Body & Soul: British Eyebright

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Makes 8 ounces

This herb has been used since the Middle Ages to refresh, soothe and brighten the eyes. During Queen Elizabeth’s time, it also was used as a memory tonic and as an ingredient for making ale. Eyebright is a dainty little plant with small, deeply cut leaves and tiny, pale lilac-colored flowers. It grows wild in meadows and pastures across the British Isles. You can find dried eyebright in many natural food stores. Use this recipe in the early evening to soothe tired eyes with a cool compress. After a brief nap, your eyes will sparkle. Refreshing to the body and the mind, it can salvage your Friday-night plans.

• 2 tablespoons dried eyebright leaves
• 1 cup boiling water

1. Place dried herb in a small dish and pour boiling water over it. Let sit 15 minutes. 

2. Strain and pour the liquid into a clean container. Refrigerate until cold.

3. Dip clean cotton pads into the solution and place over your closed eyes. Lie down and rest for 15 to 30 minutes. Store any leftover solution in the refrigerator.

Janice Cox is the author of Natural Beauty at Home (Henry Holt, 2002).For more recipes and ideas, visit her website at

Click here for more eye-care recipes from the original article, Body & Soul: Your Eye-Care Rescue Kit.

Mother Earth Living
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