What is the Connection Between the Liver and the Eyes?

glycation causes ageing skinLiver, Chinese Medicine and Eye Health

You may have heard that the eyes are related to the liver.  But how can that be and what does that mean?  What are the practical implications?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners understand that the health of the body is intimately connected to the flow – or blockage – of energy.  TCM has identified specific ‘channels’ or pathways this flow of energy takes.  Each pathway is called a meridian, and each meridian links to pairs of yin-yang organs, for example the Liver being the Yin organ and its corresponding yang organ being the Gallbladder. The meridians function as a non-physical network mapped out throughout the entire body, with some of the meridians running through and connected to specific organs such as the Liver, Lung, Spleen, Heart, and Kidney.

The Liver Meridian

According to TCM, the Liver meridian is most affected by stress or emotion resulting in irritation and imbalances in vision. The Liver meridian supports the free flow of energy and circulation throughout the eyes, as well as throughout the body.

The Liver meridian starts at the  inside upper corner of the big toe and runs up along the inside of the lower leg and thigh, around the pubic region, up the lower abdomen to the lower chest where it connects with the liver and gall bladder.  It continues along the side of the throat to connect with the eyes, finally reaching the forehead.  Branches of the Liver meridian move down to the cheeks, lips, and lungs.

The Liver (meridian) “Opens to the Eyes” meaning it is the primary meridian that is responsible for healthy vision. The Kidney (meridian) for example “Opens to the Ears”. When an acupuncturist determines which treatments are appropriate for eye problems, the first meridian they consider is the Liver to determine if it is free flowing or out-of-balance.

In Chinese medicine, the Liver also stores blood and regulates blood volume, controls sinews and muscle tone, and also rules over the health of the nails. The emotion associated with the Liver is anger, that when in balance can help one keep motivated and achieve goals, but when out of balance can result in ongoing resentment, depression, anger, irritability, moodiness, and cause such health issues as causing headaches, ringing in the ears, feelings of tightness in the chest, high blood and intraocular pressure or GERD, and other stomach, digestive and elimination issues, chronic fatigue, and for women painful periods.

Eye Conditions

Eye conditions often associated with Liver imbalances include: myopia, astigmatism, AMD, retinitis pigmentosa, Presbyopia, dry eyes, floaters, glaucoma, Stargardt’s, cataracts, red and dry eyes. Other eye issues include: photophobia, red and dry eyes, bloodshot eyes, poor night vision, blurry vision, headaches.

Other meridians are essential for healthy vision such Kidney, Spleen, Heart and Lung meridians, so when an acupuncturist does his/her evaluation, imbalances related to these meridians and others also need to be checked to determine best treatment strategy.

Support Liver Energy with Self-Massage

You might notice some benefit from self massage of Liver meridian acupoints.  Start at the inside of the top of the toenail of your big toe and gently massage up the inside of your lower leg, towards the back of the side of the knee,  The meridian continues as described above, but the part from toe to knee may be especially tender, indicating blockage. Do both sides.  You can also gently massage around your eyes, along the eye brow, bridge of the nose, cheek bone, and outside of the eye.

Support Liver Energy with ReVision Formula

Herbal formulas can help support and balance Liver energy. One such formulation is the ReVision formula, which is based on the classic TCM formula called “Rambling Powder (Xiao Yao San). Xiao Yao San is comprised of bupleurum, dong guai, white peony, poria, atractylodes, and licorice.  We have added other eye-friendly herbs including tree peony, ginger, coleus, gingko, milk thistle, dandelion, eyebright, bilberry and hoelen.

We are happy to announce our formula ReVision (wild-crafted herbal formula) is back in stock in a tincture taken by mouth to support healthy Liver meridian function and overall eye health.

Revision formula is included in the following discount packages:

For more information or questions, please email us at info@naturaleyecare.com or call us at 845-475-4158.