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The Health Benefits of Eyebright

Euphrasia (eyebright) is a genus of about 450 species of herbaceous flowering plants in the family Orobanchaceae, with a cosmopolitan distribution. They are semi-parasitic on grasses. The common name eyebright refers to the plant's use in treating eye conditions.

The plant was known to classical herbalists, but then was not referred to until mentioned again in 1305. Nicholas Culpeper assigned it to the astrological sign Leo, claiming that it strengthened the brain. It was also used to treat bad memory and vertigo.

Internally, eyebright is the best single herb for the eyes. Drink eyebright tea liberally and on a daily basis to treat all eye problems. It aids in stimulating the liver to clear the blood and relieve those conditions that affect the clarity of vision. It relieves discomfort from eyestrain or minor eye irritation. It is good for itchy and watery eyes. It has a cooling and detoxifying property that makes it especially useful in combating inflammation. It is also useful inflammations of the nose and throat.

Eyebright is also used for allergies, diabetes, cataracts, hay fever, impure blood, indigestion, nose and throat congestion, and upper respiratory problems.

Externally, eyebright is used as an eyewash, especially combined with goldenseal, rue, or fennel for conjunctivitis, eye weakness, ophthalmia, burning and sore eyes, and other eye diseases. The infusion is made using 1 oz. herb to a pint of boiled water, steeped 20 minutes. A beverage tea can be made, using oz. herb steeped in a pint of water.

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