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 satisfactory 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.
Eyebright is one of the single best herbs for the eyes. To treat all eye conditions, drink eyebright tea liberally and daily. It helps clear the blood, stimulate the liver, and relieve all disorders affecting vision clarity. The plant relieves discomfort from minor eye irritations and eyestrains. Itchy and or watery eyes can also be treated with this herb.
Red eyebright has detoxifying and cooling properties that enable it to combat inflammation. It can also treat inflammation of the throat and nose. The plant is also helpful in treating nose and throat congestion, upper respiratory problems, indigestion, impure blood, hay fever, cataracts, diabetes, and allergies. In external applications, eyebright can be used as an eyewash to treat other eye diseases, burning and sore eyes, ophthalmia, eye weakness, and conjunctivitis, which can be more effective if combined with rue, fennel, or goldenseal. The infusion can be made using one ounce of the herb to a pint of boiled water and steeped for twenty minutes. You can make a beverage tea by using ½ ounce herb steeped in a pint of water.
How to use Red Eyebright
- 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.
Infusion: Steep for five to fifteen minutes and take six ounces frequently. Tincture: Take thirty to sixty drops regularly. Fluid Extract: Take one teaspoon regularly. Powder: Take ten #0 capsules (60 grains) regularly.
- 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.
- Vance Ferrell Harold M. Cherne, M.D. The Natural Remedies Encyclopedia [Book]. – Altamont, TN: Harvestime Books, 2010. – Vol. Seventh Edition: 7: pp. 157.