Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis)

Spied lots of this on the way up to Craig Fach on the flanks of Bwlch y Moch today.

Euphrasia comes from the Greek for delight, it is known as bird’s-eye, fairy flax in Donegal, peeweets in Devon and Christ’s sight in Wales, From the 14th century onwards, because it resembles a bloodshot eye, the juice or distilled water was dropped into the eye, or taken in wine, to improve eyesight. Ladies used it to make their eyes more attractive. Highlanders made an infusion in milk with it and applied it with a feather to weak or inflamed eyes. it is still used today to brighten the eyes by tightening the mucous membranes. it was taken internally to allay hay fever, catarrh and sinusitis. In the 16th Century the dried leaves were made into eyebright ale and a herbal tobacco smoked for bronchial colds. Drinking  a tea made from it, or simply carrying it, was thought to aid mental clarity and enable one to detect those telling lies!. flowers through from March to october