There are many traditional botanical remedies that have been suggested for people forming Cataracts:


Aloe vera (Aloe socotrina) juice has been recommended in eye drop form, taken twice a day.


Royal jelly, taken 1 tsp/ twice a day, has been suggested. While not strictly an herbal remedy, it is produced from and takes on the resonance of the dominant flowers from which it is produced.


Flower pollen extracts (Cernitin, composed of a high proportion of fat soluble to water-soluble fractions, from A.B. Cernelle of Sweden) have been used successfully by this author in reversing cases of posterior subcapsular cataracts. A new higher therapeutic potency product is now available.


Celandine (Chelidonium majus) has apparently been widely used as a traditional herbal remedy, applying the juice of the leaf as an eye drop twice a day. Celandine may be taken internally as a tincture as well.


Chlorophyll has also been reported to be beneficial. Some potential sources include green vegetables, especially dark leafy greens, barley or wheat grass juice (or juice powder), spirulina (e.g. organically grown Spirulina pacifica), bluegreen algae (Aphamazomanon flosaqua) and chlorella (preferably broken cell-wall).

Chlorophyll is structurally almost identical to hemoglobin, with the substitution of Magnesium for iron. Liquid chlorophyll products are not recommended, as the Magnesium in the active enzyme site has been substituted to Copper in order to stabilize this protein in the liquid state.


Dusty miller (Cineraria maritima) is a traditional herbal treatment for cataracts.


Organic orange peels have been recommended for topical application to the eye lids overnight, alternating between the colored side and the white side, using a fresh piece each night, until no further heat is generated in the eye tissues or until the vision is clear.


Euphrasia officinalis, commonly called eyebright, has reportedly been used to prevent and reverse cataracts. It contains a glycoside which is apparently activated in the eye by light. Eyebright has been suggested both internally and in eyedrop form.


Ginkgo biloba taken 4 times a day is recommended by many practitioners for increasing ocular and cerebral circulation. Cataract development is linked to reduced circulation to the ciliary body which produces the nutritive and cleansing aqueous humour that bathes the crystalline lens of the eye. Because the lens has no direct circulation, it is even more dependent than other tissues upon the quality of regional circulation.

Hachimijiogan (Chinese herbal formula):

Hachimijiogan is a traditional Chinese herbal formula used to treat cataracts, containing 8 herbs in the following ratios: Alismatis rhizome (6), Rehmanniae root (12), Cornus fruit (6), Dioscoreae rhizome (6), Hoelen (6), Moutan bark (5), Cinnamon bark (2), and Aconite root (1). The combination is taken 150 to 300 mg per day.

In one study of mice with hereditary cataracts, the formula delayed cataract formation by an equivalent of 13.9 human years. It improved regulation of potassium and sodium within the lens, acted as a slight antioxidant, and dramatically stimulated the sodium-potassium ATP-ase pump, which helps prevent cataracts.

Rat studies also have shown beneficial effects including delay of diabetic-type cataracts, with improvements in regulation of sodium, potassium and calcium. In another study with aged rats, the herbal formula showed an increase in the important antioxidant glutathione in the lens. One published study on humans showed that 60% of patients improved on this formula, while 20% showed no progression of their cataracts, and only 20% continuing to progress.


Chaparral (Larrea tridentata or Larrea mexicana) has also been suggested as both a tea and eyewash, and has recently become available again commercially in the U.S.


Rosehip tea has been recommended. It is a well-known source of bioflavonoids.


Aspirin has shown mixed results in relation to cataract, with one study suggesting preventive benefits, but another study showing no benefits in stroke patients and a third study showing increased risk of cataract with long-term use. Willow (Salix alba) was the original source for aspirin, and in herbal form may possibly be safer than synthetic aspirin, as a potential remedy for those at risk for cataract.

Shihu-Yeguang-Wan (Chinese botanical combination):

Over two dozen herbs and other natural ingredients are combined to treat cataract as well as deteriorating visual symptoms of dimness and blur, as well as ocular signs of redness, tearing, swelling and sensations of soreness. The formula is also helpful for pseudomyopia, which can also accompany cataract, as well as being found in younger populations. These herbs help strengthen the detoxification pathways of the liver and kidneys.

The typical dosage is 5 pills twice a day taken with warm antioxidant water or with food. The typical length of treatment is one month, which takes 5 bottles to complete at the suggested dose.


Triphala is a traditional Ayurvedic compound with over 5,000 years of use, which increases glutathione levels and helps prevent cataract. Triphala contains: Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis), beleric myrobalan (Terminalia belerica) and Indian gallnut (Terminalia chebula). Antioxidant-rich Indian gallnut helps improve vision.


Bilberry (European blueberry, Vaccinium myrtillus) extract, when combined with supplementation of vitamin E, have been found to stop progression of senile cortical cataracts in 97% of patients in one study. The dosage range used is 80 to 160 mg, three times a day, of an extract standardized to 25% anthocyanidin content.


One report was made of improved vision from exposure to the sap of the sea grape tree.

One author on herbal pharmacy provides an extensive listing of herbs suggested for consideration in herbal formulations for improving deteriorating vision. Primary herbs to consider include eyebright, bilberry (see above for more on these two herbs), parsley (leaf & root), burdock (root), yellow dock (root), hawthorne or Crataegus (leaf and berry), barley grass, spirulina, chlorella or other high chlorophyll content herbs as well as kelp, dulse and other sea vegetables. Secondary herbs listed are bee pollen (or flower pollen), nettles, alfalfa, bayberry (bark), watercress, passion flower and gotu kola. To these may be added herbs that serve as catalysts or transporters to increase the effectiveness of the combination, including capsicum, ginger (root), rose (hips), lobelia, turmeric, peppermint and butcherÕs broom. Additional herbs to consider for detoxification include chamomile, echinacea (root), golden seal (root), Siberian ginseng, rosemary, angelica (root), milk thistle (seed), beet (root) which is a source of Vitamin B14 (TMG), dandelion (root) and black cohosh. More herbs to be considered for additional nutritive qualities in addition to those already listed include lemon grass, red raspberry, plantain, Irish moss and horsetail.

The next section reviews homeopathic remedies for cataract prevention and reversal.


Endnotes (see print version for placement in text):

Page LR. Healthy Healing. (Sacramento, California: Spilman Printing, 1990) p. 138.

Page LR. Healthy Healing. (Sacramento, California: Spilman Printing, 1990) p. 138.

Jackson M and Teague T. The Handbook of Alternatives to Chemical Medicine. (Oakland, California: Teague and Jackson, 1985) p. 65.

Atkinson DT. Malnutrition as an etiological factor in senile cataract. Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Monthly, Feb. 1952.

Duarte A. Cataract Breakthrough. Int Inst Nat Health Sci, Huntington Beach, Calif. 1982. p. 62.

Jackson M and Teague T. The Handbook of Alternatives to Chemical Medicine. (Oakland, California: Teague and Jackson, 1985) p. 65.

Willard T. The Wild Rose Scientific Herbal. Calgary, Alberta, Canada: Wild Rose College of Natural Healing, Ltd. 1991: 116-7.

Page LR. Healthy Healing. (Sacramento, California: Spilman Printing, 1990) p. 138.

Page LR. Healthy Healing. (Sacramento, California: Spilman Printing, 1990) p. 138.

Kamei A, et al. The evaluation of therapeutic efficacy of hachimi-jio-gan (traditional Chinese medicine) to mouse hereditary cataract. J Ocul Pharacol 4(4):311-9, 1988.

Kamei A, et al. The evaluation of therapeutic efficacy of hachimi-jio-gan (traditional Chinese medicine) to rat galactosemic cataract. J Ocul Pharmacol 3(3):239-48, 1987.

Haranaka R, et al. Pharmacological action of Hachimijiogan (Ba-wei-wan) on the metabolism of aged subjects. Am J Chinese Med 24:59-67, 1986.

Fujuhara K. Treatment of cataracts of Ba-wei-wan. J Soc Oriental Med Japan 24:465-79, 1974.

Page LR. Healthy Healing. (Sacramento, California: Spilman Printing, 1990) p. 138.

Page LR. Healthy Healing. (Sacramento, California: Spilman Printing, 1990) p. 138.

Jackson M and Teague T. The Handbook of Alternatives to Chemical Medicine. (Oakland, California: Teague and Jackson, 1985) p. 65.

Harding J.J., et al, Protection against cataract by aspirin; paracetamol and ibuprofen, Acta Opthalmologica 67: 518-24, 1989.

UK-TIA Study Group, British Journal Opthalmology 76: 259-61, 1992.

Hankinson S.E., et al, A prospective study of aspirin use and cataract extraction in women, Archives of Opthalmology 111: 503-8, 1993.

Bravetti G. Preventive medical treatment of senile cataract with vitamin E and anthocyanosides: clinical evaluation. Ann Ottalmol Clin Ocul 115:109, 1989.

Werbach MR, Murray MT. Botanical Influences on Illness. Tarzana, California: Third Line Press, 1994. p.117.

Fuyaka Y., et al, Effect of tannin on oxidative damage of ocular lens, Japanese Journal of Opthalmology 32: 166-75, 1988. Rector-Page L. How To Be Your Own Herbal Pharmacist. 1991: p. 111.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Glen helped thousands of people avoid cataract surgery in his practices in Tokyo, New York, the West coast and Hawaii. He developed methods to detect individual responses to potential remedies prior to initiating clinical trials. The handful of patients who tried natural therapies but eventually needed referral for cataract surgery were all heavy smokers who were unwilling to quit smoking tobacco. Smoke gets in your eyes!