Payment in full. Clementina must be feeling better as last evening she presented us with an egg. After an extremely hot Summer, the hens have taken a long time to come back into full plumage and thus back on to lay. So things are looking good for our Mrs Beeton's John Bull's Own Christmas Pudding and her Bride cake with its 24 eggs!
In this post I am going to share two infusions I make for the treatment of eyes. They are both edible so there is no problem, as usually happens when giving eye washes, eye baths and compresses to poultry, if some of the liquid is imbibed by the patient. My first infusion is so beautiful I'm sure the perfume it exuded as it melted from its frozen state, reminding us as it did of warmer and drier days, did a lot to help in Clementina's cure.
Rose Petal Infusion - with a touch of the Bard
This is an infusion you can prepare from your garden roses, provided you are gardening organically or at least do not use chemical sprays. I use roses a great deal in cooking so I usually make my rose water all through the Summer and from the most heavily scented rose. By chance the best rose for culinary purposes is also, as its name suggests, the best one for medicinal use. This is the Apothecary's Rose., rosa gallica Officinalis. It is also known as the Red Rose of Lancaster, which in legend was the emblem chosen by the royal house of Lancaster prior to the War of the Roses, a conceit made famous in Shakespeare's Henry VI part 1 (Act 2, Scene iv)
Grown to this faction in the Temple-garden,
Shall send between the red rose and the white
A thousand souls to death and deadly night.
Drain off the water making sure to squeeze out the petals. You will be left with a beautiful coloured and scented liquid. This you can either store in a refrigerator for up to a month (I don't have one) or as I do, freeze in an ice cube tray or bag, from which you may cut chunks as needed.
Rose water compresses should be given cold so using the rose water from the freezer, just as it has melted, is ideal. I did find with my rose water that it contained a little residue from the petals, so I used the cotton wool pad itself as an extra filter, thus placing the undipped side against Clementina's eye.
Compresses and Cotton Wool
I was reading a web article recently which advised against making your own compresses because of the lack of sterility of the pads. Whereas, I would be more worried about the potential poisonous residues within the fabric. Given that 25% of the World's pesticides are used in the cultivation of cotton, I am really happy to have been able to obtain a large supply of certified organic cotton wool. I found these priced a few centimes per pack at our local thrift shop. It sells 'over stocked' goods and those which have imperfections, a classic being 'the Princess and the Six Elves Garden Set', an obvious malentendu between manufacturer and client for Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. The biodegradable bag the cotton wool was contained in split along its seam once I had opened and closed it on the drawstring a couple of times, which I presume was the problem. So if you have a similar discount shop in your area it might be worth paying them a visit.
The compress can be held against the eye for a few minutes but do not keep it on if your hen exhibits too much stress as you will be defeating the object. In this latter case it may be better to give the eye a 'bath' which is obviously of a much shorter duration. I will demonstrate this in the next section. The compress is also a very useful way of opening an eye which has been stuck shut due to conjunctivitis, for example but always remember to use a fresh compress for each eye.
Infusion of Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis)
In Europe, Euphrasia officinalis has been used as a medicinal plant for diseases and conditions of the eye since the fourteenth century and in particular those associated with the various forms of coryza (catarrh).
To make the infusion, take one teaspoon of the dried herb and add to 100 ml of boiling mineral or distilled water, let the mix boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to infuse for a further 10 minutes, then strain through a filter (I used an unbleached coffee filter). This infusion should be used whilst warm and will keep for a few days in a refrigerator.
Now if you'd like to, sit back and watch the film:
Thanks for dropping by and please feel free to share this article, comment, ask questions and/or relate your own experience of herbal infusions for eyes.
All the best, Sue
This is Clementina, she has a problem with swelling around both eyes and inflammation of the third eyelid...read more
RETURN TO CONTENTS PAGE
© 2013 Sue Cross