In Basket: July 2011

| June/July 2011

Dear Herb Companion, 

I JUST WANTED to say that I loved the May 2011 issue. I am eager to find the eyedrops for sensitive and aging eyes from your “9 Herbs for Healthy Eyes” article. Does anyone have any idea where to get those? Or does anyone have a recipe for making the tincture or drops that I would need?

—Ti Bo, West Terre Haute, Indiana

Try this leaf infusion with eyebright: Combine 1 tablespoon eyebright leaves with 1 cup distilled water; strain; mix with salt (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt per cup); and apply as a compress or pour into an eyecup and soak each eye. (Change the solution between eyes.) If there is leftover solution, keep it refrigerated; toss after 24 hours. You could also buy herbal eyedrops, available at health- food stores. We recommend Herb Pharm’s Rue Fennel formula. It contains rue, fennel, eyebright, goldenseal and mullein. —Eds.

THE ARTICLE “PLANT a Medicinal Garden” from your May 2011 issue was a very nice introduction for herbal novices. However, I have a serious objection to the final statement concerning peppermint tea: “People prone to gastric reflux should not drink peppermint tea. Peppermint tea relaxes the sphincter.” This is not true. I don’t have time to hunt down the JAMA article now (it was published more than 10 years ago) but the allopaths did a double-blind study and peppermint tea was found to be as effective as proton pump inhibitors (such as Nexium) in relieving the symptoms of acid reflux. It’s not the tea—it’s the concentrated essential oil that aggravates reflux.

—Cynthia Koons, Muncy, Pennsylvania

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