Herbs are so much part of our everyday lives we probably don’t realise how much we use them. Equally, we don’t realise how much they can help us so we wanted to give you more information on these valuable plants.
Herbal medicine is ancient wisdom that has been used throughout the world over centuries. Herbal preparations are made directly from the plant, and use different parts from leaves, flowers, seeds, rhizomes through to roots. Depending on the herb they can come in tincture, paste, tablets or teas.
Our everyday use of herbs includes
Like all medicine herbs do require specialist knowledge to ensure they are used correctly. We are providing you with an overview of the more commonly known herbs. Our blog will identify the traditional associations relating to each herb. EFSA do not issue any supported claims for herbs.
Euphrasia – Eyebright
This pretty little flower is often seen growing in alpine areas. As the name suggests it helps us look after our eyes. Like so many herbs use of this flower is recorded way back to the Middle Ages. Euphrasia has been identified as having anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. This helps to explain why it can be so beneficial for the eyes.
Why do we get eye symptoms?
Different conditions can activate symptoms for our eyes.
- Dry hot days lead to dry, tired eyes.
- Intense concentration can strain the eyes, again leading to eye strain and dry, sore eyes.
- Lack of sleep can create a similar reaction.
- The summer, as glorious as this one is, brings pollen and the potential for allergic hay fever reactions for some of us.
- Dancing the night away at festivals and barbecues whilst drinking a few too many may lead to bloodshot eyes!
- Additionally, like any organ, eyes are susceptible to infections such as conjunctivitis, iritis or blepharitis.
What symptoms can Euphrasia help with?
- Eyes that are burning and watery
- Mucous on the cornea of the eye
- Eyelids that are hot and swollen
- Red watery eyes with burning tears
- Smarting eyes
- Dry crusty eyes on waking
- Dry eyes
- Euphrasia is a great support for allergies, colds and hay fever and its support goes beyond the eye symptoms
- Copious bland nasal discharge
- Runny nose with a cough
- Sore throat
- Lots of sneezing
- People who are worse in the light
- Symptoms worse in the evening and better when up and about during the day
- Euphrasia can relieve sinus and rhinitis symptoms alongside other respiratory conditions
I use Euphrasia in my practice and I always get very positive responses from my patients. They tell me that their symptoms are eased quickly and what relief it gives them from these often unpleasant effects.
How can I help myself?
- If you know you are light sensitive wear sunglasses in the sun and carry them with you all the time.
- When working on a particular project requiring lots of concentration take regular breaks to give your eyes a rest. This applies even in your normal working day!
- If you know the trees and flowers that irritate you avoid those areas. Carry some Euphrasia with you to counteract those unexpected encounters!
Ways to use Euphrasia
- Our good friends at A.Vogel offer a great product called Eye Drops made with Euphrasia which are also suitable for contact lens users!
- A.Vogels Eyebright tincture form is also very convenient and an easy way to absorb any substance as it gets straight into the blood stream
- You can make a tea using Euphrasia.
- An eye compress made with Euphrasia is a lovely way to combine some rest and eye healing.
Lutein is a very important nutrient to support the eye; this is because it offers protection against Age Related Macular Degeneration. Lutein also provides protection against UV damage to the retina.
The eye despite being a small organ is nutrient hungry. This is particularly important in relation to antioxidants. Choose a good antioxidant formula.
- Vitamin E protects cells from oxidative stress
- Vitamin C is a great all round antioxidant
- Beta-carotene and of course carrots are associated with supporting night vision!
If you prefer taking nutrients via your food then add some blueberries and bilberries to your diet and give your eyes an extra boost.
You support your eyes further by ensuring you eat fish on a regular basis. Omega 3 oils are important for healthy eyes.
Typically, there are no contraindications for Euphrasia but as ever if you are pregnant or breastfeeding please check with your GP.