Herb In Focus - Eyebright
Posted on 09 September 2015 by Leonie Satori
Derived from the Greek term Euphrosyne, meaning gladness, the herb Eyebright has a long history of use with all diseases of the eyes. Known for its tonic and astringent qualities, eyebright is useful prepared for external application, is one of the main ingredients in our Herbal Eye Wash and also our Herbal Eye Soothe (available only through our herbal dispensary).
As a plant, eyebright is unable to be cultivated because of its semi-parasitic relationship with certain grasses; therefore it is only gathered in the wild – which is the reason that we have Wildcrafted Eyebright and not organic eyebright.
With little modern analysis of the pharmacology of eyebright, this herb is often overlooked in the modern herbalist’s dispensary; however, generations of traditional usage of this wonderful herb helps us to understand the importance of eyebright in modern day eye conditions.
As a medicinal herb, eyebright contains natural anti-inflammatory and astringent components which attribute the use of this herb for sinusitis, and nasal catarrh, especially with hayfever or seasonal allergies. Also considered to have antiseptic benefits for the respiratory tract, eyebright is used for head colds and ear congestion. These therapeutic qualities of eyebright also make it a useful herb for supporting the mucous membranes in the digestive tract and can be of use for gastritis or digestive inflammation.
Where eyebright comes into its own is in the topical application of the herb, either in the form of an herbal wash or herbal compress. When used with other herbs, eyebright is suitable for many different eye conditions, especially allergic eye conditions associated with hayfever. Eyebright as a compress or wash is also suitable for tired or sore eyes and is the perfect old-world style herb for modern computer eyestrain.
Thankfully, eyebright is one of those herbs that is aptly named to enable us to remember its use. For many different eye complaints, especially during spring allergies – eyebright is the go-to herb for soothing and tonifying the tissues of the eyes.
Leonie is a consulting naturopath with over a decade of experience working in health and healing and takes a down-to-earth approach of helping people reach their health goals with natural therapies. Contact Sundala Health Centre in Lismore NSW to discuss your health with Medical Herbalist and Naturopath Leonie.
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