The herb eyebright has been used since ancient times as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent to treat conditions related to the eyes. People make eyebaths from eyebright tinctures to soothe bloodshot eyes and relieve inflammatory conditions related to conjunctivitis (better known as pink eye), cold/flu, or allergies. When preparing the eyebath, it's important to use distilled water, to avoid contaminating the mixture with any impurities that could be present in tap or bottled water. You can use a homemade tincture or a store-bought tincture, whichever you prefer.
Heat a cup of distilled water on the stove, then let it cool down until it's lukewarm.
Use a teaspoon to fill an eye cup three-fourths full with warm water.
Add three drops of eyebright tincture to the water.
Let the mixture sit for a minute to let the alcohol in the tincture evaporate.
Lean forward, close your eye and fit the cup to your eye socket.
Stand up and lean your head back so that the water totally covers your eye lid.
Open your eye and let the fluid flow into it.
Eyebright can make your eyes sensitive to light. Wear sunglasses outdoors while using this herb, and avoid bright indoor lighting. Check with your doctor before using eyebright (or any other herb) to treat an ailment or if you are taking medication. Not all medical practitioners agree that using it is medically beneficial, and any herb has the potential to cause harmful interactactions with over-the-counter or prescription drugs. If you display any signs of an allergic reaction -- such as sneezing, weakness, a headache or itching -- contact your doctor.