What is Iridology?

Iridology is the study of the Iris, the complex musculovascular coloured part of the eye that surrounds the pupil. The iris contains dilator muscles that cause dilation in response to stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system, constrictor muscles that constrict the pupil in response to the parasympathetic nervous system and over 28,000 individual nerve fibres. The muscles of the iris are the only muscles in the body derived from neuroectoderm, the same tissue found in the brain and spinal cord. Many health professionals believe this similarity reflects genetic inheritance.

The iris is the summation of our inborn characteristics. It represents the reactive capability of an individual, which in turn determines their capacity for adaptation physically, mentally and emotionally. Every part of the iris is connected (by a potential reflex action) to the organs and tissues in our body. If an organ has a tendency for weakness, or perhaps there may be an inherited family predisposition, this may be revealed in the corresponding location of the iris.

It is important to note that Iridology is an effective health screening tool used by health practitioners to determine the potential for certain constitutional strengths and weaknesses. It is not a diagnostic tool to diagnose disease. By looking into the eyes, practitioners can gain great insight into how to best optimise the health of an individual.

iridology assessment

During an iridology assessment, the health practitioner will examine the fibres within your iris.

An Iridologist uses equipment such as a penlight, magnifying glass and cameras to examine the patient’s irises for tissue changes, as well as features such as specific pigment patterns and irregular stromal architecture. The markings and patterns are compared to an iris chart. The iris is divided into zones corresponding to parts of the body.  The zone corresponding to the lungs, for example, is in the left part of the iris, around 9pm, in the right eye. In addition, an iridologist may evaluate your constitution, disposition and diathesis.


The constitution is the product of the interaction between the mental, emotional and physical being of a person. It is the product of somato-psychic manifestations, which results from latent or active endogenous, hereditary factors. How these hereditary factors develop is dependent on genetic regulation.


The dispositions development is based on the inherited genetic structure (The inherited iris sign).

Diathesis (Regulatory type):

Indicates the pathway to disease. The physiological effects in organs or organ systems that produce pathology. It can be inherited or acquired. It can be active or remain latent.

A Brief History of Iridology

The recorded practice of iris analysis dates back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. It is not until the 19th Century that the practice of Iridology as it is known today, was established.

The story goes that a Hungarian boy named Ignatz von Peczely (1826-1911) was playing with an owl in his garden. The owl became trapped in shrubbery and as von Peczely tried to free it, the owl suffered a broken leg. Whilst nursing the bird back to health, von Peczely noticed a dark marking appear in the owl’s iris. He continued to observe this unusual marking over the course of time. During this time he noticed how the dark marking began to lighten, eventually becoming pale and almost unnoticeable. Today, this type of marking is recognised as showing the process of healing in the area of the eye in which it originated.

Ignatz von Peczely went on to become a successful physician. During the course of his time as a practitioner he continued to observe the irides of many of his patients. He developed one of the first truly accurate iridology charts. Crude in design, it is still used as the model upon which all modern iris charts are based today. An iris chart shows the location of the various organs and body parts in the eye as within the chart above.