The Kitchen Herb That Protects Your Vision

In All Health Watch, Anti-Aging, Featured Article

The key to protecting your eyesight may just be in your kitchen. Or growing in your garden.

New research has found that a common herb contains a protective compound.  And it could help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the most common eye problem among people 50 and older.1It is also the leading cause of blindness. The compound is carnosic acid. It produces antioxidant enzymes that lower free radicals and peroxides, preventing cellular damage. And a recent study in the Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 2 shows just how powerful it is. Researchers tested it on retinal cells in mice damaged by toxic peroxides.  They did this to mimic AMD. Sure enough, carnosic acid protected the cells from further damage.

What’s more, it protected against light-induced retinal damage. The mice pre-treated with carnosic acid experienced less damage when exposed to blue light. They developed a thicker outer nuclear layer in the eye which protected their photoreceptors – the part of the eye that detects light.  Protecting this part of the eye is key.  Damaged photoreceptors result in AMD.

So then what herb is carnosic acid found in? You probably already use it.

It’s rosemary.

And you’ll want to start using it to protect your eyes immediately. AMD usually starts with no symptoms. It progresses over time and can sometimes take years for you to begin noticing things going blurry. It develops from a lifetime of damage from the sun and various toxins to the center of the retina, called the macula.

Plus carnosic acid doesn’t only protect against retinal damage. Past studies have found it also protects against oxidative stress in the brain.3

Rosemary is easy to add to your dishes. You can find it fresh at the grocery store. Or you can even try growing your own. Add a few sprigs to chicken or fish to spice it up or in your sauces and soups for a boost of flavor.

Don’t care for the taste but still want to reap the benefits? You can buy rosemary leaf supplements at any health food store.

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