Oregon Grape Root for Eye Problems
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Kathleen
Posted on: November 20, 2000

For years I’ve been bothered by constant eye watering, burning, gritty, and always feeling like something is in my eyes. Of course, I’ve been to eye doctors and my family doctor. Eyedrops give me some relief, but never clears it up. While I was reading November’s edition of Prevention a letter to the editor described my symptoms completely. She found success with Oregon Grape Root. I’m wondering what is it exactly, it’s uses, and side effects.

Oregon Grape (Berberis aquifolium), also known as Mountain Grape, is a 2 - 5 foot bush with holly-like leaves which grows in the western United States and southern British Columbia. The root is used medicinally to stimulate liver function and digestive secretions and to inhibit the growth of bacteria and other disease-causing micro-organisms in the skin and the intestinal tract.

Michael Moore, in "Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West" (Red Crane Books, Santa Fe, New Mexico) states "Oregon Grape is a stimulant to the liver and skin metabolism of dietary and blood proteins, and is helpful for those people who show signs of moderately or constitutionally impaired hepatic function. This shows as dry skin, poorly healing skin, delicate mucous membranes, constant bad breath, coated tongue in the A.M. and difficulty digesting fats and proteins or even an aversion to them. Other symptoms are rapid shifts in blood sugar levels, a lifelong preference for sweets, salads, fruit and cola drinks, and a history of food or environmental allergies" with chronic constipation. For these people, he suggests 30 to 45 drops of the tincture three times a day for at least 2 weeks.

Your eye problems may result from food allergies, environmental allergies or food intolerances, in which case this remedy may help. There are no known contraindications or side effects, but I recommend that you do not exceed the recommended dosage, and that you discontinue the remedy if you have not noticed improvement after 4 weeks. Look for and eliminate foods in your diet that may be causing digestive problems, and strengthen your immune system to reduce the effect of environmental allergens.

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