This tiny plant is full of surprises. Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) is very modest, so much so that you may hardly notice her but is flowering now, so worth looking out for. She is found on undernourished soils in heathland, old quarries, railway tracks and gravelly places.
Add a freshly picked handful of eyebright to a cafetière and pour boiling water over to infuse. This tea is surprisingly sweet - like butterscotch. In fact so delicious that I’m not only drinking the tea hot but diluting it into my drinking water too. And I’m dreaming of infusing eyebright into milk and making an Angel Delight-style eyebright custard dessert!
Obviously, having had a name like ‘eye-bright’ for centuries gives us a huge clue as to her medicinal properties. Eyebright strengthens eyes and vision, protects the eyes from oxidative stress and damage, reduces inflammation in corneal cells, helps resolve eye infections, and soothes dry eyes and itchy eyes - both in eye drops like Vogel’s Eye Drops and when added to hay fever tea blends like Napiers Summertime Tea.
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