Eyebright for Bright Eye October 30 2020, 0 Comments
Does your horse have weepy, crusty, eyes? This annual herb of the grasslands might just be the natural fix you’re looking for.
Plant parts and uses
Eyebright is a very efficient herb- you can use all parts of the plant for its medicinal properties during flowering season. It is typically used for suppressing mucus production around eyes, ears, and sinuses and can be helpful for treating allergies. Scientific studies regarding medicinal use of the plant have focused on its effectiveness in treating conjunctivitis, or pinkeye. Eyebright can be prepared as tea or tincture to be used in an eye compress, or can also be dried and digested internally. Medicinal attributes include tannins, aucubin and quercetin, which each provide anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-histamine properties. Additionally, the herb contains vitamins A, some Bs, C, E, zinc, selenium, and copper- all which provide nutritional support for eye health.
Most common uses for horses
Eyebright is most commonly used for horses with persistent eye irritation (weeping, stinging, light-sensitivity), but can also be used to calm sinus congestion and allergic reactions. Note that eye irritations can be symptoms of other, more serious underlying conditions such as uveitis and corneal ulcers, so you will want to discuss with your veterinarian before using Eyebright to treat. You can make an eye compress by gently boiling, and then simmering a ½ teaspoon of dried herb in a ½ cup of water. If you apply after cooling, make sure to sterilize your compress material. You can also pour the same tea on your horse’s feed to help clear eye issues and allergic irritations from the inside out. You can also sprinkle 1 tablespoon of dried herb in his feed twice a day if you prefer not to make a tea.
Meadowsweet is an annual herb native to grassy meadows of Europe and prefers to be grown in poor, well drained soils with full sun and cool temperatures. If you want to grow your own, you will need to plant the herb with grasses, as the herb attaches itself to the stems and roots of grasses to obtain needed minerals. Make sure to sow seeds in the fall to allow for 90 days of chilling to trigger growth in spring. Continue to allow undisturbed growth through late summer, when the plant flowers and is ready to harvest.