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Maqui berry (Aristotelia chilensis) is a dark purple superfruit native to Chile. Traditionally, this fruit was consumed locally as food and for medicinal purposes such as to help with stomach ailments like diarrhea. The leaves were also used to help heal wounds.
More recently, researchers have highlighted the high levels of antioxidants found in maqui berry, especially health-promoting anthocyanins. Like other antioxidant-rich berries, this berry has anti-inflammatory properties and is thought to have benefits for health conditions including diabetes, arthritis, high cholesterol, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Maqui berry is also being studied as an alternative treatment for dry eye, a condition that causes itchy, painful eyes.
Learn about the benefits of maqui berry for dry eye, ways to get the perks, and cautions you should be aware of before trying.
What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome is a condition where the body doesn't produce enough quality tears to properly lubricate the eye.
Symptoms include eye itching, burning or redness, blurry vision, and light sensitivity. Dry eye can range in severity from mild discomfort to intense pain that can have a negative effect on one's quality of life.
Benefits of Maqui Berry for Dry Eye
Dry eye is typically treated with moisturizing eye drops that are available over-the-counter and by prescription. These treatments can be effective, but they generally provide short-term relief.
Recent research suggests that nutrition may play an important role in protecting delicate eye tissues and supporting tear production, which may help reduce dry eye symptoms.
Maqui berry is one superfood that has been shown to have benefits for eye health. This fruit contains especially rich stores of the antioxidant plant pigments anthocyanins. These compounds can help dry eye by:
- Reducing oxidative damage (damage caused by UV light and other environmental factors such as pollution) to the eye surface
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving tear quality
- Increasing tear production
One small study found that people who were given a standardized maqui berry extract saw significant increases in tear fluid volume and reduced dry eye symptoms and eye fatigue in just four weeks.
Another study found that a supplement containing both maqui berry extract and omega-3 fatty acids improved dry eye symptoms significantly more than an omega-3 supplement alone.
Possible Side Effects
Overall, maqui berry is considered safe and has no known side effects. However, you should always consult your healthcare provider before trying any supplement. They can help you understand any interactions a supplement might have with the medications you are taking.
For instance, maqui berry has been shown to have powerful insulin-like effects, so diabetics may need to take precautions when adding maqui berries to their diet. They could interfere with your glucose levels.
People who are allergic to other berries should also be cautious about trying maqui berry or a maqui berry supplement.
Dosage and Preparation
Maqui berry is currently available in a few different forms, including packaged beverages, freeze-dried powders, tincture extracts, and supplements.
The freeze-dried powder and juice are a delicious, tart, colorful addition to smoothies, smoothie bowls, oatmeal, and/or mocktails. Drops can be added to tea or taken under the tongue.
Supplements are also widely available. Suggested dosages vary, but most studies have been done with 30 to 60 milligrams. If you have questions or concerns regarding dosage or whether you should take a supplement, contact your healthcare provider.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does maqui berry work?
Maqui berry contains high levels of antioxidants that are being studied as an alternative treatment for dry eye and other health conditions. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
What other supplements help with dry eyes?
Omega-3 is another supplement that is known to help dry eyes because it helps to reduce inflammation and improve tear quality.
How do you use maqui berry for dry eyes?
Taking a maqui berry supplement daily is the most effective way to reduce dry eye symptoms, according to studies. Maqui berry is also available in a freeze-dried powder that can be added to smoothies or other foods such as oatmeal, muffins, or yogurt. Using it daily may offer similar benefits.
Maqui berry is a superfruit that may be beneficial at reducing dry eye symptoms. The high levels of antioxidants in this fruit have been shown to reduce inflammation, increase tear production, and improve tear quality. Maqui berry can be found in supplement form, a freeze-dried powder, and in some packaged drinks.
A Word From Verywell
If you have dry eyes, you are not alone. There are treatment options to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Many people have found success using natural treatments for dry eye in addition to eye drops and other medical interventions. Maqui berry is one option that shows promise. It is also important to consider lifestyle changes that help protect the eyes, like reducing screen time, protecting your eyes from bright lights and sun, and blinking more.