Ed Smith’s Rue Fennel Compound All

This refreshing tonic for the eyes was provided to me by herbalist Ed Smith. It is mildly soothing, cleansing and astringent. Especially indicated for “tired eyes” and for burning and inflamed eyes and conjuctivia: allergies, conjunctivitus (pinkeye) and bloodshot eyes. The following formula is made from herbal tinctures, but Ed Smith has told me that it can also be brewed into a strong infusion using equal parts of each herb dried. For simplicity’s sake I am omitting the 1 percent boric acid from the original formula. Ed Smith is a highly respected formulator and extract maker and is the proprietor of HerbPharm, one of the most successful and highly acclaimed tincture companies in the United States. This compound tincture is available readymade from HerbPharm (see Resources).

1 teaspoon rue tincture made from 1 teaspoon fresh mullein flower with fresh rue tops with immature seeds leaf tincture

1 teaspoon dried fennel seed tincture small amber glass jar with an eye

1 teaspoon fresh eyebright flowering dropper top or tight-fitting lid herb tincture

1 teaspoon dried goldenseal rhizome and root tincture

Make tinctures with herbs following the directions in the Techniques and Definitions chapter. You can make simple tinctures with each herb separately and combine them after they are strained. Then measure out teaspoons of strained tincture into a small measuring cup with a spout and pour into jar. Makes about 1/2 oz.

You can also make this formula as a compound tincture using equal parts of each herb and tincture them together, in which case they are premixed and ready to use after they are strained.

Place 3-15 drops in an eye cup with saline solution (available at pharmacy) and stir with the glass dropper until well mixed. The number of drops that can be tolerated will vary with the individual and his or her situation. If the wash seems too strong, lower the number of drops until it feels comfortable. Do an eyewash with this mixture (approximately 1 or 2 minutes for each eye) 1-3 times per day. While doing the wash make sure to keep the eye opened widely and to rotate it in all directions.


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