Eyebright is an attractive flowering herb that grows in fields, meadows, and pastures in areas where snow is common. It is a parasitic plant, meaning it depends on other plants to survive by attaching its roots to them. It has deeply-cut leaves and many tiny flowers.
Constituents of eyebright include acubin (anti-inflammatory), caffeic acid (antiviral), and ferulic acid (anti-allergenic). Parts of the plants used for medicinal purposes include the leaves, stems, and flowers.
Benefits of Eyebright Tea
As the name implies, eyebright is used to treat problems with the eyes.
To treat conjunctivitis with eyebright tea:
Pour 1 pint of boiling water over 1 ounce of whole dried herb, cover, and steep for 20 minutes. Thoroughly strain the mixture using an unbleached muslin cloth or a superfine strainer.
Fill an eyewash cup half full with the eyebright tea. Lean forward and place the cup tightly around your eye. Tilt your head back, open your eye, and rotate your eyeball. Lean forward and remove the cup. Do this 3-4 times a day.
Clean technique and equipment is important when preparing.
Because conjunctivitis is highly contagious, clean the cup after each use with boiling water.
Eyebright tea can also help treat eye irritation and eye inflammation caused by allergies and colds when used as an eyewash.
To treat blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid) and sties with eyebright tea:
Prepare tea (as mentioned above), soak a washcloth in it, and place over your closed eye for 10-15 minutes 2-3 times a day.
Drinking eyebright tea also helps treat eye problems.
To prepare a cup of tea to drink, pour 1 pint of boiling water over 1/2 ounce of whole dried herb, cover, steep for 10 minutes, and strain.
Other benefits of eyebright tea include:
- treating respiratory problems, including colds, sinusitis, allergies, hay fever, and bronchitis
- relieving indigestion
- improving memory.
Image courtesy of https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Euphrasia_stricta_%28plant%29.jpg
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