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Foraging Eyebright for Eye Health

Many people are viewing a screen for eight or more hours every day.  One result of this common phenomenon is eye strain. How can foraging Eyebright herb help your eyes in such a situation? Read on.

When our eyes are focused on the screens of our devices, we blink less than normal. This can cause dryness and soreness. The intense focus can also be the root of headaches and other eye related symptoms.

Eyebright for eyestrain

How Do We Compensate for Screen Related Eye Strain?

Relief can be achieved by taking frequent ‘eye breaks,’ which involve looking at something in the distance every twenty minutes or so. There are even apps to remind you! Another must do for eye health is to make sure your screen is just below eye level.

The reality is that many of us are spending a lot of time focusing intently on electronic devices and straining our eyes. We need something more.

That Something More is Eyebright

Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, has provided us with a wild herb that works directly to reduce the discomforts of eye strain and many other eye issues. Eyebright, a tiny flowered, weedy looking herb found wild in Europe, Asia and North America, can be used to treat all eye disorders. Today I was foraging Eyebright right here in Maine when I was picking wild blackberries; they often grow together. Here’s a shot of Eyebright in the wild:

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How Foraging Eyebright Helps Your Eyes

Eyebright’s tannin content, which acts as an astringent, and its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, combine to make the perfect eye wash. Its 3 major antioxidant vitamins bring in eye-specific support as well. First off, Vitamin C, in conjunction with Eyebright’s high content of Quercetin, assists in reducing swelled and runny eyes. Secondly, Vitamin E has been shown to help improve visual sharpness. Lastly, Vitamin A protects the cornea and prevents dry eyes.

Eyebright is the perfect solution for eyestrain symptoms. It can also be used for many other eye disorders including conjunctivitis and itchy or runny eyes caused by allergies. Traditionally, it has been used to improve memory and treat vertigo and epilepsy.

How To Harvest and Dry Eyebright

Foraging Eyebright and drying the herb for use is easy. The high tannin content makes it a fast-drying herb. Simply cut the flowering tops of the plant and dry them for a day or two in an oven with just the pilot light on, or in an airy spot out of the sun for several days. The dried herb will have retained its colors, though the flowers will have diminished considerably in size.

How to Used Foraged Eyebright

How to make an eye bath:

Boil 2 cups of water and pour over 1 cup of dried or fresh herb and let sit covered for 20 minutes or more. Strain well using cheesecloth or an unbleached coffee filter. Store in a sterile glass jar. Sterilize the jar by just dipping it in the boiling water before adding the herbs and let stand, open side up. Let the liquid cool, lid tightly, and place in refrigerator for up to a week.

When you wash your face in the morning or evening, use a sterile eyecup or other small sterile container to ‘wash’ your eyes with this herbal extract. If you are experiencing a painful eye condition, it is better to warm the eye bath liquid slightly before use. You can also dip cotton balls in the solution and press one on each eye (with lid closed) as a compress.

How to Make Eyebright Tea:

Using the same method for making an eye bath, simply drink the tea for relief of eye symptoms due to eyestrain, colds and allergies.

 

 

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