"Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You"

There are many old and new formulas that contain eyebright.  Gerard used powdered eyebright herb mixed with mace because it ‘comforteth the memorie’.  Culpepper made ‘An Excellent Water to Clear the Sight.  Take of fennel, eyebright, roses, white, celandine, vervain and rue, of each a handful, the liver of a goat chopt small, infuse them well in eyebright water,
then distil them in an alembic, and you shall have a water will clear the sight beyond comparison.’

To treat a baby with a clogged tear duct in the eye you can use a combination of eyebright and goldenseal tea to gently massage and wash the eye.   Because both of these herbs have antiseptic qualities many infections can be cured by their use.  Another formula to treat acute conjunctivitis caused by infection from bacteria, a virus, or triggered by an allergic reaction such as hay fever and to treat the infection of the eyelid called blepharitis is using an infusion of eyebright and marigold flowers.   Others have used the eyebright herb combined with powdered yucca root and used it as an eyewash to remove cataracts that are less then one year old.

As a soothing compress you can use 1 tablespoon eyebright herb, ½ tablespoon comfrey root powder, ½ tablespoon goldenseal root powder.  Simmer the comfrey and goldenseal in 1 pint of distilled water for ten minutes and then remove from heat and add the eyebright and steep for 10 more minutes.  Strain the tea and apply externally with cloths dipped in the tea.  This can be applied warm or cold or alternately.

Dr. Christopher has an excellent Herbal Eyewash Formula.  Take bayberry bark, eyebright herb, goldenseal root, red raspberry leaves 1 part each and 1/8 part cayenne and make an infusion and bathe the eyes three to six times a day.  You can also take this formula internally.  If you make the formula into an alcohol tincture, you can take 15 drops internally or put 3-5 drops in an eyecup with boiling distilled water and allow it to cool before using as an eyewash.   This Herbal Eyewash Formula has been used to clear up cataracts and a heavy mucous film across the eyes.  It has also been used to stop macular degeneration and to heal scar tissue left from a herpes infection.  It also brightens the eye, removes foreign particles, and helps reduce glaucoma.  It has helped remove floaters and stop sub retinal hemorrhage.  Some people using this formula have regained their vision if they were nearsighted, farsighted, or even blind.

Don’t be alarmed if the eyesight gets worse for the first few days of using this formula, because the toxins in the eye are being brought up to the surface so they can be removed from the body.  You may also have various amounts of pus or mucus come out of the eyes as you are using the formula because the body is cleaning out the eye tissues.  Make sure all elimination channels of the body such as the lower bowel, kidneys, liver, and skin are open so that the body can rid itself of the toxic materials that have built up in the eye tissues.

I use a formula similar to Dr. Christopher’s which has 4 parts comfrey root, 1 part each of bayberry bark, eyebright herb, goldenseal root, red raspberry leaves, and lobelia, with 1/8 part cayenne.  This formula can be made into an alcohol tincture with 100 proof Vodka and 5 drops can be added to boiling distilled water in an eyecup to wash the eyes several times a day.  To help keep the formula sterile for the eye, always boil the eyecups to sterilize them, use boiling distilled water to help keep the tincture sterile, and use separate eyecups for each eye so that you don’t spread any infection to the other eye.   It can also be made into an olive oil extract that can be rubbed externally around the eye orbit to relax and nourish the eye muscles.  This olive oil extract can have beeswax and bentonite clay added to it to become a salve that is massaged into the muscles around the eye orbit as well.

Dr. Christopher also describes another formula using eyebright that is for Ophthalmia or sore and inflamed eyes.  This is a formula that you take internally.  You combine ½ ounce of raspberry leaves, agrimony, eyebright, and buckbean or bogbean in a quart of water and simmer the herbs for 20 minutes in a pan with a lid covering it.  Then stain and sweeten with honey.  You can take 2 fluid ounces 4 times a day.

Nearly every herbal supplement company has a formula for eyebright and they range from one or two ingredients to many ingredients.  Nutra-Life makes a bilberry plus eyebright complex tablet that you take several of a day.  Gaia Herbs has an Eyebright Bayberry Supreme tincture that contains eyebright herb, bayberry root bark, goldenseal rhizome, calamus root, and stinging Nettle in an alcohol and spring water base.  You take this internally three to four times a day in a glass of water with 15-30 drops of the tincture.  Planetary Formulas has a Bilberry Eye complex that you take 2 tablets two times a day.  It combines bilberry extract with the Chinese formula called Ming Mu Di Huang Wan (Bright Eye Rehmannia Formula).  The main ingredient in this Chinese formula is eyebright along with lycii berry, rehmannia root, lycii berry extract, chrysanthemum flower, dioscorea rhizome, peony rhizome, tribulus fruit, poria cocos sclerotium, alisma root, and cornus berry extranct.  This formula also contains dibasic calcium phosphate, stearic acid, modified cellulose gum, and colloidal silicon dioxide.

It seems that some companies feel like the more they put in their formulas the better they are as you will see with the complicated list of ingredients of the next two formulas.  Life Plus has an Eye Formula where two capsules are recommended daily that contain:
dicalcium phosphate, eyebright aerial parts, magnesium ascorbate, microcrystalline cellulose, hesperidin complex, lutein extract, rutin, bilberry fruit extract, zinc gluconate, quercetin, stearic acid, marigold (tagetes erecta L.) flower extract, niacin (niacinamide), carotenoid complex, L-glutathione, sodium selenite, and PhytoZymeT proprietary blend (bromelain, papain, aloe vera, alfalfa, parsley, and vegetable and fruit concentrates from carrots, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, asparagus, celery, beet, chili pepper, green bean, pea, sweet potato, cucumber, pumpkin, snow pea, tomato, zucchini, lima beans, mushroom, banana, cantaloupe, cranberry, guava, lemon, mango, orange, papaya, peach, pineapple and grapefruit).  At least many of these ingredients are whole foods and healthy for you as well as helping your eyes.

Visio Complex is another capsulated formula where eight capsules are recommended daily.  Some of its ingredients are not plant based and include: vitamin A (retinyl palmitate), vitamin A (as beta carotene), vitamin C, vitamin E, thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin (vitamin B-2), niacin, niacinamide, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine HCI), folic acid, vitamin B-12, pantothenic acid, calcium (as calcium citrate), magnesium (as magnesium citrate), zinc (as zinc picolinate), selenium (seleno-L-methionine), copper (as copper amino acid chelate), raw eye concentrate, eyebright, bilberry extract powder, N-acetyl cysteine, ginkgo extract, quercetin, taurine, L-methionine, glutamic acid, glycine, lutein, rice flour, magnesium stearate, and gelatin.

There are also formulas that are for congestion from colds and allergies such as Eclectic Institute Nasal Support capsules where one to three capsules are recommended daily.  It contains nettle leaf, eyebright flower and leaf, elder flower, horseradish root, hypromellose, and purified water.    Gaia Herbs has an Allergy Cleanse which contains three formulas the first has: eyebright herb, bayberry root bark, goldenseal root, calamus root, stinging nettle leaf, ginger, honey, orange essence.  The second formula contains: turmeric root, black catechu, grindelia floral buds, licorice root, rose hips, chinese skillcap, ginkgo leaf, african devil's claw root, yarrow flowers, lobelia herb and seed, ginger, honey, peppermint essence.  And the third formula contains stinging nettle leaf and vegetable glycerin.  Used daily these three formulas are meant to support the body in ridding itself of allergies.

Other combinations with eyebright include goldenrod (solidago vigaurea), elderberry (sambucus nigra), and goldenseal (hydrastis canadensis) for catarrh. ephedra sinica can be combined with eyebright for allergic conditions where eyes are affected.  Also goldenseal (hydrastis canadensis) and distilled witch hazel (hamamelis virginiana) can be combined with eyebright as an eye lotion.  These are Naturopathic formulas and the Homeopaths have formulas that use eyebright as well.  Chinese formulas with eyebright have been around for a long time and they often target the liver as well as the eye because in Chinese medicine these two organs are interrelated.  It appears that eyebright has become a popular ingredient in many different types of formulas.
by Sherilee Hartzog
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