By Rick Lewis
It's in your makeup and shampoo, and within two years, aloe vera may find it's way
into eyedrops as well. Neville Baron, MD, an ophthalmologist in Secaucus, New Jersey, put
the popular plant through a battery of tests and found that an aloe vera extract just may
be the "miracle eye drop of the twentieth century."
Aloe vera offers several helps to health. It
is an emollient, a natural healer and it protects tiny blood vessels in the skin. Aloe vera is also a powerful antimicrobial agent, working
especially effectively on those bugs that often infect human eyes.
But aloe vera's most valuable characteristic as an eye drop is its ability to absorb
damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays, acting as "liquid sunglasses," according to Dr. Baron.
We are exposed to ultraviolet light every day -from sunlight, fluorescent lamps- and
there's evidence its effects are cumulative. Moreover, certain types of UV light have
been linked to cataracts, degeneration of the retina and abnormalities of the lens. Aloe
vera extract would not only be useful in protecting the extra-sensitive eyes of
people with these problems, but it might also help shield normal eyes from damaging rays.
That's not all: Aloe vera extract may soon be tested for its ability to protect delicate inner
eye structures during laser surgery!