side effects of other NSAIDS. “The first compound PEA (palmitoylethanol-amide), is a fatty acid produced by the body to reduce inflammation and works at the site of tenderness to turn off the pain signal. The second, honokiol, extracted from the Magnolia tree, operates in the central nervous system to affect how our brains perceive pain.” Combined, these two supplements are showing promise as safe and effective pain relievers. This may give you an avenue to explore. They appear to be quite effective in the trials, so far, but I would do further research to make a sound decision. Best wishes.

Replied by Teresa
(CO)
06/09/2021
★★★★★

Yes, I put Mom on 1000 gr of Turmeric for her Lupus/Arthritis pain she was 93, and it messed w her blood as she is a Bleeder. It says that on side effects. I am glad it turned out ok. I will say my dental tech told me she put ice on her hands and feet between clients for RH pain, and started taking 1,000 MSM and 1,000 Turmeric a day and no pain for 4 mo when I saw her.


Betaine HCL

1 User Review
4 star (1) 
  100%

Posted by Beautifuloregon (Medford, Oregon) on 02/14/2017
★★★★☆

Macular degeneration and acid reflux have been linked together. Studies confirm if you take 'Betaine Hydrochloride' with each meal, the acid reflux is gone. If you have acid reflux, you need more acid in your stomach, not less. Taking antacids makes the problem worse. Your body is saying it needs more acid to digest your food.

Replied by Karen
(Fort Worth, TX)
02/01/2022

Betaine Hydrochloride is found in spinach! Time for me to eat more spinach like Pop Eye!


DMSO

1 User Review
5 star (1) 
  100%

Posted by Jony P. (United States) on 09/09/2019
★★★★★

Unless I'm mistaken, I see no mention of DMSO on macular degeneration on this page of posts. DMSO mentioned as highly effective treatment & cure in classic literatures, by Dr. Stan Jacob, Dr. Morton Walker. Fairly new book by Archie Scott, "DMSO Handbook for Doctors" also mentioned the great results with DMSO which has many many other health benefits & absolute safe proven historically.

Replied by Pam E.
(South-Western California)
09/15/2022
130 posts

I tried to look it up & found nothing about it being used for M.D. itself ... although there is info about using it for pruritis, which says in part:

"...Severe and therapy-resistant pruritus is the most prominent feature of macular (MA) and lichen (LA) amyloidosis that leads to further amyloid deposition by recurrent frictional trauma to the epidermis [skin]. Of the various therapeutic modalities with variable success, the most encouraging and beneficial effect has been observed with topical dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) therapy...."

"Intermittent use of topical dimethyl sulfoxide in macular and papular amyloidosis" https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9888342/ PubMed

If you can find a link to credible info regarding the use of DMSO for M.D., please share!

Replied by Katherine
(Vacaville CA)
02/12/2023

I have intermediate Macular Degeneration. I read here to use a 50% solution of DMSO for MD eye drops. How many drops of DMSO to how many drops of distilled water will make a 50% solution of DMSO?

Art
(California)
02/12/2023
2142 posts

Katherine,

For every drop of DMSO add one drop of distilled water to equal a 50% solution.

Art

Hollyhock
(America)
02/13/2023

Be very careful, I use 50/50 dmso/cs on my back and it burns! I would think it would burn your eye badly!

Replied by Geo4
(Salinas, Ecuador)
05/25/2023

In fact, DMSO is effective for macular degeneration and retinal disease, both diseases of the eye. This effectiveness was first discovered when patients with retinitis pigmentosa, a retinal disease, were taking DMSO for certain musculoskeleteal disorders. They sensed that their vision had improved and some had remarkable results.
(Morton, 1993).

As far as eyes are concerned, the evidence on DMSO is quite to the contrary. When several patients treated with DMSO for muscular problems reported to Dr. Jacob that their vision had improved, he sent them to Dr. Robert O. Hill, ophthalmologist at the University of Oregon Medical School.

Confirming the favorable changes, Dr. Hill began his own experiments with DMSO (after it was known that the lens changes did not happen in humans). His research showed drops of 50% DMSO to be effective in retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration, and presented a report on this at the New York Academy of Sciences symposium in 1971.
(Haley, 2000).

https://www.doctorsbeyondmedicine.com/listing/dmso


Lutein

3 User Reviews
5 star (2) 
  67%
(1) 
  33%

Posted by Gloria (michigan) on 04/02/2022
★★★★★

My Mom had non treatable macular, had lost sight in the left eye and it had moved into the right eye along with glaucoma. Our Ophthalmologist said to take 40mg of straight Lutein which I purchased thru Puritans Pride. She took it for the summer, it reversed the macular in the right eye, no more glaucoma and she got sight back in her left eye. She passed away a few years later, I started taking the 40mg Lutein once a day and my eyes got so better that I went from the glasses I had in 2020 back to 1995. I just got my eyes reexamined, and she was shocked at how my sight had improved.

Replied by Susan
(Florida)
04/03/2022

Wow! My mom lost her sight years ago in her right eye and at some point only had peripheral vision but has maintained vision in the left eye by taking preservision vitamins.

Replied by Aurora
(Mason City, LA)
04/04/2022

Hi, what did you mean by straight Lutein? I was looking on the site and all of their Lutein has something else, they do have one that is 40 mg. but it has zeaxanthin, which I don't think is bad just wondering if you were able to get it without anything else. Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

Cfitz
(Georgia)
04/06/2022

Aurora: I found 20mg Lutein at iHerb.com - so you could just double up to make 40mg. Pick your brand carefully, i.e., be sure the company has independent, third-party laboratories to check their products. They should have a statement such as this on their website: “After our supplements are manufactured, labeled and sealed, we take things a step further by enlisting 3rd party, independent labs to test once again for purity and potency. These labs analyze our completed products to ensure and verify that the ingredients in our products are pure, safe and in the appropriate amounts as listed on our labels.”

Replied by Uncertain
(LA)
04/06/2022

Gloria, when you and your mother's eyes improved, did the lutein have any effect on moisture in your eyes? I am looking for something to improve the dryness I am experiencing.

Art
(California)
04/07/2022
2142 posts

Uncertain,

This may help :

One possible solution to dry eyes and eye fatigue is the regular use of Maqui Berry Extract as the following two studies suggest :

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25208615/

This second study is a 2019 Randomized, placebo controlled double-blind trial that confirms that Maqui Berry Extract in the form of "MaquiBright" is very effective for dry eyes and eye fatigue which is another common issue in PwP :

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6544612/

Here are some links to several products at the best dose (60 mg/day) found in the studies :

https://www.vitacost.com/life-extension-tear-support-with-maquibright-60-mg-30-vegetarian-capsules-1

https://www.amazon.com/Tear-Support-MaquiBright-Vegetarian-Capsules-Pack-3/dp/B01DJKIBPS/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=maquibright&qid=1602994608&sr=8-5

Based on the study and reviews, it sounds like it takes about 30 days to start seeing benefit, and that benefit increases by the 60th day.

Remember to use an "Extract" version of Maqui Berry.

Art

sara
(the beaches)
04/07/2022

Anything with omega 3 like fish oil or flax oil with help with dry eyes, just include it in your daily diet.

Uncertain
(LA)
04/07/2022

Thank you Art!!! You are the best.

Pam E.
(South-Western California)
09/15/2022
130 posts

Some people apply Coconut Oil to their eyelids just before bedtime. It's a natural anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antiviral, anti-amoeba. I've done this for family members who have Pink Eye.

(WARNING: As it makes one's vision blurry for awhile afterwards, I wouldn't take it before reading, driving, or doing any other precision work!!! )

mmsg
(somewhere, europe)
09/16/2022

Or Castor Oil, Pam.

EB
(FL)
09/23/2023

My observation: Be careful with Castor Oil. I tried it in my ears and it took months to get it out. On one's tummy easier to clean. But on eye lids I believe it would aggravate the thin eye-lid skin in trying to remove it in the morning. Trying Cocmut Oil seems safer to me.

HisJewel
(New York)
09/24/2023

Greetings EB,

The brag on EC if you desire an oil that dissolves earwax is usually Olive Oil or Sweet Oil.

When talking about eyes, according to the following PUBMED Study article, Castor oil is safe to use for dry eyes.

It was all that I had heard about at the time, and it became a winner for Mom and me. We applied it to the eyelids at night, and eyes opened easily in the morning.

You will love this study:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33037703/

Therapeutic potential of castor oil in managing blepharitis, meibomian gland dysfunction and dry eye

Abstract

The multifactorial pathogenesis and interrelationship of blepharitis, meibomian gland dysfunction and dry eye disease poses challenges to any therapeutic approach. Current treatments are mostly palliative, with success limited by perceived inefficacy and poor patient compliance. Castor oil, a natural derivative of the Ricinus communis plant, is widely used as an emollient in cosmetics and personal care products, drug delivery systems and wound dressings. Castor oil is deemed safe and tolerable, with strong anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive, analgesic, antioxidant, wound healing and vaso-constrictive properties. Its main constituent, ricinoleic acid, has a bipolar molecular structure that promotes the formation of esters, amides and polymers. These can supplement deficient physiological tear film lipids, enabling enhanced lipid spreading characteristics and reducing aqueous tear evaporation. Studies reveal that castor oil applied topically to the ocular surface has a prolonged residence time, facilitating increased tear film lipid layer thickness, stability, improved ocular surface staining and symptoms. This review summarises the properties, current uses of, and therapeutic potential of castor oil in managing ocular surface disease. The biochemical, medicinal actions of castor oil are explored from the perspective of ocular surface pathology, and include microbial and demodectic over-colonisation, inflammatory and oxidative processes, as well as clinical signs and symptoms of dryness and discomfort.

Nelda
(South Carolina)
10/04/2023

Castor Oil for eyes...it has to be Cold pressed, Hexane Free, Chemical Free and Organic. Use only Organic!

Replied by Marsha Gail
(Southeast US)
09/24/2023

I use castor oil frequently on & in my eye (b4 bed) as I have severe dry eye & also injured that eye years ago. It will cloud your vision if used during the day but clears in a couple of hours. I tried Everything for Years without relief but now use only Castor oil, it's a life saver 4me.


Lutein
Posted by Heather N (Edson, Ab, Canada) on 07/25/2011

Hi there, I was diagnosed with mild Macular degeneration and prescibed a supplement with vit A, C, E, zinc, copperlutein, Zeaxanthine. I developed a huge allergic rash after several days and think perhaps it's the lutein from marigolds. Am also a type 2 diabetic.

Anyone have suggestions as to another source of lutein 10mg a day from another source. All supplements I have seen are from the marigold source.

Replied by Jean
(Denver, Colorado, Usa)
07/26/2011

Lutein may not be the source of your rash. Vitamins that are prescribed for macular degeneration are usually extremely high in both zinc and vitamin A (or beta carotene). Either one, or even something totally unrelated, could be causing the allery. Eggs are high in lutein. If you are able to eat eggs with no problem, your rash probably doesn't stem from the lutein.

Replied by Heather N
(Edson, Ab, Canada)
07/27/2011

Thanks Jean for your input. I am mildly allergic to eggs and eat them sparingly. Perhaps I should try just lutein and then add other ingredients.

Replied by Ray
(Calgary)
01/24/2013
★★★★★

There are only 1 or 2 studies actually linking lutein use to benefit for Macular degeneration. And then they mostly conclude that more study is needed.

However, one of the best sources of it, after the nasturtium yellow flowers, is Kale (uncooked) and the second best is Kale (cooked). After that try dandelion greens. You can get both at health food stores. Plus if you can't take the nasturtium yellow flowers then try the leaves. Also try turnip Greens, swiss chard, collard greens, romaine lettuce, green peas, watercress, romaine lettuce, and of course popEye's favorite, spinach. He wasn't just strong to the finish but had a good eye for good food.

Replied by Ray
(Calgary, Ab)
01/24/2013

Sorry, but I don't know why anyone would think that eggs are high in lutein. Eggs, I believe, only have some lutein because many, not all, farmers include marigolds in chicken feed to make the egg yolks a strong yellow color. So if you don't eat the yolks but only the whites, or get eggs from a natural farmer who doesn't like to "doctor" the chicken feed to get a "healthy color" of bright yellow then you will probably have little lutein from eating eggs.

And, furthermore, the marigolds are used by farmers for "coloring" and not for its high lutein contents. The egg producers are not doing this for your nutritional benefit. Otherwise they would have chosen other plants with higher lutein content.

I believe the Nasturtium flowers are the highest in lutein of any plant that I know of. While marigolds are in the order Asterales that includes calendula and tarragon we find that Nasturitium is in the order Brassicales that includes cabbage, papaya and all the yummy dark green vegetables that are so good for you in so many ways- including their extremely, extremely, high lutein. (Nonetheless my optometrist sells a lutein supplement made from marigolds, obviously following the chicken feed trail). That is why I think it best to stick with nasturtium, kale, watercress, spinach and so on if you are worried about your eyes.

On another note, the world's healthiest foods site, whfoods.com presents a lot of research to suggest that berries are one of the best things for eye health. While other sites suggest fish oil high in vitamin A derivatives.

Replied by Ariel Gail
(Wa State)
05/05/2015

Eggs can contribute good amounts of Lutein if and only if they are truly "free-range" which is the only type we should be eating anyway because this supplies the correct type of fat (Omega 3's) also. Otherwise, egg consumption just adds to our over-consumption of the wrong type of fats, the major contributor to all diseases and also displaces the correct fat consumption. So, to seek out and only buy eggs from your neighbor who has chickens running around, or the expensive variety at the store, is a good plan if you can't live without eggs. Keep in mind that even this healthy type of egg offers a fraction of the lutein and astazanthin we need, so putting effort into figuring out how you can consume a few leaves of Kale every day would give a far greater ROI - Return on Investment.

Replied by Gert
(Al)
05/06/2015

How does egg consumption cause us to consume too much of the 'wrong' types of fats? Please explain this to me, Ariel.

Pam E.
(South-Western California)
09/15/2022
130 posts

Most chickens are fed on grains (not their normal diet). Grains are high in omega-6 fats.... Range Free hens allowed to eat as much grass & insects as they want, get a diet rich in omega-3 fats.... The fats in eggs are the fats the hens ate who laid them!

Replied by Azuka
(Michigan)
10/02/2015

There really is nothing to fear from eggs, lard, or butter, but a great deal to fear from shortening, and the numerous varieties of vegetable or grain oil. Olive oil is fine though. And margarine should be outlawed.

Replied by Bryce
(Denver)
05/08/2017

Heather,

You may think twice about taking a copper supplement. Some people can be copper toxic, especially if you have been exposed to heavy metals in the past (esp amalgam fillings). Copper can mimic the oxidative stress that mercury or other heavy metals can induce.

Good advice with supplements is to take each one individually and look at your reaction. Multi-vitamins can be a mix of bad reactions with good, but you'd never know what causes what.

Replied by Kate
(Raleigh, Nc)
07/26/2017

Non-sense! Copper is needed and taking all the supplements individually is also ridiculous, especially these days. In 1992 an Immunologist/Microbiologist PhD who grew Healthy cells in a lab for a highly respected Lab where he also developed the assay for Epstein Bar testing which is still used and the Gold Standard in hospitals...happened to want to go on the side of prevention. Knowing that most multivitamins on the market were garbage and if given to the cells in his Lab...would die and put them out of business, he developed a line that changed many in the industry today. Why? Because they are Pharmaceutical Grade vs Food Grade. This means what's on the label has to be exactly what's in the pill where as food grade is like chocolate chip cookies....some have 10 chocolate chips in the cookie, others 12 and others possibly only 8. C___nt__m and others like it are marketing junk and a waste of money. Just search YouTube for the Vitamin Apple Test and see for yourself. One keeps the apple color white and some others turn the flesh of the apple black...hmmm? Many more great companies with quality, GMP standards now making supplements....thanks to this visionary Dr.


Melatonin

1 User Review
5 star (1) 
  100%

Posted by cjuan (Malaysia) on 06/09/2021
★★★★★

Medical scientists have succeeded in using Melatonin [3 mg daily dose] to tackle eye AMD. Check out the impressive pics in the first link below:

[1] https://raypeatforum.com/community/threads/melatonin-prevents-progression-improves-macular-degeneration-instead-of-causing-it-as-ray-surmises.40709/

[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16399908/


Saffron

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 
  100%

Posted by Scienceview1 (Westmount, Quebec) on 03/04/2013
★★★★★

Yes, if you find high quality saffron from a trusted shop, it will do the job of delivering the best anti-oxidants and cell-protective constituents. The daily dose needed is 20mg everyday. You can use it as a tea or just add to your food. Other forms of saffron in pill or capsules are available in the market, but make sure of the quality of saffron.

Also make sure your diet includes other eye health igredients such as lutein from kale or spinach and vitamin C. Also, smoking increases risk of age-related macular degeneration. Reduce alcohol consmption, do exercise, and limit exposure to intense light or starring too long at computer screens. Also make sure your blood cholestrol is under control. Health dieat, exercising and no smoking are key for maintaining healty eyes.


Saffron
Posted by Hippiehugger (San Diego, Ca, Usa) on 02/19/2013

Article: http://www.naturalnews.com/039150_saffron_macular_degeneration_cure.html

Replied by Scienceview1
(Westmount, Quebec, Canada)
02/26/2013
★★★★★

Amazing story about saffron and its benefits for eyeight and general health. There is actually a product the combines saffron with benefits of the natural compound also found in red wine, resveratrol and carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.

Remember that by stabilizing the effect of saffron after longer term supplementation means that the potency of saffron stays the same and does not decline over long time consumption. In fact once patients stopped taking the saffron pill, the effects slowly faded away. Saffron is a protecting retina of the eye so you need it every day for eye health.

Replied by Carol
(San Francisco, Ca.)
02/27/2013

Thanks for this information. Can Saffron be purchased in a Health Food Store? And how much should be taken... more or less the suggested amount?

Replied by Scienceview1
(Westmount, Quebec, Canada)
03/06/2013

Hi Carol, The daily dose needed is 20mg of high quality saffron- only the red part of stigmas. There has been actually a product in the market (UK and now Canada) that has saffron and nine other ingredients for eye health. Remember that healthy life-style for eye health includes exercise, no smoking, protecting against exposure to intense light (from computer screens, sunlight etc) are the key. Again, taking daily green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale etc) are very important. Control blood pressure and cholesterol levels and nourish your eyes with eye health nutrients.

Replied by Scienceview1
(Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
03/10/2013

Hello, Lutein and zeaxanthin are macular pigments, naturally concentrated in macula of the eye. Our body cannot synthesize these important compounds so we need to take them via foods (green leafy vegetables such as spinach or kale) or take supplements that have lutein/zeaxanthin. The product mentioned above also has macular pigments.

Protect your eyes from sunlight by wearing proper sunglasses that have anti-UV coating.

Replied by Nezhad
(Montreal, CA)
04/27/2014

As for a high quality saffron product for macular degeneration look for one made with saffron stigma powder, the same quantity used in in Italian study. Saffron as a supplement was approved by Health Canada to help maintain eyesight in AMD.


Spinach

3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 
  100%

Posted by Cherrybb (Sydney Australia) on 06/09/2021
★★★★★

Here are other Australian Native Foods for eye health. I believe NZ has Warrigal Spinach. **Warrigal Spinach is very high in Lutein / zeaxanthin. Many articles if you google search.

https://www.hollows.org/au/blog/5-native-australian-foods-that-are-good-for-your-eyes

Replied by Miles Odonnol
(TAiWAN)
10/20/2022
★★★★★

I'm in a macular degeneration group on FB. One person said they cured early mackie D by eating spinach daily for a month.


Spinach
Posted by Marsh (Denver, Co) on 05/26/2013
★★★★★

SPINACH FOR MACULAR DEGENERATION - We just had a dinner party last night and an elderly gentleman from S. Africa told of us his brother-in-law who had severe macular degeneration. A nurse at the hospital passed along information for him to ask his doctor. After speaking with the doctor he decided to forego his quarterly eye injection. Instead, he began eating 2-3 tablespoons of slightly steamed/cooked spinach 3 times a day. His brother-in-law is now able to see, driving and woodworking. He said had he not seen it for himself, he wouldn't have believed it. I haven't any proof, but a few bites of spinach daily shouldn't hurt anyone. I hope it works!


Supplement Cautions

1 User Review
(1) 
  100%

Posted by Mona (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) on 08/25/2011

WARNING!

Re Fernando from Hamilton blog 0l/23/2008: I wish to add a few cautions re the list of supplements for macular degeneration and caution people with certain health problems to always do further research and also seek advice of a naturopathic doctor prior to taking supplements - cancer patients should not take Vitamin E; smokers/ex-smokers should not take beta-carotene; nor should anyone on blood thinner medication be taking vitamin E.

Mona

Replied by Preston
(Yarmouthport, Ma)
08/25/2011

Please go to www.macdegenresource.com

These people are from Boston and worked with "Retina Associates. " The best place in the world for ANY eye problems... This site is run by brilliant, retired opthamologists with many years experience. The site is information free. Dr. Wallace McMeel saved my sight.

Replied by Daisy
(Sf, Ca)
08/26/2011

Please explain your comments: "cancer patients should not take Vitamin E; smokers/ex-smokers should not take beta-carotene. " Your other statement should be changed to: nor should anyone taking vitamin E need blood thinner medication. Thank you.

Replied by Gavin
(Manganui, Northland, New Zealand)
08/27/2011

This is a medical urban myth! Carotene in smokers and ex smokers causing cancer has been debunked.

Pam E.
(Southern California)
01/18/2021
130 posts
Replied by Tammy
(WI)
06/12/2021

Smokers/ex-smokers should not take lab-created/synthetic Vitamin A. Actually, no one should. All vitamins should be natural and whole foods, not synthetic, fake ones. Synthetic Vitamin A can cause lung cancer in ex-smokers/smoke


Supplements

1 User Review
5 star (1) 
  100%

Posted by Shary (Centennial, Co ) on 08/28/2010

A combo of CoQ10, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, and fish oil has been shown in several studies to both halt and partially reverse vision problems caused by macular degeneration. The info is available online.


Supplements
Posted by Fernando (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) on 01/23/2008
★★★★★

Macular Degeneration Reversed!!

Hi everyone, My grandmother is 71years old and has had The dry type of Macular Degeneration for over 5 years, every year it got worse. The dotors told her there was nothing that could be done, basically sending her home to go blind. So I decided to do a ton of research on the subject. I read a bunch of books and many studies on the net of how people have stop and in most causes reversed MD and other common eye dieseses. I also purchased Dr. Lorraine Days CD on MD. All my research basically said the same thing. High intake of dark green vegtables(spinach, broccalie,kale,ect) and orange coloured veggies(carrots, can remember the others) are high vitamins that are vital to eye repair and maintenance. Knowing that my grandmother wasnt going to change her diet dramatically, I opted to get her high doses of the same suppliments found in those foods. This is what I got her to take daily.

1.Lutien and ZEAXANTHIN .........Highest doses available
2.selenium.......................Highest doese available
3.Vitamine C.....................Highest does possible(up to 4000mg, youll know ur taking to much if you get diarria)
4. Beta-Carotene.................Highest doses available
5.Zinc...........................Highest doses availble
6.Vitamine E.....................Highest doses available

My grandmother took this everyday for 4-6months, and last week she went back for her normall eye checkup to see her progress, and sure enough, not only did the macular degeneration stop but her eye sight has improved, and they said that her lense wasnt thinning but instead was getting thicker(Im not sure if they said the lense or the retina, or something else, I apoligize) This was only after 4-6 months of use. So needless to say we are all very Happy and excited, and I have proved to myself that the body can heal itself when given the right tools, that less than what I can say for the doctors that told her there was nothing she could do. PLEASE TRY THIS IT REALLY WORKS, Im not a doctor, but Ive done alot of research on the subject. Please just double check with your doctor or nutricenist about these vitamins before taking them in HIGH DOSES. I want to pass this on so others can help themselfs when no one else seems to be able to. Fern

Update to this, it has now been two years, and two more check ups, and every year her eyesight continues to improve. IT IS ACTUALLY REVERSING!!!

Replied by Lana
(Texarkana, AR)
05/20/2008

MMS, wondering about it...

Replied by Serge
(Chateauguay, Canada)
08/26/2008

I just found a product that contains all of those supplements in one bottle except for the Zeaxanthin. It's from "NOW Foods" and it's called "Eye Support".

Replied by Fernando
(Hamilton, Canada)
09/29/2008

Response to Serge:

08/26/2008: Serge from Chateauguay, Canada replies: "I just found a product that contains all of those supplements in one bottle except for the Zeaxanthin. It's from "NOW Foods" and it's called "Eye Support"."

Yes I know, but remember they will not be HIGH doses. It is impossible to have high doses with one pill. Unless the container says to take 5 a day, then maybe, look into it.

Replied by Mary
(Saratoga Springs, NY/USA)
03/10/2009

Macular Degeneration Supplements: In regards to Fernando from Hamilton, Ontario Canada, he was giving his grandmother high dowes of vitamins for her macular degeneration, but what is "high doses" for each one? I want to get my mother started on this but need to know the dosage of each vitamin.

Thank you
Mary Ojeda

Replied by Andrea
(Ontario, Canada)
03/10/2009

Would this also help someone with Glaucoma?

Replied by Renee
(Torrance, CA)
06/20/2009

My 93 year old mother has been doctoring for years with macular degeneration. She has tried all of the supplements for macular and nothing has helped. She has been to specialists and they say nothing can be done. She is currently taking vitamins from our chiropractor. These are wonderful vitamins that are more like food, but they don't equate to dosages of regular vitamins.

I know we aren't allowed to recommended or prescribe, but will you list the dosages that your grandmother is taking so that we can compare those to what our loved ones are currently taking?

It's not illegal to say something like, "My grandmother is currently taking....." and then list the products and their dosages! (This site doesn't allow brand names and websites to be mentioned, but we don't need them.]

Would be ever so greatful.

God bless.

Replied by Lorraine
(Cairns, Queensland, Australia)
09/22/2010

I love this site and am so pleased it is here for us. I have Macular Degeneration and am looking for a product that has Lutien and Zeaxanthin but cannot find one anywhere. Ferando from Canada may be able to help. I am desperate as my mother went blind with this same problem.

Replied by Tom
(Regina, Sk)
09/23/2010

Lorraine:

Possibly meso-zeaxanthin is more what you want in an AMD supplement? From marigolds.

http://www.naturalnews.com/028566_blindness_marigolds.html

Quick search shows many brands now have from 3. 75 mg (seems most common) per pill to 10 mg meso- per pill. Effectiveness or not might depend on progression of the AMD, whether it's wet or dry, etc. Another EXTREMELY important thing you must note is that it took decades to show up, but it's here and causing intense grief and problems. What s it? It's all the fast food deep frying in omega-6 cooking oils (so called "healthy fats" all these decades) and the high temperatures of the oils causes formation of a very destructive compound called HNE.

http://www.living-a-healthy-lifestyle.com/health-terms.html

Age-Related Macular Degeneration was rare as late as 1980. And in recent decades there has been a 1000% increase! Dr. Paul Beaumont, one of the world's foremost food researchers, has found that people who eat higher amounts of vegetable oils (corn, soybean, safflower, etc. ) lose their vision 3. 8 times faster, and have twice the risk of developing macular degeneration. A compound known as HNE forms when vegetable oils are heated. HNE attacks the arteries, nerves, and eye tissue. It has been implicated in hardening of the arteries, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, liver disease, as well as ARM. Processed vegetable oils are dangerous to your health and should not be used at all. Cook with butter, lard, or coconut oil.

Replied by Val
(Former Cairns Resident, Vic. Au)
09/23/2010

Hi Lorraine from Cairns, Some years ago I was diagnosed with a cataract in one eye and the retina starting to tear in the other. I went to the chemist on the corner of Toogood and Bruce Hwy. It's in that small complex with the Drs surgery. They used to have a range of herbal mixtures that they made up. I had their standard eye one with silica added. Plus I bought a fresh 100% blueberry juice (just from the suppermarket). I was told to eat 1 cup of blueberries a day and as you know the price of blueberries the next best thing was juice. I took 100mls mls a day, 5 days a week. Unfortunately I can't remember how long I took them for but it was some months. Shifted to Vic and new specialist says there is no damage to the retina and the cataract (which was advanced at the time for my age) is now at a state that is not abnormal for my age. The chemist used to have their own herbalist you could talk to and they would then make a mix up for you. Good Luck

Replied by Lorraine
(Cairns, Qld, Australia)
09/24/2010

Thanks Val, I will check it out.

Replied by Jerry
(Durham, Nc)
08/07/2011

In their book, "People's Pharmacy: Home Remedies" by Joe and Terry Graden, one person wrote in saying that his 78 year old wife was cured of Macular Degeneration from taking bilberry fruit capsules. She was cured within a few years of taking the pills. I did not see bilberry fruit capsules mentioned in this thread, so I thought I'd share that.

Replied by Azuka
(Michigan)
10/02/2015

Regarding finding Lutein and Zeaxthanine supplements, my sister-in-law, my friend Kathy, my wife, and myself all take a supplement purchased at a well known food club store that has 25mg of Lutein and 5mg of ZEaxthanine. My sister-in-law and Kathy have both had impressive improvements in their vision. Not so much for my wife though. I have only just been diagnosed with AMD, so who knows whether it has helped me or not?

Replied by Sarah
(Los Angeles, Ca)
01/31/2016

Can you be more specific about "highest dosage available" that u gave for macular degeneration...? I want to start w my mom, but no idea what dose to start with.

Replied by Cheryl
(Carrollton Ga)
09/21/2016

What do you mean by the highest doses for macular degeneration? Lutein Selenium Beta carotene Zinc Vit E

Replied by Art
(California)
09/21/2016
Replied by Tony46
(Toronto, Canada)
11/03/2016

I checked the Now Foods, I found they do have Eye Support with Zeaxanthin now.

Marcie
(IL)
04/03/2022

Just be careful of the ingredients. Many supplement companies use corn derived GMO corn fillers. So if you see magnesium stearate or microcrystalline cellulose or titanium dioxide or a rancid oil, do not buy it.

Pam E.
(South-Western California)
09/15/2022
130 posts

Not everyone will understand exactly what you mean by the vague term: 'rancid oils'. Please explain for those who don't ... like me. TY! (;



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