Eyebright by Gypsy Willowmoon
Planetary association - The Sun
Gender - Masculine.
Element - Air
Zodiac - Leo
The botanical name for Eyebright, comes from the Greek word for gladness.
It was first introduced as an "eye" herb by Hildegard of Bingen, in her Physica, compiled circa 1150.
In the 26th Century Fuchs and Dodoens credit it as a ‘specific for eye complaints’.
An annual semi - parasitic herb,5-30 cm in height, it attaches itself to the roots and stems of grasses, absorbing the mineral substances. leaves are rounded, toothed and small around 1 cm long with tiny white flowers, which are double - lipped with yellow throats and dark purple veins.
This is a difficult one to cultivate due to its parasitical nature. If you are going to try and propagate, plant seeds close to potential host grasses.
The whole plant is used, which is dried for use in infusions and herbal preparations.
According to legend, the linnet, a bird whose Greek name comes from the same root. Said to be first used to clear the sight of its young, it then passed the knowledge onto mankind...
Spenser, Milton and Other poets mention eyebright in their works.
Medicinal uses - Eyebright reduces inflammation.
It is said to be helpful for treating hay fever, allergic rhinitis, catarrh and sinusitis.
Externally it is made into washes for sore, itchy eyes and or conjunctivitis. Also used for skin irritations and eczema.
Magical uses - Worked with for clairvoyance and to see Faeries. Mental powers.
Named after one of the three charities of the Hellenic Pantheon, Euphrosyne, Goddess of joy and Mirth.
Associated with the tower card in Tarot.
Work with in spells to help yourself or others to see situations clearly.
To see the silver lining in a bad situation.
Good to use in any workings for gratitude or joyous events.
Add to spell/charm bags as a memory aid.
Used in compresses over the eyes to increase clairvoyance.
brings clear thinking.
Worked with in tea for divination purposes.
Worked with in beauty spells.
Worked with in amulets to restore and protect the sight.
In Queen Elizabeth's reign, Eyebright Ale was said to cheer the spirit.
Place a few drops on eyelids before sleep to have prophetic dreams, and during the day to see what is not normally seen
The kitchen & Garden book of herbs -Jessica Houdret & Joanna Farrow