What is Iridology

Iridology is an alternative medical diagnosis procedure that studies the iris–that part of the eye that gives you the opportunity to make comparisons to limpid pools of cerulean blue waters or the green of a freshly mown lawn –to reveal information about the health of the patient being examined.

Iridology was developed in the 1800s by Hungarian physicist Ignatz von Pezcely and a Swedish minister named Nils Liljequist. Each of these men had mapped the iris and published their results. The two maps of the iris turned out to be quite similar. It would not be until the middle of the last century that iridology made its way to the United States. That transmission was mostly the product of an American chiropractor putting iridology to work. His name was Bernard Jensen and he published a map of the iris that remains useful today even in spite of computerized mapping of the iris.

Iridology can be done with the use of sophisticated computer imaging, but it can also be successfully accomplished simply by looking at the iris with the naked eye. Others use magnified images and even a microscope may be called into the act when iridology is used as a diagnostic technique.

What those who practice iridology are looking for includes the color of the iris, patterns within the iris, fibers, rings and other marks. Some iridologists also look to the white part of the eye that is called the sclera. The problem with iridology is that there is no full consensus on the conditions that are found using any of the techniques to study the iris.

While iridology is not a treatment in itself, it can lead to alternative medical treatments. Iridologists may recommend that the patient take certain herbs or supplemental vitamins and minerals. Be forewarned before looking into iridology that several studies have called its efficacy into question. A 1979 study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found that iridologists were about as effective at diagnosing the kidney problems of which the iridologists were not pre-informed than anyone would have been by drawing a medical disorder out of a hat.

Iridology has been under the thumb since 2004 when an article in the journal Allergy was published that revealed that not only were iridologists usually no more capable of properly diagnosing a disorder than would have been accomplished by mere chance, but that the odds of a misdiagnosis runs high.

The point of this article is to inform you of the diagnostic tool known as iridology. No claim is being made either in support or against iridology. Alternative treatments often received a failing grade in medical reports and studies. Equally true is that those treatment do occasionally help patients who receive nothing but expensive medication and even more expensive medical procedures that don’t alleviate the problem. Whether iridology is worth the trouble is up to the individual.