Uveitis natural treatment, vitamins herbs supplements, anterior and posterior, by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
April 1, 2018


Uveitis is a condition that occurs in the uvea, or the middle coat of the eye. Because the uvea contains the blood vessels that supply nutrients to the eye, any form of uveitis may be a serious eye disorder and may be a symptom for other serious conditions. Uveitis is a leading cause of blindness affecting individuals of all ages, genders, and races.


Uveitis natural treatment with herbs and supplements
It appears that bilberry, echinacea, curcumin and tripterygium have been studied in relation to uveitis treatment. Benfotiamine has been studied in rodents. I wonder if fish oils would help.


Bilberry herb

Chinese scientists report that doses of a bilberry extract increased antioxidant activity of the blood, which was accompanied by improvements in blood levels of vitamin C and antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase. The researchers noted that the bilberry extract used in the study – Indena’s branded Mirtoselect ingredient – could protect against endotoxin-induced uveitis, an animal model of inflammation in the eye. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, March 2010. Protective Effects of Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) Extract against Endotoxin-Induced Uveitis in Mice. N. Yao, F. Lan, R.-R. He, H. Kurihara.


Curcumin-phosphatidylcholine complex
Management of chronic anterior uveitis relapses: efficacy of oral phospholipidic curcumin treatment. Long-term follow-up. Clinical Ophthalmology. 2010.


Echinachea herb
Oral echinacea purpurea extract in low-grade, steroid-dependent, autoimmune idiopathic uveitis: a pilot study.
J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2006. Neri PG, Stagni E, Filippello M, Camillieri G. Department of Neurosciences - Ophthalmology Section, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy.
The aim of to test efficacy and safety of Echinacea purpurea (echinacea) extract in the control of low-grade uveitis. Fifty-one (51) patients with low-grade, steroid dependent, autoimmune uveitis were recruited; posterior uveitis was excluded. The start therapy was represented by topical desamethazone for anterior uveitis and oral prednisone, rapidly tapered, for anterior uveitis with inflammatory scores equal to +2 and in all cases of intermediate uveitis. Thirty-two (32) patients (21 with anterior uveitis and 11 with intermediate uveitis) received Echinacea (150 mg twice/day) as add-on therapy, whereas 20 patients (10 with anterior uveitis and 9 with intermediate uveitis) were treated with the conventional steroid therapy alone. Thirty-one (31) patients showed anterior uveitis and 20 intermediate uveitis. The follow-up duration was 9 months. At the last follow-up, 19 out of 21 patients with anterior uveitis and 9/11 with intermediate uveitis treated with echinacea presented uveitis settled, with a steroid-off time of 209 and 146 days, respectively. BCVA was stable or improved in 19/21 of anterior uveitis and 9/11 of intermediate uveitis. No adverse reactions supposed to be resulting from commercial-grade echinacea were recorded. Patients who did not receive echinacea required a longer treatment period with steroids with a steroid-off time of 121 and 87 days. Systemic echinacea appears safe and effective in the control of low-grade autoimmune idiopathic uveitis.


Efficacy of curcumin in the management of chronic anterior uveitis.
Phytother Res. 1999. Department of Ophthalmology, K.G. Medical College, Lucknow, India.
Curcumin was administered orally to patients suffering from chronic anterior uveitis at a dose of 375 mg three times a day for 12 weeks. One group of 18 patients received curcumin alone, whereas the other group of 14 patients, who had a strong PPD reaction, in addition received antitubercular treatment. The patients in both the groups started improving after 2 weeks of treatment. All the patients who received curcumin alone improved, whereas the group receiving antitubercular therapy along with curcumin had a response rate of 86%. Follow up of all the patients for the next 3 years indicated a recurrence rate of 55% in the first group and of 36% in the second group. Four of 18 (22%) patients in the first group and 3 of 14 patients (21%) in the second group lost their vision in the follow up period due to various complications in the eyes, e.g. vitritis, macular oedema, central venous block, cataract formation, glaucomatous optic nerve damage etc. None of the patients reported any side effect of the drug. The efficacy of curcumin and recurrences following treatment are comparable to corticosteroid therapy which is presently the only available standard treatment for this disease. The lack of side effects with curcumin is its greatest advantage compared with corticosteroids.


[Effect of Tripterygium wilfordii polyglycoside on serum IL-2 and TNF-alpha in patients with acute anterior Uveitis]
Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2002. Department of Ophthalmology, Laiwu Second People's Hospital, Shandong.
To explore the effect of Tripterygium wilfordii polyglycoside (TWP) on level of serum interleukin 2 (IL-2), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) in patients of acute anterior uveitis. Patients of acute anterior uveitis were randomly divided into two groups. The treated group (n = 50) was mainly treated with TWP and the control group (n = 50) treated with bimolani. Abnormal changes of IL-2 and TNF-alpha exist in acute anterior uveitis patients, TWP could suppress both parameters markedly therefore has a reliable effect in treatment of AAU.


Benfotiamine and uveitis
Lipophilic Vitamin-B1 Analogue Benfotiamine Prevents Endotoxin-Induced Uveitis in Rats.
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009. Yadav UC, Subramanyam S, Ramana KV. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, United States.
To study amelioration of ocular inflammation in endotoxin-induced uveitis in rats by benfotiamine, a lipid soluble analogue of thiamine. Endotoxin-induced uveitis in Lewis rats was induced by subcutaneous injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) followed by treatment with benfotiamine. Our results suggest that benfotiamine suppresses oxidative stress-induced NF-kappaB dependent inflammatory signaling leading to uveitis and therefore it could be used as a novel therapeutic agent for the treatment of ocular inflammation, especially uveitis.



Uveitis may be due to autoimmune, infectious, toxic, malignant, or traumatic processes. Some evidence supports an association between conditions previously presumed to be autoimmune and viral infectious agents.


Autoimmun Rev. Jan 12 2014. Diagnosis and classification of autoimmune uveitis. It is the most common ophthalmological finding in the practice of rheumatology and clinical immunology. The condition is frequently idiopathic and defined by the inflammatory status of the uvea, the part of the middle eye that includes the iris, ciliary body and choroid. Anterior uveitis involves the iris and ciliary body, while the posterior form is limited to the retina and choroid. Both forms represent indications for an urgent evaluation by an ophthalmologist as untreated cases may cause blindness. Anterior uveitis is associated with the HLA-B27 allele and is a classification criterion for seronegative arthritis forms such as ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthropathy, arthritis associated with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and reactive arthritis. Posterior uveitis is associated with Behcet's disease and HLA-B51. The clinical suspicion is raised by self-reported symptoms in the case of anterior involvement and floaters for posterior uveitis while the diagnosis, in the absence of established criteria, is made by an experienced ophthalmologist.


Korean J Ophthalmol. 2017. Acute Bilateral Anterior Uveitis after a Single Intravenous Infusion of Zoledronic Acid in Metastatic Breast Cancer.


Uveitis Treatment

For autoimmune uveitis, therapy is nonspecific, typically beginning with corticosteroids. For nonresponsive disease or for corticosteroid sparing, recent reports on mycophenolate mofetil, infliximab, and interferon therapy show success for various forms of uveitis. Treatment of the complications of uveitis, especially cystoid macular edema, is difficult. Octreotide may be an option.


Uveitis and spondylarthropathy
The anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antibody preparations infliximab and adalimumab were efficacious in reducing the number of uveitis flares in patients with spondylarthropathy, whereas the soluble TNF receptor etanercept was not. "Uveitis is a well-known extra-rheumatological manifestation of spondylarthropathies, which may lead to severe functional impairment," Dr. Sandra Guignard and colleagues from Cochin Hospital, Paris, write in the December 2007 Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. Studies have shown high levels of TNF in the aqueous humor and inflamed joints of patients with spondylarthropathy. Ann Rheum Dis 2006.


Acute anterior uveitis is associated with depression and reduction of general health. Br J Ophthalmol. 2013.


Q. Are there herbs or any natural treatment for uveitis?
   A. I have not come across such research yet.

Q. Since my wife has an eye problem - uveitis - which is inflammation of the eyes and is a leading cause of blindness in the US, I thought your product Eyesight Rx would help her. My wife is in the last stages of MS with very bad bed sores-stage 4.
   A. I doubt Eyesight Rx would help treat uveitis.