The red eyebright plant has been used since the Middle Ages and onwards to heal conjunctivitis, blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids), superficial keratitis (inflammation of the cornea), and eye tearing. Washing sleepy eyes with the red eyebright plant renders good results. Besides cleansing secretions, it reduces inflammation and dries the conjunctiva.
Red Eyebright Plant Scientific Facts
- Other names: Euphrasia, eyebright.
- French: Euphraise, euphraise officinale.
- Spanish: Eufrasia, eufrasia officinal.
- Environment: Mountain forests, meadows, and pastures all over Europe. It is naturalized to the American continent.
- Description: Annual herb of the family of the Scrophulariaceae, growing from 10 to 30 cm high. Its flowers are white with purple lines, and two lips form their corolla. It is a parasite that feeds on the roots of other plants.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The entire plant.
The entire plant contains the glycoside substance aucubine, and tannins, phenolic acids, flavonoids, vitamins A and C, and traces of essences. It has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties, which are mainly effective on the conjunctival mucosa.
How to use Red Eyebright
- Infusion with 40 g of plant per liter of water. It has diverse applications.
- Eye irrigation. Let the liquid drop from the outside inwards that is, from the temple to the nose. Eye baths should be done mainly in the morning.
- Eyedrops. 5-10 drops in each eye, four times a day.
- Gargles and rinses. In cases of oral or pharyngeal conditions.
- Nasal irrigations, in case of rhinitis or coryza.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 136. Print.