Useful properties and application of eyebright
Botanical characteristics of eyebright
Eyebright is a small annual plant from the family of scorchaceae with a straight, branchy from the middle, softly pubescent, reddish-brown stem, 5 to 50 cm high. The leaves of the plant are small, opposite, ovoid, with spinous teeth along the edge. In the lower part of the stem, the leaves fall early. In the axils of the leaves, flowering shoots develop with pale purple or white two-lipped flowers. The flowers do not exceed 6–10 mm in length; their distinguishing feature is a yellow rounded spot on the lower three-lobed lip.
Eyebright is a semi-parasitic plant that sucks out nutritious juices from cereal grasses with its roots. Its flowering period is from late summer to mid-autumn. Eyebright can be found in meadows, along roadsides, in light forests, in mountainous areas, on dry slopes, in peat bogs. It is distributed mostly in the central and southern regions of Germany, Italy, the Balkans, Russia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus.
Useful properties of eyebright
For medicinal purposes, the aerial part of the plant is collected - flowers and leaves. They contain essential and fatty oils, flavonoids, tannins, coumarins, glycosides, anthocyanins, and vitamins. Eyebright is a real storehouse of trace elements such as silicon and magnesium, zinc and boron, iron, chromium, manganese, magnesium and others.
To preserve the healing properties of the plant, it is harvested during flowering, dried under awnings in the open air or in rooms with good ventilation. For drying grass, you can use special dryers at an operating temperature of 40 ° C. After drying, the grass is crushed and stored in boxes in a package made of thick paper. Finished raw materials are afraid of moisture, so they should be stored in a dry, well-ventilated place.
Eyebright has found wide application in folk medicine. It has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, enveloping, antispasmodic, hypotensive and sedative effects. In addition, eyebright preparations improve the blood supply to the brain, lower eye pressure, increase immunity and relieve puffiness.
The use of herbal infusions and decoctions is justified for coughs, acute respiratory infections, bronchitis, sore throat. They help with memory impairments, problems with the gastrointestinal tract, stomach catarrh, enterocolitis, gastritis with high acidity, allergies. Eyebright is also used for hypertension, rheumatism, gout. The plant is included in most cardiac herbal preparations due to the presence of cardiac glycosides in its composition.
The healing properties of eyebright have been proven in the treatment of eczema and diathesis. It has a positive effect on the scalp, promoting hair growth and structure.
Eyebright preparations are used to treat various eye diseases, ranging from simple eye fatigue during prolonged work at the computer or while reading in dim lighting and ending with such serious diseases as cataracts and glaucoma.
For internal use, decoctions, infusions, tea or juice are used, for external use, various compresses, baths and lotions are used. With hyperopia or myopia, calendula flowers can be added to the eyebright, which will enhance the effect of drugs. When treating barley, it is recommended to add chamomile. Fennel fruits will increase the antiseptic properties of eyebright.
Eyebright tincture is a good prophylactic agent for maintaining vision, it can also be taken by children. The tincture relieves fatigue and the feeling of "sand in the eyes", it is effective in glaucoma and cataracts. Treatment with the drug takes place at the tissue level, this is the advantage of eyebright tincture. It is a good antiseptic and pain reliever.
Recipe 1. For 50 g of dry eyebright grass, use 220 ml of 70% alcohol, insist for ten days in a glass container in a dark room at a temperature of 20–25 ° C, shake once every two days. The maximum shelf life of the tincture is five years.
Eyebright extract has medicinal properties many times higher than the properties of the herb itself. In laboratory studies, it became known that the plant extract has a positive effect on visual acuity, reduces inflammatory processes, even has a therapeutic and prophylactic effect on degenerative-dystrophic processes in the membrane of the eye, and also reduces eye puffiness and slows down age-related metabolic disorders.
Eyebright extract treats respiratory diseases such as tonsillitis, flu, asthma, bronchitis. It is used for inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, diseases of the genitourinary system, and cardiovascular diseases. The drug can be used in the form of baths, poultices and lotions, dry extract - in the form of a powder. Skin diseases such as dermatitis, eczema, warts are treated in the same way. In the treatment of these diseases, the drug is used both internally and in the form of lotions, instillations, rinsing.
The extract is an extract from a plant that is prepared with alcohol or water and can be purchased at homeopathic pharmacies.
The infusion of eyebright is used by folk medicine for eye diseases, in case of indigestion or lack of appetite.
Recipe 1: 200 ml of boiling water will need 10 g of dry crushed herbs. It is poured with boiling water and allowed to brew for three hours, then filtered. The infusion is taken three times a day for half a glass.
Recipe 2: add 2 teaspoons of chopped eyebright to 200 ml of cold water, bring to a boil and leave for 2-3 minutes. It is recommended to drink half a glass four times a day.
Erect eyebright is a semi-parasitic plant, on the roots it has suckers with which it clings to the roots of other plants and thus takes water from them. Stem of eyebright is erect, straight, sometimes branched in the lower part. Plant height - from 1 to 50 cm. It can be red or purple. The leaves along the entire length of the trunk have a different shape, from the bottom they are wedge-shaped with notches on the sides, and the upper and middle ones are wide, very sharp. The flowers are pale purple, on short stems, blooming along the entire length of the trunk.
At the top, the flowers are collected in a bunch. Fruits are oblong oval capsules. This species blooms from June to October. It grows in Ukraine, Belarus, the Caucasus, in the European part of Russia. Erect eyebright can be found almost everywhere: in the meadow, in the forest and between stones, it also grows on sandy slopes.
This type is very widely used in traditional medicine. Use the entire plant. The infusion is recommended for gastritis, diarrhea, hemorrhoids. The broth is used as an anti-inflammatory and expectorant agent. The warm broth is used for coughs, flu, tonsillitis, asthma. The broth can be used as a lotion for ulcers, wounds and burns. The powder is prescribed for epilepsy and suffocation. It is also used for alcoholism. But mainly eyebright is used for eye diseases.
Recipe 1: Pour 1 tablespoon of chopped herbs into 200 ml of boiling water, leave for 2 hours and then strain. They take the medicine half a glass four times a day, wash the eyelids with it.
It is a small annual plant with a straight stem, often branched. This species has many small green leaves, sharp in the middle of the stem. The flowers are white, slightly yellow inside, gathered in a bunch at the top of the plant. It blooms from June to October, it grows throughout the European part of Russia.
Eyebright contains such useful substances as aucubin glycoside, essential oil, disinfecting resins, tannins. Dried or powdered leaves are used in the form of lotions, rinses.
Recipe 1. Pour 1-2 teaspoons of herbs into a quarter glass of cold water, bring to a boil and let it brew for 2 minutes. When the product has cooled down, it is buried in the corners of the eyes or used in the form of lotions for an hour and a half a day.
Recipe 2. In 250 g of cold water, you need to pour 3 teaspoons of eyebright herb, bring to a boil and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. The composition is used for warm baths.
Contraindications to the use of eyebright
When using eyebright for medicinal purposes, you need to know that the aqueous extract of the herb constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure. And alcoholic tincture, on the contrary, lowers the pressure.
Eyebright should not be used by pregnant women or people with anacid gastritis.
The author of the article: Sokolova Nina Vladimirovna | Phytotherapist
Education: Diploma in "General Medicine" and "Therapy" received at the Pirogov University (2005 and 2006). Advanced training at the Department of Phytotherapy at the Peoples' Friendship University of Moscow (2008).