How to Make an Herbal Tincture (or Tea) for Eye Health!
Your eyes and sense of vision are so very important to your well-being. As my eyesight has progressively worsened over the years, I have turned to herbal remedies to help slow down and even improve that process!
Here is a DIY recipe for an herbal tincture (or you can even use it as a tea, if you like) that used daily as a tonic may improve your eye health!! Bilberry, in particular, is thought to even improve night vision!
A Run-Down of the Herbs:
Bilberries are sometimes confused with the common blueberry. They are, in fact, closely related! Bilberries are also known as Huckleberries and Whortleberries. Both Bilberries and Blueberries are high in anthocyanin and anthocyanidin, which are flavonoid compounds. These berries may strengthen vision, improve macular degeneration, as well as preventing or slowing cataracts and glaucoma. For people with diabetes, Bilberry may even help with diabetic retinopathy, which is a common result of the disease. As a further benefit, the leaves may help regulate blood sugar levels in adult-onset diabetes.
You can purchase Bilberry in a compound form or as a single powder in capsule form. However, keep in mind that once powdered, more of the surface area of the herb is exposed to the air, causing faster oxidation. Personally, I prefer to use the herb in its plant form, dried or fresh.
I love Calendula! These bright sunny flowers grow profusely nearly anywhere. (If you purchase seeds, please buy Calendula officinalis. This species is packed with the medicinal benefits. You can find these from good herb companies.) The flower heads are the part generally used. Calendula, in terms of eye health, is an alterative, which means it helps provide nutrition and brings the body back into balance.
This plant is amazing versatile. Generally, the flowers and berries are used in the prevention and treatment of colds, allergies, and the onset of sore throat. They have excellent expectorant and diuretic properties, among others. They are thought to soothe eye irritation, and they are excellent for the immune system either way.
Doesn't the name just say it all? This herb is astringent and anti-inflammatory. It is useful as both an eye wash for infected or irritated eyes and also for mild sinus congestion. I like to use it in combination as a tincture because it is easy to take. It is a well-known herb for eye health as well as treating eye conditions such as conjunctivitis.
Turmeric is a stimulating herb that helps to increase circulation, including circulation to the eyes. Combined with other herbs, it is excellent in so many ways. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties, which help all parts of your body! Turmeric is also an alterative herb, helping the body balance and providing nutrition. It gently activates liver function, which helps keep blood pure and the body detoxified.
This synergistic formula of herbs is great for general eye health, as well as a nice tonic for the whole body in general.
If stored in a typical dropper bottle, take one to three full droppers once or twice a day.
DIY Eye Health Tonic Tincture:
3 parts Bilberry Leaf (or berries)
2 parts Elderberries
2 parts Calendula
1 part Eyebright powder
1 part Turmeric powder
80 proof alcohol of choice (I use Vodka because it is clear and relatively tasteless) Do NOT use rubbing alcohol---only ingestable alcohol please.
Measure out the herbs by "parts" into a Mason jar:
Now add your alcohol Your alcohol (the solvent) should be at least 80 proof. A higher proof alcohol will be a stronger solvent and extract the herbal constituents more quickly and possibly more thoroughly. However, in my experience, 80 proof works just fine!
Put your processing tincture in a sunny window (my preference) or in a dark cupboard (others will say to do this....I have never tried it.) I like the sunshine hitting my tinctures. It may sound silly, but I believe the sun adds some energy to the process that is very positive.
Shake your tincture daily to keep the herbs mixed. Especially when using powdered herbs, you want to shake well and fairly often. The powders will sometimes form a gummy mass at the bottom that is difficult to break up if you don't shake. Plus, shaking exposes all the herbs to the solvent evenly...plus, you are "giving it some love!" :-)
Infuse for at least four weeks. I have tinctures that infuse for months, with no adverse effects. After you feel it's ready, just strain off the herbs using a good strainer and, with powdered herbs, a few layers of cheesecloth. The liquid is your tincture! Bottle it up into dark bottles and store in a cool, dark place. Tinctures have been known to last for many many years--even decades. However, the general amount of time most herbalists will state is about 2 years.
To use, I like to bottle mine in smaller bottles like these:
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Using the Herbs as a Tea:
If you want to make a tea in the meantime, you can use this same formula for that as well! Just steep a tablespoon or so of the herb in a cup or two of just boiled water for about an hour, or even more if you want a stronger tea. Strain the herbs, sweeten to taste, and enjoy!
Do you make your own tinctures? I use them for almost everything! :-)
Hugs & Self-Reliance!
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Disclaimer: The information in this article, elsewhere on my blog, in my shop sites, in conversations, and on labels is for informational purposes only and not meant to cure, treat, diagnose, or prevent any medical condition. I am not a medical doctor, so please see a medical professional for concerns. I simply provide my own personal advice based on experience and study for ways to live a healthy and natural way of life. I disclaim any liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any of the information contained in this article or elsewhere on this website. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.