Eyebright is a plant. The parts that grow above the ground are used to make medicine.
Eyebright is taken by mouth to treat swollen (inflamed) nasal passages, allergies, hay fever, common cold, bronchial conditions, and inflamed sinuses (sinusitis). It is also used for cancer, coughs, “pink eye” (conjunctivitis), earaches, epilepsy, headaches, hoarseness, inflammation, jaundice, runny nose, skin ailments, and sore throat.
Despite serious risk of infection, some people apply eyebright directly to the eye in the form of a lotion, poultice, or eye bath to treat a variety of conditions including conjunctivitis; inflammation of the eyelids at the edge of the lashes (blepharitis); eye fatigue; inflammation of the blood vessels, eyelids and conjunctiva; and for “glued” and inflamed eyes. Eyebright is also applied to the eyes to prevent mucous and mucous membrane inflammation of the eyes.
In foods, eyebright is used as a flavoring ingredient.
Historically, eyebright has been used in British Herbal Tobacco, which was smoked for on-going lung conditions and colds.
How does it work?
The chemicals in eyebright might act as astringents and kill bacteria.
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.