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What Are the Health Benefits of Eyebright?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Images By: Apops, Jj Hall, Arturas Kerdokas, Arztsamui, Ocskay Bence
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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Eyebright is an herb that can be used for a number of eye disorders. It can be applied externally over or in the eyes to help alleviate eye inflammation and eye infection. Some people also apply it to the skin to help relieve various skin irritations, such as acne. Eyebright can also be taken internally to help relieve the symptoms of mild respiratory illnesses, such as colds and allergies. Although there are a number of health benefits of eyebright, it can also cause some side effects.

Known scientifically as Euphasia officinalis, eyebright has been used in herbal medicine for centuries. The leaves, flowers, and stems of this plant can all be used for a variety of illnesses. This plant has mild antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties. Eyebright got its nickname because it is very effective when used to treat eye illnesses.

Eyebright for eyes is usually applied topically. The parts of this plant can be steeped in hot water for several minutes, allowed to cool, and strained. The strong tea that is made with this plant can then be applied to the eyelids as a compress. Some people use eyebright externally on the eyes as a treatment for eye styes and blepharitis.

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The benefits of eyebright may also come from using the herb directly on the eyes. When used as eye drops, an eyebright eye drops may be able to help clear up some bacterial eye infections, like pink eye. Since making eyebright drops at home is usually not sterile, it is important to obtain these commercially or from an experienced herbalist.

A strong eyebright tea can also be applied to irritated or inflamed skin. Acne sufferers may benefit from washing their faces with an eyebright solution or even putting the crushed plant parts on their blemishes. Since this herb has anti-bacterial properties, it can help kill bacteria that causes pimples. It is also an astringent, so it can also close large pores.

There are also a number of benefits of eyebright when it is taken internally. When consumed in a tea, eyebright can be used as a treatment for minor respiratory problems, including colds and allergies. Along with easing inflammation, it also helps constrict the mucous membranes. This will usually result in a lower production of phlegm and mucous.

Despite the many benefits of eyebright, there are also a few eyebright side effects. Individuals who use it on their eyes may experience some swelling in the area. Contact wearers are also usually advised not to use eyebright for eyes. When taken internally, eyebright can also cause nausea.

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