It is well documented that cataract operations used to be done by Ayurvedic vaidyars some 100 years ago. However, with technology and time, cataract came to be performed by Allopathic doctors only. Prevention of eye diseases and treatment could be effective through Ayurvedic procedures. Susruta and Vagbhata are considered the pioneers of Shalakya Tantra with Rajashri Nimi, the King of Videha as the Adi Bhishaj or the first physician of Shalakya Tantra, which has been in existence since 500 – 1000 BC.
Senile cataract, which affects or is expected to affect most of us in old age, can be prevented by using simple interventions in Ayurveda. Treatment with triphaladi ghana vati and elaneer kuzhambu can delay, arrest or even prevent senile cataract. Triphaladhi ghana vati (500mg) orally and elaneer kuzhambu anjana 60 mg in both eyes for topical use is prescribed and has been found very effective in preventing senile cataracts. Triphaladi ghanavati is easy enough to take orally. Since the eye is kaphasthana, using elaneer kuzhambu and allowing the eyes to water relieves them of excessive kaphadosha.
Elaneer kuzhambu contains Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellerica and Emblica officinalis (the three constituting the popular preparation triphala), Tree turmeric, Glycyrrhiza glabra and tender coconut water. Apart from these, it also contains camphor, Gmelina arborea and saindhava lavana or rock salt. Honey is also added at the end of the preparation.