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How to Make an Herbal Eye Wash

Eyebright is so-named because it has been used to address eye problems -- from sties to conjunctivitis and blepharitis – since the 14th century. In addition to astringent tannins, the herb’s effectiveness is due to the presence of aucubin, an iridoid glycoside that defends the plant from predators and also demonstrates potent anti-inflammatory properties.

In this formula, eyebright combines with the antiviral and antibacterial effects of Oregon grape root and lemon balm to help reduce inflammation and ease irritation associated with the conditions mentioned above as well as from allergies and eye strain. If your condition doesn’t improve, however, within a few days of using this formula, make an appointment with an ophthalmologist for a consultation and examination.


½ cup filtered water

1 teaspoon dried eyebright

1 teaspoon dried Oregon grape root

1 teaspoon dried lemon balm


Bring the water to the boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in herbs. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid in a cup or bowl.

To use, dampen a cotton ball or pad with the cooled infusion, squeeze out the excess liquid and use to cover the eye. Lie down and rest for 15 to 20 minutes before removing. Repeat 3 to 4 times per day. Note: You can also use this formula with an eye cup, but be absolutely certain to strain it very well through a double layer of cheesecloth and a fine mesh sieve.

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