I always struggle with dry, itchy eyes this time of year. Luckily, I learned about netra basti when I first started studying Ayurveda and have been doing a modified version ever since to keep my eyes healthy and happy during the winter months. Netra basti is an ancient Ayurvedic therapy which involves pouring medicated ghee into the eyes. In Ayurveda, ghee is considered to be extremely soothing, nourishing, and healing and is used widely both internally and externally to pacify Vata and Pitta. Traditional netra basti is done by an Ayurvedic practitioner in a clinical setting. The practitioner places a ring of dough around the eye and fills it with medicated ghee. The ghee is allowed to bathe the eye for 15-20 minutes before being removed. Sound too intense, expensive, or time consuming? Luckily it’s easy to replicate netra basti at home with just a few simple ingredients. Regularly washing my eyes with ghee makes my eyes feel clearer, brighter, and healthier and I can’t recommend it enough if you struggle with dryness and irritation. If you give it a try let me know how it goes in the comments below…

HOW TO WASH YOUR EYES WITH GHEE

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your optometrist or a professional healthcare provider before beginning any new eye care routine. 

INGREDIENTS:

  1. A clean/sterile eye cup (available at most drug stores).
  2. Organic ghee that has not come into contact with other foodstuffs or non-sterile utensils.

*Make sure that your ghee is well strained, smooth, and free from any particles that might irritate your eyes. 

PROCEDURE:

  1. Place a small scoop of ghee into your eye cup, then set the eye cup in a small bowl of hot water. Allow the ghee to liquify.
  2. Allow the ghee to cool to room temperature.
  3. Tip your head forward slightly, and place the eye cup firmly against your eye, creating a seal.
  4. Tip your head back, open your eye, and look around, right to left, left to right, up and down. Allow the ghee to wash over your eye for 30-60 seconds. Repeat with the other eye.
  5. Gently, wipe your eyes with a clean towel and head to bed. Avoid exposure to light and electronic devices.

*I recommend wearing an eye mask after washing your eyes with ghee to avoid light exposure and help keep your eyes relaxed.

Contraindications: Glaucoma.

That’s it. Easy peasy! If however, you’re at all confused, I’ve put together a little video tutorial over on Instagram to show you how it’s done.

P.S. Another traditional Ayurvedic eye wash technique uses triphala. Triphala is particularly good for congested, inflammatory eye conditions like conjunctivitis (I got conjunctivitis for the first time last winter and triphala and rose water saved me). Simply dissolve 1/2 teaspoon triphala powder in 8 ounces boiling water. Allow to steep for at least an hour (the mixture should be cool at this point) and strain through multiple layers of cheesecloth making sure that no sediment remains. Pour a small amount into your eye cup and wash the eyes.