Eyebright (Euphrasia Officinalis)
Eyebright (Euphrasia Officinalis) is an herb which belongs to the Figwort family. The whole foliage (stem, leaves, and flowers) of Eyebright is edible and can be used in herbal medicine. The herb's name comes from its common use as an alternative treatment for eye related ailments. According to researchers, Eyebright herb contains many chemical, organic and nutritional properties that may not only aid in treating eye problems but also may help with a number of other health conditions. It contains vitamins B, C, E, and beta-carotene, alkaloids, antioxidants such as caffeic acids, ferulic acids and flavonoids, iridoid glycosides, defensive compounds, tannins and volatile oils.
What are the Benefits of Eyebright?
Eyebright has been used for centuries in the treatment of a number of ailments. The nutritional and herbal ingredients make it beneficial for many eye problems including ophthalmia (severe inflammation of the eye), blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids), conjunctivitis (pink eye), cataracts, stye, weeping eye, and bloodshot or strained eyes. It has also been found to be beneficial in treating respiratory conditions including bronchitis, colds, sinusitis, and allergies. Skin problems such as acne and stretch marks, as well as bad memory, have also been found to respond well to Eyebright treatments.
Uses of Eyebright
Eyebright is famous for its use in treating eye related problems, as well as slowing down progressive vision weakness due to age.
For ophthalmia, blepharitis, stye and any other eye inflammation, an Eyebright tea might be beneficial when used as a cold eye compress. To make Eyebright tea, take 1 teaspoon of carefully washed Eyebright herb and boil it in 1 1/2 cup of water for 10 minutes. Drain the leaves with a very fine strainer or cotton cloth and let it cool. Dip a small cotton pad in it and use it as a compress three to four times daily.
Cataracts, Pink Eye, Bloodshot Eyes
For cataracts, weeping eye, pink eye (conjunctivitis), blood shot and strained eyes, an Eyebright tincture may help when used as an eyewash. To make an Eyebright eyewash, mix 5-8 drops of tincture in 2 cups of cool filtered water or boil 1 teaspoon of eyebright in 1 1/2 cup of water. Dilute the strained tea in a cup of cool rose water. Washing the affected eyes with this eyewash every 4 hours may alleviate the symptoms. Herbal experts recommend this topical use for short term only. Due to possible impurities in homemade non-pharmaceutical Eyebright tea preparations, it is recommended to be supervised by an herbal expert during the external application of Eyebright for eye treatment. Drinking Eyebright tea and taking Eyebright capsules or tablets may speed up the healing process
Ledum or Labrador Tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum)
Ledum is one of the leading homeopathic remedies in First Aid and it shows fast action in wound healing. This remedy can be given in a substitution of Tetanus shot (especially when the person is in the woods and there is no hospital around). It works well on deep cuts, wounds from stabbed knife, stepping on the nail.
The plant is edible and can be made into a tea. Tea can also be applied to the wound.